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Watermelon is a well-known large fruit with a juicy aromatic pulp and a sweet taste. People are looking forward to the watermelon season to enjoy the delicious berry with all their hearts. Cultivation of watermelons is becoming a popular activity, thanks to warming and the work of breeders, they grow well in regions where they previously fell only through the efforts of carriers. For example, watermelons of the Kholodok variety tolerate a drop in temperature well, for which they received a characteristic name.
Characteristics and description of the variety
Chill belongs to the mid-late varieties. Harvesting begins 90 days after planting the seeds. The plant thrives in the open field of the southern regions, suitable for greenhouse cultivation. Differs in high yield - from 30 tons per hectare, excellent for planting in the garden and for melon cultivation.
The variety has bright green leaves, slightly elongated berries weighing 4-5 kilograms, long branchy shoots. Bright, with dark stripes, peel of moderate thickness, the pulp is juicy, grainy, red with a pinkish tint and rich sweet taste.
Watermelon is suitable for cultivation in the southern Russian regions and throughout the Middle Strip. It is grown in the Volga region, in the South Urals, in the Volgograd and Astrakhan regions. Harvested at the end of August. The variety is distinguished by a long (3-5 months) shelf life of fruits.
Breeding history and growing region
The history of watermelon cultivation goes back several millennia. They were brought to Russia from India back in the VIII century, for several hundred years, thanks to selection, from a small, slightly bitter fruit, familiar, large and sweet berries were obtained.
Chill is a product of the selection of Russian scientists. The variety was bred in the Volgograd region, at the Bykovskaya experimental station. This is the result of the work of Claudia Petrovna Sanch, who crossed three varieties of watermelons, and the result was a Chill, which became very popular due to its taste characteristics, good storage characteristics during transportation, and a long shelf life of ripe fruits.
Unpretentious, able to withstand lower temperatures, Chill can grow over vast territories - from Astrakhan to Siberian regions, where it feels great in greenhouses and under the film, gives a high yield.
Optimal conditions for good growth
Plenty of sun, moderate watering and light soil - leave it to Chill and the variety will respond with a great harvest.
Striped berries do not like over-watering. Watermelons as the topsoil dries up. Waterlogging will spoil the taste of the fruit, significantly reduce the yield. Water Chill every 7-10 days, depending on weather conditions. During the flowering period, watering is increased, and produced twice a week.
Top dressing and fertilizers
The first root feeding of watermelons is carried out a couple of weeks after planting the seedlings in the ground. They are fed with a solution of mullein or chicken manure at the rate of 1 part of fertilizer to 15 parts of water.
When the first ovary appears, the plants are fed a second time using a complex fertilizer for melons and gourds in strict accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Often, ammonium nitrate is taken to feed watermelons, this fertilizer should be used very carefully - an excess can significantly impair the taste of the fruit.
The soil for melons needs light and fertile. You can pre-sow green manure plants on it (before winter). Winter wheat, rye, peas are suitable. After the emergence of shoots, the site is dug up.
Important: watermelons are not planted after melons, pumpkins, they are not sown in the same place for several seasons.
You can add rotted manure to the site in the fall and dig deep into the soil. Melons do not like acidic soils, watermelons do not grow in waterlogged areas. A sunny, wind-protected place is suitable for landing. Tomatoes, legumes, and corn are good precursors for watermelons.
How to grow a watermelon Chill
In the south, the berry is grown in beds or melons, using seeds or seedlings, to the north, greenhouses are used or plants are covered with foil.
Preliminary preparation of seeds is required. They are placed in warm water; only specimens that have sunk to the bottom are used for planting. Selected seeds are poured with water at 50-55 ° C and kept for an hour. The water is drained, and the seeds are placed in an intensely pink solution of potassium permanganate for 20-30 minutes. Before planting, the seeds should be treated with a growth stimulant (Epin, Epin-extra).
Then they are planted in pots, covered with foil, placed in a well-lit, warm place. Seedlings are watered and ventilated regularly. A week before planting in open ground, they begin to remove the film every day and take out the plantings outside, gradually increasing the time the seedlings are open - this is how they are hardened.
In greenhouse conditions
In a greenhouse, plants are planted at a distance of at least 70 centimeters from each other, with the same distance between rows. 2 sprouts are planted in one hole. Since Chill has long lashes, the greenhouse should be at least 2 meters high. Pollination in greenhouses is done manually. Do not rely on natural pollination even with open windows.
The grown lashes are tied to the trellis, this provides uniform illumination. If there are too many flowers, the extra ones are cut off, in addition, the side shoots are removed.
Plants in greenhouses weed, loosen the soil, the grown fruits are regularly turned over. Small planks can be placed under the lower berries so that they do not touch the ground, the upper ones are placed in nets and tied to trellises. If necessary, the plants are additionally illuminated with lamps.
Growing watermelons in a greenhouse, of course, takes effort, but it pays off with a rich harvest.
Plants are planted in warm soil, at a distance of at least a meter from each other, 110 centimeters are left between the rows. At night, the planting is covered with a film to protect it from temperature changes. After the watermelon seedlings take root and adapt to a new place, the first feeding is done.
They cannot tolerate weeds, so you should regularly weed and loosen the soil. Young shoots love water, plantings should be watered, avoiding waterlogging. In rainy weather, the bed is covered with a film. During the period of active growth of fruits, watermelons should not be loosened - you can damage the berries with garden tools. Watering is also reduced to a minimum.
Harvesting and storage
Ripe are smooth, shiny fruits with a dry tail; when tapped, they emit a dull sound.
Store watermelons in a cool dry place. When laying for long-term storage, special nets are used, and watermelons are stored in a suspended state or laid out on shelves separately from other vegetables so that the fruits do not touch.
Diseases and pests
Treatment of seeds and soil before planting helps protect plants from diseases, in case of illness, the affected plants are destroyed. To disinfect the soil, it can be lightly sprinkled with lime or poured over with a pink solution of potassium permanganate.
Of the pests, watermelon Chill is affected:
- a sprout fly larva;
- spider mite;
- melon aphid.
In this case, the plants are treated with an infusion of tar soap or onion husks or with suitable herbicides, in accordance with the instructions for use.
Of course, growing watermelons requires some effort, but the opportunity to enjoy sweet juicy berries grown on your own is undoubtedly worth it, and giving preference to the Cholodok variety, remember that this one is a recognized breeding achievement of the Russian Federation and is included in the corresponding register.