Melon (Cucumis melo) is included in the rate cucumber. Still a relative with watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumber. As with other tribes cucumbers, melons grow vines but could not climb. If not supported, this plant will grow spread over the surface of the ground.
The place is ideal for the cultivation of melons in the range of 250-700 meters above sea level altitude. If the height is less than 250 meters, melon plants tend to produce smaller fruit. While in the highlands with temperatures below 18oC, this plant is difficult to develop.
Melon plants require air humidity level of 50-70%. The average temperature suitable for the cultivation of melon range 25-30oC with rainfall 1500-2500 mm / year. Melon fruit quality will be even better if there is a day and night temperature difference is quite significant.
Type of melon is very diverse. However, only three popular cultivars cultivated, namely reticalatus, inodorus and cantalupensis.
Reticalatus. This is a type of melon most popular cultivars. The shape is rounded with a green rind and texture berjala, such as coated webs. Fruit flesh colored light green to orange.
Inodorus. This type has a smooth rind do not have nets. The shape is rounded to oval. Fruit skin color yellow to pale greenish yellow. No flesh color green, orange to white. Meat flavorful fruit.
Cantalupensis. This species has a bumpy rind like pumpkin. Fruit flesh is yellow or orange, it smelled very strong. Cantaloupe is included in this type.
Melon plant nursery
Melon crops for cultivation usually generative propagated from seed or seed. For the cultivation of one hectare required melon plant seeds around 16.000- 20.000 trees, equivalent to 500-700 grams of melon seeds.
Before planting the seeds should germinate in advance. You do this by soaking the seeds in warm water for 6-8 hours. If the seed is not containing fungicides, fungicides can be added to the soaking water as prescribed.
Once drained and soaked seeds sown on a damp cloth or newspaper that has been dampened. Let stand for 1-2 days until the seeds germinate. Keep the humidity of the cloth or newspaper. When you look dry splash water.
Then prepare a small polybag or nursery trays. Fill the planting medium is a mixture of soil with compost or manure in the ratio 2: 1, see how to create a media hotbed. Immerse melon seeds 1-2 cm deep into the planting medium.
Nursery should be protected by a clear plastic roof or hood. This is necessary so that the seedlings were grown protected from excessive sun and rain water running directly. Media seedbed should continue to be controlled and taken to ensure that the humidity up. Watering it regularly but not too wet.
Seeding process typically takes up to 10-14 days. Or marked by the growth of 2-3 leaves. In this phase, the seeds are ready to be moved to the planting site.
Land preparation and planting
The land for the cultivation of melons should be plowed first to smooth chunk of land. Then the form of beds with a width of 100-120 cm, height 30-50 cm, length of 10-15 meters and the distance between beds 50-60 cm.
After that provide basic fertilizers such as compost or manure as much as 15-20 tonnes / hectare. Add also ZA, KCl and SP-36 each 375 kg, 375 kg and 250 kg per hectare. Mix the fertilizer over the beds and mix well with the soil bed. Let the land for 2-4 days.
When the pH of the soil that will be used for melon cultivation is less than 5, give dolomite or lime farm as much as 2 tons per hectare. Combine with seedbed soil at least 2-3 days before basic fertilization.
Furthermore closed beds with black plastic mulch silver. Ground black face and silver color to the exterior. Make the planting hole at the top of the mulch. In each of the beds there are two rows of the planting hole with a line spacing of 60 cm and the distance between holes in a row 50-60 cm. Closure of mulch should be a minimum of 2 days prior to planting.
The next step is planting the seeds that have been prepared. One seed for each planting hole. Then flush to in order not to wither because of drought. Planting should be done in the afternoon when the sun is not too hot.
Care melon cultivation
a. Installation cantilever
To produce good fruit, the plant must be supported with a stick of bamboo. Functions that fruit produced is not in contact with the soil surface. In addition, to enable the penetration of sunlight to all parts of the plant.
Marker installation should be done before the plants grow big. Usually before the age of 3 days since the plant was first cultivated. This meant that the stakes are plugged in not injuring the plant roots.
Prepare marker over 1.5 meters. Plug the marker in the planting hole is oblique, upper end leaning towards the bed. So that the marker-marker intersect, forming the letter X. Then prepare bamboo longer and place it horizontally between cruciferous the marker-marker, tied with raffia.
Regular watering is needed in the cultivation of melons. Watering should be done every evening until the age of plants one week. Further watering is done every two days.
When the rainy season drainage must function properly. Do not let the waterlogged soil. Melon plants do not require soil that is too wet.
c. Fertilization aftershocks
Supplementary fertilization takes from one week old plants. Fertilizer applied should be liquid. Solid manure can be dissolved in advance. Fertilizer which can be used organic liquid fertilizer or artificial chemical fertilizers.
Supplementary fertilizer with artificial chemical fertilizers are given as much as 6 times. Fertilizer dissolved in water and then applied to plants. Fertilization dose 200-250 ml / plant. The following table fertilizer requirements for the cultivation of melon:
d. Artificial pollination
In the dry season pollination is done by insect pollinators. However, during the rainy season usually reduced intensity of insect pollinators. To get a good quality do artificial pollination.
Artificial pollination is done in the morning, before lunch at 10. If too was somewhat wilted flower buds or closed. Perform artificial pollination of female flowers, especially flowers that are on the branch to the 9th to the 13th. In one tree can be grown at least 3-4 candidates fruit.
Then selected again, so that the fruits are kept until the harvest is 1-2 per tree, depending on the size of the fruit. When large fruit size, just one per tree.
e. Pests and diseases
Melon cultivation in tropical areas such as Indonesia is vulnerable to pests and diseases. Pests that attack melon cultivation include aphids, fruit flies, caterpillars, thrips, mites. While the disease that attacks include anthracnose, fruit rot, stem rot and mosaic.
To avoid pests and diseases do technical culture such as crop rotation, balanced fertilization and keep the garden sanitation. When pests and diseases have attacked a suitable spray with pesticides. Can organic pesticides or synthetic pesticides. Spray according to the recommended dosage.
Usually melon cultivation ready for harvest after 3 months old. The characteristics of melon ready to harvest for reticalatus among other types of fiber mesh on the surface of the skin looking clear and rough, the surface of the skin around the stem looks cracked, yellowish green color and has issued a fragrance.
Melon fruit should be picked in the maturity level of 90% or about 3-7 days before fully ripe. It is useful to give more time to the distribution.
Picking is done by cutting the fruit stalk with a knife or scissors. Stalks are cut like the letter T, so the section cut is the lead on the leaves rather than fruit. Harvesting preferably in the morning at around 8-11 and done gradually. Choose fruit that is really ready to be harvested.