This group combines cultures that are part of the Pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae).
It includes heat-loving plants (over 100 genera and more than 1000 species), distributed mainly in the subtropical zones of the globe. Watermelon (table and fodder), melon, pumpkin, and zucchini are cultivated in our country. Luffa is also grown in small amounts in home gardens. The fruits of these crops are dietary and medicinal products, which are mainly used for food purposes. All melons and gourds are of great value also in fodder production, as they have high nutritional qualities. In addition, luffa is of interest for technical purposes. It should be noted that in some textbooks and monographs melons are a vegetable group. In our opinion cucumber and squash are typical vegetable crops of this family, although their waste is also used in fodder production.
Under Soviet rule (1970–1990), the cultivated area of melons and gourds in Russia ranged from 201 to 224 thousand hectares, and at the end of the 20th century. was 170 thousand hectares (1997). At the beginning of the twenty-first century. (2001-2005) it amounted to about 145 thousand hectares, which is extremely small for our country, where vast areas of arable land are located in the steppe and dry steppe zones. Russia could be widely engaged not only in natural melon-growing (for domestic consumption), but also in commodity, that is, in bringing fresh fruit to the world market. In addition, due to melon crops it is possible to compensate for the huge sugar deficit in our country. However, their processing for use in the confectionery industry is in a primitive state. Industrial production of honey, molasses, candied fruits and other food products has not yet been organized. In the official statistical reports there are no data on the gross collection and yield of these crops.
Gourds: species, cultivation, pest control:
Gourds, the photos of which will be presented in the article, were developed in subtropical and tropical countries of Asia, in America and Africa. These fruits are used by man and are also used in the form of feed for livestock. These plants are used in medicine. Let us further consider how the cultivation of melon crops.
Gourds contain sulfur, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sodium, calcium, potassium. They also contain riboflavin, thiamine, carotene, vitamin C.
Most of these plants are distinguished by long stems, large leaves and large yellow flowers creeping along the ground. However, there are also bush melons (the photo illustrates their features). Plants are characterized by high resistance to drought.
This is due to their powerful root system. To get high-quality melon vegetables, you need a lot of light and heat. During fruit ripening, the weather should be dry and hot.
Such conditions exist in the Lower Volga region, Central Asia, in the south of Moldova and Ukraine, in the North Caucasus. In the central zone of the Russian Federation can also be planted gourds. Species of these plants are diverse.
The main feature of the varieties is their resistance to environmental conditions. For example, early and cold-resistant melons (watermelons, pumpkin) are suitable for the central band. When selecting seeds, attention should be paid to the length of the growing season - the number of days from the beginning of growth to full maturity. Early varieties should have time to go through a full cycle in no more than 90 days.
Climatic features of the central zone of the country do not allow growing large fruits. In this regard, it is best to give preference to medium-sized varieties. In taste, they are in no way inferior to large southern fruits. High yield can be obtained from such varieties of watermelons as:
- "Pink Champagne".
- "Moscow Charleston."
- Siberian Lights.
- "A gift to the north."
- "Siberian Rose".
- "Krimstar" and so on.
As for melon varieties, of interest are:
- "Kharkov early."
- "Northern cantaloupe".
- “Golden” and others.
Care for cold-resistant and early ripening varieties practically does not differ from the rules that apply to the cultivation of cabbage, beets or carrots.
All these plants are planted by direct sowing of seeds in the open land in the middle or at the end of May. Gourds of other varieties can grow in greenhouses or through seedlings.
In the latter case, the period of their stay in open ground is reduced. Middle-ripe include popular Astrakhan varieties “Honey”, “Pineapple”, “Kolkhoznitsa”.
In the open ground, as was mentioned above, early-ripening melon crops are sown in the central zone. For harvest use 2 and 3-year-old seeds. As practice shows, they bloom earlier, due to which the process of ripening their fruits is accelerated.
If fresh seeds are used, they must be dried at 30-35 degrees beforehand within 2-3 days. Planting is carried out nested method. The distance between the holes depends on the type of plant. Short-leaved melons (melon, pumpkin and others) can be sown thicker, long-leaved - less. The optimal distance is the interval of 1 m.
Before each sowing, 1–1.5 kg of compost or humus should be introduced. It is recommended to fertilize the land under watermelons with potash and phosphorus mineral mixtures. Planting seeds is carried out at a depth of about 5 cm. The first watering of melons and gourds should be generous. In this case, the water should be taken warm.
The first shoots appear about 8-10 days after sowing. Watering gourds in the process of growth should be abundant, but not frequent (about once a week).
This process, according to many experts, is of great importance for the development of plants. Due to the pinching, female flowers develop better on shoots of the 2nd order. It is better to carry it out when there are 5-6 leaves on the shoots. Repeated embossing of plants is carried out when the same number of leaves develops on shoots of the 2nd order.
Gourds planted with this method give a good harvest. At the same time, the growing season does not exceed 90 days. Seedlings should be grown in pots to prevent damage to the root system.
Within about 30 days, the seedlings will be ready for transplanting into open ground. Before sowing seeds in pots, you can soak them so that they sprout a little. This will reduce the time of emergence.
It has a number of features. First of all, it is necessary to provide conditions in which the air temperature will be at least 20 degrees. In this case, good seedlings will be obtained. On cloudy days and at night it is recommended to lower the temperature slightly.
This will prevent the plants from pulling out. You also need to ensure that the shoots do not touch the leaves, and push the pots from time to time. Additional coverage for seedlings is not necessary, since the seedlings are sown in the middle or end of April.
During this period, natural light is enough.
When using top dressing, care should be taken, because the melon crops are poorly adapted to the synthesis of trace elements. They absorb like sponge and accumulate nitrates and heavy compounds. In this regard, all fertilizers during the growing season should be in an easily digestible form in the form of green, ash and humic concentrates.
As for active organics with granulated minerals, it should be made during the autumn digging of the earth.
When using minerals or manure in natural form during watermelon cultivation, for example, the fruit will be supersaturated with nitrate compounds, the flesh will be tasteless, speckled with inedible white veins, with underexposed seeds and a strongly thickened crust.
Preparation for landing
On the ready seedlings should be 3-5 leaves. Melon shoots have some special features. On the side shoots female flowers are formed earlier than on the main thing. In this regard, the tops of seedlings, ready for planting, should be pinched.
Approximately a week before the day on which it is planned to move the seedlings to open ground, the daytime temperature should be reduced to 15 degrees, and the nighttime temperature should be reduced to 12. It is also necessary to periodically air the plants.
So the seedlings harden and quickly adapts to the open ground.
There are no female flowers on the main melon stem. In this regard, the first pinching should be carried out on the third sheet. Do not rush to planting seedlings, otherwise you will have to equip a greenhouse or greenhouse.
Often, in the central zone by the beginning of May, the weather is fine. But by the middle of the month it is noticeably deteriorating, there may even be frosts. Under such conditions, seedlings will inevitably die. Experienced breeders recommend planting plants in late May.
You should first get acquainted with the weather forecast for the near future.
Accommodation in an open area
Before planting seedlings are made indentations at a distance of a meter from each other. In one hole you can put two plants with the condition that the shoots will subsequently develop in different directions. Pre-feeding should be done in the indentations (compost or humus not less than 2 kg).
It is more expedient to do this 7-14 days before planting the seedlings. Before placing the plants, the wells are watered abundantly with warm water. Seedlings should be carefully removed from the pots and put in a mush in the holes. It is not recommended to deepen the seedlings, otherwise the root system will begin to rot.
Seedlings are arranged so that it protrudes above the ground.
Usually, no special events are required during the first week. Watering is carried out as the soil dries. At the same time, it takes so much water that it soaks the ground to at least 50 cm. Watering is done carefully.
During it, care must be taken not to wet the knee and plant leaves. If necessary, weeding and loosening the land. In order for the plants not to direct their forces to the development of the foliage, but to spend them on the growth of fruits, pinch the tops regularly.
Above it was said that the first time this is done while growing the seedlings or after the appearance of 5-6 leaves. After the appearance of fruit ovaries, pinching should be repeated, leaving 2-3 leaves. Barren sticks must be completely cut.
After processing, the tops are laid so that the plants do not interfere with each other. When the size of the ovaries reaches the size of an apple, you need to remove the weakest.
To obtain a high yield during the summer period, it is necessary to apply complex fertilizers several times. In addition to them, you can also feed plants with bird droppings or slurry. Fermentation and watering should be stopped before ripening. Otherwise, they will begin to crack and lose taste.
Pests of Gourds
Wireworms, spider mites and aphids are considered the most dangerous for plants. Some birds are also threatened. Wireworms, including false, are the larvae of darkling beetles and clickers. They damage young shoots, gnaw through the underground stem part.
Gourd aphid - small greenish-black or yellow insects. They settle in groups, damaging the lash, ovary, flowers, lower part of the leaves. Insects suck the juice from the plant, from which it dries and dies. Spider mite causes damage in hot and dry summers. Insects settle on the lower parts of the leaves.
Mite braids their surface with a thin web. First, light spots begin to appear on the leaves, then some parts of the plate become discolored, after which these parts of the plants die. Another dangerous pest is tobacco trips.
This insect has a proboscis with which it pierces the skin of the leaf, as a rule, from below near the veins. Thrips sucks the juice out of the plate. At this place there are bright shiny streaks and spots, which subsequently become dark brown. After sowing, birds immediately cause harm (rooks, crows, and others).
They choose seeds in the fields, peck at the ovary, damage young plants. As a means of struggle using soil loosening, spraying plants.
Fusarium wilt, powdery mildew, anthracnose are considered the most dangerous. These diseases occur especially intensively in cloudy, humid weather, and also when melons are planted often in one place. Bacteriosis is also a threat. Fusarium wilt is characteristic of all melon crops.
Young shoots become sluggish and depressed, grow poorly and eventually die. On an adult plant, 1-2 lashes are damaged first, and then the disease affects all other parts. On the incision of the stem, the browned vessels are seen, especially clearly they are visible at the root collar.
With increased humidity at the base of the scourge, a pink or white bloom is noted. Plant is affected through the soil, infected seeds, crop residues. Mushroom can be in the ground up to 15 years. The greatest danger is the fungus for plants that are in wet conditions at low temperature.
Wilting crops can occur from suffocation with a lack of air. As a rule, it is marked on compacted soil, especially in hot weather or after a cold rainy day. Mealy dew is very dangerous for pumpkins and melons. On the upper, and then the lower parts of the leaves, spots appear with white bloom.
Over time, they merge and cover the entire surface. Subsequently, the leaves turn yellow, gradually drying out. Powdery mildew damages crops when temperature drops sharply. For example, when it is too hot during the day and very cold at night. When peronosporoza leaves damaged in all phases of development, starting with the cotyledons.
Angular or round yellow-green spots appear on the plates. They quickly grow and cover the entire surface.
Gourd crops include watermelon, melon and pumpkin, which, unlike vegetable plants, are cultivated in field and special crop rotations. Agrotechnical their somewhat different from the methods of growing vegetables. “Bakhcha” in Turkic means garden.
One of the main tasks of melon-growing is the creation of zones for obtaining guaranteed yields on irrigated plots, the production of melons in quantities that meet the needs of the population, a significant reduction in labor costs based on improved cultivation technology and integrated mechanization.
Gourds are consumed fresh and used for processing. They play an important role as forage crops.
Apply them also in medicine. The fruits of melons and gourds are a delicious, dietary food product with high taste and nutritional qualities.
The nutritional significance of fruits lies primarily in the high content of carbohydrates, mainly sugars, which are well digested by the human body and animals (Table 1).
1. carbohydrates in the pulp of ripe fruits of melons,
The high sweetness of the fruits of table watermelon is due to a large amount of fructose (little glucose) with a significantly lower sucrose content.
The best in taste varieties of watermelon (Dessert 83, Astrakhan, Rosa of Southeast, Volzhsky 7) have a dry matter content of 13-14% in pulp, and 10-12% in sugars, approaching these indicators to the best melons. Watermelons grown in Central Asia are less sugary sweets (6–9%).
Fruits of feed watermelon have 3-5% dry matter (about 50% polysaccharides) and 1-3% sugars, which are mainly represented by fructose and glucose.
Melon fruits are usually richer in sugars than watermelon fruits. Sucrose prevails in them, monosaccharides are much less (approximately the same amount of fructose and glucose).
Mid-season and late varieties have a higher sugar content than the early ones. In the best Central Asian melon varieties, their number reaches 15%. The ratio of sugars in different varieties is not the same.
Therefore, the feeling of sweetness does not always correspond to the total sugar content.
In pumpkin fruits, carbohydrates are mainly represented by polysaccharides. The ratio of simple sugars in them is about the same as that of melon, with their relatively low content.
However, there are table pumpkin varieties (Spanish 73, Winter A-5 dining room) with a very high content of dry matter (up to 20%) and sugars (up to 10%), especially after autumn-winter storage.
In some fodder varieties of pumpkin (Stountovaya, Mammoth), the amount of dry matter does not exceed 6%, and the amount of sugars is even lower. In the fruit of the zucchini and squash sugars are also small.
In addition to sugars, table watermelon fruits (calculated on dry matter) contain up to 1.5% cellulose and hemicelluloses, 1–2% pectin substances (in wild species up to 14%), melons - 3-7 and 1-4.5, respectively %, pumpkins and zucchini - 5-23 and 3-14%. Pumpkin contains a lot of starch (2–7% based on raw material), especially in unripe fruits. Starch is also found in late-ripened melon varieties.
Fruits of forage watermelon contain many pectic substances (10–20% calculated on dry matter), which determine their very good keeping quality.
The high nutritional and dietary value of the fruits of melons and gourds is due to the high content of not only sugars, but also vitamins, especially ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and in pumpkin and some melons - also carotene. In some melon varieties (kolkhoznitsa 749/753, Bykovskaya 735), the amount of vitamin C in fruits reaches 60 mg% (average content is 30–45 mg%), in table watermelon it is about 10 mg%, in feed watermelon 3-5 mg%, in pumpkins - about 15 mg%.
In pumpkin fruits, there is a lot of carotene — on average, 4–7 mg% (in different varieties, 2–10 mg%), and in zucchini fruits — 1.5–6.5 mg.%. From the world collection, pumpkin varieties have been isolated and created; in fruits, the content of carotene sometimes reaches 40 mg%.
Of the cultivated forms, the greatest quantity of carotene are the varieties of nutmeg pumpkin - Vitamin and Carotin 102.
There is little carotene in watermelon fruits (about 1 mg%), in melon fruits with white flesh it is absent or very small, with yellow and orange colored flesh (for example, the variety Ich-kzyl) is significantly less than that of pumpkin.
In addition to ascorbic acid and carotene, pomers of melon crops contain vitamins Bi (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), PP (nicotinic acid), and folic acid. and etc.
There are few proteins in melon fruits, but they are very valuable for nutrition. In the pulp of the fruit of watermelon are all essential amino acids. Their number in the bark is even higher than in the pulp.
The fruits are rich in ash elements. Watermelon contains potassium - 0.22%, sodium - 0.016, calcium - 0.022, magnesium - 0.024, iron - 0.037, sulfur - 0.016%.
Melon fruits are somewhat poorer than watermelon in the composition of the ash elements, but exceed it in the amount of sodium (0.111%) and sulfur (0.029%) - 4–35 mg% of copper and 1.62 mg% of cobalt accumulate in mature pumpkin fruits.
Cobalt also contain watermelon and melon. In pumpkin and zucchini in large quantities there are potassium and phosphorus.
The fruits of melon crops also contain organic acids - malic, succinic, citric, etc.
sugar and other substances in the fruits of melons changes depending on their location on the plant, time of ripening, on their size. The most sugary are the first fruits tied to plants. They are most often the largest.
Sugar and other substances are evenly distributed even within the same fruit. In watermelon and melon, the top and center of the fruit are the most sugary. The base of the fruit is poorer in sugars.
Ascorbic acid is most in the central part of the fruit. The side of the fruit facing up to the sun, usually more sugary than its lower part, which comes into contact with the soil surface.
Along with fresh consumption, fruits of melons and gourds are used in the food industry for technical processing.
Production of watermelon honey (nardeka), various confectionery products (candied fruits, jam, molasses, marmalade, sweets, jam, candy, etc.) became widespread. Melon honey (beckmes) is made from melon pulp.
In Middle Asia, the melon's pulp is dried — sank in the sun, and consumed directly in the winter or used to make compotes.
The fruit of the zucchini and squash is used in the canning industry for the production of squash caviar and mashed potatoes, stuffing, canning in the form of circles (sote), they are also pickled and salted separately or with other types of vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers). For salting use non-standard and unripe fruits of watermelon.
Seeds of melon crops are of great value. They have high oil content. . fat in the air-dry kernel of seeds of various varieties of watermelon and melon - 39–52%, and in pumpkin - 41–48%. In relation to their total mass, watermelon seeds contain 14–19% fat, melons — 19–35%, and pumpkins — 23–41%.
Oil of melons and gourds, especially watermelon and pumpkin, is valuable in taste, rich in vitamins and not inferior to the best edible oils. The cake obtained in the production of fat is a good feed for livestock. Gourds can produce up to 90-100 kg of oil per hectare. Roasted pumpkin seeds, especially the gymnosperms, serve as a delicacy.
Seeds are also rich in protein substances (globulin dominates in freshly harvested seeds, glutelin and albumin are also present).
Gourds are also important for feed purposes. In the southern and south-eastern regions of our country, they are the main succulent feed for animals.
Use wastes and non-standard fruits of table watermelon and melons, pumpkin, zucchini and feed watermelon fruits.
When feeding pumpkins, pigs quickly gain weight, cows increase milk yield, milk becomes thicker, sweeter, fat content and you-butter increase.
The fruits of the melons and gourds feed the cattle mainly fresh, and are also used for ensilage, especially fodder watermelon, pumpkin and squash. Silage of them has high nutritional qualities, has a pleasant smell and taste, and is readily eaten by all kinds of animals. Gourds are melted along with straw, chaff and other roughage.
Gourds are of great value for therapeutic purposes.. The fruits of watermelon and zucchini contain a lot of iron, and the fruits of melon - folic acid, which are important for blood formation. Therefore, they are very useful in anemia.
The fruits of watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini, squash are valuable in the treatment of diseases of the liver, stomach and kidneys as a diuretic and anti-constipation, useful in the treatment of heart disease and atherosclerosis (M. Marshak, 1959).
Pumpkin pulp is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and seeds - as an anthelmintic agent.
Gourds are of great agrotechnical value. They are an excellent precursor of spring wheat and other grains.
The fruits of some types of pumpkin are used to make dishes and other household items and for decorative purposes.
Feed crops: cereals, legumes. List of forage crops
Agriculture can not be imagined without animal husbandry. Here, goat breeding, poultry farming, horse breeding, cattle breeding (dairy, meat, milk and meat), sheep breeding, rabbit breeding, pig breeding, beekeeping, dog breeding and other less common branches can be distinguished.
And if a person has decided to engage in animal husbandry, then first he needs to think through what he will feed his farm. Fodder crops of plants are quite suitable for this purpose. They can be grown independently and not to spend money on the purchase of products for animals.
It is about the plants that can become food, and now it will be discussed.
Let's start with the most famous.
This plant also belongs to the pumpkin family and is annual. The weight of a fruit reaches 30 kg.
The fruits of this plant have a large amount of sugar (12 kg per 100 kg of product), proteins (0.4 kg per 100 kg of fruits), vitamins E, PP, C, and also provitamin A.
This product is great as feed for cows, pigs and chickens. In the former, it increases the fat content of milk and increases its quantity, while the latter, when feeding on pumpkin, begin to carry more eggs.
Gourds fodder crops are also zucchini. They are sown before the plants listed above, which is their undoubted advantage. Moreover, they can even be fed to animals immature by pre-steaming or grinding.
Squashes - melon fodder crops that contain proteins in the amount of 0.7-1 kg per 100 kg of product. These substances are not only in the fruits, but also in the plant tops (0.8 kg per 100 kg).
Grain forage crops
This group primarily includes rye, barley and oats. All grain forage crops have a number of disadvantages. This is a low content of calcium, necessary for the normal development of the animal, as well as the relatively low digestibility of proteins contained in the grains.
100 kg of grain of this plant contains 10.1 kg of proteins, 2.3 kg of fiber, 1.9 kg of fat, 66.1 kg of BEV (nitrogen-free extractives), 1.8 kg of ash, and 16 kg of water.
Rye animals do not like to eat in large quantities. This is due to the tart flavor that it possesses. Also, eating too much rye can lead to disorders of the digestive system. This is especially true for freshly harvested grains. Therefore, in the diet of cattle or pigs, the amount of rye eaten should not exceed 30% of the total food.
In addition, one should take into account the factor that the grains of this plant contain a rather small amount of digestible proteins. This should be compensated by the presence of protein-rich foods in the diet, for example, it may be leguminous forage crops.
100 kg of barley grains contain 10.8 kg of proteins, 4.8 kg of fiber, 2.2 kg of fat, 65.6 kg of BEV, 2.8 kg of ash and 13 kg of water.
This plant has a lot of flaws. These include the low content of calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, as well as an insufficient content of proteins. The amount of fiber, on the contrary, is increased, therefore such feed should be used only in combination with products in which this substance is not enough (wheat, corn).
However, despite all the negative aspects, barley is widely used as feed for farm animals, as it helps to make meat and milk more qualitative.
Young piglets can be given the grains of this plant in a roasted form, and pigs - in the ground. Dairy cows are often fed barley or flour.
100 kg of oats contain 9.1 kg of proteins, 10.4 kg of fiber, 4.9 kg of fat, 57.3 kg of BEV, 4 kg of ash and 13 kg of water.
The oat grain film contains a very large amount of fiber, which impairs the digestibility of this product.
Standard feed is considered for horses. In the diet of cattle and pigs, it can be 40%, poultry - 30%. However, it should not be given to dairy cows during the production of oil, as well as to pigs in the final stage of fattening.
Legumes as feed for farm animals
Bean forage crops, the names of which are well known to everyone, are soy and lupine.
The grains of each of these plants have a huge amount of protein. This is especially true of soy.
The chemical composition of the beans is approximately the same. Per 100 kg of soybean accounts for 33.6 kg of proteins, 5.7 kg of fiber, 17.4 kg of fat, 26.8 kg of BEV, 4.6 kg of ash and 11 kg of water. 100 kg of lupine contain 27.5 kg of proteins, 5.3 kg of fat, 12.8 kg of fiber, 35.8 kg of BEV, 2.7 kg of ash and 14 kg of water.
The feed crops listed above are valuable not only for their high protein content, but also for their high levels of amino acids, B vitamins and ascorbic acid, calcium, phosphorus, copper, iron and zinc.
But despite their nutritional value and benefits, the percentage of legumes in the diet should not exceed 25%, since an excessive amount of this product causes problems with the gastrointestinal tract, including bloating, and can also trigger a miscarriage in a pregnant female.
The most common and frequently used legume forage plant is soy. It has a large number of proteins that are close to animals, as well as amino acids, which provide normal metabolism in livestock.
It is recommended to use these beans as fodder for birds only by first exposing them to heat treatment. However, it should be noted that the use of too high temperatures in this case leads to a decrease in the quality of the product. Cattle can be given raw soybean grains.
Lupine exists in three varieties: white, yellow and blue. Yellow and white varieties are sweet; they differ from blue ones by a lower content of alkaloids (0.002-0.12 kg per 100 kg of product, as opposed to 3.87 kg in blue).
Among the three species, yellow lupine has the greatest amount of proteins. Also, all varieties of this plant contain essential amino acids that animals do not produce on their own.
These grains also have vitamins and trace elements.
The best option is to use lupine beans as food for pigs, in whose diet a lot of potatoes are present.
The disadvantage of this feed crop can be considered a high fiber content, which should be taken into account when calculating the amount of this feed in the diet of farm animals.
In the menu of young piglets, lupine beans should be no more than 18-20% of all food, adult pigs - no more than 12%.
When deciding to introduce this food into an animal's diet, one should also pay attention to the fact that because of the content of alkaloids in it, it gives milk and butter a bitter taste. Also, the ingestion of these substances in large quantities can cause disorders of the digestive system.
Prevent these negative effects by pre-treating the beans. To get rid of the alkaloids, lupine grains should be soaked in cold water, then steamed for an hour and rinsed again. Processed feed must be used within 24 hours, otherwise it will deteriorate.
However, the disadvantages of this plant associated with the content of alkaloids, are now eliminated by breeding varieties, the grains of which almost do not contain these substances.
Homeland of all members of the family are the tropics and subtropics of Africa, Asia and America. They are not only eaten, but also used as a feed additive in livestock breeding. Fruits and vegetables are eaten in the phase of physiological maturity, and grown on specially organized fields - melons.
The most common type of family, the content of sugar and vitamins exceeds many fruits. Low-calorie and tasty, it is simply created for diet food. Most often used fresh, sometimes processed under:
Herbaceous annual plant has a strong root system. The main rod goes vertically and can go down to one meter. The lateral processes are located thirty centimeters from the soil.The creeping stalk has a strong branching and grows up to 5 m. The long leaves-petioles are split into three or five lobes.
Because of the particular structure of the plates and roots, the culture belongs to the drought-resistant species. Powerful underground parts are characterized by increased suction force, taking the liquid from the lower layers of soil. Under wide leaves a shadow is formed, in which the moisture necessary for development remains for a long time.
Watermelon forms three types of flowers - male, female and hermaphroditic. The fruit is a multi-seeded berry, with juicy pulp and covered with a thick crust. Colors, shape and size depend on the characteristics of the variety. Budding starts on the 40th day after germination, and after fertilization, the fruits are fastened and grow. The vegetative period lasts from 60 to 120 days.
Many people do not know that melon belongs to melon crops, therefore, a tasty fruit is mistakenly considered a fruit. Eat fresh immediately after harvesting or several weeks after storage. In addition, the melon can be used for cooking:
Herbaceous annual plant has a similar root system, like a watermelon, but not as powerful. The main rod does not grow more than 100 cm, and the side - up to 2 m. Scourge a melon long (up to three meters), creeping along the ground. The flowers are often bisexual, although there are hermaphroditic. Fruits are elongated berries, the shape, taste and structure of which depends on the variety.
Seeds germinate on the third day after landing in the ground, and in 3 weeks the growth of the main stem begins. Buds appear after three months, and the berries ripen in 60-120 days. The plant has a high resistance to drought. In the heat of a melon reduce the return of fluid and increase the sucking properties.
Now we know more than 30 varieties of vegetables, with all sorts of aromatic and external characteristics. Food varieties are used to prepare dishes, canned food and juices. From the seeds get valuable pumpkin seed oil, which has regenerating properties.
Annual herbaceous plant in melon growing has been cultivated for many years. The root system is like melon and watermelon, but much more powerful. The main rod goes to a depth of two meters, in the lateral sprouts of 5 meters from the vines. A strong creeping stem consists of a main whip and secondary shoots. The leaves are large, with elongated petioles.
Under suitable conditions, the seeds are sown within a week after sowing. The rest of the development, laying the buds and the formation of the fruit is the same as that of the "relatives". From the emergence of seedlings to ripening, it takes from 75 to 135 days. Pumpkin is less heat resistant than other members of the group.
Zucchini and squash
Without this type of melon crops the list is not complete. Creeping vegetables with a thick stem and large five-lobed leaves. The plates are covered with a hard edge, sometimes with white spots. Petioles elongated, with noticeable edges. Typical for the entire group of powerful root system with a pronounced vertical stem and lateral branching.
The appearance of the fruit depends on the characteristics of the variety. For example, the zucchini surface can be both smooth and ribbed. Squashes differ in an unusual shape and size. Under the thin skin is watery flesh with small seeds. Eat vegetables of technical ripeness, ripening 35–60 days after sowing. “Older” specimens lose useful properties and are used for feeding livestock.
A distinctive feature of all the plants of the group is the thermophilicity. Seeds will begin to germinate only at a temperature of + 14−16 C. The most active development is observed when the heat is from 25 to 30 degrees, although it is enough for normal formation to be +18 C. With a cold snap to +12 C, the seedlings freeze and may die. Even insignificant frosts will destroy melon melon, pumpkin and melon.
Representatives of the species prefer to grow on flat areas on a hill, well warmed up and illuminated by the sun. In the lowlands, the soil does not keep warm well, so there is a threat of damage by fusarium and invasions of wireworm. It is forbidden to grow plants of a related group in one place for several years in a row.
Due to the weakness of the roots in the first stages of life, cultivation by the seedling method becomes more complicated. After transplantation the bushes are sick for a long time, so the professionals recommend using the method of direct sowing in the ground. For regions with a short summer, it is better to choose early varieties that have time to ripen before the end of the season.
Before agricultural work, the raw material is heated, and then placed in a wet napkin for germination. Hacked seeds are planted in wet soil, an hour before the procedure, watered with hot water. Norm of landing on one square meter (in pieces per well):
- for watermelons - 7,
- for melon - 8,
- pumpkin - 4,
- squash, squash - 6
Activities begin when the soil at a depth of 10 cm warms to +14 C. In the southern regions it is mid-April and May, and in the Middle Belt and in the North - the end of spring. After planting, the plantation is plentifully irrigated. If there is a possibility of return frosts, then cover with polyethylene for the night.
After spitting from the seeds, the plants are weeded and watered. After two weeks you can make thinning crops. In the hole left three large and powerful bush, and the rest pinch. In the phase of four adult leaves, the procedure is repeated, rejecting half of the weak seedlings.
Plants such as zucchini, watermelon and other melons and gourds are very sensitive to the aeration of the soil. Hilling is a mandatory procedure. during loosening and irrigation. Reception creates conditions for the formation of additional roots, improves the digestibility of nutrients from the soil.
The maximum need for watering is observed in the period of flowering and fruit formation. You should not zealous and pour plants with liquid. Excess moisture is just as dangerous as deficiency. Wet soil is an excellent medium for the occurrence of fungal diseases. Soil before the procedure must have time to dry.
When growing plants of this group it is necessary to powder the whips. The wind turns over a long stem, breaking off foliage and flowers. If not to carry out procedure, growth and development of bushes slows down. The liana is fixed in the right direction, securing a third of the shoot with earth.
Watermelon, cantaloupe, squash and zucchini have long become favorite foods in the human diet. When creating ideal conditions, melons and gourds are developing equally well in both the southern and northern regions. Understanding the characteristics of cultivation, you can get a bountiful harvest with a minimum investment of effort and money.
Features of melon crops
Growing melon crops has some peculiarities.since these plants come from tropical and subtropical countries and high yields can be obtained only with the creation of optimal indicators of temperature and a stable low level of humidity. Such a combination of temperature and humidity can be provided exclusively in a greenhouse equipped with special equipment, but in the southern regions of our country, melons and gourds grow beautifully and bear fruit also in open ground conditions.
The list of main melons includes food crops such as melons and watermelons, as well as zucchini and pumpkin. And if you grow a good harvest of pumpkins and zucchini is not difficult even for beginning vegetable growers, then it is rather difficult to get high-quality fruits of thermophilic watermelon and melons.
The crop of these crops is consumed fresh, but also used as fodder plants and for medical purposes. Despite some botanical features and a similar structure of the fruit, melon pulp contains significant amounts of potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and sulfur, as well as basic vitamins.
A significant part of the melon crops has a creeping and rather long stem part, and is also characterized by large leaves and large yellow flowers. However, there are and are widespread in the conditions of home gardening also relatively compact, bush forms of melon plants. The presence of a strong root system allows plants to tolerate drought easily.
Watermelon, melon, pumpkin are plants of universal use.
Their fruits are rich in sugar, organic acids, vitamins, salts of iron, phosphorus, potassium, as well as substances that contribute to the regulation of many physiological processes in the human body.
The content of vitamins melons are not inferior to fruit, and the content of carotene (provitamin A) is several times greater than the red carrot.
A distinctive feature of melons - thermophilic. Plants develop normally at fairly high temperatures of soil and air, an abundance of sunlight. Watermelon and melon seeds begin to germinate at a temperature of 14–16 ° C, and pumpkins at 13 ° C. With the most intensive germination (25–30 ° C), seedlings appear on the fifth to sixth day.
Three to five days after sprouting, with the average daily temperature of 18 ° C, the first true leaf begins to form, then after the same time the second true leaf begins, etc. After five to six true leaves, the plant begins to branch (“beat the whips”). Five to six days after the start of branching under favorable conditions, flowers appear.
During the growing season, watermelon needs more heat than melon and pumpkin. However, melon is more resistant to heat. Pumpkin more cold-resistant plant than watermelon and melon.
At the same time, excessively high temperature adversely affects the cultivation of melons. At high temperatures, as a rule, the relative humidity of the air decreases. Under these conditions, the ovules are not fully or completely fertilized, the fruits are not fastened.
The optimum temperature for flowering and fertilization of melons is 18–20 ° C at night and 20–25 ° C during the day.
Gourds are very sensitive to low temperatures. When it decreases to 12 ° C, the growth and development of plants linger, and below 10 ° C, they completely stop. Both spring and autumn frosts are detrimental to melons.
Gourds are considered drought-resistant. This is explained by the fitness of the plants themselves (a powerful root system, dissection of leaves covered with hairs, etc.). In fact, melon plants, especially pumpkins, consume a lot of water.
Thus, these crops need a long frost-free period from sowing to harvesting, light soil, enough space for the development of a large mass of lashes and leaves, a lot of solar heat and light, soil moisture and dry air.
Gourds, especially watermelon, react strongly to the relief, preferring elevated flat, well warmed and illuminated areas. Here the plants grow better, the fruits ripen earlier, their taste and commercial quality are improved.
Placing crops in low places is extremely risky.
On such sites, as a rule, the soil is strongly compacted, it warms longer and worse, often a lot of wireworm accumulates in it, there is a real threat of defeat, (primarily watermelon) with fusarium wilt.
The best precursors for melons are perennial and annual grasses, winter cereals, maize and vegetables. Bahche sowing melon should not be in order to avoid the development of fungal diseases. Returning to the plots of melon can be again no less than after four to five years.
The main tillage for melons is the same as for other vegetables.
Deep autumn plowing (digging) provides an opportunity to accumulate moisture and mineral nutrients, reduce contamination of crops, creates favorable conditions for the powerful development of the root system and is an effective means of controlling pests and diseases. Light loamy and sandy soils are cultivated in spring. The plot is harrowed, before sowing it is good to carry out loosening to a depth of 8-10 cm.
It is extremely important in the cultivation of melons fast to get friendly shoots. To do this, it is necessary to carry out all the activities for the preparation of seeds in a timely and efficient manner. Soaking, germination, cold hardening, and seed treatment with various preparations are most effective.
Before sowing, seeds are preheated for five to six days in a well-heated room or at heating devices with a temperature of 25-30 ° C. This technique increases the germination energy and germination of seeds, accelerates the formation of female flowers on plants, enhances growth, and accelerates the development of plants.
For an earlier germination, seed soaking in warm water is used. Seeds are poured into a fabric bag and immersed in warm water (60 ° C) for 4-5 minutes, then removed, allowed to drain and left in a warm room. Watermelon seeds are kept at room temperature for two days, melon seeds - no more than a day.
The best way to prepare seeds for sowing is to combine warming up with their germination. After warming the seeds are placed in a damp cloth and kept at a temperature of 25-30 ° C for two or three days before the appearance of seedlings.
Germinated (naklyuvshiesya) seeds are planted in the heated moist soil. Good results are obtained by soaking the seeds in solutions of trace elements (manganese, boron, molybdenum) of 0.05% concentration for 16 hours.
A mandatory method of preparing seeds for sowing is their dressing with TMTD at the rate of 5 g per 1 kg of seeds.
The seeding rate depends on the method of sowing and plant density. For crops, it is per 1 m2:
- watermelon 0.4–0.5 g (6–8 seeds per well),
- melon 0.2–0.4 g (6–8 seeds per well),
- pumpkin, zucchini and squash 0.5–0.8 g (4-6 seeds per well).
Usually, sowing of melons begins when the soil temperature at a depth of 10 cm is not lower than 12-14 ° C. In the south of the region this is the third decade of April or the beginning of May, in the north and east - the first decade of May. However, it should be borne in mind that in some years, the calendar dates of sowing are sometimes significantly shifted. Depending on the weather, the difference may be two to three weeks.
The timing of the sowing is also affected by the site exposure and the type of soil. On the southern and south-western slopes, the time of sowing occurs a little earlier than on the sections of the northern and northeastern exposures, and on light sandy and sandy soils earlier than on heavy soils.
The first sown zucchini, squash and pumpkin, as more cold-resistant, then - melon and watermelon. The depth of seeding is 3–7 cm. It depends on weather conditions, the type of soil and the degree of desiccation of its upper layer.
In dry, warm weather on light soils or when the upper layer of the earth is strongly dried, seeds are sown to a greater depth than in cold weather, heavy soils, or weakly dried up the upper layer of the earth.
When sowing the seeds in the wells is better to put at different depths.
It is important to determine the area of food and seeding scheme of melons. Taking into account the boundary conditions of the area of nutrition by crops will be as follows:
- watermelon - 2 × 1 m, 1.4 × 1 m, 1.4 × 0.7 m,
- melon - 1.4 × 1 m, 1.4 × 0.7 m,
- pumpkin - 2 × 2 m, 2 × 1 m, 1.4 × 1.4 m, 1.4 × 1 m,
- squash and squash - 1.4 × 0.7 m, 0.9 × 0.9 m, 0.7 × 0.7 m, one plant in the nest for each crop.
Care for melons includes inter-row treatments, loosening, planting in rows and holes, powder and pinching of lashes, weed control, pests and diseases, additional feeding, irrigation, etc. germinated seeds in a wet layer of soil, preferably with a gravy of water.
The main conditions for obtaining a high crop of melons are the keeping of crops clean from weeds, and the soil in a loose state.For this, two or three inter-row treatments are carried out: one - when the first leaves appear in plants to a depth of 8-10 cm, the other - with dressing to a depth of 6-8 cm in the phase of five to six true leaves.
Subsequent treatments are carried out as needed until the inter-row spacing. At the same time doing weeding and loosening in the rows. At the first weeding, the plants are thinned, leaving three or four healthy and powerful in the hole. The second (final) thinning is carried out in the phase of three to four leaves and one or two plants are left in the well.
All operations for the care of crops must be carried out strictly on time.
When weeding and loosening in the rows, good results hilling plants, soil podsypayut seedbed leaves. This technique creates a favorable air regime of the soil, the plants form additional roots, and their nutrition improves.
Gourds are very responsive to watering. The greatest need for watermelon and pumpkin in water is observed during the flowering and fruit formation. At the same time, they react negatively to excessive soil moisture. Under the condition of a normal year for precipitation, an average of three to four irrigations at a rate of 60–70 liters per m2 is sufficient. In wet years irrigation is inefficient.
According to the Krasnodar Vegetable-Potato Selection Experimental Station, irrigation is recommended: the first is water rechargeable (with a small accumulation of moisture), the second is in the phase of two or three true leaves, the third is in flowering and the fourth is in the period of fruit growth.
One of the conditions for the cultivation of melons is lash powder. The wind easily turns and twists the lash, while the leaves break off, which negatively affects the growth and development of plants. Before closing the lashes, sprinkle a knot 1/3 length from the base of the whip or shoot.
Nip as a laborious method, it is not widely used, but it protects the ovary from falling, increases the size of the fruit and increases the yield of melons. The first time is recommended to pinch the top of the plant in the phase of five or six true leaves, which stimulates the formation of fruiting lateral shoots, the second - all points of growth at the beginning of fruit set.
Fruit formation - uncommon, but very effective reception. When the value of the ovary with a goose egg, its stalk is set up. All sides of the fetus while developing evenly. Fruits get the right presentation, and their pulp quality improves.
To lengthen the period of consumption of melon fruits, you can use early-ripening varieties, various methods of seed preparation, thickened sowing, pinching of lashes, irrigation, enhanced phosphorus-potassium nutrition, etc. But the most effective methods are the seedling method of growing melons, growing them under temporary film shelters, and especially the combination of these techniques.
Seedlings are grown in greenhouses or greenhouses after planting early cabbage in pots or ferns 8x8 cm in size.
After germination, seedlings are thinned out, leaving a single pot in a pot.
The first dressing is carried out with a solution of mineral fertilizers five to eight days after germination (5 g of ammonium sulphate, 15 g of superphosphate and 10 g of potassium salt are dissolved in 10 l of water), the second and third dressing - with an interval of seven to eight days (10 l water 20 g of ammonium sulfate, 50 g of superphosphate and 30 g of potassium chloride). On the greenhouse frame spend 5 liters of solution.
Before planting in the ground, seedlings are gradually quenched. A few days before landing, in the absence of a threat of cooling, it is not closed around the clock. The best age of seedlings when planting: a watermelon 25-30 days, a melon 20-25 days.
Higher yields of early production (6–8 times in comparison with open ground) can be obtained by applying film covers. Sowing is done 20-25 days earlier than the optimum time. The plan of sowing and feeding area are the same as for open ground. An even greater effect is achieved by combining these two methods.
An important source of early melon products is protected ground (greenhouses and greenhouses). For its cultivation use the most productive, with high quality fruits, ripening varieties of watermelon and melons.
Clean melons as they mature.
The ripeness of a watermelon is determined by: drying the antennae in the leaf's sinus near the stem, loss of dullness on the surface of the fruit and gaining luster, lightening the pattern, deaf sound when struck with a click (you need to have practical skills for using these signs); bark from green to yellow, fragrant smell, easy separation of the fruit from the stem. The maturity of the fruit of the pumpkin is determined by the dried and. the stalked fruit stalk is usually harvested at one time before frost.