Watermelons are heavy feeders, and like any other crop, they produce optimally when supplied with nutrients on required quantities throughout the season. This is best achieved through application of both basal and foliar fertilizers.
Fertilizing is determined by the condition of soil and thereafter, the stage at which the watermelon plant is growing. For instance, is it an emergent seedling or is it in bloom stage? All the stages have different nutritional requirements.
The crop also requires adequate water supply and should be irrigated if there is no reliable rainfall.
Fertilizer Application Schedule
Early growth stage
This is the stage between sowing, germination and about 3 weeks after emergence of seedlings.
In order to break seed dormancy and ensure uniform germination, seeds should be soaked in OPTIMZER 20ml/1l overnight before sowing.
Newly germinated seedlings are sprayed with GOLDCHANCE SUPER START 50g/20l or LAVENDER 20ml/20l or PLANT SOUL 20ml/20l or LEGENDARY 40ml/20l. These foliar feeds supply adequate nutrients that are required by the plants while at the tender stage.
DAP is applied while planting in order to majorly also provide Phosphorous, and depending on the levels of organic matter in the soil, manure can be added.
This is the stage when the plant is actively growing and begins photosynthesizing/making food in order to accumulate enough resources for use during flowering and fruit development.
The crop should be sprayed with GOLDCHANCE SUPER GROWTH 50g/20l or LAVENDER 20ml/20l. These are rich in Nitrogen among other elements like Magnesium, Iron etc. which promote vegetative growth.
Top dressing using CAN is essential. Other basal fertilizers like N.P.K 23.23.0 can be applied at this stage in order to ensure the crop gets sufficient amounts of Nitrogen among other elements.
Flowering & fruiting stage
During this stage, the crop begins flowering and subsequently fruiting and requires Potassium in much higher amounts than other elements.
It should be sprayed with GOLDCHANCE SUPER FLOWERS & FRUITS 50g/20l or DIMIPHITE 20ml/20l or GREENPHITE 40ml/20l or LEGENDARY 40ml/20l is recommended.
To prevent Blossom End Rot, spray FERRARI GOLD 60ml/20l which supplies enough Calcium to the crop, before the fruits form.
VITABOR GOLD 30ml/20l and BIODISTINCTION XTRA 50ml/20l improve the general quality of the fruit, e.g. size, taste, colour, etc.
Basal fertilizers like N.P.K 17.17.17 should also be applied.
- OPTIMIZER 10ml/20l can be sprayed at any stage of crop’s growth and development in order to help boost its immunity, manage stress, and improve the general performance of the crop as well as supplying both macro and micro nutrient elements.
- Excess Nitrogen during flowering stage results in superfluous foliage and growth of vines, and does not nourish the fruit.
- Potassium is required throughout the growth season as it helps in maintaining the ionic balance and water status within the plant. Too much of it however restricts uptake of other elements.
- All basal fertilizers and manure should be mixed with HUMIPOWER at the rate of 1kg Humipower into 50kg fertilizer or 1 ton of manure. Humipower helps to improve on the nutrient uptake by the crop, stimulates growth, improves soil structure, and adds organic matter to the soil among other benefits.
- Whenever doing foliar sprays of the fertilizers, always mix the foliar feed with INTEGRA 3ml/20l. This is a sticker, spreader and penetrant which improves on the absorption of the fertilizer by the foliage of the crop.
- A repeat of foliar spray should be done on weekly basis while still monitoring the general performance of the crop.
- Fertilizer application should be done at the right time and at the right rate.