Updated (June 3 2020)
We have been doing quite a few articles about watermelon recently. The first in the series explores the nutrients and vitamins contains in watermelon, the second article looks at how you can make money from growing watermelon in Nigeria. The latest article look at the practicalities of actually growing watermelon, we hope you find it informative.
Planting 1 inch deep at 2metres by 2metres. Two metres along the row and 2 metres between rows. Germination takes 6 to 7 days. On the 10th day, spray insecticide and apply fertilizer first dose. 20 days after planting weed the farm and spray insecticide again
35 days perform second weeding and apply second dose fertilizer this time urea The first dose was N. P. K. 15. 15. 15. Then spray again with insecticide. By this time the melon has started flowering the vines covering the soil and the farm is beautiful like a flower garden.
55 days after planting spray insecticide for the last time and expect your harvest on 75th day after planting.
is between 75 to 80 days. Pick the ripe melons and load inside motor direct to the market.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY RIPE ONES?
This is very technical follow carefully.
IF the nearest leaf tendril to the cord of the fruit is dry then it is ripe.
IF you sound it by thumbing and it gives dom dom sound it is ripe if it sound s k aka ka it is not ripe if it sounds pup u pu it is rotten inside and it is not yet manifest outside.
For mass harvesting of large farm pick a sample of small size and test if it is ripe by cutting into two. If it is ripe then assume that all the melons of that size and bigger ones are all ripe.
To sell it size by size pick the big ones exactly 70 days after planting they must all be ripe. Leave a gap of 8 days and harvest the medium size. Another 5 days gap harvest all the remaining ones.
There are many varieties of more than 200. The ones best adapted to Nigeria are as follows In the south SUGAR BABY AND CAOLAK. In the north CAOLAK, CHARLSTON GREY CRIMSOM
DISEASE Fisarium wilt Anthracnose TREATMENT Uproot and burn infected stands
PESTS Bugs beetles treatment spray insecticides.
This one popularly called campala very big early-maturing sweet but with short shelf life so marketers tend to avoid it.
MARKET Watermelon is highly consumed all over Nigeria especially the state capitals. The unit of measurement for pricing in the market is per truckload. The common trucks in use are the three tons truck [pick up or cab star] in the south 5tons truck Mitsubishi Canter [doogo bairo] in the north
The price of one pick up last season at the market was 80 thousand Naira The last harvest I recorded was 2. 5 trucks per acre which are about 6 trucks per hectare.
The markets in the south are LAGOS Oshodi Arena market in the army barracks. Mile 12 and Ketu markets along Ikorodu road.
ABEOKUTA Lafenwa and kuto Elega and Shiun markets
IBADAN Gbagi Omi Adio Challenge.
ILORIN Ipata market Tanke tipper garage
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO PRICE AND NEGOTIATE BEFORE YOU LOAD TO THESE MARKETS.
The minimum price throughout last year was 60000 Naira per pick up truck and 280000 Naira per 5 tons truck.
You can find more information on planting watermelon in Nigeria in a fantastic and well-illustrated PDF document created for the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations created by A.A. Adekunle, A.O. Fatunbi, S. Adisa and O.A. Adeyemi. URL of the document is here.