<

How To Farm Watermelon In Nigeria

Table of Contents

How to Farm Watermelon in Nigeria

Watermelon is a popular fruit in Nigeria because of its refreshing taste and high nutritional value. It is a tropical fruit that is easy to grow and requires minimal input. With the increasing demand for watermelon, it has become a lucrative venture for farmers in Nigeria. In this article, we will discuss how to farm watermelon in Nigeria.

1. Choose the Right Variety

The first step in watermelon farming is to choose the right variety that is suitable for the Nigerian climate. There are several varieties of watermelon available in Nigeria, but the most popular ones are Sugar Baby, Crimson Sweet, and Charleston Gray. These varieties are known for their sweetness, high yield, and disease resistance.

2. Prepare the Land

Watermelon requires well-drained soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5. Before planting, ensure that the land is cleared of weeds and debris. Use a hoe or plow to till the soil to a depth of about 30cm. After tilling, apply organic manure to the soil to improve its fertility.

3. Planting

Watermelon is typically planted in rows, and the spacing between the rows and plants is critical for optimum growth and yield. The spacing should be about 2m between rows and 1m between plants. Plant the seeds about 2cm deep in the soil and cover with soil. Water the seeds immediately after planting.

READ ALSO:  How Much To Do Dna Test In Nigeria

4. Irrigation

Watermelon requires a lot of water for optimum growth and yield. During the dry season, it is essential to irrigate the plants regularly to prevent wilting and reduce stress. The best time to irrigate is early in the morning or late in the evening. Avoid watering during the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak.

5. Fertilization

Watermelon requires a lot of nutrients for healthy growth and high yield. Apply fertilizers to the soil at different stages of growth, starting from the planting stage. Use organic fertilizers such as poultry manure, cow manure, or compost to improve soil fertility. Also, apply mineral fertilizers such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to boost plant growth.

6. Pest and Disease Control

Watermelon is susceptible to pests and diseases that can affect its growth and yield. Common pests include aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies, while diseases include Fusarium wilt, Anthracnose, and Downy Mildew. To control pests and diseases, use pesticides and fungicides recommended by agricultural extension agents.

7. Harvesting

Watermelon is ready for harvesting when the fruit sounds hollow when tapped or when the skin changes from shiny to dull. Harvest the fruit by cutting it off the vine with a sharp knife or pair of scissors. Ensure that the fruit is handled gently to prevent damage.

8. Marketing

After harvesting, the watermelons can be sold in the local market or directly to consumers. To get the best price, ensure that the watermelons are of good quality and are free from defects. You can also add value to the watermelons by processing them into juice or other products.

READ ALSO:  How To Fail An Exam

Conclusion

Watermelon farming is a profitable venture in Nigeria, and with the right approach, farmers can achieve high yield and quality fruits. To succeed in watermelon farming, farmers should choose the right variety, prepare the land, irrigate, fertilize, control pests and diseases, and harvest at the right time. By following these steps, farmers can enjoy a bountiful harvest and contribute to the growth of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

FAQs

  1. How long does it take for watermelon to mature?

Watermelon typically matures within 70 to 90 days after planting.

  1. Can watermelon grow in any soil type?

Watermelon grows best in well-drained soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5.

  1. How often should I irrigate my watermelon plants?

Watermelon requires regular irrigation, especially during the dry season. It is recommended to irrigate early in the morning or late in the evening.

  1. How can I control pests and diseases in my watermelon farm?

To control pests and diseases, use pesticides and fungicides recommended by agricultural extension agents.

  1. What is the best way to market my watermelon?

Watermelons can be sold in the local market or directly to consumers. To get the best price, ensure that the watermelons are of good quality and are free from defects. You can also add value to the watermelons by processing them into juice or other products.