Manila Bulletin



Watermelon, commonly known as pakwan, is a crawling vine planted for its sweet, juicy, round fruit. Watermelon is often eaten raw or can be made into a beverage. It is abundant and a popular refreshment during the summer season.

The usual planting month for watermelon is October to January. However, planting can be done as early as September and as late as March to produce off-season fruits sold at higher market prices.

Watermelons grow well in well-drained, fertile, sandy loam soil with a pH of 5.0 – 6.8. It prefers to grow in dry weather conditions with a temperature of 25°C - 30°C , but the ideal temperature where it produces the best fruit is 25°C .

Land must be plowed and harrowed two to three times to control weeds and attain the preferred soil structure. Watermelon needs good soil aeration for it to grow well, that is why it is important to prepare the land properly.

Apply 20 bags of ammonium phosphate (16-20-0), eight bags of ammonium phosphate (21-0-0), four bags of ammonium sulfate (0-0-60), and organic matter per hectare as basal fertilizer before sowing the seeds. Dissolve four tablespoons of urea in 15 liters of water. Then side dress 170 ml of the solution on each hill three weeks after transplanting. At the 5th week after transplanting, dissolve four tablespoons of muriate of potash (0-0-60) in 15 liters of water and side dress 170 ml to each hill.

Watermelon seeds are planted directly into the soil. Sow 3-4 seeds in each hill, 100 cm apart and 200 cm between rows. After 3-4 leaves emerge, retain only one plant per hill.

Irrigation is important in watermelon production. Do not let the soil get too dry. Apply irrigation when necessary.

Harvest fruits 80-90 days after transplanting or 35 to 40 days after pollination. Maturity for harvest can be done using the tapping method. The tapping method is done by tapping the fruit lightly. The watermelon fruit is ready for harvest if it makes a dull hollow sound.





Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp