Have you ever eaten a watermelon fruit? The taste is incredible! Nothing says “December holidays” quite like a big, juicy slice of watermelon!
Kenyans love eating watermelon. They provide a good refreshing taste especially during hot days when you want to cool off. It’s because of this reason that watermelon farming in Kenya is a lucrative agribusiness venture, especially for those farming in areas with low rainfall. Watermelons require minimum water usage especially when they have developed their fruits.
Watermelons are grown from seed. Watermelon seeds germinate easily and quickly, within a few days of planting. Their plants outgrow the seedling stage very quickly and they don’t like transplanting. It won’t help you in saving much time and you end up with a weaker plant.
Watermelons require deep, rich, easily crumbled soils. Raising the soil into mounds will help your watermelon to grow well.
Making mounds has several advantages mentioned below:
- Raising your soil will make it free draining (watermelons don’t like wet ground when developing).If your soil has heavy clay you will definitely need to raise it.
- If your soil is poor and lacks enough nutrients you should also make a mound with a lot of compost. This will enable it to grow watermelons.
- Making a mould would enable you to plant watermelons over large area. Raise your soil and plant like the large scale commercial growers.
Popular Varieties in Kenya include;
- Pato F1
- Sukari F1 hybrid
- Charleston Gray
- Early Scarlet F1
- Sugar Baby
The new hybrid varieties of watermelon can give you a yield of up to 20,000 fruits per acre.
After harvesting watermelons, you can supply them to schools, supermarkets, private orders, Kiosks, Institutions or post them to online shops for sale.
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