What Is The Best Time To Plant Watermelons In Zambia

What Is The Best Time To Plant Watermelons In Zambia?

Watermelon is a reddish and succulent most popular, readily available and affordable fruit in Zambia. It is a natural source of very powerful antioxidants provided by nature.

It is a good source of the antioxidant vitamins, C and A to protect us from diseases. It reduces the risk of dehydration.
It’s a plant that can grow anywhere in Zambia, and the demand for it is growing by day as a resultt of its benefits.

Research showed that watermelon cuts the risk of sun related skin damage by 40 percent. That’s because watermelon is nature’s richest source of lycopene, an antioxidant that scavenges the UV-induced free radicals that cause sunburn and wrinkling.

Lycopene may also help reduce the risks of cancer and other diseases. It can help to improve sleep. Eating a few slices of this fruit after dinner can extend the deep stages of sleep by 27 percent.

Watermelon can boost energy. This is because watermelon contains vitamin B6, which the body uses to synthesise good dopamine.

Watermelon can help in the faster healing of wounds and other skin problems. The fruit is packed with the amino acid, citrulline, which the body converts to arginine.

What Is The Planting Season For Watermelons In Zambia

Watermelon is best planted at the outset of the rainy season or when the rainy season is almost done. This will allow for low relative humidity, a condition essential for normal growth of the crop in southern part in Zambia. In the northern part, early season planting is in May and late season planting is July. But with functional irrigation in the north, it could be planted round the year, accounting for why it is usually brought from the north.

Here Are Steps In Growing Watermelons In Zambia

i. Land Preparation

Watermelon can be planted on flat land or on ridges/plant beds depending on the nature of the soil. According the plant physiologist, if the water table level is high (in the core rainy season), seed beds or ridges are essential. It requires loamy soil or silt loam soil and it also performs well on heavy soil if it is well drained. It does not tolerate water logging and so, if planted on heavy soil, ridging will be helpful to improve drainage. On loamy soil, it is usually planted on the flat land.

ii. Harvest

One way to determine when watermelon is ripe is to watch the tendril closest to the melon stem. A tendril is a modified leaf or stem in the shape of slender, spirally coil.

When it turns brown and dries up, the melon is ripe. The trouble with this method is that with some watermelon varieties, the tendril dries and drops off more than a week before the melon is fully ripe. The surest sign of ripeness in most watermelon varieties is the colour of the bottom spot where the melon sits on the ground. As the watermelon matures, the spot turns from almost white to a rich yellow.

Also, all watermelons lose the
powdery or slick appearance on the top and take on a dull look when fully ripe.

iii. Financing

You can start off a watermelon
agribusiness with very little capital, depending on the scale, no huge capital or expertise to start; especially if one is not using mechanised and chemical methods throughout the entire farming season.The Return on
Investment {ROI} is huge and can make anyone generate wealth. It takes very short time for the production cycle to be complete. Just within 70 – 90days, that is
to say you will farm two to three times a year in an area with irrigation or good water supply.

iv. Farming Items

Land, Hand tractors, water sprinkler, chemicals, water melon seeds, fertilizers/manure

v. The Market

The major market for water melon is open market in any area you are because the demand for it is high and water melon Juice Company.

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