Watermelon

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Scientific name: Citrullus lanatus L.

Family: Curcubitaceae

Common name: Watermelon

Description

Watermelon is thought to have originated in southern Africa, where it was found growing wild. In the 10th century AD it was cultivated in China and the 13th century it was brought in Europe.

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Health Benefits

Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits

Boosts the immune system

Rich source of citrolline, an important amino acid for the body. Citrulline is an amino acid that is commonly converted by our kidneys and other organ systems (including cells that line our blood vessels) into arginine (another amino acid).

Maintains the good health of the eyes

Physical characteristics

Annual plant
It has a central bud and 2nd buds
Large leaves with deep nicks
Yellow flowers
It has cylindrical lengthy or orbicular shape
The pulp is juicy red or yellow (barely)
Varieties: Bobbie, Extazy, Gypsy, Fenway,Yellow Doll, Orchid sweet, New Queen, Melitopolski, Japanese Cream Fleshed Saika, Gold Baby, Desert King, Cream of Saskatchwan.

Cultivation

Climate:
High temperatures (18-32 ºC)
Sensitivity to low temperatures (0-12 ºC)

Soil:

Fertile deeply working soil
Well drained soil
pH=5,5-6,8

Irrigation:

Resistance to drought
Extremely moist soil diminish watermelon’s marketable quality

Planting: Non Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seed

Planting season: April-May

Outdoor planting distances:

Along line 0,90-1,50 m
Between lines 2-2,5 m

Fertilization and Hoeing:

Soil enrichment with natural products at planting
Addition of natural products when it’s necessary
Weed control and their incorporation so as to improve ventilation
Removal of the lower and old leaves because they are more vulnerable to diseases

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Harvest and Storage

Harvesting season: 3-4 months after planting
Production 3-10 tn/ acre
Harvesting criteria: soluble solids in the pulp should be more than 8%, drying of involucres, drying of whiskers of the stalk, bark’s color change, the tone by hitting the watermelon
Conservation at 10-15 °C and 95% R.H. for 2-3 weeks