Precision Farming Of Muskmelon

i. Nursery preparation

 Nursery for muskmelon can be done either by polythene bags of 200 gauge, 10cm diameter and 15 cm height size or through protrays under protected nursery.

 In poly bag nursery, the bags are filled with 1:1:1 ratio of red soil, sand and farmyard manure mixture and filled compactly.

 The seeds are treated with Carbendazim 2g / kg of seeds and sowing can be done by one seed per bag.

 1000 - 1500g seeds are required to sow one hectare land depending upon the varieties / hybrids.

 In protrays, each having 98 holes is used for raising seedlings. Well-decomposed cocopeat is used as media. The sterilized cocopeat @ 250 - 300 kg/ha is mixed with 5 kg of neem cake along with Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria each @ 1kg. Dibble the seed in each hole @ one per hole and keep the trays under shade net house for about 12 days. In the net house, water the seedlings twice a day using rose can. About 12 days old seedlings are transplanted in the main field.

ii. Sowing or Planting system and population maintenance

 The main field is ploughed 4 times with Chisel and disc plough each one time and cultivator twice.

 FYM @ 25 t/ha is applied before the last ploughing.

 75 % of the total recommended dose of super phosphate i.e. 469 kg/ha is appliedas basal dose.

 Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria each @ 2 kg / ha along with FYM 50 kg andNeem cake @ 100kg is applied before last ploughing.

 Raised beds of 120 cm width (4 feet) are formed at an interval of 30 cm (1 feet)and the laterals are placed at the center of each bed.

 Before planting, the beds are watered using drip system for 8 to 12 hours.

 Direct sowing or transplanting is done at a spacing of 1.5 m along the laterals and 30 cm interval in the raised bed single row system, using ropes marked at 30cm spacing.

 Gap filling is carried out within 7 days after sowing or transplanting.

iii. Fertigation Techniques

 For muskmelon F1 hybrid, a dose of 200:100:100 kg of NPK/ha is applied throughout the cropping period through split application. 75 % of the phosphorousis applied during last ploughing as a basal dose. The split dose is applied once in every three days through fertigation.

iv. Inter cultivation

 Irrigation: Drip irrigation is given for one hour per day.

 Weeding: A shallow hoeing is done 20 days after sowing and the plants are earthed up

 Two more hand weedings are done to encourage the growth.

 Cushion for fruits: Provide paddy straw or dried grass cushions for each fruit to avoid direct contact with soil. In addition to this close the fruits through the own leaves to avoid sun scorching.

 During fruit maturation, 19-19-19 + MN 5g/liter of water followed by Potassiumsulphate @ 5 g/liter of water is sprayed to encourage the fruit maturation.

v. Harvest

 The fruits are harvested when they attains 2 kg fruit weight and good shape and size

 The cardboard boxes of 10 kg capacity is used for packing the fruits of 5-7 and labeling is done with full information like variety or hybrid name, name of the farmer, market address, harvest date, grade, weight of the fruit and boxes etc.