Watermelon: Crop Stage-wise IPM

By Vikaspedia on 24 Nov 2016 | read


ManagementActivity Pre sowing*
Common cultural practices:
• Timely sowing should be done.
• Field sanitation, rogueing
• Destroy the alternate host plants and weeds.
• Apply manures and fertilizers as per soil test recommendations.
• Grow the attractant, repellent, and trap crops around the field bunds.
• Growing tomato or marigold as a trap crop for the management of leaf miner.
• Sow/plant tall border crops such as maize/sorghum/bajra all around watermelon field as guard crop.
• Rotate crop with non-host crops. Nutrients • Nutrients should be applied based on the soil test report and recommendations for the particular agro-climatic zone.
• Apply FYM @ 16 t/acre and incorporate in the soil 2 to 3 weeks before sowing.
• If crop is planted in pit a mixture of soil and 4-5 Kg of FYM or compost, 30- 40 g urea, 40-50 g SSP (single super phosphate) and 80 or 100 g of MOP (muriate of potash) should be added. Weeds • Deep ploughing during summer or adopt stale bed technique.
• Harrowing and ploughing before sowing. Soil borne pathogens,nematodes, resting stages of insects Biological control:
• Apply neem cake/pongamia cake @ 100 Kg/acre or press mud @ 2 t /acre in soil at the time of last ploughing for reducing nematodes and soil dwelling pests. Sowing*
Common cultural practices:
• Use tolerant/resistant varieties.
• Select healthy, certified and weed seed free seed.
• Avoid overlapping sowings of susceptible crops and sequential plantings side by side to minimise virus spread from one crop to the next. Nutrients • Basal application of 10 Kg Nitrogen (N), 15 Kg Phosphorus and 8-10 Kg Potash should be done. Weeds • Adopt the recommended agronomic practices like timely sowing, method
of sowing and proper spacing etc. Vegetative stage
Common cultural practices:
• Collect and destroy the crop debris
• Provide irrigation at critical stages of the crop
• Avoid water stress and water stagnation conditions.
• Enhance parasitic activity by avoiding chemical spray, when 1-2 larval parasitoids are observed
Common mechanical practices:
• Collect and destroy disease infected and insect infested plant parts
• Collect and destroy eggs and early stage larvae
• Handpick the older larvae during early stages
• Handpick the gregarious caterpillars and the cocoons which are found on stem and destroy them in kerosene mixed water.
• Use yellow sticky traps for whitefly and aphids and blue sticky trap for thrips
@ 4-5 trap/acre.
• Use light trap @ 1/acre and operate between 6 pm and 10 pm
• Install pheromone traps @ 4-5/acre for monitoring adult moths activity
(replace the lures with fresh lures after every 2-3 weeks)
• Erect of bird perches @ 20/acre for encouraging predatory birds such as king
crow, common mynah etc.
• Set up bonfire during evening hours at 7-8 pm
Common biological practices:
• Conserve natural enemies through ecological engineering
• Augmentative release of natural enemies Nutrients • Apply 14 Kg of N/acre at 25 days after sowing as top dressing.
• Micronutrient deficiency should be corrected by foliar spray of particular nutrient.
• To maintain the sex ratio (more number of female flowers), spray borax @ 3-4 g/l at 2-4 leaf stage Weeds • Regular hoeing by power hand tillar and/ or hand tools to keep the field weed free up to 30 days crop stage. Serpentine leaf miner Biological control:
• Foliar spray with neem oil @ 10-20 ml/l or NSKE 5% Red pumpkin beetle • See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
• Spray NSKE 4% Aphid Cultural control:
• High levels of nitrogen fertilizer favor aphid reproduction, so never use more
nitrogen than necessary.
Biological control:
• Release 1st instar larvae of green lacewing (Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi) @
4,000 Nos/acre.
• Spraying with tobacco decoction (1 Kg tobacco boiled in 10 l of water for 30
minutes and making up to 30 l + 100 g soap). Whitefly • See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices. Leaf eating caterpillar Cultural control:
• Soil application of neem cake (immediately after germination and again at
flowering) followed by spraying of NSKE @ 4% with sticker (0.5 ml/l of water)
at 10-15 days interval. Thrips Cultural control:
• Keep plants well irrigated, and avoid excessive applications of nitrogen fertilizer, which may promote higher populations of thrips.
Biological control:
• Soil application of neem cake (once immediately after germination and second at flowering) followed by spraying of NSKE @ 4% with sticker (0.5 ml/l of water) at 10-15 days interval. Red spider mite • See common cultural practices.
Biological control:
• Spray neem or pongamia soap at 1% on lower surface thoroughly. Powdery mildew Cultural control:
• Bower system (maintain gapping) of cropping reduces the disease incidence. Downy mildew, Anthracnose Cultural control:
• Trellising (provide support system) watermelon.
• Control alternate weed hosts (wild cucumber, golden creeper and volunteer
cucumbers) in neighbouring fence rows and field edges.
• Bower system of cropping reduces the disease incidence.
• Seed production should be preferably carried out in summer season because
summer crop is often free from diseases. Alternaria Leaf spot • See common cultural and mechanical practices Bud necrosis Cultural control:
• Maintaining a clean buffer zone free of weeds of at least 25 m between a virus source and a susceptible crop can considerably reduce virus levels.
• Control the thrips as given above in thrips management. Fusarium wilt Cultural control:
• Uproot and burn the infected plants. Cucumber mosaic disease Cultural control:
• Raise 4 rows of barrier crop such as maize/sorghum/bajra.
• Avoid planting tomatoes next to cucurbits, spinach, or other vegetables and
flowers susceptible to these diseases.
• Control of aphid vectors as given in aphid management. Reproductive stage Nutrients • Micronutrient deficiency should be corrected by foliar spray of particular
micronutrient. Weeds • Left over weeds should be removed from the field before shedding of seeds
to avoid further spread of weed seeds. Fruit fly Cultural control:
• Put fly traps in the field @4-8 traps/acre. Kill the collected fruit flies.
• Raking of soil during fruiting time and after the harvest to expose pupae to
the predators and sunlight.
Biological control:
• Spray neem based products Other pests and diseases • Same as vegetative stage Note: The pesticide dosages and spray fluid volumes are based on high volume sprayer.
*Apply Trichoderma viride/harzianum and Pseudomonas fluorescens as seeds/seedling/planting materials treatment and soil application (If commercial products are used, check for label claim. However, biopesticides produced by farmers for own consumption in their fields, registration is not required).

Source:NIPHM, NCIPM and Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage