watermelon pruning

watermelon harvest

La watermelon pruning It is a practice used by farmers with two objectives: better space management or higher quality fruit. In general, this is not a complicated job, but care must be taken not to damage the plant. As the horizontal cultivation version, you will have easier access to each area, unlike fruit trees such as orange or lemon trees.

In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know to learn watermelon pruning.

Why is watermelon pruned?

watermelon cultivation

Watermelon plants need pruning to keep all of their stems and branches in order. Also, it is useful to leave stems that are closer to the main stem and require more nutrients in production activities. This means that the fruits that are produced there are of greater size and quality, since they will develop in optimal conditions.

There are two pruning systems that can be applied when growing watermelons. The first system consists of acting on the plants from the beginning of growth, and the second system allows some larger branches to develop, squeezing and eliminating other smaller branches.

The fruit of the watermelon differs from the melon in that the first fruit usually gives on the female flower of the main branch and the flower of the second bud, while in the melon it gives on the flower of the second and second bud and other times on the flowers of the third

When to prune watermelon

maintenance watermelon pruning

Watermelon pruning is a must as it begins to produce its own stems and leaves. If the idea is that the plant develops with vitality, it is necessary to eliminate all the stems that arise in a disorderly way. Especially those that are born and grow disproportionately between the main stem and the strongest secondary stem.

Regarding the outside temperatures, it is better to wait until spring or summer to prevent frost from affecting the interior of the plant. However, if these are grown in a greenhouse, there is no problem doing it in autumn or winter. If trimming is done from scratch, no tools are required as simple finger pressure will suffice. If you prune when the branches are thick, sanitized garden shears will do the trick.

How to prune step by step

watermelon pruning

To keep your watermelon plant in optimal condition, you only need to prune it as indicated below:

  • Identify the most visible primary stem and the two secondary stems.
  • Along these two trunks, more branches will be created, which will reduce the mass and energy of the trunk. So what we're going to do is count 8 knots from the base and then make the point cut. These will be child nodes.
  • Now, from the secondary shoots, only those shoots that appear in unfavorable places, such as between the primary and secondary stems, should be removed. These only cause loss of nutrients without any benefit.
  • Check the status of the plant frequently to give opportunity to remove leaves and fruits that do not take long to develop well. This is because they can develop a certain disease. For its correct elimination, it is necessary to remove it from the plant and burn it.

When pruning, you need to be very careful about how many flowers you remove from the plant, as each flower does a specific job. the female flowers they are responsible for producing fruit, but the male flowers are necessary for the pollination process. Therefore, if you are not very clear about the difference between one and the other, you should avoid removing them without a plan.

Types of pruning

Maintenance pruning

The purpose of clean-up pruning is to make room for new, healthy branches and to remove unwanted elements from the plant. This pruning is done in conjunction with other maintenance tasks throughout the year.

First of all, we will remove the suckers as follows:

  • We will find secondary shoots or shoots that appear between the first leaf and the main stem.
  • Later we will carefully cut the suction cup so that the cut is as close as possible to the main stem without damaging it. It is best done when the buds are less than 5 cm.
  • Cut the branches diagonally so that the water can flow. This will prevent water from staying in the wound and causing it to rot.

We will then remove the following unwanted items:

  • Dry or diseased stems and leaves.
  • Withered flowers destroy and deplete the plant's energy.
  • It probably springs from the same root.
  • Sprout from the feet of the plant in a weak or poor place.
  • Crossed stems, misoriented or tangled plants.
  • If required, corrects asymmetry to improve appearance.

Flowering pruning

Bloom pruning is done annually, usually in late winter or early spring, to increase the plant's bloom. We will proceed as follows:

Just cut off the branches that are already blooming. Keep them two knots off the ground. You should only prune the ones that are already blooming so they can grow new shoots that will bloom next year. It also cuts stunted and intersecting branches at two nodes above ground.

Do not cut stems that are not flowering (these are stems that flower the following year). If one is too long or too short in relation to the others, it can also be cut to give the plant a more harmonious shape. New branches that grow directly from the ground will not give you flowers. Are They are the ones that will bloom next year, and the ones that come out of the knots that remain from this year's pruning.. Remember, the best conditions for plants to bloom vigorously are moist conditions and plenty of light.

Renovation or rejuvenation pruning

Its main purpose is to remove the aging parts of the plant and replace them with new, younger shoots. It is a renewed pruning that strengthens the plant and produces new shoots. This is done to rejuvenate the watermelon and can be done in large or gradual steps.

  • Substantial Rejuvenation Pruning: In the first case, what we are doing is pruning the entire plant to the ground. This should only be done if the specimen is strong enough to support it and ensure irrigation and fertilization.
  • Progressive rejuvenation pruning: It consists of removing 50% of the branches, aligning them with the insert. The preserved branches are cut to half their length, that is, only a third of the best branches that we can find in them.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about watermelon pruning and how to do it.

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