Description and characterization of a variety of watermelon Crimson Sweet
Crimson Sweet is a variety of early fruiting watermelons with large round fruits that are resistant to fusarium wilt and anthracnose. Like other watermelons, it grows well in hot and southern countries, but also adapts well to other climatic conditions, making it the most popular variety in the United States, Canada and several other countries. Read about the features of the variety and the technology of its cultivation in this review.
Description and characteristics of the variety
Crimson Sweet (Crimson Sweet) - the owner of a hard peel of medium thickness, medium green with dark stripes. The weight of its fruits can reach 24 kg with good care. The variety was obtained in France by crossing the varieties Miles / Peacock and Charleston Gray. Almost immediately after entering the US market, the variety won the prestigious Breeders' Cup (AAS) in 1964. Crimson Sweet is characterized by high sugar content and excellent taste, early ripening, average moisture requirements and good adaptation to the climate.
Did you know? Watermelon is a wonderful honey plant and at the time of flowering attracts many bees, butterflies and even birds.
- the base variety is for open ground, for cultivation in the warm season, it can be used in the following winter hardiness zones (USDA): from 3 to 12 (zonal average winter temperatures from –40 ° C to + 10 ° C);
- acclimatization - good, resistant to droughts;
- ripening - 80 days after planting, is considered early;
- disease resistance / tolerance - fusarium - 1, anthracnose - 1;
- requirements for the landing site - bright sun up to 10 hours a day;
- sowing method - by seeds or seedlings;
- landing time is May.
As for the fruits, their taste is not only evaluated as high, but also reflected in the name of the variety. "Sweet" in translation from English - sweet. It is with this term that we associate watermelons. Characteristics of the fruit:
- the shape is oblong;
- weight - from 12 to 24 kg;
- bones - small, black, in a small amount;
- pulp - very sweet, juicy and crispy;
- the color of the pulp is bright red (Crimson - raspberry);
- yield potential - 10 kg / m²;
- brix level - 12%;
- commercial characteristic - high preservation and transportability of fruits.
Did you know? Watermelons probably appeared almost 5,000 years ago in the Kalahari desert in Africa. Their wild ancestor — colonitis continues to grow there now.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Grade advantages:
- early ripening;
- very high sugar content;
- a small number of seeds;
- the ability to adapt to cultivation in different climatic zones;
- excellent marketable properties of fruits;
- high transportability;
- immunity to anthracnose.
Crimson Sweet is a variety, which means its seeds can be harvested for cultivation the following year. Among its features note:
- it is preferable to grow seedlings in areas with short summers;
- the need to prepare sandy soil, since the plant does not develop well on chernozem.
There is also an opinion that the variety may be affected by Fusarium infection, therefore, needs to be protected from it. Pay attention to watering. The variety itself does not need a lot of moisture. But if it is abundantly watered, the fruits will be watery with a low sugar content.
Did you know? If you want to grow watermelons but you don’t have enough space, plant mini-watermelon. The fruits of such varieties weigh about 5 kg, and the word “baby” and its synonyms are usually found in the name.
Optimal timing for growing
The variety belongs to the early. You can plant it in the ground in May or June. But for early fruiting and solving the problem of a short growing season, seeds are recommended to be grown in seedlings in a warm, well-lit room 3-4 weeks before the last spring frost and they must be acclimatized before planting in the ground.
In a cool climate, seeds are grown indoors in the form of seedlings no earlier than a month before planting in the ground. Peat pots or peat tablets may be used for this. Also, plants provide a comfortable climate.
Site selection and preparation
Watermelons need a lot of space, so plant them where each plant has at least 2 m of free space. For a watermelon, the length of the lashes is 2–2.4 m, the distance to the neighbor should be about 2.5–3 m. The site must be illuminated by the sun all day. Watermelons consume a lot of nutrients, so they need fertile soil. Compost or humus is added to it when planting. Farmers also add fertilizers containing a large proportion of nitrogen to enhance vegetation.
Did you know? According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest watermelon ever grown was grown by Chris Kent from Tennessee. He weighed 159 kg (350.5 pounds). The record was set in 2013 at the Ohio Pumpkin Festival.
When planting seeds, it is recommended to use previously germinated. Before germinating, the seeds can be treated with phytopathogens and a growth stimulant. Spores of pathogenic fungi are not visible to the naked eye. But they can manifest themselves after planting, so for 20 minutes the seeds are soaked in warm water (+ 50 ° C). Hot water is fatal to spores.The temperature regime affects the rate of germination of watermelon seeds. The higher the temperature, the faster the seeds germinate. The same effect can be obtained, warming up the seeds under a table lamp. But if you are not a supporter of "home methods", then you can use antibacterial drugs. For example, “Fitosporin”. Its activity is caused by the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Once in the soil, the bacterium inhibits the development of pathogenic microflora, which positively affects both the quality of the soil and the development of the plant.
Also practiced seed treatment with a stimulant. With the help of the Zircon preparation it is possible to stimulate growth and take care to improve the resistance of the watermelon to possible diseases. Remember that you need to use any drugs in strict accordance with the instructions for them.
Did you know? The most expensive watermelon sold at auction cost 51,000 yuan ($ 7,489). It was introduced by Inner Mongolia Green State Fertilizer Co., Ltd. (China) in Kerch, Inner Mongolia, August 26, 2018. The fetus weighed 81.75 kg.
The variety is intended for outdoor cultivation. And this is objective, since each watermelon plant needs a large area for growth and development. But if you have large greenhouses, then you can try to grow it in them.
To grow seeds with seedlings, you will need: pots for germination, nutrient soil, seeds and a plastic film. The soil must be loose. It can consist of peat, sand, sawdust.First planted in containers, watermelons are less susceptible to various diseases and pests. Accordingly, the yield indicators increase by several times.
Planting is carried out 4-6 weeks before transplanting plants into the ground. Plant seeds in biodegradable peat or paper pots. Then they can be placed in the soil without removing seedlings from them, so as not to damage the roots during transplantation.
The seeds are deepened by 1.5–2 cm. Then they are sprayed with water and placed in a container, covered with a film to increase the temperature and accelerate germination. Shoots will appear after 10 days at a temperature of + 18 ° C. But they will be more comfortable if the temperature is slightly higher. By the time of planting in the soil on each plant should be 3-5 real leaves.
Video: planting watermelon seeds for seedlings
Seedling care includes:
- top dressing;
Seedlings are watered gently to prevent overmoistening of the soil or drying out. If seedlings were planted in peat tablets or nutritious soil, then top dressing can be omitted. So that the seedlings do not stretch, the air temperature should be +16 ... + 18 ° С.It is not necessary to increase the duration of daylight hours, since in May the sun gives enough light.Before planting, the plants are tempered for 1-2 weeks, daily providing them with fresh air and gradually increasing the time spent on the streetThe estimated time for planting seedlings in the ground is mid-May. Planted in a permanent place, hardened seedlings are more resistant to climatic conditions and less susceptible to disease.
Planting seedlings in the ground
The area where watermelons are planned to be planted should have sandy or light textured soil that warms up well. To increase its fertility, it is imperative to apply 60 kg of nitrogenous fertilizers per 0.5 ha. Also, potash fertilizers are applied under each bush - about 30-50 g. A lack of potassium causes decay and decay of the ovaries.
Important! Not all farmers agree with the seedling method of growing watermelons. They do not like transplanting, so a small saving in time for harvesting can turn into a weaker plant, which will turn out after the transplantation, and therefore a lower yield.
- if the seedlings grew in a plastic container, carefully remove them, after loosening the soil with water;
- plant seedlings to the same height as it grew in containers;
- if seedlings grew in soluble pots, then plants are planted in the ground with them;
- fill the space around your seedling with soil and compact it;
- water immediately and add soil if it sags after watering.
Video: planting seedlings of watermelon in the open ground
Seed directly into the ground
When planting seeds, select a plot measuring 0.7 x 1.4 m for growing. Make holes about 9 cm deep with a distance between the seeds of at least 0.5 m. Place 1-2 seeds in the hole. If one of them does not rise, you will not need to plant them again. And if 2 rise, then you will leave a healthier plant. The distance between the rows of watermelons may vary slightly depending on the technique that will be used to remove weeds and carry out other maintenance work on the melon.
Video: planting watermelon seeds in open ground
As soon as the vines begin to develop, a thick layer of mulch is applied around the plants. It prevents weed growth, protects the fruit from direct contact with soil and ground pests, and also prevents soil compaction after irrigation and quick drying. The soil should be constantly well moistened until the fruits begin to grow. Crimson sweet watermelons Crimson Sweet are resistant to anthracnose, and are also little affected by Fusarium. This must be considered when planning melon treatments.
Watering and feeding
Optimal watering is drip irrigation, in which water flows to the roots thanks to dropper dispensers. Moisture is evenly distributed and does not fall on the leaves. The depth of irrigation is 4–5 cm. With the help of drip irrigation it is also convenient to apply root fertilizers.
Important! Watering watermelons is stopped 2 weeks before harvest. And there are several reasons for this: a watery watermelon — unsweetened. He also decreases stubbornness.
Basic watering rules:
- Water deeply and rarely. Frequency - 1 time per week.
- Do not use a sprayer and do not spray the plants with a hose.
- Reduce watering gradually as the fruits ripen to improve their taste.
Plants grow due to the fact that nutrients obtained from the soil under the influence of the sun are converted into energy for fruit growth and vegetation. It has been proven that on fertilized soils yields are 30–40% higher than plant yields from non-fertilized plots.Since watermelons consume a huge amount of nutrients, they quickly deplete the soil on the site, so they need regular feeding. You are unlikely to meet a strict fertilizer schedule for watermelons. After all, top dressing depends not only on the stage of development of the seedling, but also on the fertility of the site.For a good start, you need nitrogen.
When ovaries form, the need for phosphorus-potash fertilizers increases. These same components will ensure the development of the fruit. When sowing seeds, the need for fertilizers will be approximately the following: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a ratio of 5:10:10. The application rate is 7–8 kg per 150 m².
Gardeners use 2 fertilizer schemes:
- at the time of planting, and then 3-4 weeks after the first application;
- weekly deposit.
Whichever of the schemes you choose, keep in mind that for the season, watermelon will need 130-150 g of nitrogen, the same amount of phosphorus and 260 g of potassium.
Video: feeding watermelons
By its structure, watermelon is a plant consisting of several vines, on which fruits are formed. If the vines are more than a meter in size, they can be a problem for small areas, so they are shortened. Besides the size limit, there are other reasons for cropping:
- it heals the vines;
- increases the size of the fruit.
Damaged fruits are also removed from the vine so as not to create a source of infection near healthy plants. By removing such a fruit, you redirect growth energy to growing healthy ones.The disadvantage of pruning is that it can affect pollination. Watermelon needs male and female flowers for fruiting. Reducing vines reduces the number of female flowers, which negatively affects the number of ovaries. In addition, shrinking vines can cause plants to grow new vines, which will delay fruiting.
- If you have enough space, then the vines can not be shortened.
- But if necessary, start by cutting off dead, diseased, yellowed or infected leaves, or shoots with a sterile secateurs. Trim at the point where the element to be trimmed connects to the main stem. Remove secondary side shoots if they have no flowers or they look painful.
- Prune the vines on a warm sunny day. Watermelons hit parasites more if the vine is wet.
Video: the formation of a bush of watermelon in the open ground
Pest and Disease Control
To prevent most diseases and insect attacks, weed removal is recommended. Mulch restricts their growth near plants and thereby prevents their spread. As for treatment, before treating, it is important to understand what exactly.
The main diseases of melon:
Among the insects that can infect watermelon are caterpillars, ticks and thrips. All of them are easy to control with insecticides. Aphids can also attack melons. An additional harm from it is that it is a mosaic virus carrier.
Did you know? The sweetness of watermelon is measured on the Brix scale. For most watermelons, the sugar content is 9–10%. Fruits with an indicator of 11–12% are considered very sweet.
Pests and their prevention:
Harvesting and storage
Gardeners use many different methods to check if watermelons are ripe. But knowing an approximate size is not a sufficient way to determine maturity, therefore often use the following methods:
- knuckling on the fetus should give a dull sound;
- the lower part of the fruit, on which it lies on the ground - the “earth spot”, should be yellow;
- the antennae closest to the fruit dries.
In addition, all watermelons lose their glossy smooth appearance and fade when they begin to ripen. Harvested crops are usually kept for several weeks in a cool place. The temperature should not be higher than + 7 ° C and humidity 85%. Estimated shelf life - up to 3 weeks.
Useful growing tips
To grow healthy plants and get a good harvest, you can also use the tips of other gardeners:
- Choose varieties that are suitable for your climate zone;
- be sure to grow them from seedlings, this will allow you to get an earlier crop;
- warm the soil before planting with plastic wrap;
- provide additional coverage to crops in cool weather;
- do not forget about the correct use of water and fertilizers;
- give plants enough room for growth.
Did you know? Watermelons spread from Africa to China in the 10th century. Today, more watermelons are growing in China than in any other country. There is also the custom of handing a mistress a watermelon as a gift.
Growing watermelons can be attractive if you love this fruit and have enough space to set it as melon. The sweet and unpretentious Crimson Suite is suitable for most climatic zones and soil types. It is resistant to disease and has an excellent taste, which serves as an additional argument in its favor.