Group Title: Circular
Title: Growing watermelons in Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084558/00001
 Material Information
Title: Growing watermelons in Florida
Series Title: Circular, Florida Cooperative Extension Service ; 14
Physical Description: 2 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Spencer, A. P ( Arthur Perceval )
University of Florida -- Agricultural Extension Service
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Division, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: February, 1925
Copyright Date: 1925
 Subjects
Subject: Watermelons -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by A.P. Spencer.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "February, 1925."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084558
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 84070144

Full Text



February,. 1925


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)

AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION DIVISION, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA,
FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN,
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
COOPERATING
WILMON NEWELL, Director



GROWING WATERMELONS IN FLORIDA

By A. P. SPENCER
Watermelons are grown on a variety of soils, the best crops
being produced on the better grades of rolling pine land. Fre-
quently watermelons are the first crop on new land that is to
be used for citrus groves afterward. Good drainage is neces-
Ssary, as the seed must be planted early, and unless the ground
is warm, there will be a poor stand. Poorly drained soils sel-
dom produce a satisfactory crop. The land should be plowed
and harrowed four to six weeks before .planting. If plowed
immediately before planting, the soil is likely to dry out and
give a poor stand.
PLANTING
In Levy and Marion counties, planting usually begins about
February 10; in southern Florida, ten days to a month earlier;
in northern and western Florida, usually after March 1. The
field is laid off in squares, either 10 feet x 10 feet or 8 feet x
10 feet and the seed planted in the checks. Before planting,
the soil should be freshened in the furrows.
About 1 pound of seed should be secured for each acre to be
planted. One planting will not require this amount, however;
many growers make two or three plantings, ten days apart, to
secure an even stand; then, when all danger of frost is past,
the plants are thinned in the hills.


Circular 14







FERTILIZATION
Watermelons should receive about 800 pounds of fertilizer
to the acre, applied before the seed is planted or, half of it ten
days before planting the seed and the remainder when the
vines are about 6 inches long. On poorer soils, 1200 pounds
may be used to advantage. It is never advisable to place fer-
tilizer in the ground one day and plant the next, as the ger-
mination of the seed is likely to be injured by the fertilizer;
and when the second application is made after the plants are
6 inches high, care should be exercised not to place it close to
the plants or it may burn them. Where the vines show lack of
growth it is advisable to apply from 50 to 75 pounds of nitrate
of soda. Care must be exercised to avoid placing it close to the
plants or too much in one place, as it is likely to make the plants
shed small fruit or bloom.
The fertilizer should analyze about 5 per cent ammonia, from
6 to 8 per cent phosphoric acid and from 3 to 5 per cent of pot-
ash. At least one-half of the ammonia should be secured from
an organic source, such as fish scrap and tankage; the remain-
der should be from some inorganic source.

CULTIVATION
Cultivation should be kept up as long as possible. If it is
well done when the plants are small, there will be little need of
cultivation after the vines meet in the middles. Cultivation is
important to conserve moisture.

DISEASES
Watermelons are subject to destructive fungous diseases and
insect pests, principally, anthracnose, stem-end rot and aphis,
all of which can be controlled. It is a good investment to be
equipped for spraying melons before any of these pests ap-
pear. The Agricultural Extension Division can furnish infor-
mation to assist growers in controlling these pests.




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