Watermelon pruning: when and how to do it

watermelon harvest

The watermelon size It is a practice used by farmers with two objectives: better space management or better quality fruit. In general, this is not a complicated job, but you have to be careful not to damage the plant. In the horizontal cultivation version, you will have easier access to each zone, 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 the watermelon pruned?

watermelon cultivation

Watermelon plants need pruning to keep all of their stems and branches in order. In addition, it is useful to leave stems closer to the main stem and requiring more nutrients in production activities. This means that the fruits produced there are of greater size and quality, as they will develop under 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 start of growth, and the second system allows certain larger branches to develop, squeezing and eliminating other smaller branches.

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

When to prune watermelon

watermelon maintenance pruning

Pruning the watermelon is essential as it begins to produce its own stems and leaves. If the idea is for the plant to develop with vitality, you have 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, it is no problem to do so in autumn or winter. If the cut is made from scratch, no tools are required as a simple finger pressure is enough. If you are pruning when the branches are thick, sanitized garden shears will do.

How to prune step by step

watermelon size

To keep your watermelon plant in optimal condition, simply prune it as shown below:

  • Identify the most visible primary stem and the two secondary stems.
  • Along these two trunks, more branches will be created, reducing trunk mass and energy. 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 the shoots that appear in unfavorable places, such as between the primary and secondary stems, should be removed. These only cause a loss of nutrients without any benefit.
  • Frequently check the status of the installation to give the opportunity to remove leaves and fruits that soon develop well. This is because they can develop a certain disease. For its correct disposal, it is necessary to remove it from the plant and burn it.

When pruning you need to be very careful how many flowers you remove from the plant, as each flower does a specific job. female flowers they are responsible for fruit production, 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 deleting them without a plan.

types of size

maintenance pruning

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

First, we will remove the suction cups 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 to the main stem as possible without damaging it. It is best to do this when the buds are less than 5 cm.
  • Cut the branches diagonally so that the water can drain away. This will prevent water from remaining in the wound and causing it to rot.

We will then remove the following unwanted items:

  • Dry or diseased stems and leaves.
  • Wilted flowers destroy and deplete the plant’s energy.
  • It probably comes from the same root.
  • Grows from the feet of the plant in a weak or poor place.
  • Crossed stems, misdirected or tangled plants.
  • If it’s necessary, corrects asymmetry to improve appearance.

floral waist

Flower pruning is done annually, usually in late winter or early spring, to increase the flowering of the plant. We will proceed as follows:

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

Do not cut stems that do not flower (these are the stems that will flower the following year). If one is too long or too short compared to the others, it can also be cut to give the plant a more harmonious shape. New branches growing straight out of the ground will not give you flowers. Are These are the ones that will flower next year, and the ones that will emerge from the nodes that remain from this year’s size.. Remember that the best conditions for plants to flower 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 size: In the first case, what we do is prune the whole plant down to the ground. This should only be done if the specimen is strong enough to support it and provide irrigation and fertilization.
  • Gradual rejuvenation size: It consists of removing 50% of the branches by aligning them with the insert. The preserved branches are cut to half their length, which is only a third of the best branches that can be found on them.

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

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