After another over-nourishing meal, Henry VI, king of France, suddenly fell ill. Not in earnest, the frightened court healer established: it’s to blame for everything ... she, melon! High-ranking dignitaries who surrounded the sad and pale monarch immediately brought a lawsuit against her!
The verdict of the “court” was severe: the melon was officially found guilty of ... insulting His Royal Majesty and a public curse! .. True, this story was forgotten over the years.
By the way, if melons (as well as many other products) are overeat - gluttony is not good - indeed, you can get an upset stomach and abdominal pain. And who makes something?
The fate of the melon was decided by the nineteenth century. After all, it could become the most common cultural plant on the planet - but did not. Experts expected to replace beets and reeds with melons, since there is as much sugar in it (about 20%), but it is easier and cheaper to extract it. And fuss with her much less. At the same time, the seeds went into business - the oil looked like olive oil, and the farm animals gladly ate the meal.
But it turned out that her crops are very capricious, less stable than that of reeds and beets. The fate of the melon was decided. Large-scale work collapsed. Nevertheless, to this day, melon remains a favorite treat for millions of people on the planet!
Melon (lat.Cucumis melo) - a plant of the Pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae), a species of the genus Cucumber, gourds, false berry.
The birthplace of melon is considered to be Africa and the East Indies. Melon is a warm and light-loving plant, resistant to soil salinization and drought, and does not tolerate high air humidity. On one plant, depending on the variety and place of cultivation, from two to eight fruits can be formed, weighing from 1.5 to 10 kg. Melon fruits are spherical or cylindrical in shape, green, yellow, brown or white in color, usually with green stripes. The ripening period is from two to six months.
Melon is useful: for anemia, gout, urolithiasis, diseases of the cardiovascular system, intestines, liver, quenches thirst, has a calming effect on the central nervous system, helps to remove cholesterol from the body, has a diuretic and choleretic effect.
On the eve of melon treatment, you need to eat only vegetables, preferably in processed form (vegetable stew, first courses), in no case do not eat meat and dairy products. On the day of treatment, melon should be eaten every 1.5-2 hours for 200-250 g.
If the melon season coincides with the treatment of infectious, inflammatory diseases with antibiotics, then you should enter melon in the menu.
Melon seeds should not be thrown away, but rather dried, ground in a coffee grinder and dried in the form of flour. Even Avicenna recommended for the information of disfiguring scars after smallpox, a decoction of melon seeds.
Sorcerers are still preparing a love potion with melon seeds. They are a great way to treat impotence.
Eat 1 tsp dried and ground seeds. 3-4 times a day 1 hour after a meal. Be sure to eat in the morning on an empty stomach and at night.
Melon is a light and heat-loving culture. Seeds germinate at a temperature not lower than 17ºС, the optimum temperature is 25 ... 35ºС. For growth they need 25 ... 30ºС during the day, 18ºС at night. Melon is drought-resistant, negatively reacts to high relative humidity, which contributes to the development of fungal diseases.
The optimum air humidity is 60–70%. As you can see, melon makes high demands on the temperature of the air and soil, the duration of the growing season. It is these factors that are limiting in the middle zone of Russia. The secret to success in the cultivation of this thermophilic crop is the right choice of variety and the provision of necessary agricultural technology.
Varieties for central Russia
Special attention must be paid to the selection of varieties.. Only early ripe melon varieties are suitable for cultivation in central Russia. No need to chase varieties with large fruits, they can realize their potential only in favorable conditions, in the south. In the description of the variety, you need to pay attention to the number of days from fruit setting to ripening (it is important that the resulting ovaries grow and mature quickly). It is better to give preference to varieties that manage to ripen in the middle lane and at the same time have quite tasty sweet fruits.
Such qualities as portability, large-fruited, can be neglected. Also, do not pay special attention to the shape of the fruit and their color (these qualities are important when sold on the market).
Among all varieties and hybrids of melon, one of the best for the middle band is Cinderella, which ripens every year and has fairly sweet fruits.
In the middle lane, melon can only be grown through seedlings, and the future harvest largely depends on its quality.
As for all pumpkin, the period for growing melon seedlings is short - 30–35 days.
Seedlings are grown only in pots so that there is no damage to the root system when planting. Use pots with a diameter of 10 cm, they can grow 2 plants. Before sowing, seeds can be soaked or sprouted, which will shorten the emergence period. To obtain good friendly shoots, it is necessary to provide a fairly high temperature, at the level of 27 ... 30ºС.
The temperature regime for growing seedlings is 20 ... 25ºС during the day (depending on the weather, on cloudy days the temperature is slightly reduced to prevent the plants from stretching), 18 ... 20ºС at night. Since seeds for seedlings are sown quite late (approximately in mid-April), there is no need to plant more plants. Nevertheless, seedlings need to be provided with the sunniest place in the apartment, best of all are the southern windows. The quality of seedlings will be higher if it grows on a glazed and insulated balcony or loggia (in this case, it is necessary to ensure that the temperature is optimal).
During the growing season, seedlings spend 2 top dressing with complex mineral fertilizers. The arrangement of plants is of great importance: it is desirable that they do not touch the leaves, so the pots must be moved apart periodically. Ready for planting seedlings should have 3-5 real leaves.
About a week before planting, seedlings are hardened. Daytime temperature is reduced to 15 ... 17ºС, nighttime - to 12 ... 15ºС, reinforce the ventilation of plants.
© [JP] Corrêa Carvalho
Temporary Film Shelter
The easiest way to grow melon is to use temporary film shelters. Their design and covering material may be different, but the width and height should be approximately 70 cm. The terms and procedure for preparing shelters are the same as for film greenhouses.
Since melon is a heat-loving crop, one cannot rush with seedlings. In some years, rather warm weather is established in the middle zone of Russia by the end of April – beginning of May (daytime temperatures reach 15 ... 20ºС, night temperatures - 5 ... 10ºС). Under the film, on such days, the temperature rises above 30ºС. At this time, inexperienced vegetable growers begin to plant heat-loving crops under the film. However, often by mid-May the weather worsens, sometimes frosts occur. And if a tomato, for example, can withstand even a long cold snap (but without frost), then a melon in these conditions can die. Therefore, as long-term practice shows, it is possible to plant seedlings of these heat-loving crops under a film only on May 15–20 (before disembarking it is better to ask for a long-term weather forecast).
If, after some time after the landing, cooling does occur, then the film shelters should be covered with old film, paper, rags, etc. for the night. (the second layer of the film can be left for a day). In a film greenhouse during cooling over plants, simple frames are additionally installed and covered with various auxiliary materials.
Melon seedlings in the greenhouse are planted according to a scheme of about 70x50cm. In film shelters, plants are placed in 1 row in the center of the shelter with a distance of 50 cm between them.
When growing in a film shelter in 1 hole, 2 plants can be planted, subsequently directing them in opposite directions.
Before planting, it is advisable to add 1.5–2 kg of humus or compost to each well and pour it well with warm water. Seedlings are planted in the obtained slurry, pouring dry soil into the hole from the sides so that a crust does not form. If seedlings grew in peat pots, then it is planted with the pot; if in plastic - the plant is carefully removed from the pot, trying not to damage the lump. When planting, the seedlings should never be deepened, on the contrary, the seedling lump should protrude 1–2 cm above the surface of the bed (when deepened, the sub-cotyledonous knee can rot).
If seedlings are planted under a film shelter, then immediately after planting it is covered with a film.
© Itinerant Tightwad
As a rule, at 1 week after planting, no care is required, except for ventilation in sunny warm weather. It is necessary to ventilate when the temperature rises above 30ºС. To do this, open the window of the greenhouse, or tuck the film at the ends of the film shelter.
About a week after the drying of the soil, plants are irrigated with warm water, combining it with fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers (20 g of ammonium nitrate per 10 l of water; 2 l of solution per well). Watered very carefully, trying not to wet the sub-cotyledonous knee of plants and leaves. In the future, care for plants in the greenhouse and under film shelter is slightly different. Let's consider them separately.
In the greenhouse
About 7-10 days after planting, a garter of the plants is carried out. The garter system is similar to that used for growing cucumber.
Melon plants are tied as follows. After pinching the top of the plant in the seedling period, several lateral shoots are formed in it. You need to choose 1-2 of the strongest of them and lead them as the main one (tying each to the trellis), and remove the rest. In the future, the formation is the same as that of a watermelon.
In addition to the formation of plants, watering is carried out about 1 time per week; during fruit ripening, watering is reduced. In addition to the first fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers (about a week after planting), at least 2 additional fertilizing with complex fertilizers is carried out with an interval of about 2-3 weeks.
Sometimes one of the fruits begins to grow intensely, and the rest turn yellow - this indicates an insufficient nutrition of plants.
When growing in a greenhouse, you need to pay attention to pollination of plants. As a rule, insects fly into the greenhouse through open windows, but if pollination does not occur, then it is necessary to carry out it artificially (transfer pollen from the male flower to the stigma of the pistil of the female flower).
Under film shelter
Shelter film is not removed until about mid-late June (depending on weather conditions). By this time, the plants begin to bloom, and insects need access for pollination.
After the film is completely removed, the bed is weeded and loosened. Shoots are evenly distributed over the surface of the beds. As in the greenhouse, after the formation of 1-3 fruits on each plant, periodically remove all other ovaries and pinch the tops so that the plant uses all its forces to pour fruit. Lateral shoots, on which there are no fruits, are cut out so that the plants are better lit. Top dressing is carried out in the same way as when growing in a greenhouse. In the open ground, under the ovary, it is desirable to put boards so that the growing fruits do not rot.
Muscat melons come from North Africa and the Mediterranean countries. After the "charente" melons, they are the smallest of all melons, round and flattened, with pronounced veins and deep longitudinal grooves. The rind is mastoid, thickened, in color it is white, yellow, green, bluish-grayish. The pulp of the fruit is pale yellow, orange or red, sweet and fragrant.
These melons are relatively low in calories (31 kcal) and are rich in vitamin C. In addition, they contain vitamin A, potassium and manganese. Before eating melon is better to cool. Due to the high water content, they quench thirst well. If there are raw melons, then you need to cut them into two parts, remove the seeds with a knife or spoon, then cut into segments and peel them. Melon can be served as an appetizer with ham or in fruit salads. More and more melons are processed industrially into juices, desserts and fruit ice cream.
Melon "Eugene" comes from Israel, where it was bred from net and cantaloupe. Melon "Eugene" is slightly larger than cantaloupe, it is round, slightly flattened or oval. The peel is yellow, yellow-green or greenish, with longitudinal incisions, most often has stripes or spots. The pulp of the fruit is sweet, aromatic, green. These melons are relatively low in calories (31 kcal) and are rich in vitamin C. In addition, they also contain vitamin A, potassium and manganese.
This melon comes from France, but is now grown in many tropical regions. Charente melons are the smallest of all, but are considered the most delicious. She has similar qualities to cantaloupe. The shape of these melons is round and flattened. The rind is mastoid, with smooth longitudinal grooves. In color, it is yellow-white, green-blue with a small amount of darker longitudinal stripes. The pulp of the fruit is orange. The taste of the pulp is sweet and aromatic. In addition, they contain vitamin A, potassium and manganese.
Honey melons grow mainly in Morocco and in the Mediterranean countries. They belong to the so-called smooth melons. Their shape is elongated, from round to oval. She has no grooves. The color of honey melons varies from ocher to greenish. The pulp of the fetus is yellow-white, green or yellow-red. Honey melons are very fragrant and sweet. In addition, they contain vitamin A, potassium and manganese.
Melon "Ours" come from Southeast Asia. They are round or pear-shaped. The peel is edible and thin, yellow or green. The pulp of the fruit is light, hard and juicy, tart-sweet and fragrant. Our melons are relatively poor in vitamins and minerals. In any case, it is an ideal fruit for weight loss. They have a diuretic effect and lower blood pressure.
Melons "Our" are good in raw form. To do this, you need to cut the fruits along, remove the seed box, cut into slices and sprinkle with lemon juice so that they do not change color when oxidized. Nashi can also be served as a side dish for meat dishes. To do this, lightly fry them with onions, salt and season with green pepper.