Watermelon Growing Tips

If you want to grow watermelon, you will need to know some great tips. Knowing the growth requirements will allow you to ensure the health of your plant. Choose a sandy land area with plenty of sunlight and water.

If you can provide the vital elements, your watermelon farm will prosper.

watermelon growing tips

If you want to start your own watermelon farm, you will need to choose the most suitable land space. Watermelon can occupy a lot of space and so having a large land space is ideal. The vines will surely spread out and will require considerable maintenance over time. With the basic knowledge in growing such fruit, you will surely succeed. Aside from the land, you will also need to have a steady supply of water. Chlorinated water is not advisable and it’s best to use well water instead. These are just some of the things you need to address if you want to grow healthy fruits.

Watermelon Farming Tips

Seeds can be planted when the temperature is at mid 70s to 80s. Don’t plant when the ground has snow because even the so called hybrid varieties won’t be able to tolerate the extreme cold. Watermelon will grow best in sandy soil. You also have to feed the plant with organic fertilizer or you can also use aged cow manure and chicken litter. The plant loves sunlight. Make sure that you plant the seeds on an area where there is direct sunlight. If you’re planting the non-disease resistant varieties, never plant them in shady areas since it can lead to disastrous effects.

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The more watermelons you plan to grow, the larger the land space and water supply you need. To ensure healthy varieties, you should get the disease resistant ones. Always check the package of the seeds just to be sure. You can visit the local nursery and the professionals can provide you with helpful tips. If you follow the growth requirements, each vine can have around two big fruits. When the land is leveled with ground water, you can be sure that the plant will get enough water.

The land area should be plowed before planting the seeds. Dig a hole that is 1.5ft wide and 1ft deep. Inside the hole, you need to place fertilizer or cow manure. You can cover it with sand. Place the seed on top of the sand and push it to about 0.5 inch deep. To ensure germination, the seeds should be covered. You need to dig out a ring around the hole until it looks like a volcano. This is important so that water will be directed to the plant. Water the vines early in the morning; just put enough water. When the vines bear fruit, you have to take good care of them and watch out for sigs of diseases.

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478 Comments

  • Mbogo nyaga said on January 17, 2011
    Am from kenya and i want to start watermelon farming.My farm is in a semi arid area and the soil is loam.The area is too hot and water is scarce,i plan to use tap water please advice how to preserve water and the drought and disease resistant type of seeds.thank you
  • moses musyoki nzioka said on March 31, 2011
    am in kenya,living in semi arid area and would like to know more on how to plant melon...i use irrigation method.water pump
  • alice wandia said on May 3, 2011
    am in kenya, living in Kwale district -shimba hills, and would like to know how to plan and grow water melon. we rely on both rain water and also do irrigation
  • godwin manyengo said on June 7, 2011
    i live in Kenya in a place called Syokimau.the area is dry with black cotton soil,hot and with water scarcity.my area of land is 50ftx100ft.is this enough to support a watermelon green house?what can be the anticipated output in kgs or number of fruit?
  • HOPE ONDIEKI said on August 6, 2011
    I live in Kenya,. western province, Teso district. is it possible to grow watermelon in swampy area? how do i prepare the land for planting ?
  • Rinzin said on August 16, 2011
    I live in Bhutan,subtropical zone is it possible to grow watermelon in wet land in which season does it grow.
  • ibra said on August 27, 2011
    I want to start a watermelon farm business in msambweni (south coast of kenya) which is the best month to start and how long do they take to mature
  • Tom said on September 6, 2011
    I want to start a watermelon farm in Mombasa Kenya on a 1 acre piece.The soil is loamy, with a slightly saline well nearby. Kindly advise on the best month to plant and whether the conditions can be favorable.
  • grace m. mulingwa said on September 13, 2011
    i live in kenya from a place called mwingi avery dry area i would like to start watermelon business in one months time what are the best seedling ?the soil is loamy and we rely on rain water and some watering .
  • Rose Ndanu said on September 30, 2011
    Have done watermelon firming before and just what i want to know is whether I can plant them in a green house
  • kiptanui kirui said on October 12, 2011
    Hi! i live in kenya Nandi County, thanks for your tips, soon i will be growing watermelons , a Agriculture student at UEAB- University. thanks again GOD bless.
  • Calvin Gorman said on October 13, 2011
    I live in Vereeniging, Gauteng, South Africa. I am looking at starting a water melon farm on our property of about 2.5 akers of growing space... we do have facilities to kaap plants well watered and have plenty of sunlight and little cold. i have never done something like this and am quite overwhelmed, any and all advise and help would be much appreciated.
  • Jay Tee said on November 13, 2011
    Shimba Hills Kwale. I have been a watermelon farmer in Kwale Kenya and the best advice i would give to the farmers in that area is to have the soil tested by KARI kenya and contact HCDA Mombasa for hands on information.
  • I Hasan said on November 22, 2011
    I am planing to start growing watermelon from December and I stay in Konkan region advice me is it right time to start now and also help me out with more useful tips which will help me in doing better and successful farming
  • samuel said on November 30, 2011
    am in Kenya and am planning to start planting water melon. my place is semi arid loam soil. am planning to start irrigation please help.
  • sammy waweru mwangi said on December 7, 2011
    have started watermelon farming in thika east . they seem to be doing good but there is market problem any willing buyer can contact me through my email address thanks
  • kasanga said on January 4, 2012
    I am kasanga in mbarara biharwe town uganda how do i start a watermelon farm?
  • Carol said on January 11, 2012
    Hi, am interested in farming watermelon. am from kenya. The farm is in kangundo. we will use irrigation so there is plenty of water. The soil in that area is cotton soil. Please advise. Thanks
  • Anthony said on February 24, 2012
    I install drip irrigation kits for watermelon farmers in Kenya and East Africa that ensure efficient water use contact me at wanyoz at gmail dot com. [email protected] mobile 0739 817 230.
  • peter njoroge said on March 3, 2012
    I just want to know the exact places/county. where climate is conducive for the watermelons
  • william wameyo said on March 6, 2012
    I have a farm in shimoni area of kwale district,kenya.Am interested in watermelon farming.Thanks Jay Tee for the advice.
  • Glory Alice Muriu said on March 7, 2012
    i have a two acre farm near sagana in kenya. am interested in growing water melons. The area has murram dry sandy/rocky soil and is hot i intend to irrigate using borehole water
  • chris mash said on March 9, 2012
    I am ploughing watermelons in south africa. Need more tips on fertilizers and pest controls
  • Marcus said on March 17, 2012
    Hi! I have tried watermelon in Limpopo and it was well. So where can i sell them in future as i am going to grow them this year+
  • george said on March 27, 2012
    I am in limuru kenya, the climate is generally cold and wet and the soil is red volcanic and i have a green house, can water melons grow here and do well.
  • nyamawi said on March 29, 2012
    hello, am in Malindi kenya. kindly let me know the best variety of melon best for farming.thank you.
  • Abuya Dan said on April 1, 2012
    I am living in Rusinga Suba, we relay in short rains, mostly from end-march to end-may. advice me on watermelon growing. the soil is a mixer of loam/sandy and sandy.
  • Kipruto said on April 7, 2012
    Am from keiyo north district, Rift-valley kenya we grow maize,wheat & small scale passion fruits and tomatoes but i would like to start watermelon farming. my home area soil is red volcano, rainfall may not be adequate but water for irrigation is in plenty. plz advice.
  • Maureene said on April 16, 2012
    Am from Nyanza and I wanna do watermelon farming but my question is when you are growing the seeds what should the spacing be like. From one plant to the other. An again where can I get the readily available market for the product? looking forward to hear from you and thanx in advance
  • sally said on April 19, 2012
    hi i am at the coast regions of Kenya and researching on watermelon farming the area has 20% and with good drainage ,very high temperatures and sunny throughout ,please i need your professional advice .
  • ALEX KAIWE said on April 25, 2012
    i am A lex Kaiwe from Lilongwe, Malawi. I am very interested in growing watermelons this year. This my first time to plant water melons. How can you advise me to reap more.
  • jeremiah sakuda said on April 27, 2012
    am from kimuka ngong, in kenya, am growing watermelon at the moment, the only problem now is that there is too much rain n the melons are maturing, the first ones r not promising coz they have taken too much water and some are busting, at the moment there are other small fruits developing and flowering as well. do i expect good yields from these fruits coming up?
  • isoh said on May 16, 2012
    Am from kangundo I have 2acre farm with sandloam soil and I want to start a watermelon farm so why can I get those seedling and why to sell the fruits.
  • Regina said on May 20, 2012
    I am from lamu and i have 20 acres farm i want to plant water melon. the soil is sandy very dry but i have a well. could you please advice me the best seed to plant and also possible treatment i should require
  • Kamatu said on May 21, 2012
    Am from Nairobi Ruai the temperatures are generally warm am interested in doing commercial watermelon farming in a 10arce peace of land the soil is black cotton please advice on the best seed type to use and the step by step method of fertilizers and other chemical application i have both river and borehole water supply.
  • Augustus kimu said on May 27, 2012
    I come from mwea the temperatures are generally warm. I am interested in doing commercial watermelon farming in a 5 acre peace of land. Please advice on the best seed type to use and the step by step method of fertilizers and other chemical application through DRIP Irrigation. I have both river and borehole water supply but goes down as we approach dry periods.
  • francis makokha said on June 27, 2012
    I come from western. I want to do some water melon farming. I have two options when it comes to where exactly to do the farming. In Busia county where it is relatively warm and wet or in Bungoma county (Kimilili)where it is relatively cold and wet. out of the two places, other factors being constant, which location will be most favorable? Secondly, is it true that water melon farming done in green houses is more profitable than the one done outside? Thank you
  • mohammed said on June 27, 2012
    i want to go into watermelon production and i live in guinea savanna of nigeria, i need some tips to help me in my farming as regards poultry manure application.
  • florence said on July 2, 2012
    am from kiambu, interested in doing melon farming. the area is a bit cold and the soil is loam type. water supply is adequate since i have a green house. kindly advise me on the best seeds to use, fertilizers and is it advisable to plant them on the green house?
  • festus said on July 3, 2012
    hi I am from keiyo south , rift valley ,kenya. I would like to know more about the watermelon farming i.e the favorable climatic condition, type of seeds , where to get seeds.kindly contact me through email address [email protected]
  • eftokia said on July 6, 2012
    I live in ngong olepolos side n want to know whether its conducive for planting melons
  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 18, 2012
    hi all, if you need advise on growing watermelons in Kenya feel free to contact me, my name is Anthony from Mombasa Voi regions i grow Sukari F1 variety under drip irrigation and the results are good thank God. I supply and install drip irrigation kits for watermelons and any other crop. with drip irrigation, you will be able to use water very efficiently and most importantly- you will be able to time the Kenyan WAtermelon market such that you ensure you especially harvest when other farmers who rely on rainfall do not have a crop....you can get a very high farm price and buyers will be lining up with lorries at your farm. if you get a good variety you can expect and average yield of 20 tons per acre which you can sell at about 20sh per kg gives you 400,000sh per acre in 3months - enough to recover cost of installation of drip irrigation and leave you with bulging pockets za kununua chapati na kuku(wakenya mpo?) Seriously brothers and sisters from kenya the good is that according to a FAO report, Kenya does not produce enough watermelons to meet local demand hence no surplus for export - that means do not fear to produce more and more.....you will not lack market provided you produce large quantities (10 tons and above)if you do call me i hook you up with buyer from Mombasa or Nairobi. For further tips feel free to consult me at [email protected] or +254 725 812 827.....my charges are reasonable. God Bless you all - just pray God and stick close to him so that when the big money starts pouring in it does not ruin you life! (money can mess you man!)

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012
    @Mbogo nyaga. Thanks for your comment and interest in watermelons, to conserve moisture you can try the following three things:
    1. Firstly you can install a drip irrigation system. this will ensure that water is only applied on a limited diameter around each individual plant as opposed to other method of irrigation that apply water on the entire farm plot.
    2. Secondly you can use mulching material to cover the soil around the plants, and inexpensive mulch is straw/grass mulch or mulch from other plant debri that is well dried - this has the other benefit of limiting growth of weeds by cutting off sunlight and also eventually decaying and improving the soil by adding the organic matter content of the soil. You can also use more modern methods such as Plastic mulch, and paper mulch but your area is already hot and plastic mulch further increases the temperature in the soil
    3. Thirdly to conserve moisture you can increase the Humus content of the soil by incorporating well decomposed compost or livestock manure. a simple guide is one shovelful per planting hill, but any addition will be beneficial as humus hold/retains moisture for longer compared to ordinary soil - manure will also have the extra benefit of increasing nutrient available to the watermelon plant.
    4. For drought resistan seed try the Suga Baby variety, fruits average 3-4kgs and crops mature early 62-80days depending on climatic conditions. For disease resistance try Charleston Grey variety, fruits average 9kg and is late maturing -85-110 days depending on climatic conditions. Also you can try a hybrid called Sukari F1 - this averages 7kgs per fruit and if very popular due to size and sweetness. I would recommend you experiment with all the above seed and develop your own local knowledge and style. Seed are availabe at East African Seed company and there distributors/ Agrovets countrywide.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012

    @Carol, Dear Carol, for black cotton soil you can try improving it by adding lots of organic matter and manure to make it more friable - that is less sticky and free since water melons like loose soil. you do not need to add manure and organic matter to the entire farm, only to individual planting hills. Also make sure to raise the planting hill/ ridges to prevent water logging due to excess rain or irrigation, watermelons are sensitive to water logging. Good luck, Kangundo is a hot area and you should do well.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012

    @festus, Dear Festus, Watermelons like a hot area without frost and with loose sandy loams, loams and even heavy soils that has been amended with organic matter or manure to loosen it. Water logging should be avoided. the crop takes about 3months from seed to harvesting. In case you are growing with rainfall try and time such that towards the last 2 or 3 weeks there is reduced rainfall to enable concentration of sweetness and prevention of bursting of fruits due to excess moisture. The most popular seeds in kenya are Sugar baby, charleston Grey and Crimson sweet varieties. There is also a good Hybrid called Sukari F1 that is now gaining popularity. You can get seed from local Agrovet shops or contact East African Seed company and ask for the local agents for all the above mentioned seeds.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012

    @francis makokha, Dear Francis, Watermelons grow best in hot areas, if the area is too cold, fruiting may be hampered. Most definitely try your farming in the Busia area in the open. Its true a well conditioned greenhouse will improve the micro climatic conditions of the crop and result in high yields but only if you solve the challenge of ensuring you find a way of making lots of bees to be available during the flowering stage of the watermelons. Unlike tomatoes and other crops that do well in greenhouses, water melons do not have the male and female parts in the same flower but in separate male and female flowers. so simple shaking by light movements or winds cannot result in adequate pollination like in tomatoes. Insects are required to ensure proper pollination - honey bees are the primary insects we rely on for Watermelons.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012

    @florence, Dear Florence, you have the following challenges to overcome:

    1. temperature - you may have poor germination if soil temperature are too low. Your crop may also take an unusually long time to develop in low temperature and  the fruits will not be sweet. This you can solve by using a green house.
    2. Pollination in Greenhouse - Unlike tomatoes and other crops that do well in greenhouses, water melons do not have the male and female parts in the same flower but in separate male and female flowers. so simple shaking by light movements or winds cannot result in adequate pollination like in tomatoes. Insects are required to ensure proper pollination - honey bees are the primary insects we rely on for Watermelons. You will have challenge of ensuring lots of bees are available during flowering stage.
    3. Greenhouse Cost - Assuming you are a commercially minded farmer, you will need a large area under greenhouse since watermelons vines take a lot of space. You can grow in Trellis / climbing system like tomatoes as long as you provide individual bags or netting to hold maturing fruits as they enlarge and become heavier - this means lots of labour in case of commercial undertaking.
    4. i would recommend you try on a small scale first and see how you are doing before massive investment . Use local seed such as Charleston Grey or Sugar Baby. For starter you can use a shovel full of well decomposed manure per planting hill, if you fair well and want to commercialize, you should then take a soil sample and send to KARI - NArl center in Westlands Nairobi for fertility analysis and professional fertilizer recommendation.  Kiambu is so near Nairobi and you could never go wrong with other vegetables that love cool areas such as kales and cabbages. A good idea is not to fight the local climate so much. If i were you and i still love to grow Watermelons i would first grow a suitable and profitable crop at Kiambu and from the profits buy or lease land in a hot water scarce are and do melons under irrigation in the process creating jobs as well as different streams of income for yourself.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012

    @eftokia, Dear Eftokia, Kindly let me know the type of soil and the climatic conditions so as to be able to advise you on the way forward.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012

    @godwin manyengo, Dear Godwing, 50 x 100ft is about 1/8th of an acre that is about 30meter by 15meters so at a spacing of 1.5 by 1.5m you will have 200 plants. if you allow each plant to bear only 3 fruits to ensure large fruits you yield will be as follows for the following locally available varieties:

    1. Sugar Baby / Crimson Sweet(4kg average fruit size) = 200plants x 3fruits x 4kg = 2,400kgs of melons.
    2. Charleston Grey (9kg average fruit size) = 200 x 3 x 9 = 5,400kgs of watermelons
    3. Sukari F1 (7.5kg) = 200 x 3 x 7 = 4,200kgs of melons.
    4. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE YIELD DEPEND ON LOT OF FACTORS SUCH AS AVAILABILITY OF IDEAL CONDITIONS, ABSENCE OF DISEASE ETC AND IS JUST FOR GUIDANCE FOR YOU TO DECIDE THE VIABILITY OF YOUR PLANS.
    5. if i were you with such a small area i would do only tomatoes!!!

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012

    @HOPE ONDIEKI, Dear Hope, You have the challenge of overcoming the swampy conditions since watermelons does not tolerate flooding for long periods. Lets stay Hopeful and try the following:

    1. Draining the target area - this will depend on the local geography, you can dig drainage trenches to direct water away from the areas you want to grow the melons. This will only be possible if there is a much lower area to direct the excess water.
    2. you can also try creating highly raised ridges where to plant the watermelons.
    3. Dont fear trying out and let me know how you fare on.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 24, 2012

    @Tom, Dear Sir, Do plant without any fear since in Mombasa you have ready market and suitable climatic conditions - i am only a bit concerned about your irrigation water, i would advise that you send a sample to KARI - Narl center in Westlands Nairobi for irrigation water suitability  analysis for Watermelons - it costs only 1000/=. About growing season, we have the best prices at Kongowea Market from October at 25 - 30sh per kg farmgate price so for one acre you can easily get 20 tonnes x 30sh = 600,000ksh in about 3 months time. In Mombasa you will never lack market only the price reduces other times of year but you can still be lucky depending on market forces of supply and demand. at lowest price 20 tons x 15ksh =300,000sh per acre still profitable!!!

    @grace m. mulingwa, Dear Grace, Mwingi is a good area for Melons and the loam soil is ok. Try Sukari F1 hybrid seeds to get an average fruit size of 7kgs. Be careful to ensure there is no waterstress during flowering stage to prevent fruit abortion. Also plant on a large are for max yields spacing of about 1.5m by 2m is ok. The other seed you could try is Charleston grey - 9kgs per fruit (average) or Sugar baby and Crimson Sweet. Sukari F1 is the sweetest and largest, sugarbaby is also sweet but tiny at 3-4kgs average size. Limit maximum fruits per plant to 3 to enable them grow large and please ensure you add lots of manure per planting hill at least a shovel full of well decomposed animal waste or compost - avoid fresh animal waste as this is too hot and will burn crop.

    @ibra, Best month to grow is August so that you harvest at october when we have best prices at Kongowea market. But you can grow though out the year since you are from coastal Kenya and there is good demand through out the year. i am assuming you are using irrigation also. Just try to farm as large as possible piece of land so that you have tens of tons to harvest so buyer will not be reluctant to come all the way to your farm because of good economies of scale. good luck bro

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 25, 2012
    @Regina, Dear Regina, Lamu is a good place to grow watermelons, you will however need to add lots of manure per planting hill to increase the organic matter content of the sandy soil and improve the moisture retention of the soil. 20 acres is a good size of land and i presume you will be relying on irrigation and want to do this on a commercial basis. I would recommend you send your well water to KARI - NARL center in Nairobi's Westlands area for irrigation water suitability test for growing Watermelons. They will analyze the water and see if it is suitable for irrigation. The importance of this is to ensure you are not spoiling your land by salt accumulation in the soil because of using salty well water and also to be sure that the water will not affect your watermelons negatively. The test costs only 1000/=. Also a kg of top soil should be sent to KARI for fertility analysis and fertilizer recommendation based on Watermelon crop. The best seed right now in the market in terms of sweetness and size is Sukari F1 hybrid from East African Seed company. It produces large fruits of 7-8kg average weight and the flesh is usually sweeter than Sugarbaby variety. 20 acres is a large area and you need to be sure that the well will provide sufficient water for the entire plot or you can plant smaller portions at a time. To simplify labour and enable efficient use of water you can also install a drip irrigation system. This is an expensive undertaking and you can do it slowly by slowly depending on your financial ability. once you start harvesting, cost will not be a factor and you can complete installation for a larger area.

    You can do trial planting for a few acres under a spacing of 1.5m crop to crop and 2m row to row. Add at least a shovel full of well decomposed manure per planting hole. Use a suitable nematicide such as Mocap from Bayer Crop Science and apply the powder per planting hole. Then add two tablespoonfuls of DAP fertilizer per planting hole and mix this ingredients thoroughly with lots of soil. You should then irrigate the planting holes and insert about 2-3 seeds per planting hole 1 inch deep, they should take about 6days to germinate. one week after germination you can now thin to remain with the strongest plant. Then you journey begins in getting hands on experience on how to grow melons in your own area. Good luck God bless

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 25, 2012

    @sally, Dear Sally, Thanks for your interest in Watermelons, the best advise i can give you is that you buy seeds and start growing and develop your own success steps for your area. You may also want to do the following:

    1. Get contacts from your target market and details of best varieties in demand and periods of best market prices.
    2. Analyse the soil at KARI NARL center and get a fertility report and fertilizer and manure application guide based on the current condition of your topsoil. Also analyse you intended irrigation water for suitability for Watermelons. All this will cost your 2000/- at the KARI labs in Nairobil
    3. Then you can plant your crop at a spacing of 1.5m from plant to plant and 2m from row to row. Be on lookout for pests and diseases and deal with it as it appears. You can get a good book from KARI called Fruits and Vegetables Technical handbook that will be especially helpful in trouble shooting pests and diseases and give you recommeded antidotes.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 25, 2012

    @Maureene, Dear Maureene, you can use the spacing of 1.5m from plant to plant and 2m from row to row. Concerning market that should be your first step, tour Kisumu Town and pose as a watermelon farmer and establish contacts with the dealers and wholesale buyers even before you invest in planting. you may also tour neighboring large towns and see the market conditions and prices and establish contacts. Then you can focus on production - once you produce and good crop in commercially viable quantities, buyer will be willing to come for crop at the farm. In you market analysis also be keen to establish periods of greatest demand and best prices. Also in production be very keen to avoid harvesting when there is lots of rains as lots of fruit will burst - so time your crop properly with the weather. But do not hesitate to grow Watermelons because of market uncertainty cause Kenyan Farmers do not produce enough to meet local demand. If you produce larger and larger quantities you will be able to sell far from your farm and still make a huge profit. Good luck.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 25, 2012

    @isoh, Dear Isoh, Kangundo is a very good place, you can get seed from local Agrovets or from Nairobi - East African Seed Company. Try Sukari F1 or Charleston grey - these produce large fruits. for smaller fruits try sugarbaby or crimson sweet. you can sell your crop at Nairobi Marikiti or even as far as Mombasa. Try to harvest especially from October to December and can easily get a farm price of 30shilling or more per Kilo.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 25, 2012

    @nyamawi, Try Sukari F1 hybrid available from EAst AFrican Seed Company - produces large fruits weighing 7-8kgs average if water and nutrients are adequate and you leave a max  of 3 fruits per vine. The variety is even sweeter that sugarbaby variety and twice as big and stripped in colour. 

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 25, 2012

    @Abuya Dan, Dear Dan, Try growing such that in the last week or two there will be not rainfall to avoid bursting. Try Sukari F1 hybrid variety from East African seed co or Charleston grey if you want large fruits. For smaller faster maturing one try sugarbaby or crimson sweet varieties. Usually  Water melons take 60 -110 days from seed to harvest. Be careful not to let the fruit stay on farm for too long when ready as will become marshy and liquid inside and loose value due to over-ripeness. Try a spacing of 1.5m by 2m. Good luck.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 25, 2012

    @Glory Alice Muriu, Dear Alice, I think your area is hot and so you will get good sweet melons, please do add lots of well rot manure to your soil and ensure adequate cultivation of soil before planting. i hope your water is not too salty for Melons, if in doubt please take sample to KARI for irrigation water suitability test, will cost you only 1k, if you are willing pay another K and get a professional fertilizer recommendation based on analysis done on your topsoil. The biggest plus for you is that you are near market!! Good luck

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 25, 2012

    @peter njoroge, Dear Njoro, Exact places are many and have the following characteristics:

    1. Near market - the nearer the better, some farmers sell about 600km away but they produce very large quantities under irrigation at a time when there is shortage in Mombasa market.
    2. Hot without frost at night
    3. Loose soils such as sandy soils, loams and silt - in case of heavy soil lots of manure needs to be added to loosen the soil.
    4. Available water  - Rainfall may do but should be little too moderate especially at harvest time. Watermelons are best done under irrigation to enable professional water control at crucial stages. so we need areas with rivers or good underground water reserves that are not too saline.
    5. The following are some areas that quickly come to mind in Kenya: Voi region, Mombasa, Southcoast, Embu, Tala, Kangundo, Thika, Sultan Hamud, Mtito Andei, malindi , Lamu,   etc etc

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • john kioko said on July 27, 2012
    from masinga. i'm preparing 2 acres to plant melons on the 5-aug-2012. i've choose sukari f1. i expect to harvest in early Nov. Distance from the Farm to Thika is 55km. My concern is the possible yield and market. Please advice.
  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on July 30, 2012
    @john kioko, Dear Sir, if you are planting this August you do not need to worry about market as you will be harvesting some time in October - November when there is peak demand in both Nairobi and Mombasa. If you do your part very well you should have at least 30,000kgs from you 2 acres. you max yield possibility is about 50 tonnes for the 2 acres. BE ASSURED YOU'LL GET MARKET AND A GOOD PRICE AT NOVEMBER. just be careful not to let your melons overstay in farm, sukari F1 matures in 70-90days depending on climatic conditions.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • B Mut said on July 31, 2012
    sounds like Nov - Dec is the best selling time. How about Jan- Feb for farmers who plant in mid October?
  • alex malei said on August 1, 2012
    HiWanyoz, I was just passing time trying to see what farmers do and if we have any farming consultants in Kenya & sincerely I'm impressed. Guess water tomorrow I'm going to my farm & start watermelon farming because I've it in Makueni near a good well that is ever there throughout the year and utilized economically. Be blessed and I'll soon link up with and showcase my shamba. Thanx and God bless you.
  • Simon Mbatia said on August 2, 2012
    I have just planted some water melons on a 2.7 Acres piece of land in loc 20 Murang'a (Hot place & a river nearby). I would like to inquire on the use of Croixe and Argisoc agro chemicals use that were recommended by a friend. Thanks.
  • Denzel said on August 2, 2012
    I agree the best valuation is on crop basis example have like 1200 crops each for 3 fruits and average 7Kgs that will be like 3600fruits by 7kgs that will come to 25200kgs by kshs15 that will Kshs 378,000 i would prefer people to work with crops not acre that will help in giving a clear management. thanks to Anthony
  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 2, 2012
    [email protected] Mut, Yes man.....October to Dec are the peak demand, jan and feb is not too bad but many rain farmers are harvesting because of short rains. The interesting thing with Market is that its not hundred percent predictable.......one can get very lucky at any time, if melons are in less Supply than demand for whatever reason, the prices shoot up, even if only for a day

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 2, 2012

    @alex malei, nks Alex for appreciation, sad to hear you've been sitting on a waterwell!! Goodluck on your plans, looking forward to showcasing your farming success.....lets produce so much and start exporting also.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 3, 2012

    @Denzel, Denzel, thx for book-one can never know enough these days. I agree number of plant analysis is more predictable than per acre yield analysis since we do not necessarily know which spacing has been adopted per acre. BUT ONE SHOULD USE ONLY FOR THEORETICAL PLANNING .ON THE GROUND DEPENDS ON SO SO MANY FACTORS;like are the plants getting optimum water and nutrients, is there enough micronutrients required for proper flowering and fruiting, are there enough bees for pollination, is there too much Nitrogen during flowering and fruit setting, is the spacing too squeezed or enough for leaves to get proper sunlight

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • Janet chari said on August 6, 2012
    Mombasa. Thanks Antony for your advice. I did melons in south coast but suffered losses dud to damage by the melon fly. About to attempt again in mtwapa, north coast. What are the best pesticides to use ? And can you please tell me how to go about pruning the watermelon plant so as to remain with the mother vein only. Shukran.
  • francis ndungu said on August 7, 2012
    Hi am a melon farmer in mbeere.av currently planted about 15 acres but i have a problem my plants are drying due to root rot and blight.av been using copper and ortiva fungicide but its not working. can anyone pls advice if there's a better chemical to use?
  • francis ndungu said on August 7, 2012
    Hi i planted sukari f1 on march but the result were not that good now i have planted sentine, raha and peta negra. would like to know how their production is?
  • kyenze k. stan said on August 8, 2012
    i intend to plant melons in kibwezi as from 1st september. please advise on early maturing variety that i could harvest before the rains. Whats is the approximate yield if i plant on 2 acres of land. i will be using irrigation. water is ok and has been used for tomato and cabbage irrigation before so no worries of salty water.... wako, mkulima mtarajiwa
  • Francis Osure said on August 10, 2012
    Hi, Am planning to plant my watermelon in Gem District Siaya county, what is the best variety to plant in this area. Please advice, i will be very glad to hear from you. Get me on 0726241591.
  • Ugwuegbu angela said on August 11, 2012
    Am Ugwuegbu Angela from markudi Benue State Nigeria. I want to start a watermelon farm. how do i get the seed? Should i buy watermelon and then get the seeds from the ripe ones and then dry before planting? Please i need your contributions!
  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 11, 2012
    @Simon Mbatia, Thank you for question. Are you able to get the active ingredient of this Croixe and Agrisoc? These are just trade names for ordinary agrochemicals just like Prestige and Blueband are both margarines......get me the active ingredient written on pack or at least the Company of origin and we will be able to have an informative discussion.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 15, 2012
    @kyenze k. Stan, if u want early maturing ones try sugar baby or crimson sweet.......matures in 60-80days. Two acres u could get on average about 18-25 tonnes with sugarbaby

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 15, 2012

    @francis ndungu, Francis, i also planted a Melon variety and results were also bad!.......i still plant the same variety today and the results are superb.....! ...........before u decide to jump from variety to another make sure your management is good......check all tiny details like do you have enough bees in your area for pollination........u need to fully understand why your results were bad....dont be in a hurry ....if u like please do experiment with lots of varieties, but im suspicious something went wrong rather than the variety is wrong...............

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 15, 2012
    @francis ndungu, cerning root rot, you are either having a Problem with nematodes-easy to treat or Fusarium Wilt-trouble....real trouble or both at same time. Uproot one plant and check if there are small swelling dotted on roots, if yes this are Nematodes. use nematicide at planting. Cut the section of root.....do you see brownish stain on inside, if so this is fusarium. terrible, it block xylem and phloem vessels so water cannot be transported to upper plant so the plant dries up even though it's well watered. if this is case u need to find fresh land and give the ground about 3 to 5 years for the fusarium to die from soil....methyl bromide that was previously used for control in soil is banned due to high crop residue.........u may still continue if the yield is still profitable but be ready to crop rotate with a plant that is not affected by fusarium

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 15, 2012

    @janet chari, ky u the Problem is an insect........so many insecticides in market.....try Polytrin and use it as recommended........try avoid killing bees during flowering. prune the plant, just limit/prune extra fruits so that u are left with 3. If you cut the leaves u are reducing the very kitchen where the food stored in the melons is cooked thru photosynthesis!

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • francis ndungu said on August 16, 2012
    Thank you so much much for your reply. i had uprooted one and it was either drying of the stem and others swollen stem and watery have been using wood ash every time in plant coz i normally plant my melons in polythene papers then transplant after three weeks.
  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 16, 2012

    @francis ndungu, Welcome, if you need plant sample to be examined at lab you can take several whole plant samples To KARI NARL opposite ABC place Waiyaki way westlands.........charges are reasonable ......good luck

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 16, 2012

    @Ugwuegbu angela, r Angela, it is better to visit agrovet and buy chemical treated seeds. in soil we have many pathogens and harmful organisms to young melons. its even less tiresome buying you may even find disease resistant hybrids and high yielding types. Good luck

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on August 16, 2012

    @Francis Osure, Francis. Tell us more about Gem, the climate, soil, mode of Irrigation if applicable so we can have basis for discussion

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • ezekiel massek m. said on August 20, 2012
    i am small scale farmer and i was impressed by your advice to watermelon farmers, keep it up sir.
  • Maina said on August 29, 2012
    Dear Anthony, am from Narok kenya with an acre and want to try melons on it. please advice on seed selection, and market if i planted in mid september. any other advice will be highly appreciated. Thank u.
  • CATHY said on August 31, 2012
    in kitale and heading towards very hot months with limited rainfall. what is your advice?
  • cyrus mwangi said on September 1, 2012
    hey, am at kinangop and i want to start farming watermelon please help me to know if they can do we.thank you in advance
  • Njeri said on September 3, 2012
    Hi, thanks for the good info you're giving to watermelon farmers. I want to plant in makuyu this month which is usually hot, have a dam nearby which I'm using to pump water. Already tested water and using it for French beans. I have about 2 acres. Are there seedless watermelon seeds and where can I find them? Is Sukari F1 the best choice for the area? How do I ensure I get the best yields?
  • Effort Msvutisa beginner adviser said on September 4, 2012
    Am a hot season watermelon small scale farmer in Gokwe Zimbabwe. Wish to share knowledge with other melon farmers to increase yields and expand

    [email protected] || Watermelon Farming Expert

  • Pharis mukui said on September 12, 2012
    I live in mbeere a place with all what it takes to plant melons the problem i face is that the fruit is infected with pest and becomes black pli z help
  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on September 13, 2012
    @Pharis Mukui, dear Pharis......your Problem is not pest! its calcium deficiency in the soil causing Blossom end rot(blackening) of fruits. Microbes and other pests just come later to feast on rotted fruit -it is easier for them than going to penetrate a healthy fruit.

    You can correct this by mixing lime (calcium carbonate) in the soil some weeks before planting, be sure to mix thoroughly as lime is not Mobile in soil unlike other fertilizers. If you have already planted the best option will be to use foliar calcium sprays on leaves. this can be mixed with your regular fungicides. Be careful as with all new foliar sprays to test on a small sample and leave overnight to see results before extrapolating to the entire crop. The other source of calcium when you have already planted is top dressing with CAN(calcium ammonium nitrate) fertilizer pellets. this has however been tricky for me as i have ended up having excess nitrogen that can burn the crop. Blossom end rot is made worse if we have excesses of water in soil.....too dry or too wet...affects the uptake of calcium. Proper Drainage / mulching/ Irrigation management will also be important. ALL THIS HIGHLIGHTS THE IMPORTANCE OF SOIL FERTILITY ANALYSIS....ONLY 1000/- AT KARI.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on September 13, 2012
    @Njeri, hi, why on earth would you want to grow seedless varieties!! Just google the health benefits of Watermelon seeds. you should chew them and swallow. Any way i have never looked for them but what i know is that they do not produce fertile pollen so you will have to mix with seeded types to ensure pollination occurs. You are planting for first time so you can have a plethora of varieties including Sukari f1 and 2 or 3 other varieties in blocks so you learn what works well. To succeed try and be as professional as possible, see if you can send topsoil sample to KARI to get fertility report and fertilizer recommendation. Also try and be available for supervision as frequent as possible, if you have to be far do promise your worker a huge bonus to get him committed and motivated...and give it when money come!......i use 10% for my farm guys! for seedless varieties you can contact Amiran or Syngenta for assistance.

    @cyrus mwangi, please see comment 47 on melons and cold areas, let me know in case of further questions.

    @cathy, get water, get seeds, test soil for fertility and get started.

    @maina, please do try high yielding varieties with large fruits since you only have one acre. You can start exploring Nakuru market way in advance...dont worry you are in good proximity to Nairobi .....please go ahead. God bless you.

    @ezekiel massek m., nk you thankyou Ezekiel, God bless you.

    I install DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEMS FOR WATERMELON

    @Effort Msvutisa, nks Thank you brother, lets all get empowered and empower our continent and later the world when Africa becomes a leading exporter of high quality Watermelons. God bless you.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • nicholas kirimi said on September 15, 2012
    am kirimi from laikipia gatemu area and want to start small scale water melon farming. there is enough water for irrigation and the soil is black cotton soil. can i go ahead . i have bought two acres of land already
  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on September 15, 2012
    @Nicholas kirimi, hi, thanks for question. As a general rule, Watermelons dont do as well on heavy clay soils as compared to light sand loams. i however came across a farg melons) on black cotton soil under drip Irrigation. please go ahead and try now that you have bought land. try and use lots of well decomposed manure and organic matter to loosen Soil. Make sure you prevent waterlogging from excess Irrigation. Depending on your appetite for risk/patience.......start with small trial patches planting as many varieties you can find and create your own benchmark data to know if project is worthy venture and how to pursue it. good luck.

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • watermelon kenya expert expert adviser said on September 15, 2012
    @Francis Ndungu, Dear Francis, three months are over since you planted the new hybrid Watermelon seeds Sentinel F1 and Pata Negra F1 from Seminis Seeds(Monsanto). Kindly if you do not mind please tell us your experience with the Pata Negra f1; was it resistant to the Fusarium wilt on your farm. What was the average fruit size and the number of fruits per vine? I'm planning to experiment with them hybrids from Monsanto later on but many farmers would love to hear your feedback especially those with Fusarium infested fields. Looking forward to your feedback. Thanks, Anthony

    [email protected], +254 725812827 || Watermelon Farming Consultant

  • kirimi said on September 18, 2012
    kirimi from laikipia , can water mellon do well in black cotton soil in semiarid area with enough irrigation water
  • Esther said on September 20, 2012
    Hallo, anyone here who has watermelon buyers at good prices? I have some that will be ready from October. email me the contact you may have the farm is in Kitui
  • Robert Odak said on September 22, 2012
    Hi. Am Robert. I intend to plant 2-3 acres of water melon on my farm in Migori - Southern Nyanza first week of October 2012. That is the season for growing and curing Tobacco in this region and since i suspect the two crops share diseases eg fusarium, wilt do i stand a chance?
  • arnold ombech said on September 25, 2012
    Hi, i come from uyoma in siaya county in kenya. The type of soil in my area is black cotton soil and i'm interested in doing commercial farming. please advice on the best crop to plant in this area. thanks.
  • francis ndungu said on September 27, 2012
    Hi Anthony. I did harvest the melons and i would say that pata negra did very well coz the size of fruits ranged between 8-12kgs per fruit. The number of fruits per plant is about 3. I planted again but this time av planted pata negra and sukari F1.

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