The use of fertilizers is important in the cultivation of watermelon. Watermelon growing can be profitable if done in the right way.
The soil in sub-Saharan Africa which Nigeria is part of is usually poor in nutrients. Hence, the use of fertilizers is necessary.
Below are some of the types of fertilizers that can be used for the growing of watermelon:
This is a type of fertilizer with balanced macro-nutrients. This type of fertilizers often has equal proportion of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
Examples of balanced fertilizers that can be used for watermelon farming include:
NPK 15:15:15 Fertilizer
This type of balanced fertilizer has 15% nitrogen, 15% phosphorus and 15% potassium. It is unarguably the commonest type of fertilizer in Nigeria.
You can find NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer in almost everywhere in Nigeria. It can be used for watermelon farming.
NPK 12:12:12 Fertilizer
This type of balanced fertilizer has 12% nitrogen, 12% phosphorus and 12% potassium. It is not a type of fertilizer that is not too common in Nigeria.
It can also be used for the growing of watermelon.
NPK 10:10:10 Fertilizer
This fertilizer has equal proportion of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the value of 10% each.
NPK 10:10:10 fertiliser is also not common in Nigeria but some agro inputs dealers stock it.
NPK 12:12:17 Fertilizer
This is a type of NOP fertilizer with a higher content of potassium. This fertilizer has 12% nitrogen, 12% phosphorus and 17% potassium.
This type of NPK fertilizer can be used for the growing of watermelon at the stage of flowering and fruiting because of the higher content of potassium.
This is a type of fertilizer with a high content of nitrogen. It is usually used during the vegetative stage of plants.
Examples of nitrogenous fertilizers include:
This is a type of fertilizer that has only nitrogen. It typically has 46% nitrogen and 0% of potassium and phosphorus.
Urea fertilizer comes in the forms of white crystals. It is highly soluble and can be used for fertigation.
In watermelon farming, urea fertilizer should be buried. If left on the surface of the soil, it can be lost to the atmosphere.
There is also a slow release type of urea fertilizer which releases nitrogen over an extended period of time.
Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer
This is a type of nitrogenous fertilizers that contains nitrogen in the form of ammonium and nitrate.
Ammonium nitrate fertilizer typically has 33.5% nitrogen. This type of fertilizer can also be used for the growing of watermelon.
Phosphate fertilizers are the types of fertilizers with a very high content of phosphorus. This type of fertilizers is usually used for basal application in watermelon farming.
The following are some types of phosphate fertilizers that can be used for watermelon farming:
Single Super Phosphate Fertilizer (SSP Fertilizer)
This is also called SSP fertilizer. The SSP fertilizer typically has 16-20% phosphorus content and 18 – 21% calcium content.
It is usually used for basal application in farming. It can also be used in watermelon farming.
Diammonium Phosphate Fertilizer (DAP)
This is a type of fertilizer that typically has 46% phosphorus and 18% nitrogen. It is one of the most popular phosphate fertilizers in Nigeria.
It is popular among farmers in the southern part of Nigeria.
Potassium fertilizers are types of fertilizers with a high content of potassium. Potassium fertilizers are usually well used during the flowering and the fruiting stage.
The following are some types of potassium fertilizers that can be used for watermelon farming:
Muriate of Potash
This is a type of potassium fertilizer with 50% content of potassium. It is also called potassium chloride.
Care should be exercised in using muriate of potash in watermelon farming because of its high content of chloride.
Potassium sulphate is a type of potassium fertilizer with a 40 – 44% content of potassium and 17% of sulfur.
Other fertilizers that can be used for the cultivation of watermelon in Nigeria include:
- Potassium Nitrate
- Calcium Nitrate
- Calcium Magnesium Nitrate
- Mono Potassium Phosphate
- Mono Ammonium Phosphate
- Chelates etc
The use of fertilizers is important in watermelon farming. Fertilizers can also help in forestalling some of the pitfalls inherent in the growing of watermelon.