A lot of the water melon farmers in Nigeria grow watermelon in a particular season. Dry season is the preferred season for the cultivation of watermelon in Nigeria. This is due to a lot of reasons.
This article will explain why farmers prefer a particular season for watermelon farming in Nigeria.
What is Watermelon Farming?
Watermelon farming is the cultivation of watermelon crop in Nigeria. Watermelon is cultivated in Nigeria for the main reason of harvesting the fruits for consumption, processing or sale.
The cultivation of watermelon involves the preparation of farmland, planting of the watermelon seeds, the use of irrigation, application of fertilizers, application of pesticides and the harvesting of the watermelon fruits.
From our observation, about 90% of watermelon farmers in Nigeria cultivate this crop for commercial purposes. Even small holder farmers who cultivate watermelon often have the aim of selling the harvested fruits after maturity of the plants.
Watermelon Planting Season in Nigeria
The following are the planting seasons for watermelon in Nigeria:
A significant percentage of watermelon farmers in Nigeria cultivate watermelon in the dry season because of various reasons. One of the reasons is due to the lesser incidences of fungal diseases in the dry season.
Rainy season causes an increase in humidity which encourages fungal infections on plants. Fungal diseases on watermelon plants can lead to near zero yield.
Watermelon fruits also have higher brix during the dry season because of lesser availability of water. Higher brix in watermelon fruits improves the sweet taste of the fruit.
Leaching of nutrients is significantly reduced in the dry season, this can make the watermelon plants have better access to soil nutrients which will ultimately lead to higher yields.
Irrigation is well used during the dry season cultivation of watermelon.
A lot of the watermelon farmers in Nigeria avoid cultivating watermelon in the rainy season because of the fear of fungal diseases.
Rains increase humidity and humidity encourages the incidences of fungal diseases on plants. We have seen watermelon farmers who harvested nothing from their watermelon plants because of the incidences of fungal diseases on their plants.
Watermelon farmers who grow watermelon in the rainy season have the advantage of lesser incidences of insect attacks and viral diseases. Insects are notorious for the transmitting of viral diseases in plants.
Like fungal diseases, viral diseases can also reduce the yield of watermelon crop to near zero.
Some farmers cultivate watermelon in greenhouses during the rainy season in order to avoid the negative effects of rains on watermelon plants.
Do you cultivate watermelon in the rainy and dry seasons in Nigeria? If yes, why not share your thoughts with us in the comments’ section.