Saturday, May 19, 2012

Watermelon Elementary: Crop Rotation

Watermelons must be rotated from field to field each year. Depending on the land available, we like to have at least 3 years, preferably more, between watermelon crops in the same field. I have a little example of why it’s important.

This year we did a little bit of working in our field next to the barn. They cleared into a wooded area at the edge of the field and dragged some dirt from the that area out into the field. This dirt was obviously never planted since it was under trees.

new dirt (8)

This picture shows how much the new dirt affected the growth of the vines from the start. The watermelons closest to my view point haven’t grown too much at all. The watermelons on the hill, farther away are in the dirt that was dragged from the woods. See how much wider they are? They cover the plastic and more.

The next two pictures are taken from the same row. The first is on dirt that had watermelons 3 years ago.

new dirt (12)

Now these below are much bigger and growing in the dirt from the woods.

new dirt (13)

The smaller ones will catch up for the most part, but watermelons planted in a field that has never been planted in watermelons grow super fast and produce very quickly. The vines are fluffy and thick.

It takes a lot of planning on Brad’s and his dad’s part to work all of the rotation stuff out each year. I’ll be honest; I’m glad I get to just talk about it instead of work on it!

3 comments:

Trevor Smith said...

Hi. Stumbled across your blog, nice to see a fellow GA watermelon grower. Great post! I'm trying to get my own blog going, check me out at gafarmer80.blogspot.com Have a great day!

AA said...

Soo interesting and complicated! Lots of long term planning involved. Love it!

Candi James said...

Very interesting!!!