Watermelon: Crop Stage-wise IPM
This topic covers the Information related to Crop Stage-wise IPM for Watermelon
|Common cultural practices:
• Timely sowing should be done.
• Field sanitation, rogueing
• Destroy the alternate host plants and weeds.
• Apply manures and fertilizers as per soil test recommendations.
• Grow the attractant, repellent, and trap crops around the field bunds.
• Growing tomato or marigold as a trap crop for the management of leaf miner.
• Sow/plant tall border crops such as maize/sorghum/bajra all around watermelon field as guard crop.
• Rotate crop with non-host crops.
|Nutrients||• Nutrients should be applied based on the soil test report and recommendations for the particular agro-climatic zone.
• Apply FYM @ 16 t/acre and incorporate in the soil 2 to 3 weeks before sowing.
• If crop is planted in pit a mixture of soil and 4-5 Kg of FYM or compost, 30- 40 g urea, 40-50 g SSP (single super phosphate) and 80 or 100 g of MOP (muriate of potash) should be added.
|Weeds||• Deep ploughing during summer or adopt stale bed technique.
• Harrowing and ploughing before sowing.
|Soil borne pathogens,nematodes, resting stages of insects||Biological control:
• Apply neem cake/pongamia cake @ 100 Kg/acre or press mud @ 2 t /acre in soil at the time of last ploughing for reducing nematodes and soil dwelling pests.
|Common cultural practices:
• Use tolerant/resistant varieties.
• Select healthy, certified and weed seed free seed.
• Avoid overlapping sowings of susceptible crops and sequential plantings side by side to minimise virus spread from one crop to the next.
|Nutrients||• Basal application of 10 Kg Nitrogen (N), 15 Kg Phosphorus and 8-10 Kg Potash should be done.|
|Weeds||• Adopt the recommended agronomic practices like timely sowing, method
of sowing and proper spacing etc.
|Common cultural practices:
• Collect and destroy the crop debris
• Provide irrigation at critical stages of the crop
• Avoid water stress and water stagnation conditions.
• Enhance parasitic activity by avoiding chemical spray, when 1-2 larval parasitoids are observed
Common mechanical practices:
• Collect and destroy disease infected and insect infested plant parts
• Collect and destroy eggs and early stage larvae
• Handpick the older larvae during early stages
• Handpick the gregarious caterpillars and the cocoons which are found on stem and destroy them in kerosene mixed water.
• Use yellow sticky traps for whitefly and aphids and blue sticky trap for thrips
@ 4-5 trap/acre.
• Use light trap @ 1/acre and operate between 6 pm and 10 pm
• Install pheromone traps @ 4-5/acre for monitoring adult moths activity
(replace the lures with fresh lures after every 2-3 weeks)
• Erect of bird perches @ 20/acre for encouraging predatory birds such as king
crow, common mynah etc.
• Set up bonfire during evening hours at 7-8 pm
Common biological practices:
• Conserve natural enemies through ecological engineering
• Augmentative release of natural enemies
|Nutrients||• Apply 14 Kg of N/acre at 25 days after sowing as top dressing.
• Micronutrient deficiency should be corrected by foliar spray of particular nutrient.
• To maintain the sex ratio (more number of female flowers), spray borax @ 3-4 g/l at 2-4 leaf stage
|Weeds||• Regular hoeing by power hand tillar and/ or hand tools to keep the field weed free up to 30 days crop stage.|
|Serpentine leaf miner||Biological control:
• Foliar spray with neem oil @ 10-20 ml/l or NSKE 5%
|Red pumpkin beetle||• See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.
• Spray NSKE 4%
• High levels of nitrogen fertilizer favor aphid reproduction, so never use more
nitrogen than necessary.
• Release 1st instar larvae of green lacewing (Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi) @
• Spraying with tobacco decoction (1 Kg tobacco boiled in 10 l of water for 30
minutes and making up to 30 l + 100 g soap).
|Whitefly||• See common cultural, mechanical and biological practices.|
|Leaf eating caterpillar||Cultural control:
• Soil application of neem cake (immediately after germination and again at
flowering) followed by spraying of NSKE @ 4% with sticker (0.5 ml/l of water)
at 10-15 days interval.
• Keep plants well irrigated, and avoid excessive applications of nitrogen fertilizer, which may promote higher populations of thrips.
• Soil application of neem cake (once immediately after germination and second at flowering) followed by spraying of NSKE @ 4% with sticker (0.5 ml/l of water) at 10-15 days interval.
|Red spider mite||• See common cultural practices.
• Spray neem or pongamia soap at 1% on lower surface thoroughly.
|Powdery mildew||Cultural control:
• Bower system (maintain gapping) of cropping reduces the disease incidence.
|Downy mildew, Anthracnose||Cultural control:
• Trellising (provide support system) watermelon.
• Control alternate weed hosts (wild cucumber, golden creeper and volunteer
cucumbers) in neighbouring fence rows and field edges.
• Bower system of cropping reduces the disease incidence.
• Seed production should be preferably carried out in summer season because
summer crop is often free from diseases.
|Alternaria Leaf spot||• See common cultural and mechanical practices|
|Bud necrosis||Cultural control:
• Maintaining a clean buffer zone free of weeds of at least 25 m between a virus source and a susceptible crop can considerably reduce virus levels.
• Control the thrips as given above in thrips management.
|Fusarium wilt||Cultural control:
• Uproot and burn the infected plants.
|Cucumber mosaic disease||Cultural control:
• Raise 4 rows of barrier crop such as maize/sorghum/bajra.
• Avoid planting tomatoes next to cucurbits, spinach, or other vegetables and
flowers susceptible to these diseases.
• Control of aphid vectors as given in aphid management.
|Nutrients||• Micronutrient deficiency should be corrected by foliar spray of particular
|Weeds||• Left over weeds should be removed from the field before shedding of seeds
to avoid further spread of weed seeds.
|Fruit fly||Cultural control:
• Put fly traps in the field @4-8 traps/acre. Kill the collected fruit flies.
• Raking of soil during fruiting time and after the harvest to expose pupae to
the predators and sunlight.
• Spray neem based products
|Other pests and diseases||• Same as vegetative stage|
|Note: The pesticide dosages and spray fluid volumes are based on high volume sprayer.
*Apply Trichoderma viride/harzianum and Pseudomonas fluorescens as seeds/seedling/planting materials treatment and soil application (If commercial products are used, check for label claim. However, biopesticides produced by farmers for own consumption in their fields, registration is not required).