Grafting Watermelons And Melons On Lagenaria Is A Solution For Cold Climates. Personal Experience. Photo

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Grafting Watermelons And Melons On Lagenaria Is A Solution For Cold Climates. Personal Experience. Photo
Grafting Watermelons And Melons On Lagenaria Is A Solution For Cold Climates. Personal Experience. Photo

Video: Grafting Watermelons And Melons On Lagenaria Is A Solution For Cold Climates. Personal Experience. Photo

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Video: How to Graft Watermelon 2023, January
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In the Voronezh region, where I live, not all crops can fully develop and give a rich harvest. In recent years, the summer in our area was not too warm, and in July the "rainy season" began. Therefore, the cultivation of even early ripe varieties of watermelons and melons has become almost impossible. And last season I decided to experiment with such an interesting agricultural technique as grafting watermelons and melons onto bottle gourds - lagenaria. What came of this, I will tell you in my article.

Grafting watermelons and melons on lagenaria - a solution for a cold climate
Grafting watermelons and melons on lagenaria - a solution for a cold climate

Content:

  • Why Lagenaria?
  • My experience of grafting watermelons and melons on lagenaria
  • How watermelons and melons grew on lagenarii

Why Lagenaria?

Theoretically, you can plant a melon or watermelon on any member of the pumpkin family - even a pumpkin, even a vegetable marrow. However, it has been empirically found that bottle gourd has the highest compatibility with watermelon and melon grafts, resulting in the best results. In particular, such vaccinations take root easily. Lagenaria has a very powerful root system that provides nutrition for the entire plant and its fruits, excellent cold resistance and disease resistance.

Lagenaria is often grown as an independent crop, its other names are gourd, bottle or dish pumpkin. As you might guess from the name, the main purpose of this pumpkin is to create decorative utensils (jugs, vases, and so on). Due to the ability to maintain shape and give in to processing, masters appreciate it very much.

At the same time, the high cold resistance of the root system made this pumpkin ideal for splicing with melons and watermelons. Lagenaria develops well even when the soil temperature is only +5 degrees, while the watermelon needs at least +15, and at lower rates it simply stops growing.

What other benefits do watermelons and melons have on bottle gourd roots?

  • According to the observations of many gardeners, the yield of grafted watermelons and melons is approximately doubled.
  • Due to the increase in the amount of sugars due to the powerful root of lagenaria, which nourishes the fruits, the taste of the crop also improves.
  • The grafted plants have earlier ripening periods and the fruits can be harvested on average 10-15 days earlier, in comparison with non-grafted specimens of similar varieties.
  • Watermelons and melons grafted onto lagenaria are not susceptible to fusarium wilt, since the root system of the bottle gourd is resistant to this insidious disease, which can completely destroy the plant.
Lagenaria strives for active growth, it is important to remove pumpkin foliage on time
Lagenaria strives for active growth, it is important to remove pumpkin foliage on time

My experience of grafting watermelons and melons on lagenaria

There are several methods of grafting watermelons and melons on lagenaria: with a tongue (in the joint), in a split, by the method of convergence and some others.

Of all the possible options, I decided to practice two: tongue grafting and rapprochement. Both methods are noted for high survival rate, since at first the root is preserved on both plants and there is a significant contact area between the rootstock and the scion.

Preparation begins with sowing seeds. Based on the fact that when planting in the ground, the age of melon seedlings should be about 25 days (older seedlings take root worse), I started sowing seeds for seedlings on the 20th of April. I was the first to sow the hatched watermelon seeds into a glass of volume P9. Three days later, I sowed the sprouted seeds of Lagenaria in the same cups.

Tongue grafting

After both plants have formed one true leaf, you can proceed directly to grafting. First of all, the plants are watered abundantly, after which I manually plucked out the growth points from the pumpkin seedlings. Then, with a sharp blade, rubbed with alcohol, in the middle of the stem of the pumpkin seedling, I made a shallow oblique cut from top to bottom, after which I performed a similar operation on the scion, while making an incision from the bottom up.

Thus, small tongues have formed on the seedlings of watermelon and lagenaria, which must be carefully combined. Next, you need to fix the vaccination site, for this I used special clips, clothespins, which are sold in garden stores. But you can also use duct tape or foil. The grafted seedlings for better stability were tied to bamboo sticks (skewers, skewers), which can be easily found on sale in supermarkets.

Only two cotyledons and a single leaf are left from the stock, the watermelon scion has a well-developed lash
Only two cotyledons and a single leaf are left from the stock, the watermelon scion has a well-developed lash

Seedling care after vaccination

After grafting, the seedlings for the first time must be kept in shade at high humidity. As an impromptu greenhouse, I used a plastic container, which is usually used for storing children's toys and other things. Such a container seemed to be the ideal solution, since it is quite spacious, because the pots with grafted plants take up a lot of space. And it is quite high, which is important for powerful melon seedlings.

The container with seedlings was on the floor away from the window; no additional shading was required for the plants. About once a day, I opened the greenhouse lid and wiped off the condensation from the walls, leaving it open for a few minutes to air out. Then she closed it tightly again.

On average, in such conditions, seedlings are kept for 5-7 days. It is possible to determine that the operation was successful by the good turgor of the foliage. The survival rate of the scion turned out to be quite high and out of 10 grafted seedlings I lost only one.

The next stage after we took out the seedlings from the greenhouse and put them on the window is the separation of the watermelon seedlings from their own roots. To do this, I simply crumpled the stalk of the watermelon below the grafting with my fingers, however, the stalk was not completely separated, but only slightly damaged.

In order for the complete survival rate to occur as gently as possible, the stem of the watermelon had to be repositioned several times, after which the stem dried up completely and it could be cut off.

In the process of growing grafted seedlings, the pumpkin scion is constantly trying to take its own and start to grow rapidly, so it was necessary to constantly remove the resulting leaves on the lagenaria, leaving only two cotyledons and one real one.

Inoculation by convergence

Proximity grafting is almost identical to the tongue fusion method. But the technique for its implementation seemed easier to me, since the incision is not made obliquely, but is made even. For grafting by splicing at the rootstock and scion to a depth of 2 millimeters at one level, the skin is cut off, after which the plants are also fixed with a clip.

I'm not sure if this was the right decision, but when planting seedlings in the garden, I did not deepen the vaccination site, and did not remove the clips. But, in my opinion, in the future this did not interfere with my melon.

The watermelon on the Lagenaria rootstock grew quite large and sweet
The watermelon on the Lagenaria rootstock grew quite large and sweet
The melon on the pumpkin rootstock has grown to a standard size
The melon on the pumpkin rootstock has grown to a standard size

How watermelons and melons grew on lagenarii

In general, I was satisfied with the result of the vaccinations. Both watermelons and melons grafted onto lagenaria eventually received almost all the benefits described by the founders of this method. The plants did really well. Regardless of the weather conditions, they did not hurt anything and set quite large and quite sweet (even taking into account the cool summer) fruits.

The only thing that I did not notice in my conditions is a special increase in yield. I managed to collect only one watermelon and 2-3 melons from each bush.

Care for the grafted melon was required the same as for the usual one - planting in prepared fertile soil, feeding and watering in drought. The only difference is that the plants still needed to be monitored more, since in the open ground the lagenaria does not accept the role of the rootstock and now and then starts to grow rapidly.

On one bush, I did not manage to tame the pumpkin in time, and it turned into a full-fledged bush, completely drowning out the watermelon scion, which was represented by only two leaves, and, of course, did not give any fruit.

However, if you regularly monitor the plants, taming the Lagenaria is not difficult, and the results are worth it. Therefore, I plan to repeat my experiments with grafted melons in the next season. And I recommend you try it!

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