Within agriculture there are many variables that play a fundamental role for those who dedicate themselves to the work of planting vegetables, flowers and fruits. Over the years, producers have recognized the importance of the use of plastics to boost and improve the quality of their crops, and in this article, we would like to highlight some of the benefits of taking advantage of mulching plastic films for growing melons.
Melon is one of the most consumed fruits worldwide and, beyond its healthy qualities, this is due to the fact that melon can be commercialized all year round without inconveniences. Its cultivation basically takes place during the warm season, which is why many countries that go through colder seasons find that plastics are the perfect allies to avoid stopping melon cultivation. We invite you to read our post regarding the importance of plasticulture in extreme climate countries such as Canada.
Benefits of the use of plastics for melon cultivation:
Mulching plastics used for melon cultivation help provide warmth to the ground destined for planting; while they make the fruit come out sooner and the melons grow faster. Another benefit is that they manage to keep some weeds under control, which could otherwise grow under different conditions and compromise the quality of the crop.
A melon must meet some requirements to be considered optimal: excellent taste, good texture, aroma and the right degree of sweetness. Therefore, farmers know that it is vital to create favourable conditions in order to achieve those requirements and obtain a better crop. In this case, using mulching plastics for growing melons, not only manages to increase the temperature of the soil, but also favours greater entrance of sunlight, better use of water and protects the plantation from insects and unwanted diseases in the leaves.
Another reason to use mulching plastics for melons is the possibility to extend the growing season, or in other words, play with the seasons. In this way, producers have the freedom to keep crops operating regardless of seasonal change or, on the other hand, to carry out the planting of new seeds several weeks before the summer season arrives.
There are several techniques to extend the planting seasons, as well as to protect the crops from frost that arrives sooner than expected. One of them is to use compost to heat the earth, also to place hot lids or if you prefer to locate covers with rows of low tunnels. Everything will depend on the requirements of each area and the strategies of each producer.
It is important to keep in mind that while plastics are very helpful in protecting crops from environmental factors, coping with very low temperatures and avoiding pathogens, it is wise to remove them once the warmer season arrives, as a way to prevent the creation of an extremely hot scenario that ends up damaging the whole crop and translates into loss of capital, time and effort.