Production Technology of Musk Melon in Pakistan
The major pockets of musk melon growing are Thatta, Badin and some parts of Mirpurkhas as well as Bahawalpur and Sahiwal. It is also cultivated in ‘katcha’ areas and is known as a money-maker crop. There are a number of varieties in the world but in Pakistan, farmers grow only two varieties i.e. Golden (Tumma) and Dharidar (Gadap).
Musk melon generally grown in warm weather and high humidity, which is available only in the tropical area of Thatta and Badin districts while it is also grown in Multan, Sahiwal and Lahore. Musk melon requires more heat than other cucurbits and cannot survive temperature below 5 degree centigrade and above 45 degree centigrade. During the germination-time optimum temperature 27 to 29 degree centigrade is suitable. Hot and dry air and sunshine during ripening period is necessary for musk melon for development of high sugar and right taste.
Land preparation is an initial task for musk melon to achieve better yield. Two deep and cross ploughing followed by 2 to 3 cultivators are very important for opening the surface and subsoil.
Before sowing, farmers apply 2 to 3 irrigations? Called “rohni”. When soil comes in a proper condition the crop is cultivated with drill machine after land preparation. Thereafter, irrigation is not needed, especially in tropical areas, throughout crop season called “Bosi Crop”.
Important Insect Pests
- Cut worm
- Red pumpkin beetle
- White fly
- Leaf minor
- Fruit fly
- Powdery mildew
- Downy mildew
- stem canker and
- fusarium / verticlium wilt.
Musk melon should be harvested at full “slip” when the ground colour under the net starts to turn yellowish.