Farmer Cao Thanh Vinh sits by his family's melon plants. Photo: Dinh Thuy
Taking advantage of land areas where long-term trees such as rubber, custard apple and guava are grown in their early years as well as inefficient areas of orange trees, farmers in Nghia Hieu commune have planted kinds of melons for economic efficiency. The whole commune has about 50 hectares of melons and gourds, of which more than 40 hectares, mainly melons, are grown at Son Mong hamlet alone.
Standing on the 4,000m2 melon field under the custard apple trees in Son Mong hamlet, Cao Thanh Vinh said that the honeydew melons have been seeded for 1 month by his family. Currently, they are focusing on pruning branches so that the flowers can bloom.
While intercropping, the family also invests in machines, drip irrigation systems, plastic cover. Therefore, they don’t have to spend much time and efforts weeding and watering. “Growing melons is more economical than other crops such as corn and beans but we must ‘eat and sleep with melons’, closely monitor the weather every day to take appropriate measures to care for and prevent pests and diseases on melons’, Vinh said.
Meanwhile, Phan Van Hien and his family, also in Son Mong hamlet, have planted 4,500m2 of melons this year and they are in the fruiting period. Hien said that due to the unpredictable weather, it is much harder to grow melons than before. Some vines have had curly leaves and have to be plucked. Hien has to visit his farm every day to water and care for the melons.
“Melon varieties uffer from some diseases such as yellow leaves, white bugs. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly check for timely treatment. In addition, in the early season, proper water regulation is important for their growth. We hope that this year's harvest will be good and sold at best price like the previous year to compensate for our hard work”, Hien shared.
Mr. Phan Trung Vinh - Chairman of Nghia Hieu commune’s Farmer's Union said: Most of the melon growing area of Nghia Hieu commune is concentrated in Son Mong - the hamlet with a tradition of agricultural production in Nghia Hieu commune. In the past years, the farmers here used to plant 10-12 ha of melons, but the area has been broadened this year. At this time, melon plants are growing well, the local people focus on caring for and fertilizing melon plants.
Despite the erratic weather, melon growers in Nghia Hieu commune have applied technical advances, using agricultural mulch film to limit water evaporation, control weeds, worms, and aphids that harm melons.
Mr. Ngo Sy Binh - Chairman of Nghia Hieu People's Committee added: In the process of planting new rubber, custard apple, orange trees ... or on land areas that need time to improve, farmers in Nghia Hieu commune interplant melons and gourds to take advantage of the land. In recent years, these crops have shown high economic efficiency in Nghia Hieu commune.
|Farmers need to spend a lot of time and efforts pruning and caring for the plants. Photo: Dinh Thuy|
For melon plants, pests and diseases are very likely to occur. To plant effectively, the farmers need to be knowledgeable and can apply techniques. The Communal People's Committee also coordinates to organize technical guidance classes, pest control for melon plants. At the same time, they spread information for farmers not to massively grow a variety of melon, but to scatter crops instead for better output.
Some areas of melons will be harvested in about 1 month, besides, there are also melon areas that have just been seeded. With this way of growing scattered crops, it will help melon growers in Nghia Hieu commune not harvest massively at one time, avoiding price pressure. Farmers here are also mainly applying organic and biological fertilizers to improve plant quality, hoping for a bumper melon crop.