HOW TO GROW MELOTRIA SHSHOVOY
There are about 80 species in the melotria family, which are distributed mainly in the tropics of both hemispheres. Some species, especially dangling and spot melotria, are used in decorative gardening for landscaping balconies, loggias, greenhouses.
The plant grows very quickly and with its rough antennae easily attaches to various supports and braids them completely, suppressing all kinds of weeds. At the same time, its lateral shoots take root very quickly.
But for our gardens is most suitable melodic melody. In nature, it is distributed mainly in Africa. Until now, this African cucumber belongs to exotic products, and it is rarely grown. In fact, this plant is unpretentious and can be safely planted on its site.
Melotria develops lashes up to 3 m long. Its leaves are similar to cucumber, only smaller. Bright yellow dioecious flowers in abundance are located on plants: women singly, and men - in bunches of several pieces. Leaves, unlike cucumber, do not turn yellow for a long time and remain bright green until late autumn.
Plants are thermophilic, require enough light, prefer fertile and light on mechanical structure soil, like watering, but excess moisture is poorly tolerated.
Melotria blooms and bears fruit from June to the very frosts. The plant is very productive: from one bush you can collect up to 5 kg of fruits. They are small (2-3 cm long), light green, with dense skin. They are also distinguished from cucumbers by the fact that the shell is not even green, but marble, like a watermelon, in color.
The fruits taste like fresh cucumbers. Their peel is harsh with sourness. They are tastier when very small and still almost without seeds. These fruits can be eaten raw, added to salads, they are good in pickling. Pickled fruits acquire a special taste, especially if a little pepper is added to the marinade.
When growing seedlings, seeds are sown at the end of April in boxes with a nutrient mixture. They are quite small, so you can not sprinkle them with earth, but place them on the surface, cover the container with film and put it in a warm place.
Shoots appear quickly - on the 3-7-day, but at low temperatures or a deep-seated planting they can rise in a month. Therefore, it is very important to ensure the crops temperature around 25-27 degrees.
Melotrius favors picking and transplanting. If the core root is damaged, a powerful root system is formed from the accessory roots. When the 3-th true leaf is formed, seedlings are dived into separate pots - two or three seedlings. A week after the transplant, when the seedlings are actively starting to grow, they are fed with complex fertilizer. Plants are regularly watered to prevent waterlogging.
Young melotriy need to ensure a bright location, and the temperature of the seedlings should be quite high.
Landing of melotria in open ground
Seedlings are planted in a permanent place at the age of 25-30 days. It is better to arrange the beds for its cultivation on the southern side of buildings or fences. Seedlings are placed on them through 30-35 cm in a row and a vertical trellis is immediately installed along the bed. Melotria blooms and bears fruit to the very frosts.
The plant transplant is well tolerated, quickly taking root in a new place. However, in the case of return frosts, it is better to cover them with a film.
Until the plant has grown, the ground is weeded and gently loosened around the stem, trying not to damage the root. In the future, melotria, greatly growing, will itself suppress weeds.
Lateral shoots lying on the ground are well rooted. Therefore, when you need to quickly decorate a vertical plane, this plant fits perfectly.
If you grow melotria for landscaping, then at the beginning of the growth of the plant you need to feed it with nitrogen fertilizers, this will immediately cause a lush growth of greenery.
And if there is a desire to get fruits, then in the flowering phase it is necessary to bring in 1 square m beds in 1 Art. l nitrophoski, and at the beginning and end of July - according to 1 tsp phosphorus and potash fertilizers.
The first fruits will appear very quickly - within two weeks after planting. And after a couple of weeks they can be collected. The miracle vine grows rapidly, bears fruit until the frost.
To provide yourself with plenty of this exotic, ten pots of seedlings are enough.
After active fruiting of the ground part of gardeners, a pleasant surprise awaits: in the land there is a crop of juicy root crops, in size and shape resembling sweet potato tubers or sweet radish. They are not stored at all, so they must be used immediately after digging. They resemble cucumber and radish at the same time, and instead of these two vegetables they can be used in salads.
See also: Ogurlimon (photo) landing and care
Melotria can be successfully used on the site and as a decorative culture. At the same time, she looks exceptionally beautiful, and her elegant foliage remains green until the very frosts. Quickly growing, it can decorate the gazebo, the wall of the house, the fence, the barn.
For the formation of a green "screen" it is better to pull in the right place the supporting grid, for which this plant will cling. Other materials can be used as a support - twine, wire, thin branches remaining after pruning garden trees.
In addition, melotria grows well in boxes, containers, flower pots, so it can be used for landscaping windows, walls and other places where you can not plant plants directly in the ground.
For plant lovers who do not have a garden, for planting greenery and getting fruits they can successfully grow melotria in a flower pot on a sunny balcony.
This plant has another very large and important advantage: in comparison with all the numerous "relatives", it is very resistant to pests and is practically not affected by diseases.
See also: Ogurlimon (photo) landing and care
MELOTRIA - RECIPE ON VIDEO
© Author: Darya Dmitrievna CHERNYAEVA, Ekaterinburg
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