Plantae incorporates a new crop to the many that it already controls with humidity and temperature sensors, the melon .
Melon is a very popular tropical fruit that adapts to the climate of Spain, mainly to areas with a lot of sun.
Spain is the leading melon producer in Europe according to FAO data.
We will develop its characteristics and the ideal way to grow it.
Varieties del melón
We consider that the varieties of melons attend to their color, shape and roughness of their skin and we name the best known in Spain.
- Yellow melon. It is of Spanish origin and with a very white and juicy meat. It is rounded, smooth and yellow.
- Toad skin . Green in color and one of the most common in the Spanish market. Grown especially in Castilla la Mancha.
- Charentais. Of French origin and with veined greenish colors.
- Gaul. Of Israeli origin, rounded and consumed all year round.
Special characteristics of melon cultivation
The melon plant is developed by seeds that, once they have germinated, are transplanted with some characteristics that we are going to develop:
- Soil : preferably clay loam , with good drainage, high content of organic matter and pH between 6 and 7.
- Padding : favorable to control the degree of humidity, especially in the first development of the plant. It also favors the degree of constant temperature and prevents evapotranspiration.
- Irrigation : essential in the initial period of growth and fruit ripening, but without stagnations, it is a very sensitive plant. The most advisable is drip irrigation. Good control of subsoil moisture is essential for the quality and quantity of the fruit.
- Hours of sunshine : notably influence the sweetness of the fruit.
- Relative humidity: relationship between the amount of water vapor that an air mass has and the maximum it could have. Important in the conservation of the melon once collected. If it is not adequate, fungi may appear.
Control by sensors / probes and other technologies Plantae
- Humidity and conductivity sensors / probes: subsoil humidity is controlled at different depths and we avoid puddles while saving water and energy.
- Soil temperature sensors / probes.
- Flowmeter: allows real-time reporting of the irrigation applied as well as deficiencies between the actual irrigation and the one estimated by the farmer, technician or irrigator, as well as the correlation of data between the liters supplied and soil moisture.
- Room temperature sensor : it will indicate the ideal time to water, prevent possible frosts and assess the time of flowering, among others.
- Subsoil temperature sensor : indicates the temperature at different depths. This new data will allow controlling the temperature in the subsoil and comparing the data with the ambient temperature and other parameters.
The installation has been carried out in Murcia in an ecological plantation. They are 15, 30 cm and 60 cm sensors to assess humidity at those depths.
Intensive plantation in the Balearic Islands
We visited the intensive melon greenhouses in Mallorca. After checking the greenhouses, the type of terrain and the type of irrigation, we installed humidity, subsoil temperature and conductivity sensors at depths of 20 centimeters to monitor the wet bulb around the root system.
The climatic conditions of the land and the ideal climate of the Balearic Islands and with controlled irrigation make production gain in quality and quantity.
The hours of sunshine in the area increase the sweetness of the melon.