DRIP IRRIGATION FOR MELON

Cultivation classification and dissemination

Melon (Cucumis Melo L.) is a vegetable species belonging to the family cucurbitaceae and the genus cucumis. The three main varieties cultivated include the cantaloupe melon, the honeydew melon and the winter melon, which differ in the shape and size of the fruit, the colour and roughness of the rind, and the colour and aroma of the flesh. The melon is now widely cultivated worldwide, especially in China, Turkey and Iran.

Water requirements

The seasonal water needs of melon are very high: the total water intake, in fact, varies from 4000 to 6000 m3/ha (source FAO-56). These water intake figures must be interpreted according to seasonal climate trends (based on rain estimates and data received from weather stations) and in accordance with the company’s production goals.

Irrigation system for melon

The irrigation system that is most suitable for melon cultivation is undoubtedly the drop-by-drop system, which makes it possible to pursue the goal of delivering the strictly necessary volume of water to the plant while limiting waste both in terms of water (through low flow rates and extreme localisation of the drop) and energy (through low operating pressures).

In addition, short and frequent irrigation shifts improve the efficiency of irrigation, ensuring that the plant remains in an optimal water status.

Driplines and tubing

With reference to the more classic melon cultivation systems (in the open field or in forced cultivation under greenhouse tunnels), the irrigation system provides for the installation of a single light dripline (6-8-10-12 mm thick) along the row of seedlings, under the mulching cloth; typically, drop point spacing of 20-40 cm is used, with flow rates ranging from 2 to 4 l/h.

With this in mind, Irritec recommends the use of Irritec Tape or Irritec P1, Irritec’s historic lightweight dripline with a flat drip head which, thanks to its wide range of flow rates, spacings, thicknesses and diameters, is synonymous with reliability, excellent performance, durability and versatility.

For the main and header tubing and the classic polyethylene tubes, Irritec recommends the LayFlat tube, which, being light, flexible and easily rewindable at the end of the season, is well suited to cultivating melons, which are usually rotated in different plots.

Filtration system

The filtration system is the main element of a drip system. It safeguards the irrigation system from occlusion and ensures that each drip head delivers the design rated amount, ensuring uniformity to each sector.

Irritec offers a wide range of filters, suitable for different sources of water supply. Generally, after primary filtration by de-sander (hydrocyclone), with quartzite filters or, again, with disc filter coils (in manual or automatic versions), Irritec recommends the use of mesh or disc sector filters, which provide additional security for the driplines.

Fertigation for melon

In order to achieve a good level of production, it is important to equip the irrigation system with a fertigation system capable of injecting fertilisers into the pipeline as precisely as possible. In fact, despite the short duration of the cultivation cycle, the melon, due to its morphological and physiological characteristics (creeping bearing, covering leaves, intense growth rate), benefits greatly from fertilisers suitably integrated with the irrigation practice; insufficient availability of nutrients can lead, for example, to a reduction in vegetative growth and the production of small fruits.

For fertigation of melons, Irritec recommends simple and extremely versatile systems for both open field and greenhouse-tunnel applications: one can opt for classic Venturi systems or for the Ferticlick bypass, a device that allows a single nutrient solution to be injected into the pipeline in a volumetric (50 to 500 l/h) or proportional manner (a meter with a pulse emitter – 100 or 1000 l/impulse, is required to be installed on the main line).

The proportional administration of fertiliser diluted in water clearly increases the efficiency of fertigation practice because, unlike the volumetric method, it improves the absorption processes by the plant.

Melon Growing - Drip Irrigation System Irritec

A practical example of how to drip irrigate melon:

Irrigation System for Melon - Design - Irritec

Here are the Irritec products to drip irrigate melon

1

P1® – IRRITEC TAPE®

High-quality hoses with turbulent flow drip head designed for open-field irrigation and under protective installations. Easy to lay and install, they have excellent occlusion resistance. Available in various models that can cover long lengths with maximum uniformity of delivery.

P1 and tape for melon - Driplines Irritec

2

LAYFLAT TUBING AND FITTINGS

Single-ply PVC flexible pipeline reinforced with a high-strength fabric that is easy to handle and store. Facilitates end-of-season operations for irrigation systems that need to be moved quickly and safely. Lightweight and flexible yet durable, it reduces installation costs and recovery time. Easy to cut and equipped with a wide range of connections makes the layflat pipe system
an indispensable accessory for drip irrigation of tomatoes. Available from 2.4 to 6 bar, in all commercial diameters from 1 1/2″ to 8″.

Tubing for melon irrigation - Irritec

3

FILTERS

Irritec® filters provide the best filter protection for every irrigation system. The simple and safe structure, the result of precise construction technology, reduces maintenance to a minimum. Resistant to pressure fluctuations and external stress, the filters feature robust and flexible filter elements. Hydraulic tightness
is ensured even at high pressures and the filter elements guarantee maximum filtration efficiency. The variety of filtration degrees available (from 20 to 450 mesh) can meet all filtering needs.

4

FERTIGATION

Irritec® fertigation systems combine practicality and reliability with a modern nutrient injection system. Fertiliser management is regulated by simple fertigation recipes that can be set according to agronomic and nutritional requirements. Proper hydraulic management, which is essential for conveying the right nutrition to plants, is ensured by years of experience in sizing machines and equipment and by reliable and certified materials.

5

DRIPLINE FITTINGS AND BRANCHES

Complete range for tape connection, light and classic dripline, available in sizes 16, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 29 mm.

Fittings and branches for Melon - Irritec

Discover how to irrigate others crops

Irritec wants to make life easier for those who take care of the plants, for work and for passion. We aim to ensure that every drop is spent as well as possible, minimizing the ecological footprint.

Agronomic Irritec Team support the farmer also on after-sale and installation, with continuous assistance and efficiency control. Continuous attention to the customer needs to provide succesful and sustainable solution with an efficience service.