The yield of watermelon per acre:
Many farmers in Makindu, Kitui, Baringo, Garissa, Athi-river, Makueni, and other watermelon growing areas CONSTANTLY report poor harvests per acre of watermelon.
Their low watermelon yield come against…
“a backdrop of Kenya having an IMMENSE potential for high watermelon yield.”
That sorry state of affairs can change for the better… if the watermelon farmers knew what works and what doesn’t.
For that reason, I made it my mission:
“To share my experiences growing watermelon at a profit per acre for the last 3 years.”
I am doing so “with the hope that ANY struggling farmer who reads this, will turnaround his fortunes for the better.”
Therefore—if you’ve come here to know about the potential yield per acre of watermelon—you’re at the right place.
- I’ll share ALL I know about watermelon farming in Kenya,
- the potential watermelon yield an acre is capable of giving…
- So that you can get insane yields like farmers in the, China, Iran, USA, Turkey, Israel and other top watermelon producing countries.
In case you need ANY help, contact me by clicking the Floating WhatsApp Icon on this page.
Doing so will instantly connect your message to me. Once I get it, I will respond to it ASAP!
Free Watermelon Guide for Your Future Reference:
Since watermelon farming is a comprehensive topic, and ONE POST is insufficient to provide all information on watermelon farming.
Consequently, I’ve taken care of that by creating a Free PDF download.
It’s the most Comprehensive Watermelon Guide in Kenya.
It’s yours for FREE for your future reference. To get it to download it here.
From The Desk of Haron Mogeni,
Professional Horticultural Officer and Copywriter,
The watermelon yield per acre is a VITAL point to consider…
It is important to think about it because the yield per acre of watermelon ULTIMATELY determines whether you are profitable or not.
Thinking about yield per acre possible from watermelon would also help:
- Farmers already growing watermelon, and are seeking to increase their yields per acre
- New entrants interested in watermelon farming and would like to Maximize their production in their very first growing season.
Ready? Let’s Get Started.
This question of yield per acre is difficult to answer considering:
There are hundreds of varieties of watermelons and…
The environmental conditions for growing these watermelons are so diverse as the sky is to the ground.
Nevertheless, I will attempt to put a figure behind the yield per acre of watermelon per acre.
(Continue reading below to find it)
I will base the figure on the typical harvests that farmers report in Kenya and across the world.
Before I do that, let me remind you that to increase the yield per acre of watermelon, you have to strive to provide the most optimum conditions for your watermelon.
So before I give any figures on yields per acre of watermelon let us start by considering…
6 Factors That You Can Control to Increase the Yield of Watermelon per acre
1: Grow your watermelon in the Right Location
This is a no brainer, yet farmers make mistake after mistake on it.
They make FATAL errors by growing watermelon in the wrong place.
For example, I know of a newbie farmer who decided to grow watermelon at Kinangop. If you’ve never heard of the place, it is one of the coldest highland areas in Kenya.
Another farmer grew watermelon in Kericho.
Then one day, hailstones pelted his 5-acre watermelon farm, decimating it completely. He ended up losing over Kenya shillings 300,000/=
Despite these stories of losses, there are other stories of big profits earned from watermelon farming.
What made the difference is the knowledge these farmers had.
Well, for starters…
Watermelon is a warm-season crop
It requires temperatures ranging from 25-32 degrees for it to grow fast and sweet.
Therefore, growing watermelon in temperatures outside this range will severely reduce the yield per acre of your farm.
All is not lost for farmers in regions where they simply can’t have this temperature range.
Technology has made it possible to achieve these conditions. They can grow watermelon in greenhouses, plastic tunnels, and other controlled environments.
If the controlled environmental structures are still not capable of giving the right temperature, they can provide supplemental heating.
#2: Provide the Right Soil Conditions
Watermelon is like a human baby.
Provide the baby with the right nutrition, and it will grow into a sharp strong human.
Neglect the nutrition of the baby and it will end up with marasmus or kwashiorkor.
“So how do you provide give watermelon the right soil conditions?”
Add well-rotted goat droppings, cow dung, compost, farmyard manure, and other organic matter. It must be fertile and rich in organic matter. The good news is all this is under your control. That’s not all…
Conduct regular soil tests that will help you determine the nutrient deficiencies in your soil.
- Once you know these deficiencies, correct them as soon as possible by applying the right fertilizer.
- Take advantage of the current technology of the use of foliar fertilizers and plant hormones to boost the yield per acre of watermelon.
# 3: Provide Sufficient Water to Increase Yield Per Acre of Watermelon.
Rain is the cheapest source of water for any farmer.
However, it has its own challenges. It could be too much or too little to impact watermelon farming.
Nevertheless, you’ve got to find a system of taking advantage of this gift from nature so that you can reduce your expenditure while increasing yields.
During the critical stages of germination, flowering, and fruiting, watermelons require sufficient amounts of water.
Insufficient water would lead to poor germination of the seed, flower abortion, and shriveling of fruits or development of spongy fruits.
So if your area has challenges in the regularity and sufficiency of rain, you’ll have to supplement that with irrigation.
Excess water will lower the yield of watermelon per acre.
When you’ve got excess water during the initial stages of plant growth, the plants will suffer from bacterial and fungal diseases that lead to rotting and eventual death of the plant.
Lots of water after the fruit has matured will lead to the busting of the fruits.
What can you do to control excess water or rain?
- If you anticipate that you’ll have a lot of rain, dig drainage channels.
- Time the season so that fruit maturity and harvesting does not coincide with the rainy season.
Do the above and excess water will be a thing of the past!
#4:Grow the Right Watermelon Variety to Maximize Your Returns Per Acre
As I said before, there are hundreds of watermelon varieties in Kenya, and across the world.
Each variety has a different yield potential per acre.
The varieties with the least potential are the open-pollinated varieties and those with the maximum yield potential are the F1 hybrids.
The list below constitutes the watermelon varieties, the weight of single fruit, their yield per acre, and the Company Selling that watermelon variety:
- Crimson Sweet, 8-10 KG/ fruit, 30-40 tons/acre, sold by Royal Seed Company.
- Sugar Baby, 20-30 tons/acre, sold by Royal Seed Company.
- Early Scarlet F1, 50-60 tons/acre, sold by Royal Seed Company.
- Adanman 636 F1, 40-50 tons/acre, sold by Royal Seed Company.
- Asali F1, 10-12 KG/plant, 30-40 tons/acre sold by Royal Seed Company
- Daytona F1, Sold by Kenya Seed Company.
- Charleston Grey, Sold by Kenya Seed Company.
- Sugar Belle F1, Sold by Kenya Seed Company.
- Honeybee F1, Sold by Kenya Seed Company.
- Sweet Rose F1, Sold by Kenya Seed Company.
- Lahat F1, 9-11 KG/fruit, Amiran Seed Company.
- Riverside 6801 F1, 11-13KG/fruit, Amiran Seed Company.
- Maridadi F1, 8-10KG/fruit, Amiran Seed Company.
The above is just a small list of watermelon varieties in Kenya, weight per fruit, and yield per acre for each variety.
#5: Use The Correct Plant Population/acre. This is VITAL for High Yields Per acre of Watermelon
To maximize your yield per acre, ensure you have a watermelon plant population of 2,500 plants per acre.
If you have too few plants, you’ll be wasting space and resources like water and fertilizers.
If you have more than 2,500 plants, the competition between the watermelon plants will be too high. That competition will result in smaller fruits and reduced yields per acre. Always ensure you have the right watermelon spacing for best yields
Yields Per Acre of Watermelon Recorded by Various Farmers in Kenya
When it comes to watermelon farming in Kenya, Japheth Ong’ayi, a farmer in Madunguni, near River Galana, in Malindi, has seen it all.
He has seen both the profitable and loss making seasons.
Despite experiencing various challenges with the crop, he says he obtains watermelon yields of between 20-30 tons per acre. He says he’s uses up to Ksh 120,000/= to grow an acre of watermelon.
On bad seasons, he sells his watermelons at Ksh 8/= per Kilo thus earning a profit of Ksh 40,000/= to 120,000/=. His profits depend on his yields per acre of watermelon.
His story was featured by the seeds of Gold of the Daily Nation.
You can read the story here.
Amiran Kenya Expert Says: “Watermelon Can Give you 100 Tons/Acre!”
Johnstone Makau of Amiran Kenya says that half an acre can yield 10,000 fruits of Lahat F1 watermelon variety.
Each fruit of the variety can attain a weight of 10 Kg. That means, half an acre can produce 100,000 Kg of fruit.
On good seasons, a kilo of watermelon sells for between Ksh 25/= to Ksh 40/=
From that data, we can deduce that ½ an acre of watermelon can give you a gross income of Kenya shillings 2,500,000/= to 4,000,000/=
You can read the story here:
Class 8 Leaver Makes 2.5 million Net Income from Watermelon.
watermelon farming in Kenya: Dropping out of school due to lack of school meant that Kariuki Musyoka had to work harder than his peers in order to earn a living. The trade he knew well then was farming and that is what he chose to venture into.
He decided to get into watermelon farming reluctantly.
Little did he know this would change his life forever.
Read the full story here.
Watermelon Yields Per Acre Can Be massive if you make it your purpose!
Free watermelon farming Guide PDF
Haron – many thanks for this very informative article. I enjoyed reading it.
A quick question. Been on the Royal Seed website and they no longer offer Early Scarlet F1 seeds. Do you know any other company in Kenya that sell them? I’m struggling to find any suppliers. Asali F1 is available but it yields around 40 tons an acre whereas Early Scarlet produces 50 – 60 tons per acre. Given the increased yield Early Scarlet would appear to be the logical choice. Would you agree?
I will do my research to find out if there’s a company selling the variety.
However, there’s one issue.
If a company discontinues selling a seeds of a particular watermelon variety, it could be the market is no longer interested in the variety.
Haron – one additional question. I’ve read an article that states it is possible to plant two crops during the course of one year. Does this seem feasible from your perspective?
That’s very possible in the tropics where we have over 8 months of hot weather.
Furthermore watermelon requires 85-105 days from planting to harvest.