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New varieties of melon attract people’s eyes

With the coming of the summer, the melons and fruits have been ready for harvest at the agricultural technology demonstration zone located near the Dongqian Lake.

When coming to the sweet melon greenhouse of the demonstration zone set up by Ningbo Academy of Agricultural Sciences, one can see the white sweet melons hanging from the branches rather than lying on the ground as they should be. According to a senior agronomist from the academy, there are now 98 varieties of the sweet melon at the greenhouse.

To hang up the melons will increase the planting density and improve the appearance of them by exposing them more evenly to the sunshine. However, it also demands a more careful management. With the drip fertilization and irrigation technology and meticulous care, the new varieties of melon taste sweeter than the ordinary ones. So far, the planting area of the sweet melon in Ningbo has exceeded 45,000 mu, with about 40% of them being the hanging-up varieties.

At the demonstration zone, a kind of small watermelon, with the size of a fist, hanging on the branches, is also a sight to people. Ying Quansheng, Deputy Director of the Vegetable Institute of Ningbo Academy of Agricultural Sciences told the reporter that these are a new variety called “apple watermelon”. After two years’ efforts, they have cultivated the new variety which can be eaten easily with the skin of the melon peeled. In about a week, the apple watermelons will be ripen for picking. If the new variety proves to be a success at the testing phase, it will be industrialized and soon will be seen in the markets.

In addition, a new grafting technique has made it possible to plant watermelons and sweet melons on the same "mother root", with both of them retaining their own tastes.

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