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A fruit-bearing attitude

Melons ripening in our aquaponics system

 

On Wednesday we noticed the first melons ripening in our aquaponics system inside the first greenhouse. It’s not happened by accident. In fact the previous week I followed the instructions for hand pollinating the female flowers with two male flowers each.

 

In such a way to improve the shots of fruiting, which have steadily grown up and bloomed for the last month but without bearing any fruits. Indeed, there are no natural pollinators to play the key role of triggering the process.

This is one of the disadvantages to take into account when you implement an indoor farming facility. Especially if you situate it in an urban area.

Nevertheless, this morning I saw a pair of flying ants lurking around the flowers of melon inside our first greenhouse. Maybe they needed all this time to detect them.

However, at the moment we didn’t have reached the expected results yet. In other words, the flowers which don’t develop into fruits are still many more than the fruit-bearing flowers.

Unproductive flower of melon

Even so it’s amazing how rapidly these small, cute melons are growing.  I can’t wait to harvest and taste them.

In the meantime other flowers are blooming and it’s important to keep up with the hand pollination of the female flowers. But to be honest it’s not such a easy management operation (at least for me!), since the flowers are really delicate and many times I end up ripping them off the stem during my attempts of pollination. Besides, according to my current experience it’s not so obvious the identification of the female and male flowers. In fact, it mainly consists in the size of the receptacle, that is thinner in the male and larger in the female ones.

Melon-ripening-in-our-aquaponics-system

Actually, the fruiting of the melon plant reminds a lot of the mammalian pregnancy. After all, the receptacle gradually swells as up to lose all the petals and become a fruit itself.

 

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