Growing great watermelons in lowland tropics - a challenge

We are working with low fertility soils, in a remote village location in Indonesia which experiences a long dry season.

We are choosing to create what are known as zai holes in the literature, prior to planting. Holes about 40 x 40 cm by 30 cm deep are dug and filled with green leaves from legumes and if possible about 1.5-2 litres of chicken manure.

The plan is to cover these with soil – leave for 6-8 weeks, then plant 3 seeds of watermelon.

Here is Peuraria phaseoloides going into holes, with other planting sites left as per usual- to assess the effectiveness of the holes.

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