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Harvest 3 quintals of melons from the garden on the corrugated iron roof

No garden land but hoping to have clean vegetables to eat, Mr. Luan and his wife tinker with hydroponic gardening on the roof of corrugated iron, each harvest 300 kg.

It all started more than three years ago when Pham Van Luan and his wife, in Long Binh Ward, Bien Hoa city, prepared to welcome their first child. “At that time, I had the idea of ​​​​how to have clean and safe vegetables for my wife and children to eat,” Luan, 34, shared.

Without land, a man from Thanh Hoa built a ladder to the roof, taking advantage of the corners of only a few square meters to install a hydroponic rig. The area is limited, but thanks to his hard work, the family has enough vegetables and melons for daily meals. Since then, Luan has always been passionate about hydroponic gardening.

Entering 2021, the family bought a piece of land 10 kilometers away from home and turned it into a farm. Downstairs they raise pigeons, fighting cocks, and squirrels. On the corrugated iron roof, they do hydroponic gardening.

On the day Mr. Luan went to work, in the evening he returned to the farm to design until late at night. With the experience of a mechanical worker, he bought pumps, water pipes and iron to work for three months. With a cost of more than 40 million dong, he made a 60 m2 garden, able to grow 200 melons.

“Initially, I learned how to do it on YouTube, after each crop, I improved gradually. By the time I made this garden, I was no longer surprised,” the young father said.

The garden was completed in July 2021, but at that time, the outbreak of Covid-19 made Luan “three on the spot” at the company for three months. As soon as the quarantine ended in early November, he started the melon crop.

Every day, he often went straight to the garden from the company to take care of melons, many days he worked too late to eat a bowl of instant noodles and then went straight to the office to work overtime. On average, he spends three hours a day in the garden. On weekends, Mr. Luan brings his wife and children here, spending all his time working on the farm. “Many times, my wife and I tell each other that taking care of melons is even harder than taking care of children,” he said.

In this crop, they chose to plant ML38 orange-fleshed melon, a yellow-fleshed, crunchy, high-sweet, short-lived melon variety with a moderate seed cost. After germinating the seeds, they put the gourds on the rig. At this time, the tree absorbs less water, so it does not need much care, until 10 days, it must be pumped regularly.

In the climbing period, they started to be more extreme. If the nutrition is right, the tree must grow 20 cm longer every day. At the end of the day, the couple had to go to the garden to wrap the top of the melon and fix it with clamps. There are days when pollinating melons, both have to take a day off work to keep up with the season.

At 30-35 days, the plants begin to pollinate. A week later will start picking fruit. For each tree, they only choose the most beautiful fruit to leave, but cut off all of them, and cut off the tops to focus on growing the tree.

This stage must add nutrients daily, measure the pH of the water. Many years of growing melons, they learned the most important experience is “prevention is better than cure”. According to Mr. Luan, right from the beginning the garden must be open and airy, the ideal distance between trees is 45 cm, between rows is 1.5 m.

“If it is thicker, the melon lacks sunlight, the fruit is small, and it is susceptible to fungal diseases. I have experienced many successful and failed cases to draw this distance,” said Ms. Thu Hien, Mr. Luan’s wife. They also actively sprayed seaweed and preparations of ginger, chili, and garlic, as well as caught worms by themselves to prevent diseases for the garden.

The melon garden will yield about 40 days after pollination. If the leaves are still green, the melon crop is successful, because they help with photosynthesis and synthesis to sweeten the fruit.

From about half a month before the harvest, the family’s garden becomes an attraction for friends and colleagues. The space on the melon garden is cool, no one wants to come down.

“There were days when a group of nearly a dozen people came to visit, afraid that the corrugated iron roof would collapse, so one by one they climbed the garden,” said Hien.

By the end of February, they had collected more than three quintals of melons. In addition to some to eat and give gifts, Mr. Luan and his wife sold more than two quintals, for about 60,000 VND per kilogram.

Hien said that the price is moderate with the clean growing method, so acquaintances flocked to buy. “There are people who have been dating me for two years, only this time they can eat. Most of them buy about a dozen fruits to eat gradually,” she said.

The proceeds, they continue to reinvest in the garden. With southern weather, melons can be grown all year round. The couple plans to grow four crops of melons a year.

“The main thing about growing melons is not to sell, but to have a passion for growing clean vegetables for family and loved ones. Watching the round melons floating on the rig, they are both sweet and nutritious, we have The feeling of achieving great results,” Luan said.

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