The Asahi area in Hokota City, Ibaraki Prefecture is an area where upland farming is the center and greenhouse horticulture using vinyl greenhouses is thriving. The climate is mild, and the soil is the Kanto loam layer (a stratum consisting of volcanic ash that fell during the period of active volcanic activity about 130,000 to 20,000 years ago) and is distributed throughout the country. For this reason, it seems that there are different names depending on the region. Kyushu’s Shirasu and Kanto loam are representative of this. The formation age is classified as the Pleistocene, and it is a very old and stable stratum. The age when this volcanic ash was deposited is It seems that it can be broadly classified into two types: 130,000 to 60,000 years ago, when the sea level was relatively high and volcanic ash fell on the entire wetland. It is said to be called a layer (equivalent to Shimosueyoshi loam), etc. After that, the earth entered an ice age.During the ice age, much water freezes, so the sea level drops sharply. This state continued until about 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Subsequently, volcanic ash continued to fall during this time. For this reason, the volcanic ash seems to have fallen on land and deposited. This is the stratum generally called the Kanto loam layer. In addition, its characteristics vary greatly depending on the region, and the loam layer is generally viscous. It is soil the soil particles are fine, and they contain minerals called clay minerals. When these are placed in a sedimentary environment for a long time (tens of thousands of years), they are chemically bonded to create a unique character. Loam layer Similarly, because special bonds are created between particles, it is a strong and firm ground, and it seems to be suitable as a supporting ground for buildings.) It has good drainage and a large temperature difference between day and night. The cultivation of melons and tomatoes is thriving. In addition, efforts are being made to introduce highly marketable crops and improve cultivation techniques, and it is highly praised as a region with many successors and a very high desire for cultivation. Among them, melons are one of the leading production areas in Japan, and Ibaraki Prefecture is the number one production area for melons. The three products of spring melon, earl’s melon, and tomato are designated as a production area for fruits and vegetables in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Honeybees are much more efficient than human labor, and they are very clever insects that always stop at flowers that bloom that day. It does the work of mating on behalf of the farmer. And the crossbreeding process is very labor-intensive, and it is difficult to tell which flowers have pollen and which do not. As you know, melon flowers bloom around dawn, but pollen from male flowers lasts only a few hours, so it seems that they will not bear fruit unless mating is done by mid-morning. Honeybees are doing it properly every morning as if they know this menstruation.
I heard from a farmer I know that if the melons in the Greenhouse are pollinated at the same time as much as possible, the fruits will grow evenly and a lot of good fruits will be harvested. If the pollination is uneven, the fruit setting position will not be aligned vertically, and the size of the fruit will also vary, resulting in a decrease in yield and quality. Therefore, it seems that they alternate hope and fear every year for the weather during the pollination season. Female melon flower The ovary at the base swells and grows into a large melon. Thanks to the honeybees, if the mating goes well, the ovary of the female flower will grow, but it seems that some of them wither and fall off on the way. In addition, there are some fruits that are deformed due to poor pollination or various reasons, so they are made to bear fruit on three nodes. In the end, it seems that only one will be left and the rest will be cut.