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Speciality Melon Evaluation

David L. Coffey

 

Interpretative Summary

Seven cultivars of specialty type melons including two honey dew cultivars were evaluated in 2002. Performance from all cultivars was less than optimum. Plants experienced 3 consecutive nights of freezing or near freezing temperatures some after transplanting into the field, thus delaying growth and plant vigor somewhat. Overall yields and fruit size were less than desired. The performance of ‘Passport’, an early maturing, specialty type melon has characteristics favorable for local fresh market production.

Introduction

In the muskmelon family, several other types from Europe and Asia, often referred to as specialty melons, are gaining in popularity in the United States. These melons are of highest eating quality and are smaller than typical cantaloupes and honeydew melons. Fruits average 11/2 to 2 lbs and are very sweet and aromatic and with distinctive smooth greenish to yellow rind. Most of these types of melons are not especially resilient for lasting quality and are recommended for local market or home garden use. They have a softer rind/skin and do not hold as well as shipping type cantaloupes and honeydew melons.

Materials and Methods

Seven hybrid cultivars were evaluated at Knoxville Experiment Station in 2002. Seeds were grown in the grown in the greenhouse in 4.5 in peat pots. Plants were transplanted to the field on May 14, 2002. Experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block with 4 replications. Individual plots consisted of 7 hills/plot spaced 36 inches apart and 2 plants per hill. Black plastic on 6 inch raised beds equipped with trickle irrigation was utilized. All plots were fertilized with 500 lbs/a broadcast application of 10-10-10 prior to mulch installation. Additional nitrogen totaling 60 lbs/a N was applied in weekly increments in drip irrigation with equal amounts from calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate.

Results

Table 1. Numbers of marketable fruits of honeydew and specialty melon cultivars evaluated the University of Tennessee Knoxville Experiment Station, 2002.


Cultivar Marketable

 

number per acre

total lbs./acre

Early Dew

4209ab

21199abc

Honey Brew

2192b

10917bc

San Juan

1827b

7110c

Gailicum

1973b

5813c

Passport

7745a

32604a

Sonora

5553ab

2685ab

Rocky Sweet

3361b

15009ab

Means in a column followed by the same letter do no differ significantly according to Duncan’s Mulitple Range Test at P=0.05.

Table 2. Weights of marketable fruits and sugar content of honeydew and specialty melon cultivars evaluated the University of Tennessee Knoxville experiment Station, 2002


Cultivar

Fruit Weight
Marketable

Fruit
Sugar Content

 

(lb.)

(EBrix)

Early Dew

5.0ab

11.2a

Honey Brew

5.4a

10.9a

San Juan

4.0bc

10.3a

Gallicum

3.0c

9.2a

Passport

4.1abc

9.6a

Sonora

4.9ab

10.1a

Rocky Sweet

4.4abc

10.1a

Means in a column followed by the same letter do not differ significantly according to Duncan’s Multiple Range Test at P=0.05.

Copyright © 1999 by The University of Tennessee. All rights reserved.

This research represents one season's data and does not constitute recommendations.  After sufficient data is collected over the appropriate number of seasons, final recommendations will be made through research and extension publications.

 

 

 

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