Document Sample
Watermelon_6_ Powered By Docstoc
					    University of Kentucky                                         College of Agriculture                                           New Crop Opportunities Center

  Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a warm season
  crop in the Cucurbit family. As with other vining
  crops in this family, watermelons can require
  considerable space, depending on the production

  Marketing and Market Outlook
  Kentucky fresh market seeded and seedless                                                  third of the plants in the field should be seeded
  watermelons are currently being sold at produce                                            watermelons to provide adequate pollination.
  auctions and farmers markets throughout the                                                Alternately, an unharvested pollinator variety can
  state. Other marketing options include roadside                                            be inserted between every third plant. Disease
  and on-farm stands, local retailers, food services,                                        resistance to anthracnose, Fusarium fruit rot, and/
  and wholesale markets.                                                                     or Fusarium wilt is available in some cultivars.
                                                                                             Growers should select only adapted varieties that
  Seedless watermelons have helped this crop                                                 have the qualities in demand for the intended
  become more popular with U.S. consumers                                                    market.
  in recent years. Current consumer trends call
  for smaller “icebox” and seedless melons,                                                  Site selection and planting
  pre-cut melon quarters and halves, uniquely                                                Watermelon should not follow watermelon,
  colored melon varieties (such as yellow-fleshed                                            other cucurbits (such as cucumber, squash, or
  watermelons), and “mini” seedless watermelons.                                             pumpkin), tomatoes, or peppers for at least 3
                                                                                             years. This crop grows best in sandy or sandy
  Production Considerations                                                                  loam soils. Watermelons grown on heavier soils
  Cultivar selection                                                                         tend to be irregular in shape and may contain less
  Watermelon cultivars differ in such horticultural                                          sugar.
  traits as fruit shape (round to oblong), rind color
  (light to dark green, with or without stripes),                                            Direct-seeding has been the most common
  fruit size (35 pounds to 10 pounds or less), and                                           way of planting watermelons. Seed should
  flesh color (red, dark red, orange, and yellow).                                           not be planted until the soil temperature has
  Varieties may be classified as open-pollinated,                                            warmed up sufficiently to promote rapid
  F1 hybrid, or triploid (seedless)                                                                         germination. Another method
  depending on how they were                                                                                is to set transplants that have
  developed.        When growing                                                                            been started from seed in a
  seedless varieties, about one                                                                             greenhouse.      This method

Agriculture & Natural Resources • Family & Consumer Sciences • 4-H/Youth Development • Community & Economic Development

        Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.
must be used for seedless watermelons due to         cultivars. Good spray coverage with appropriate
their high seed costs and exacting germination       fungicides/bactericides is essential. Watermelon
requirements. Transplants should be planted          insect pests include aphids, cucumber beetles,
in the field around the time the first true leaves   and mites. As with all vegetables, weeds can be
appear. Transplanted melons generally mature         a serious problem in commercial fields. Black
10 days to 2 weeks earlier than direct-seeded        plastic mulch usually works well to remove
crops.                                               weed pressure from within rows and selective
                                                     herbicides can be used in middles between rows.

                                                     Harvest and storage
                                                     Watermelons are hand-harvested when fully ripe.
                                                     “Thumping” the fruit is not a reliable indicator
                                                     of fruit maturity. The presence of a dead tendril
                                                     at the point where the fruit attaches to the vine
                                                     helps in determining when to harvest seeded
                                                     watermelons, but is not useful for seedless
                                                     varieties. The best indicator for ripeness is the
                                                     change in color of the underside of the melon
                                                     where it comes into contact with the ground.
Black plastic mulch in raised beds with drip         However, because this color varies among
irrigation has been used successfully with           cultivars, growers must become familiar with
watermelons. Advantages of plastic mulch             the varieties grown to determine the best stage
include: soils warm up faster, soil moisture is      of harvest. Melons should be handled gently to
retained, nutrient leaching is prevented, and        avoid bruising. Cooling harvested fruit removes
weeds are controlled. Planting in raised beds        field heat and prolongs shelf-life. Watermelons
encourages earlier maturity and improves soil        may be stored for 3 to 4 weeks at the proper
drainage. A hand corn planter can be used            temperature and relative humidity.
for planting seed through the plastic while a
bulb setter or waterwheel setter may be used         Labor requirements
effectively for transplanting. Trickle irrigation    Per acre labor needs for trickle irrigated
increases fruit quality and quantity. In addition,   watermelon are approximately 20 hours for
fertilizer can be injected through the irrigation    production, 60 hours for harvest, and 10 hours
system.                                              for grading. An additional 10 hours per acre is
                                                     needed for plastic removal following harvest.
Wild bees will help provide pollination;
however, beehives should be used to ensure good      Economic Considerations
pollination in commercial plantings. One strong      Initial investments include land preparation and
hive per 2 acres is generally considered adequate.   the purchase of seed or transplants. Additional
                                                     start-up costs can include the installation of an
Pest management                                      irrigation system and black plastic mulch.
Gummy stem blight is the most widespread
and serious disease of watermelon in Kentucky.       Production costs for trickle-irrigated watermelon
Other diseases that can result in crop losses        are estimated at $1,325 (seeded) and $1,590
include anthracnose, Alternaria leaf spot,           (seedless) per acre with harvest and marketing
Cercospora leaf spot, and yellow vine decline.       costs at $1,412 (seeded) and $1,432 (seedless) per
Some disease resistance is available in certain      acre. Total expenses per acre are approximately
$3,170 (seeded) and $3,450 (seedless).                      • Vegetable and Melon Budgets (University of
                                                            Kentucky, 2008)
Since returns vary depending on actual yields     
and market prices, the following per acre returns           vegbudgets08.html
to land and management estimates are based on               • Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial
three different scenarios. Conservative estimates           Growers, ID-36 (University of Kentucky)
represent the University of Kentucky’s statewide  
average cost and return estimates for 2009.                 htm
                                                            • Commercial Watermelon Production, Bulletin
Seeded watermelonS                                          996 (University of Georgia, 2000)
Pessimistic           Conservative            Optimistic
 $(557) *               $(198) *                 $555
                                                            • Factors Affecting Watermelon Consumption
SeedleSS watermelonS
                                                            in the United States (USDA, 2000)
Pessimistic          Conservative             Optimistic
 $(600) *               $210                     $550
* Parentheses indicate a negative number, i.e. a net loss
                                                            • High Tunnel Melon and Watermelon
                                                            Production (University of Missouri, 2006)
Selected Resources                                
• IPM Scouting Guide for Common Problems                    DisplayPub.aspx?P=M173
of Cucurbit Crops in Kentucky, ID-91                        • Watermelon (Agricultural Marketing
(University of Kentucky, 2009)                              Resource Center, 2009)      
pdf                                                         vegetables/watermelon.cfm

Photos courtesy of Steve Patton, UK Ag Communications Services                                       Issued 2002
(whole melons) and John Strang, University of Kentucky (cut melons)                            Revised June 2010
                       For additional information, contact your local County Extension agent

Shared By:
Tags: Watermelon
Description: "Wearing a long skirt, not because he wanted to ladies, but because my legs round that it is ... ah!" Xia Tianxiu also want to show their short skirts and a small hot pants? Noproblem, eating watermelon can! Its acid Huang Sufu with lemon detox elements, fat people make a lot of salt discharge, especially for more effective easy leg edema. In addition, it's also a lot of potassium, can play a modified legs lines, shaping the role of leg muscles. Two-pronged approach, not leg curvy immune!