2006 Statewide Watermelon Trial - Cultural Practices Specific to Location


Transplanted: February 16, 2006 (average plant population of 1,089plants/ A)
Harvested (three times): May 12,19 and 26th, 2006
 Fertilization: Fertilized with 12-12-6 at 10gal/A (wt. 10.71 lbs/gal) for a total of seven times on every other irrigation run through the course of the season. (Rate of actual N-P-K in lbs per acre of 90-90-45).
 Irrigation:  Transplanted plants into test plot and drip irrigated Feb.24th. Drip tape was placed 6 inches deep and 6 inches offset from the center of the black plastic mulch bed. About 1 inch of water was applied per acre during each irrigation for a total of 14 irrigations on about 5 to 7 day intervals.
 Pest Control: After plants were established two applications of Platinum were applied 1 week apart at 4oz/A. Three applications of Ridomil-Gold Bravo at 2 lbs/A were applied for general prevention of downy mildew. One application of Nova was applied for powdery mildew and one application of Trigard was applied for leafminers.
 Study Comments: Excellent yields and quality was observed in this sandy location. Overall the season was very dry with some showers near the 3rd harvest. Whitefly and leafminers were present but kept under control with downy mildew being observed after the 3rd harvest.

College Station

Transplanted: April 20, 2006 (average plant population of 1,633 plants/ A)
Harvested (two times): July 7 and 20th, 2006
 Fertilization: Weekly applications of fertilizer thru drip consisting of N-32 one week then 8-23-6 the next week, at a rate of 5 gal/A with enough water to wet the bed under the plastic mulch.
 Irrigation: As needed, generally once per week.
 Pest Control: One application of Admire thru drip when vine length was 18-24 inches at a rate of 2 oz./A. Two applications of fungicide sprayed with one at the vining stage and the other about 10 days prior to first harvest.
 Study Comments: We has extremely dry conditons during the trial, which we suspect led to the reduction of fruit set after the second harvest, possibly due to high salinity of irrigation water.

La Pryor

Transplanted: April 11, 2006 (average plant population of 2,613 plants/ A)
Harvested (once-over): June 29, 2006
 Fertilization: Pre-plant fetilizer applied with 40 units of nitrogen, 60 units of phosphorous, and 20 units of sulfur per acre. Two nitrogen applications were applied with about 35 units of nitrogen per application during the growing season. (Rate of actual N-P-K in lbs per acre of 110-6-0).
 Irrigation: Center pivot with six irrigations applied through the season.
 Pest Control: Sprayed as needed.
 Study Comments: Photo-degradable plastic was used. Plant growth was excellent on this plastic. However, the plastic seemed to break down during the early part of the season but then stopped.


Transplanted: April 4, 2006 (average plant population of 1,452plants/ A)
Harvested (three times): June 10, 17, and 24th, 2006
Fertilization: 400 pounds of dry 9-23-20 applied pre-plant. 30 days after planting, 10 gallons of 4-11-11 and 4 gallons of 32-0-0 was knifed-in beside the beds. 5 gallons of 32-0-0 was applied with the irrigation water once per week from week 5 through 2nd harvest. (Rate of actual N-P-K in lbs per acre of 149-103-91 assuming liquid fertilizers weigh 10 lbs per gallon).
Irrigation: Center pivot irrigation on bare ground applying 0.9 inches every 3 days from the first week of May through June 17. There were two rain events, one in May and one at the second harvest.
Pest Control: Treflan at 1 pint/A. Fungicides were started the first week of May and applied every 7-10 days for a total of six applications. Three applications of Bravo followed by three applications of Nova plus Dithane.


Transplanted: May 11, 2006 (average plant population of 2,178 plants/ A)
Harvested (two times): July 27th and August 2, 2006
Fertilization: Nitrogen and phosphorous was pre-plant incorporated about one week prior to transplanting. (Rate of actual N-P-K in lbs per acre of 80-20-0).
Irrigation: Drip-irrigated as needed on bare ground.
Pest Control: The test site was treated with pre-transplant applications of Strategy (3.5 pints/A) plus Sandea (0.5 oz/A) for weed control. The test site was weeded by hand as needed during the course of the trial. There were no major outbreaks of disease or insects during the course of the study.
 Study Comments: Temperatures during crop growth for the trial exceeded 95°F for 51 days, and 15 of those days were at 100°F or higher. Although drip-irrigated, overall vine growth was considerably poor compared to previous years, and the lack of fruit set appeared to be influenced by the hot temperatures. In addition, the precentage of culls by variety was generally higher this year, indicating that the plants were likely under environmental stress. Only 2.41 inches of rainfall fell during the course of the trial, with 85% of that precipitation occurring prior to fruit set. The high temperatures and dry conditions likely influenced average overall yields (diploids = 24,401 lbs/A; triploids = 21,201 lbs/A). This relates to a 56% reduction in overall yields for 2006 compared to previous years.