2008 Statewide Watermelon Trial - Cultural Practices Specific to Location


Transplanted: March 20, 2008 (Average plant population of 1,089 plants/A).
Harvested (once-over): June 04, 2008
 Fertilization: Fertilized with 12-12-6 at 10 gal/A (wt. 10.71 lbs/gal) for a total of seven times on every 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 on Mar. 20 Drip tape was placed 6 inches deep and 6 inches offset from the center of the black plastic mulch bed. Rainfall total 3.03 (4/26-0.26; 4/27-1.10; 5/16-1.67) and total water applied was 5.54 (4/04-1.11; 4/11-1.04; 4/19-0.80; 4/20-0.80; 4/30-0.74; 5/10-0.54; 5/29-0.51) combined for a total of 8.57 inches per acre of water. This total does not include the first irrigation during transplanting.
 Pest Control: After plants were established two applications of Platinum were applied about 1 week apart at 4 oz/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: Overall the season was very dry with some showers near harvest. Whitefly and leafminers were present but kept under control with vine decline observed on several plants near harvest due to the hot dry conditions.


Greenhouse Planting: Feb. 22, 2008
Transplanted: April 5, 2008 (Average plant population of 1,452 plants/A).
Harvested (two times): June 18 and July 1, 2008
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.
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.

La Pryor/Uvalde:

Transplanted: April 08, 2008 (Average plant population of 2,904 plants/A)
Harvested (once-over): July 02, 2008
Fertilization: 200 lbs - 18-46-0 + 100 lbs K - Mg/A pre-plant. Side dress with 30 gallons N-32/A
Irrigation: Center pivot with six irrigations applied through the season..
Pest Control: Sprayed as needed.
 Study Comments: Diploids seeded on 27 March at Peterson Brothers
Triploids seed on 20 March at Peterson Brothers
Transplanted on 8 April 2008
Plants watered using center pivot
Trial planted next to sorghum windbreak
Row spacing = 60 inches with plants 3 foot apart
Each rep had 5 plants and then a skip
Once over harvest 2 July 2008


Transplanted: June 4, 2008 (Average plant population of 2,178 plants/A).
Harvested (twice): August 13 and September 1, 2008
Fertilization: Liquid nitrogen was injected in lines every 40 at a rate of 120 lbs N/A approximately four weeks prior to transplanting.
Irrigation: Drip-irrigated as needed on bare ground.
Pest Control: The test site was treated with pre-transplant applications of Prefar (5.0 qts/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. Insects and diseases were controlled using registered products, and escaped weeds were removed to prevent competition.
 Study Comments: All watermelon varieties were seeded into 72-cell flats with soil-less media on April 25 and after 3 weeks were placed outside for hardening prior to transplanting. However, circumstances beyond the investigators control (a plane crash in the field) resulted in the varieties not being transplanted until June 4 (approximately 40 days after seeding in the greenhouse). Plants were transplanted by hand using a bulb planter into plots measuring 80x 25 with in row spacing of 3 feet and immediately watered. Pollinator plants (SP-4) were planted at the end of each plot as well as at the beginning and end of each row of watermelons within the test site. Following watermelon transplanting in early June extremely high temperatures over 100 degrees F caused watermelon growth to be very limited. Although plots were irrigated through drip lines, there was little rainfall during the period of growth and development. Wild bee populations were present within the field and no beehives were brought in for pollination. Watermelons were harvested twice (August 13 and Sept. 1) approximately 70 and 80 days following transplanting. Melons were hand-harvested and individual weights recorded. The trial was conducted as a RCBD with 4 replications and all data were subjected to analysis of variance with means separated using the Least Significant Difference at the 0.05 level.