Performance of Specialty Muskmelon Cultivars in High Tunnels and Open Fields

Teresa P. Salame, Bielinski M. Santos, Daniel J. Cantliffe

Abstract


This study was conducted to compare the performance of three specialty muskmelon cultivars under two production systems. The cultivars were ‘Lorio’, ‘Atello’, and ‘Velsat’, whereas the production systems were open field and high-tunnel culture. The muskmelons were harvested eight times during the season and fruit were counted and weighed. On the same day, total soluble soil contents were measured from five marketable fruit per experimental unit. The results indicated that there were significant effects of each of the main factors, but not of the interaction between them on the collected variables. Marketable fruit numbers were the highest in plots planted with ‘Velsat’, whereas there was no difference in fruit number between plots inside and outside the high tunnels. Marketable fruit weight increased by 12% when grown inside high tunnels in comparison with fruit produced in open fields, and ‘Lorio’ and ‘Velsat’ had the heaviest fruit. In contrast, ‘Atello’ had the highest soluble solid content (14 °Brix), while fruit produced inside high tunnels were sweeter (14 °Brix) than those obtained in open-field plots (11.5 °Brix).

Keywords


Cucumis melo, protected agriculture

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283