Muskmelon fruit response to k source and method of application

George Hochmuth, Mark Gal


'Athena' muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus) was grown in 1999 in Gainesville, Fla., on polyethylenemulched raised beds with drip irrigation to evaluate effects of K source and method of K application on fruit yield. The soil was low in Mehlich-1 K and 160 lbs per acre (4-ft bed centers) K were applied for the season from KCI, K2SO4, or KNO3. The K was applied either 100% preplant incorporated in the bed or in 12 equal weekly injections through the drip irrigation system. N was supplied at 190 lbs per acre from NH4NO3 (and KNO3), with a combination of incorporated and injected N. All muskmelons received Mg and S from MgSO4. Early yield (first harvest) was not affected by K source. Total-season (five harvests) yield averaged 470 cwt per acre (23.5 tons per acre) and was not affected by K source. Early yield was not affected by K application method, but total-season fruit production was greater with fertigation than with preplant incorporation of K.

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