Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2006
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Citation: Davis, A.R., Webber III, C.L., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Collins, J.K., Russo, V.M. 2006. Impact of variety and production method on yield and quality of organically grown watermelon [abstract]. HortScience. 41(4):1080. Technical Abstract: Cultural practices have been reported to affect quality and phytonutrient content of watermelon. Knowing which varieties perform best under various production systems, and how these systems affect quality, yield, and phytonutrient content is imperative to ensure high quality and yield. There is limited information on how watermelon [Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] varieties perform when grown with organic practices. Production characteristics of six watermelon varieties from certified organic seed sources were compared under high (black plastic and mechanical cultivation for weed control) and low input (no-till) organic culture. The high input method utilized black plastic mulch and mechanical cultivation for weed control. The low input utilized no-till planting. 'Triple Star' was the most productive seedless variety in terms of number of fruit and marketable yield when data were combined across locations. 'Early Moonbeam' produced the largest number of fruit, and the smallest fruit, of the seeded varieties. 'Allsweet,' a seeded variety, had the best marketable yield due to its larger size. 'Triple Star' had the best quality (lycopene and Brix content) when data were combined across locations. Among the seeded varieties, 'Allsweet' had the best quality at both locations; however, average lycopene content on a per fruit basis under low input production was not significantly different when compared to 'Sugar Baby.' High input production methods almost doubled the number of fruit produced for all varieties, producing greater yields, and heavier average fruit weights, but lower Brix and lycopene content compared to the low input production method.