Submitted to: Better Crops
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2007
Publication Date: 1/29/2007
Citation: Lester, G.E., Jifon, J.L., Stewart, W.M. 2007. Foliar potassium improves cantaloupe marketable and nutritional quality. Better Crops. 91:24-25. Interpretive Summary: Potassium (K) is important in optimizing both crop yield and quality. Root activity and K uptake are generally reduced during the reproductive phase of crop development. This study has shown that supplementing soil K with foliar K applications during cantaloupe fruit development and maturation can improve fruit quality by increasing firmness, sugar content, ascorbic acid, and beta-carotene levels.
Technical Abstract: Potassium (K) is needed to optimize both crop yield and quality. Roots, the sole source of K uptake, are poor suppliers of K during fruit crop production. This study has shown that supplementing optimal soil K with additional foliar K applications, superficially during cantaloupe fruit growth, can improve fruit quality by markedly increasing firmness, sugar content (increasing SSC to 11% equal to Fancy Grade) and important human health compounds: ascorbic acid and beta-carotene.