|Perkins Veazie, Penelope|
Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Water conservation strategies are being investigated for watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] production in the Winter Garden of southwest Texas. Our objective was to determine how yield and fruit quality of a triploid (cv. Summer Sweet 5244) and hybrid (cv. Summer Flavor 710) watermelon were affected by irrigation based on evapotranspiration (ET) rates and timing of application during spring. Irrigation treatments included constant 1.0 and 0.5ET, three with varying ET prior to or after fruit set, and one with cycles of 1.0 and 0.5ET. Fruit quality characteristics were measured at the unripe, ripe, and overripe maturity stage. Water deficit prior to or after fruit set decreased yield and fruit number. Flesh color was not affected by irrigation at any maturity stage. Soluble solids content at the ripe stage only increased in triploids irrigated with constant 0.5ET or 0.5ET applied after fruit set. Triploid plants exposed to frequent cycles of water deficit set more and smaller fruits than hybrids. These data suggest that triploids may have different acclamation response to drought stress than diploid hybrids.