Front Cover
 Center information


Standard watermelon variety evaluation
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054252/00001
 Material Information
Title: Standard watermelon variety evaluation
Series Title: Bradenton GCREC research report
Physical Description: v. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (Bradenton, Fla.)
University of Florida -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Bradenton Florida
Creation Date: 1991
Publication Date: -1997
Frequency: annual
Subjects / Keywords: Watermelons -- Varieties -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Watermelons -- Field experiments -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: -1997
General Note: Description based on: 1991; title from cover.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 62705961
lccn - 2005229321
System ID: UF00054252:00001
 Related Items

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Center information
        Page 8
Full Text


Gulf Coast Research

and Education Center

5007 60th St. E., Bradenton, Florida 34203-9324
B Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida


i\ Scince
I. "*' 0"

5007 60th Street East
Bradenton, FL 34203

Bradenton GCREC Research Report BRA1991-18 October


D. N. Maynard1

Standard watermelons weigh from 18 to 35 lbs and represent most of the commercial
crop grown in Florida. Icebox and seedless watermelons also are grown in
Florida. Florida produced 9 million cwt of watermelons from 45,000 harvested
acres in 1989-90 which provided an average yield of 200 cwt/acre. The average
price was $7.15/cwt providing a crop value of $64,350,000 which accounted for
4.9% of the gross returns to the state's vegetable growers (1).

Until recently, the Florida crop was about equally divided among open pollinated
and hybrids of the Crimson Sweet, Charleston Gray, and Jubilee types. A
noticeable decline in Charleston Gray production has been replaced largely by
increased acreage of Allsweet and blocky Crimson Sweet types.

The purpose of this trial was to evaluate some of the recently introduced
varieties and hybrids and experimental lines of the Crimson Sweet, Jubilee, and
Allsweet types.

Soil samples from the experimental area obtained before fertilization were
analyzed by the IFAS Extension Soil Laboratory (2): pH 7.6 and Mehlich I
extractable P = 30, K = 22, Mg = 90, Ca = 972, Zn = 4.1, Cu = 0.6, and Mn = 1.1
The EauGallie fine sand was prepared in early February 1991 by incorporation of
0-1.2-0 lb N-PO0-KO per 100 linear bed feet (Ibf). Beds were formed and
fumigated with TerroGas 67 (methylbromide:chloropicrin 67:33) at 2.3 lb/100 Ibf.
Banded fertilizer was applied in shallow grooves on the bed shoulders at 2.1-0-
2.9 lb N-P205-K 0/100 Ibf after the beds were pressed and before the black
polyethylene muTch was applied. The total fertilizer applied was equivalent to
102-58-140 lb N-P,05-K20/acre. The final beds were 32 in. wide and 8 in. high
and were spaced on 9 ft centers, with four beds between seepage
irrigation/drainage ditches which were on 41 ft centers. The standard and icebox
watermelons were planted in rows adjacent to the ditches to serve as pollenizers
for seedless watermelons that were planted in the two center beds of each land.

'Professor of Vegetable Crops and Vegetable Extension Specialist.

Sixteen standard watermelon lines (Table 1) were direct-seeded on 21 February in
holes punched in the polyethylene at 3 ft in-row spacing. The 24 ft long plots
had 8 plants and were replicated four times in a randomized, complete block
design. Weed control in row middles was by cultivation and applications of
paraquat. Pesticides were applied as needed for control of sweetpotato whitefly
endosulfann and esfenvalerate), aphids endosulfann and dimethoate), rindworms
(Bacillus thuringiensis), and gummy stem blight (chlorothalonil and metaxyl-

The watermelons were harvested on 15 and 24 May. Marketable melons (U.S. No. 1
or better) according to U.S. Standards for Grades (4) were separated from culls
and counted and weighed individually. Soluble solids determinations were made
with a hand-held refractometer on 13 to 16 fruit of each entry over two harvests,
and the incidence of hollowheart was recorded for these fruits. The resulting
data were subjected to analysis of variance and mean separation was by Duncan's
multiple range test.

Temperature and rainfall (Table 2) during the experimental period from 21
February to 21 May deviated from the 35-year averages (3) at the Gulf Coast
Research and Education Center. Temperatures in March, April, and May were above
normal and rainfall in April and May was considerably above normal. Higher than
normal rainfall and the frequency of rainfall made disease management difficult,
particularly for gummy stem blight.
Early yields (Table 3), represented by the first of two harvests, ranged from 56
cwt/A for 'Royal Jubilee' to 480 cwt/A for 'Fiesta'. The early yield of 'Crimson
Tide' was similar to that of 'Fiesta' whereas 'Mirage', 'Jubilation', 'Jubilee
II', and S90CW produced early yields that were similar to those of 'Royal
Jubilee'. Average fruit weight at first harvest ranged from 11.6 lb for S90CW
to 24.6 lb for 'Jubilee II'. 'Royal Jubilee' and 'Jubilation' also had high
average fruit weight. The average fruit weight of all other entries was similar
to that of 'Jubilee II'. The proportion of fruit with hollowheart varied from
0 in 'Sangria' to 100% in 'Royal Jubilee'. The incidence of hollowheart was
relatively high in the first harvest for most entries. Some of the cell
separations were severe enough to adversely affect marketability and consumer

Total marketable yields (Table 3) ranged from 316 cwt/A for 'Jubilation' to 559
cwt/A for 'Fiesta.' Seven other entries had total yields similar to those of
'Fiesta', whereas 14 had total yields similar to those of 'Jubilation'. Average
fruit weight varied from 10.7 lb for S90CW to 21.8 lb for 'Jubilee II'. The
average fruit weight of all other entries was intermediate to these extremes.
Soluble solids ranged from 10% for NVH 4200 to 12% for S90CW. Seven other
entries had soluble solids concentrations similar to those of S90CW, whereas six
other entries were similar to NVH 4200 in soluble solids concentration. Soluble
solids in all entries met or exceeded the 10% specified for optional use in the
U.S. Standards for Grades of Watermelons (4). The incidence of hollowheart for
the entire crop varied from 0 in 'Sangria' to 63% in 'Royal Majesty'. Seven
other entries had hollowheart frequency similar to that of 'Sangria', whereas ten
other entries had hollowheart frequencies similar to those of 'Royal Majesty'.

The distribution of watermelon fruit weights into various size classes is shown
in Table 4. 'Jubilee II' produced the highest proportion of fruit exceeding 25.1
lb in weight and 'Jubilation' produced the highest proportion of fruit between
20.1 and 25 lb in weight. About 50% of the fruit produced by 'Early Jubilee',
'Regency', 'Royal Majesty' and 'Crimson Tide' were less than 15 lb in weight,
whereas 97% of the fruit of S90CW was less than 15 lb in weight. S90CW quite
possibly should have been entered in the icebox trial. However, average fruit
weight and yield were less than expected and less than the potential of all
entries because of early vine decline.

The information contained in this report is a summary of experimental results and
should not be used as recommendations for crop production. Where trade names are
used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.


1. Freie, R. L. and H.
Vegetable Summary.

V. Young. 1991.
Florida Agricultual

Florida Agricultural Statistics.
Statistics Service, Orlando.

2. Hanlon, E. A. and J. M. DeVore. 1989.
Laboratory Chemical Procedures and Training

3. Stanley, C.
Res. Rept.

IFAS Extension Soil Testing
Manual. Fla. Coop. Ext. Circ.

D. 1990. Temperature and rainfall report for 1989. GCREC

4. U.S. Standards for Grades of Watermelon. 1978. U.S.D.A.

Table 1. Standard watermelon varieties, fruit descriptions, and seed

Variety Description Source

Crimson Tide

Oval. Distinct broken dark green
stripes on light-green
background. Crimson Sweet type.

Early Jubilee


Distinct dark-green
on light-green
Early Jubilee type.


Hybrid 1152


Elongated. Indistinct light-green
stripes on dark-green background.
Allsweet type. Hybrid.

Elongated. Distinct light-green
stripes on dark-green background.

Blocky-elongated. Distinct dark-
green stripes on light-green
background. Jubilee type.

Jubilee II


Distinct dark-green
on light-green
Jubilee type. Open-

Oblong. Distinct broken dark-
green stripes on light-green
background. Crimson Sweet type.

Oval. Distinct dark-green stripes
on light-green background.
Crimson Sweet type. Hybrid.

Oblong. Distinct
stripes on
background. Royal

Sweet type.

Royal Jubilee


Distinct dark-green
on light-green
Jubilee type. Hybrid.

Rogers NK


Rogers NK

Rogers NK

Rogers NK

Mirage LS


NVH 4200



Rogers NK



Table 1 (continued).

Variety Description Source

Royal Majesty Oblong. Distinct medium-green Petoseed
stripes on light-green
background. Allsweet type.

Royal Star Oblong. Wide dark-green stripes Petoseed
on light-green background. Royal
Sweet type. Hybrid.

Royal Sweet Oblong. Wide dark-green stripes Petoseed
on light-green background.

Sangria Elongated. Light-green stripes on Rogers NK
dark-green background. Allsweet
type. Hybrid.

Starbrite Oblong. Distinct dark-green Asgrow
stripes on light-green
background. Royal Sweet type.

S90CW Oval. Distinct dark-green stripes CFREC
on light-green background.
Crimson Sweet type. Open-

Table 2. Mean temperature and rainfall at the Gulf Coast Research &
Education Center from 21 February to 24 May 1991 and 35-year
monthly averages.

Average daily temperature (OF)
1991 35-yr average Rainfall (in.)
Month (date)' Max. Min. Max. Min. 1991 35-yr averages

February (21-28) 77 56 73 51 0.55 3.13
March 79 57 77 55 3.96 3.43
April 85 63 82 60 5.31 1.56
May (1-24) 89 69 87 64 7.97 3.10

11991 data are for the dates shown; 35-year averages are for the entire

Table 3. Standard watermelon yields, average fruit weight, soluble solids and hollowheart.
Gulf Coast Research & Education Center. Spring 1991.

Early harvest' Total harvest
Avg. Hollo Avg. Soluble Hollow-
Weight fruit heart Weight fruit solids heart3
Entry (cwt/A)2 wt (Ib) (%) (cwt/A) wt (Ib) (%) (%)

Fiesta 480 a4 16.8 ab 38 b-e 559 a 16.3 bc 10.5 cd 25 b-e
Crimson Tide 408 ab 16.5 ab 13 de 527 ab 15.5 c 10.8 b-d 13 de
Royal Sweet 299 bc 18.0 ab 38 b-e 436 a-c 17.0 bc 11.3 a-c 30 a-e
Regency 261 bc 17.1 ab 25 c-e 430 a-c 15.3 c 10.7 b-d 30 a-e
Hyb. 1152 278 bc 19.7 ab 25 c-e 420 a-c 16.3 bc 10.6 b-d 17 c-e
Mirage 165 cd 19.0 ab 75 ab 413 a-c 16.8 bc 11.2 a-c 48 a-c
Starbrite 220 c 19.3 ab 63 a-c 403 a-c 17.2 bc 11.6 ab 50 a-c
Royal Star 269 bc 22.3 a 50 b-d 399 a-c 18.6 b 11.1 a-c 38 a-d
NVH 4200 304 bc 17.4 ab 25 c-e 392 bc 16.2 bc 10.0 d 19 c-e
Royal Majesty 282 bc 16.3 ab 75 ab 380 bc 15.1 c 11.5 a-c 63 a
Sangria 291 bc 17.3 ab 0 e 356 c 16.1 bc 10.9 b-d 0 e
Early Jubilee 247 c 18.4 ab 50 b-d 346 c 16.7 bc 11.5 a-c 40 a-d
Jubilee II 174 cd 24.6 a 25 c-e 338 c 21.8 a 10.8 b-d 31 a-e
S90CW 176 cd 11.6 b 38 b-e 335 c 10.7 d 12.0 a 35 a-d
Royal Jubilee 56 d 22.4 a 100 a 318 c 18.2 bc 11.2 a-c 50 a-c
Jubilation 167 cd 20.4 a 75 ab 316 c 18.1 bc 11.1 a-c 54 ab

'Early yield is the first of two harvests.
Acre is equivalent to 4840 Ibf.
All cell separations included.
4Mean separation in column by Duncan's multiple range test.

Table 4.

Fruit weight distribution of the total yield of standard
watermelons. Gulf Coast Research & Education Center. Spring

Fruit weight, lb
<10 10.1-15 15.1-20 20.1-25 25.1<
Entry Percentage of fruit

Jubilation 3 b1 30 a-c 17 de 60 a 0 c
Jubilee II 0 b 7 c 16 de 40 b 38 a
Hyb. 1152 7 b 39 ab 26 b-e 28 bc 0 c
Royal Star 5 b 36 ab 22 c-e 25 bc 13 b
Royal Sweet 2 b 32 a-c 43 a-c 24 bc 0 c
Starbrite 5 b 27 bc 41 a-d 23 bc 5 bc
Mirage 6 b 38 ab 30 a-d 21 bc 6 bc
Early Jubilee 2 b 46 ab 34 a-d 16 cd 3 bc
Royal Jubilee 2 b 23 bc 53 a 16 cd 7 bc
Sangria 7 b 33 a-c 41 a-d 15 cd 4 bc
NVH 4200 3 b 32 a-c 52 ab 14 cd 0 c
Regency 6 b 47 ab 33 a-d 12 cd 2 bc
Royal Majesty 9 b 40 ab 39 a-d. 12 cd 0 c
Fiesta 2 b 42 ab 44 a-c 12 cd 2 c
Crimson Tide 7 b 42 ab 41 a-d 10 cd 1 c
S90CW 40 a 57 b 3 e 0 d 0 c

'Mean separation in columns by Duncan's multiple range test.

The Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

The Gulf Coast Research and Education Center is
a unit of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sci-
ences, University of Florida. The Research Center
originated in the fall of 1925 as the Tomato
Disease Laboratory with the primary objective of
developing control procedures for an epidemic out-
break of nailhead spot of tomato. Research was ex-
panded in subsequent years to include study of sev-
eral other tomato diseases.

In 1937, new research facilities were established
in the town of Manatee, and the Center scope was
enlarged to include horticultural, entomological, and
soil science studies of several vegetable crops. The
ornamental program was a natural addition to the
Center's responsibilities because of the emerging in-
dustry in the area in the early 1940's.

The Center's current location was established in
1965 where a comprehensive research and extension
program on vegetable crops and ornamental plants is
conducted. Three state extension specialists posi-
tions, 16 state research scientists, and two grant
supported scientists from various disciplines of
training participate in all phases of vegetable and
ornamental horticultural programs. This interdisci-
plinary team approach, combining several research
disciplines and a wide range of industry and faculty
contacts, often is more productive than could be ac-
complished with limited investments in independent

The Center's primary mission is to develop new
and expand existing knowledge and technology, and
to disseminate new scientific knowledge in Florida, so
that agriculture remains efficient and economically

The secondary mission of the Center is to assist
the Cooperative Extension Service, IFAS campus
departments, in which Center faculty hold appropri-
ate liaison appointments, and other research centers
in extension, educational training, and cooperative
research programs for the benefit of Florida's pro-
ducers, students, and citizens.

Program areas of emphasis include: (1) genetics,
breeding, and variety development and evaluation;
(2) biological, chemical, and mechanical pest manage-
ment in entomology, plant pathology, nematology,
bacteriology, virology, and weed science; (3) produc-
tion efficiency, culture, management, and counteract-
ing environmental stress; (4) water management and
natural resource protection; (5) post-harvest physiol-
ogy, harvesting, handling and food quality of horti-
cultural crops; (6) technical support and assistance to
the Florida Cooperative Extension Service; and (7)
advancement offundamental knowledge ofdisciplines
represented by faculty and (8) directing graduate
student training and teaching special undergraduate

Location of
GCREC Bradenton

" The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida.
Q A statewide organization dedicated to teaching,
research and extension.
" Faculty located in Gainesville and at 13 research
and education centers, 67 county extension
offices and four demonstration units throughout
the state.
1 A partnership in food and agriculture, and natural
and renewable resource research and education,
funded by state, federal and local government,
and by gifts and grants from individuals, founda-
tions, government and industry.
O An organization whose mission is:
Educating students in the food, agricultural,
and related sciences and natural resources.
Strengthening Florida's diverse food and
agricultural industry and its environment
through research.
Enhancing for all Floridians, the application
of research and knowledge to improve the
quality of life statewide through IFAS exten-
sion programs.