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Standard watermelon variety evaluation
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054252/00005
 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: 1995
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: UF00054252:00005
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
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        Page 4
        Page 5
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    Center information
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uitlf Co t Rwurcl anO Education Cw n
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GCREC Research Report BRA1995-23


D. N. Maynard1
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
University of Florida, IFAS
5007 60th Street East
Bradenton, FL 34203

Standard watermelons weigh from 18 to 35 Ibs and represent most of the commercial
crop grown in Florida. Icebox watermelons weigh 6 to 12 Ibs each and are grown
on a small acreage. Seedless watermelons, weighing 12 to 18 Ibs, also are grown
in Florida on a limited scale. Florida produced 8.5 million cwt of watermelons
of all types from 37,000 harvested acres in 1993-94 which provided an average
yield of 230 cwt/acre. The average price was $6.80/cwt resulting in a crop value
exceeding $57 million which accounted for 3.7% of the gross returns to the
state's vegetable growers (Freie and Pugh, 1995).

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

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

Materials and Methods
Soil samples from the experimental area obtained before fertilization were
analyzed by the University of Florida Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (Hanlon
and DeVore, 1989): pH = 7.2 and Mehlich I extractable P = 35, K = 12, Mg = 111,
Ca = 727, Zn = 3.2, Cu = 1.9, and Mn = 2.4 ppm.

The EauGallie fine sand was prepared in early February by incorporation of 0-1.2-
0 lb N-P20 -K20 per 100 linear bed feet (Ibf). Beds were formed and fumigated
with methyl bromide:chloropicrin, 67:33 at 2.3 lb/100 lbf. Banded fertilizer was
applied in shallow grooves on the bed shoulders at 2.7-0-3.8 lb N-P,0O-K 0/100
Ibf after the beds were pressed and before application of the black polyethylene
mulch. The total fertilizer applied was equivalent to 130-60-182 lb N-P20s-
K,0/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 watermelons were planted in rows adjacent to the
ditches and also served as pollenizers for seedless watermelons that were being
evaluated in the two center beds of each land.

Watermelon seeds were planted on 21 February in holes punched in the polyethylene
mulch at 3 ft in-row spacing. Twenty entries (Table 1) were included in the
replicated trial. The 24 ft long plots had eight plants each and were replicated

'Professor and Extension Vegetable Specialist.


three times in a randomized complete-block design. Another five entries (Table
1) were included in 20-plant observational plots. Weed control in row middles
was by cultivation and applications of paraquat. Pesticides were applied as
needed for control of silverleaf whitefly endosulfann and esfenvalerate) and
gummy stem blight (chlorothalonil and metaxyl-chlorothalonil).

Watermelons were harvested 22 May, 31 May, and 12 June. Marketable fruit (U.S.
No. 1 or better) according to U.S. Standards for Grades (1978) were separated
from culls and counted and weighed individually. Soluble solids determinations
were made with a hand-held refractometer on six fruit of each entry at each
harvest, 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.

Results and Discussion

Temperature.during the experimental period was higher than normal and rainfall
was less than normal which provided excellent watermelon growing conditions
(Table 2).

Early yields (first of three harvests) in the replicated trial (Table 3) ranged
from 48 cwt/acre for 'Patriot' to 435 cwt/acre for RWM 121. Average fruit weight
varied from 17.0 lb for 'Royal Majesty' to 24.8 lb for 'Royal Sweet'. Soluble
solids ranged from 11.8% for 'Patriot', 'Summer Flavor 500', and WM 8025 to 13.7%
for W0013. Soluble solids for all entries exceeded the 10% specified for
optional use to designate very good internal quality in the U.S. Standards for
Grades of Watermelons (1978). The proportion of fruit with hollowheart varied
from 0 for 'Patriot', WM 8025, 'Summer Flavor 500', 'Fiesta', 'Royal Sweet',
W0053, and 'Royal Majesty' to 50% for 'Desert Storm' and 'Regency'. The severity
(average width of fruit cracks) of hollowheart ranged from 0 to 0.5 in. for

Total yields in the replicated trial (Table 3) varied from 456 cwt/acre for SWM
3303 to 712 cwt/acre for 'Patriot'. Average fruit weight ranged from 15.3 lb for
'Royal Majesty' to 25.6 lb for 'Summer Flavor 500'. Soluble solids
concentrations for the entire season were uniformly high ranging from 11.3% for
'Ferrari' and WM 8025 to 13.2% for W0013. The incidence and severity of
hollowheart for the entire season was generally less than for the early harvest.
Nonetheless, hollowheart was noted in 17 of the 20 entries in replicated trial.
The average fruit crack width, however, did not exceed 0.2 in.

The performance of five experimental entries in the observational trial also is
shown in Table 3.

The proportion of fruit in market weight classes is shown in Table 4. More than
50% of the fruit of 'Baron', 'Desert Storm', 'Fiesta', 'Patriot', 'Royal Sweet',
RWM 118, 'Sangria', 'Summer Flavor 420', SWM 2301, and WM 8007 were in the
desirable 18-26 lb weight class. More than 70% of the fruit of 'Desert Storm',
'Patriot', RWM 118, 'Summer Flavor 420', 'Summer Flavor 500', 'SWM 2301', and WM
8007 exceeded 18 lb.

Watermelon yields were higher than those obtained at this location in 1991
(Maynard, 1991), 1992 (Maynard, 1992), and 1994 (Maynard, 1994) but not as high
as those obtained in 1993 (Maynard, 1993).

Based on results of this and previous trials, the following Allsweet type and
blocky Crimson Sweet type varieties are expected to perform well in Florida:
'Fiesta', 'Regency', 'Royal Star', 'Royal Sweet', and 'Sangria'. 'Ferrari',
'Patriot', and 'Summer Flavor 500' performed well in their first appearance in
GCREC trials and should be considered in planning for the 1996 season.
'Starbrite' was not included in this trial, but has performed well in previous


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.


The author appreciates the financial support for watermelon variety evaluation
provided by American Sunmelon, Asgrow Seed Co., Petoseed, Pioneer Seed Co.,
Rogers Seed Co., Sakata Seed Co., and Shamrock Seed Co.

Literature Cited

Freie, R. L. and N. L. Pugh. 1994. Florida Agricultural Statistics. Vegetable
Summary, 1992-93. Florida Agricultural Statistics Service, Orlando.

Hanlon, E. A. and J. M. DeVore. 1989. IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory
Chemical Procedures and Training Manual. Fla. Coop. Ext. Circ. 812.

Maynard, D. N. 1991. Standard watermelon variety evaluation. Gulf Coast
Research and Education Center Res. Rept. BRA1991-18.
Maynard, D. N. 1992. Standard and icebox watermelon variety evaluations, spring
1992. Gulf Coast Research and Education Center Res. Rept. BRA1992-19.

Maynard, D. N. 1993. Standard watermelon variety evaluation, spring 1993. Gulf
Coast Research and Education Center Res. Rept. BRA1993-20.

Maynard, D. N. 1994. Standard watermelon variety evaluation, spring 1994. Gulf
Coast Research and Education Center Res. Rept. BRA1994-22.
Stanley, C. D. 1994. Weather report for 1993. Gulf Coast Research and
Education Center Res. Rept. BRA1994-08.
U.S. Standards for Grades of Watermelons. 1978. U.S.D.A., AMS, Washington, D.C.

Table 1. Standard hybrid watermelon entries, fruit descriptions, and seed
sources. Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton.
Spring 1995.

Entry Description Source

Elongated, blocky, medium green.

American Sunmelon

Oval. Narrow,
green stripes


distinct medium-
on a light-green

Indistinct medium-green
on a light-green back-

Desert Storm





Blocky/oblong. Medium green back-
ground with darker pencil lines.

Elongated. Alternating wide dark-
green stripes with narrow light-
green stripes. Allsweet type.

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

Blocky/oblong. Wide indistinct
dark-green stripes on a light-
green background.

Oblong. Indistinct, dark-green
stripe on a light-green back-

Abbott & Cobb



Abbott & Cobb


Royal Majesty

Elongated. Narrow,
stripes on very
background. Allsweet


Royal Star

Royal Sweet

RXW 118


blocky. Dark-green
on light-green back-

Oblong. Wide, dark-green stripes
on light-green background.

Oblong. Wide, dark-green stripes
on light-green background.



CLF 4008

CLF 4009







Table 1 (continued).

Entry Description Source

RXW 121


Summer Flavor

Summer Flavor

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

Elongated. Light-green stripes on
dark-green background. Allsweet

Oblong. Wide, dark-green stripes
on light-green background.

Blocky/oblong. Wide, indistinct
dark-green stripes on a light-
green background.



Abbott & Cobb

Abbott & Cobb


blocky. Dark-green
on light-green back-
Allsweet type.

Elongated. Wide, indistinct dark-
green stripes on a light-green
background. Allsweet type.

Elongated. Narrow dark-green
stripes on light-green back-
ground. Jubilee type.

Round/oval. Indistinct, wide,
dark-green stripes on medium
green background.

Oval. Very dark-green narrow
indistinct stripes on a dark-
green background.

Oblong. Wide dark-green stripes
on light-green background.

Oval. Narrow dark-green distinct
stripes on a light-green back-
ground. Yellow flesh.

Oval. Wide,
stripes on

Oval. Wide,
stripes on

indistinct dark-green
a light-green back-

indistinct dark-green
a light-green back-

SWM 2301

SWM 3303













WM 8007

WM 8025




Table 2. Temperature and rainfall at the Gulf Coast Research and Education
Center, Bradenton from 21 February to 12 June 1995 and 40-year
monthly averages (Stanley, 1994).

Average daily temperature (F)
1995 40-yr average Rainfall (in.)
Month' High Low High Low 1995 40-yr average

February (15-28) 76 53 74 52 0.85. 3.08
March 80 59 77 55 2.57 3.35
April 83 63 82 60 3.41 1.72
May 91 70 87 64 1.48 3.20
June (1-9) 89 73 89 70 6.68 7.48

11995 data are for the dates shown; 40-year averages are for the entire month.

Table 3. Early and total yield, average fruit weight, soluble solids and the incidence and severity of hollowheart of
standard watermelons. Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton. Spring 1995.

Early Harvest' Total Harvest
Weight Avg. fruit Soluble Hollowheart Weight Avg. fruit Soluble Hollowheart
Entry (cwt/A)2 wt (Ib) solids (%) (in.) (cwt/A)2 wt (Ib) solids (%) (in.)'

Patriot 48 f4 24.0 ab 11.8 b 0 a 0 b 712 a 23.1 ab 11.6 bc 0 a 0 b
Ferrari 333 a-d 21.8 a-d 12.1 ab 17 a 0.1 b 638 ab 19.0 c-g 11.3 c 22 a 0.1 ab
SWM 2301 137 ef 22.0 a-d 12.6 ab 33 a 0.1 b 629 ab 22.1 bc 12.3 a-c 24 a 0.1 ab
Baron 387 a-c 19.8 a-d 12.5 ab 17 a 0.1 b 627 ab 19.1 c-g 11.8 bc 12 a 0.1 ab
Desert Storm 246 a-e 20.9 a-d 12.9 ab 50 a 0.2 b 620 ab 21.6 b-e 12.3 a-c 38 a 0.1 ab

Royal Star 129 ef 24.7 a 12.9 ab 33 a 0.1 b 609 ab 23.6 ab 12.6 ab 22 a 0.1 ab
WM 8025 308 a-e 20.0 a-d 11.8 b 0 a 0 b 596 ab 19.4 c-g 11.3 c 13 a 0.1 ab
Regency 232 b-f 23.2 a-c 12.9 ab 50 a 0.4 ab 576 ab 21.6 b-e 12.1 a-c 42 a 0.2 a
Sangria 390 ab 19.4 a-d 12.9 ab 33 a 0.2 b 571 ab 18.9 c-g 12.2 a-c 25 a 0.1 ab
RWM 121 435 a 19.7 a-d 12.3 ab 17 a 0.1 b 557 ab 18.5 e-g 11.5 bc 20 a 0.1 ab

Summer Flavor 500 353 a-c 24.1 ab 11.8 b 0 a 0 b 556 ab 25.6 a 11.9 bc 25 a 0.1 ab
Fiesta 402 ab 18.7 b-d 12.4 ab 0 a 0 b 539 ab 18.7 d-g 12.4 a-c 8 a 0.1 ab
Summer Flavor 420 158 d-f 19.6 a-d 13.1 ab 17 a 0.1 b 533 ab 20.4 b-f 12.5 a-c 18 a 0.2 a
WM 8007 317 a-e 22.4 a-c 12.3 ab 17 a 0.1 b 522 ab 22.1 bc 12.4 a-c 21 a 0.1 ab
W0013 246 a-e 17.4 b 13.7 a 17 a 0.5 a 520 ab 16.5 gh 13.2 a 19 a 0.2 a

Royal Sweet 195 c-f 24.8 a 12.9 ab 0 a 0 b 519 ab 21.9 b-d 12.6 ab 0 a 0 b
W0053 253 a-e 17.7 cd 13.2 ab 0 a 0 b 507 b 17.6 f-h 12.6 ab 6 a 0.1 ab
RWM 118 197 c-f 21.7 a-d 13.2 ab 20 a 0.1 b 483 b 20.7 b-f 12.5 a-c 29 a 0.1 ab
Royal Majesty 275 a-e 17.0 d 13.4 ab 0 a 0 b 470 b 15.3 h 12.3 a-c 0 a 0 b
SWM 3303 246 a-e 19.6 a-d 13.1 ab 33 a 0.3 b 456 b 18.0 f-h 12.4 a-c 40 a 0.2 a


CLF 4008 155 19.2 13.9 0 0 741 18.1 13.0 0 0
CLF 4009 27 16.8 13.4 50 1.8 708 16.8 12.8 17 0.6
W0008 258 15.2 12.8 50 0.4 642 14.6 12.3 17 0.1
W0050 86.1 21.3 13.8 50 1.2 639 17.3 12.9 33 0.6
W3062 224 11.6 12.2 50 2.2 573 11.7 11.5 67 3.3

'Early harvest represents the first of three harvests.
2Acre = 4840 Ibf.
Average width of fruit cracks of those fruit sampled.
Mean separation in columns by Duncan's multiple range test, 5% level.

Table 4. Fruit weight distribution of the total yield of standard watermelons.
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton. Spring 1995.

Fruit Wt (Ib)
s12.0 12.1-18.0 18.1-26.0 >26
Entry Percentage of fruit

Replicated Entries:

Baron (ASM 6564) 2 33 64 2
Desert Storm 2 25 58 17
Ferrari 0 52 38 10
Fiesta 0 46 51 2
Patriot 0 17 53 30

Regency 0 36 47 18
Royal Majesty 2 71 27 0
Royal Star 5 35 33 30
Royal Sweet 7 25 59 10
RWM 118 3 24 60 14

RWM 121 4 48 43 5
Sangria 0 42 56 2
Summer Flavor 420 0 24 54 20
Summer Flavor 500 0 15 46 38
SWM 2301 0 24 54 22

SWM 3303 7 53 36 4
W0013 5 61 33 0
W0053 2 66 28 3
WM 8007 0 25 56 19
WM 8025 0 41 27 30

Observational Entries:

CLF 4008 12 62 24 2
CLF 4009 7 49 44 0
W0008 11 51 30 8
W0050 30 57 14 0
W3062 65 31 4 0

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 of fundamental knowledge ofdisciplines
represented by faculty and (8) directing graduate
student training and teaching special undergraduate

Location of
GCREC Bradenton

Q The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida.
Q A statewide organization dedicated to teaching,
research and extension.
O Faculty located in Gainesville and at 13 research
and education centers, 67 county extension
offices and four demonstration units throughout
the state.
Q 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.