SUNIVERSITY OF Cooperative Extension Service
FLORIDA Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
'( A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
lorticultual Sciences Department P.O. 110690 Gaineaville, 1 32611 Telephone 904/392-2134
December 15, 1997
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Triploid Watermelon Variety Evaluation, Spring 1997.
III. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. New Third Party Registrations for Florida.
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Florida 4-H Youth Win National Horticultural Honors.
Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever
possible, please give credit to the authors. The purpose of trade names
in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing information and
does not necessarily constitute a recommendation of the product.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational
information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin.
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I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
January 10, 1998. Suwannee Valley
Field and Greenhouse Grower's Shortcourse
and Trade Show. Suwannee County
Coliseum, Live Oak, FL. Contact Bob
February 18-21,1998. American
Society for Plasticulture 27h Congress,
Tucson, Arizona. Contact Bob Hochmuth,
Suwannee Valley REC, Live Oak.
February 26 27, 1998. Florida Weed
Science Society's 21" annual meeting.
Tavares, Florida. Contact Bob Stamps,
CREC, Apopka (407)884-2034.
March 9-13,1998. Florida Postharvest
Horticulture Institute and Industry Tour.
Contact Steve Sargent, UF, (352) 392-2134
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Triploid Watermelon Variety
Evaluation. Spring 1997.
The concept of triploid (seedless)
watermelons was described first in the U.S.
literature in 1951 based on experimentation
that began in Japan in 1939. Seed for planting
seedless watermelons results from a cross
between a selected tetraploid female parent,
developed by treating diploid lines with
colchicine, and a selected diploid (normal)
male parent. The resulting triploid plants are
sterile and do not produce viable seed.
However, small, white rudimentary seeds
develop which are eaten along with the flesh
just as immature seeds are eaten in cucumber.
Fruit enlargement in normal fruit,
including watermelon, is enhanced by growth-
promoting hormones produced by the
developing seed. Growth hormones are
lacking in seedless watermelons so those
agents must be provided by pollen. Since
flowers on triploid plants lack sufficient viable
pollen to induce normal fruit set, normal
diploid seeded watermelons are interplanted
with triploids to serve as pollenizers. An
adequate bee population is necessary to insure
that sufficient transfer of pollen occurs.
Seedless fruit (from triploid plants) tend to be
triangular shaped without sufficient
Although the procedure for production
of seedless watermelons has been known for
almost 50 years and commercial varieties have
been available for nearly 20 years, the interest
in and acreage of seedless watermelons has
remained small in Florida.
The objective of this trial was to
evaluate the performance of triploid
watermelon varieties under west-central
Seeds of 23 triploid watermelon
varieties or experimental lines (Table 1) were
planted in a peat-lite growing mix in No. 128
Todd planter flats (1.5 x 1.5 x 2.5 in. cells) on
17 February. The watermelon transplants
were grown by a commercial plant grower.
The EauGallie fine sand was prepared
in late January by incorporation of 0-1.2-0 lb.
N-P20,-IK0 per 100 linear bed feet (Ibf). Beds
were formed and fumigated with
methylbromide:chloropicrin, 67:33 at 2.3
lb/100 lbf. Banded fertilizer was applied in
shallow grooves on the bed shoulders at 3.1-0-
4.3 lb N-P205-K20/100 lbf after the beds were
pressed and before the black polyethylene
mulch was applied. The total fertilizer applied
was equivalent to 148-60-206 lb N-P205-
KI0/A. 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.
Transplants were set in holes punched
in the polyethylene at 3 ft in-row spacing on 4
March. The replicated plots were 18 ft long
and had six plants each and were repeated
three times in a randomized, complete block
design. Standard watermelons that were being
evaluated were direct seeded in beds on each
side of two seedless watermelon beds on 17
February to serve as diploid pollenizers.
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), aphids endosulfann), and
gummy stem blight (chlorothalonil and
Watermelons were harvested on 20 and
29 May and 4 June. Marketable (U.S. No. 1
or better) fruit according to U.S. Standards for
Grades were separated from culls and counted
and weighed individually. Tetraploid fruit,
where they occurred, were not included in the
marketable category because they are not
seedless. Soluble solids were determined with
a hand-held refractometer on at least six fruit
from each entry at each harvest and the
incidence and severity of hollowheart were
noted on these fruit.
Temperature during the experimental
period from 4 March to 4 June was near
normal in April, May, and June, but was 7*F
above normal in March which provided for
rapid initial growth after transplanting.
Rainfall was 7 in. above normal in April and
about normal in other months of the growing
Early yield, represented by the first
harvest, ranged from 42 cwt/A for 'Monarch'
to 340 cwt/A for 'Summersweet 5544' (Table
1). Twenty-six other entries had early yields
similar to 'Summersweet 5544' and to
'Monarch'. Average fruit weight at the first
harvest varied from 10.3 lbs for 3F 1273 to
18.3 lbs for SXW 5001. Soluble solids
concentration (a measure of sweetness) varied
from 10.9% for SXW 5001 to 12.8% for
SXW 4016. The percentage of fruit having
hollowheart at the first harvest ranged from 0
for 'Monarch' to 100% for RWM 8008, 96-
57, SXW 5001, and 'Scarlet Trio'. The
severity of hollowheart varied from 0 for
'Monarch' to 1.8 in. diameter separations for
Total yields ranged from 304 cwt/A for
SXW 4016 to 677 cwt/A for 'Summersweet
5244'. Only eight entries produced yields
significantly lower than 'Summersweet 5244'.
Average fruit weight for the entire season
ranged from 10.1 lbs for 3F 1273 to 17.9 lbs
for 'Monarch'. Soluble solids concentrations
varied from 11.4% for 'Crimson Trio' to
12.4% for SXW 3022. Accordingly, soluble
solids in all entries far exceeded the 10%
specified for optional use in the U.S.
watermelon grade standards to describe very
good internal quality (USDA, 1978). The
incidence of hollowheart ranged from 7% in
3F 1174 to 75% in 'Scarlet Trio' and the
severity 0.1 in. in several entries to 1.2 in.
diameter separations in 'Crimson Trio'.
Seedless watermelon variety trials have
been conducted at this location each spring
season since 1988. The highest yields ranged
from 507 cwt/A in 1996 to 1161 cwt/A in
1993. In spring 1997, the highest yield was
677 cwt/A which was somewhat less than the
777 cwt/A average yield of the previous nine
Variety shape and rind patterns, based
on observations in this trial, are shown in
Table 1. Varieties producing oval to oblong
fruit may be more suitable for boxing than
varieties producing round melons. Generally,
the striped melons are more attractive for the
U.S. market than those with dark stripes on a
very dark green background, or those with a
solid dark green rind.
The incidence and severity of
hollowheart was especially great in the 1997
spring season in this trial. Commercial
plantings were generally plagued with severe
hollowheart as well. However, most were
accepted on the market because of the
unusually short crop. The reason for the high
level of hollowheart is not known.
Based on results of this and previous
trials, varieties, in alphabetical order, that
appear to have considerable potential for
commercial production in Florida include
'Crimson Trio', 'Genesis', 'King of Hearts',
'Millionaire', 'Scarlet Trio', 'Summer Flavor
5032', 'Summer Sweet 5244', and 'Tri-X-313'.
'Tiffany' was not included in this trial, but has
performed well in several past trials.
(Maynard, Vegetarian 97-12)
Table 1. Early and total yields, average fruit weight, soluble solids and the incidence and severity of hollowheart of triploid watermelons.
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. Bradenton. Spring 1997.
Early Harvest' Total Harvest
Avg. Soluble Avg. Fruit Soluble
Weight Weight Solids Hollowheart Weight Weight Solids Hollowheart
Entry (cwt/A)' (Ib) (%) (%) (in.)' (cwlA)' (Ib) (% ()) (in.)
Summersweel 5244 319 ab' 16.3 a-c 11.7 a-e 50 ab 0.5 ab 677 a 15.3 ab 12.3 ab 22 c-e 0.5 a-d
96-57 288 a-c 14.0 b-f 11.9 a-e 100 a 1.8 636ab 12,9 b-h 11.7 ab 70 ab 0.7 a-d
95-14 209 a-d 128 c-g 12.2 a-d 50 ab 0.6 ab 626 ab 13.1 b-h 11.6 ab 22 c-e 0.2 b-d
Crimson Trio 136 a-d 13.9 b-f 11.5 b-e 83 ab 1.4 ab 588 a-c 12.9 b-h 11.4 b 53 a-d 1.2 a
SXW 1025 179 a-d 14.1 b-f 12,4 a-c 83 ab 0.7 ab 590 a-c 13.9 b-g 12.2 ab 45 a-e 0.4 b-d
Sunrise 196 a-d 13.5 c-g 115 b-e 50 ab 0.3 a 586 a-c 13.6 b-g 12.1 ab 22 c-e 0.1 cd
Premier 215 a-d 14.7 b-e 12.2 a-d 67 ab 1.2 ab 571 a-c 14,0 b-f 12.0 ab 39 a-e 0.6 a-d
Summersweet 5544 340 a 15.0 b-e 12.3 a-d 50 ab 0.6 ab 560 a-c 14.5 b-e 12.2 ab 20 c-e 0.2 b-d
SXW 5001 95 cd 18.3 a 10.9 e 100 a 0.8 ab 549 a-c 15.4 a-c 115 ab 32 b-e 0.2 cd
95-11 238 a-d 147 b-e 11,8 a-e 83 ab 1.2 ab 543 a-c 14.7 b-d 119 ab 40 a-e 0.6 a-d
SXW 3053 199 a-d 13.9 b-f 11.9 a-e 83 ab 0.6 ab 542 a-c 14.0 b-f 12.2 ab 42 a-e 0.3 cd
F464 191 a-d 13.4 c-g 12.0 a-e 67 ab 0.5 ab 541 a-c 12.9 b-h 12.2 ab 41 a-e 0.4 a-d
SXW 3022 232 a-d 15-0 b-e 12.3 a-d 83 ab 0.8 ab 520 a-c 14.5 b-e 12.4 a 50 a-e 0.4 a-d
92-08 229 a-d 13.2 c-g 12.0 a-e 50 ab 0.4 ab 514 a-c 13.3 b-h 12.1 ab 33a-e 0.2 b-d
Genesis 211 a-d 13.0 c-g 12.2 a-d 50 ab 0.3 ab 501 a-c 12.8 b-h 12.1 ab 52 a-d 0.5 a-d
SSC 460072 213 a-d 17.1 ab 11.7 a-e 50 ab 0.8 ab 493 a-c 10.5 gh 12.3 ab 19 c-e_ 0.2 b-d
Shadow 189 a-d 11.7 e-g 11.8 a-e 33 ab 0.1 ab 492 a-c 12.1 c-h 12.4 ab 29 b-e 0.1 cd
A22-1 286 a-c 11.8 e-g 11.7 a-e 50 ab 1.2 ab 471 a-c 11.4 d-h 12.1 ab 24 c-e 0.4 a-d
SXW 0037 130 a-d 14.0 b-f 11.2 c-e 33 ab 0.5 ab 469 a-c 15.9 ab 11.5 ab 28 b-e 0.3 b-d
Monarch 42 d 155 a-d 11.8 a-e 0 b b 446 a-c 17.9 a 11,6 ab 47a-e 0.4 b-d
RWM 8008 189 a-d 13.2 c-g 11.6 b-e 100 a 1.5 ab 442 a-c 12.5 b-h 12.1 ab 60a-c 1.0 ab
3F 1174 280 a-c 10.7 fg 11.6 a-e 17 ab 01 b 441 a-c 10.7 f-h 11.6ab 7e 0. d
SXW 1003 105 b-d 13.0 c-g 12.5 ab 50 ab 0,3 ab 425 a-c 11.6 d-h 12.2 ab 42 a-e 0.2 b-d
RWM 8009 158 a-d 12.7 c-g 11.7 a-e 67 ab 1.1 ab 395 a-c 12.6 b-h 12.0 ab 38 a-e 0.5 a-d
Favorite Ball 234 a-d 10.8 fg 120 a-e 17 ab 01 b 389 bc 11.3 e-h 11.8 ab 25 c-e 0.2 cd
822-3 204 a-d' 10.8 fg 11.7 a-e 25 ab 0.2 ab 381 bc 10,6 d-h 11.7 ab 18 c-e 0.1 d
Scarlel Trio 150 a-d 13-2 c-g 12.0 a-e 100 a 1.0 ab 374 bc 14.2 b-e 12.3 ab 75 a 0.6 a-d
3F 1004 125 b-d 12.4 d-g 12.3 a-d 83 ab 1.1 ab 370 bc 12.5 b-h 12.2 ab 50 a-e 0.6 a-d
Tri-X-313 117 b-d 14.5 b-e 11.2 de 25 ab 0,1 b 351 bc 13.5 b-h 116 ab 15 de 0.1 cd
3F 1273 193 a-d 10.3 g 12.2 a-d 33 ab 0.1 b 326 c 10.1 h 12.0 ab 40a-e 0.6 a-d
3F 855 151 a-d 13.9 b-f 11.7 a-e 50 ab 0.3 ab 321 c 13.3 b-h 11.9 ab 30 b-e 0.3 b-d
SXW 4016 211 a-d 15.7 a-d 12.8 a 75 ab 0.5 ab 304 c 14.7 b-e 11.5 ab 32 b-e 0.2 cd
'Early harvest based on first of three harvests.
'Acre = 4840 Ibf.
'Average separation of those fruit sampled.
'Mean separation in columns by Duncan's multiple range test, 5% level.
IH. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. New Third Party Registrations
Three new special local needs
registrations have been issued in Florida to
T.P.R, Inc. A letter of indemnity
acknowledging that the product may lead to
crop injury and a grower agreement form must
be signed with TPR Inc. before a label is
issued. A label must be in possession before
Dual 8E on Celery
Metolachlor (Dual 8E) may be applied
to celery prior to/immediately after
transplanting. Rates are based on soil texture
and percent organic matter. On coarse soils,
apply 1.5-2.0 pts Dual 8E (1.5-2.0 Ibs a.i.) per
acre, on medium and fine soils apply 2.0-2.5
pints (2.0-2.5 lbs a.i.) per acre; when organic
matter content is greater than 3% apply 2.5-
3.0 pints (2.5-3.0 lbs a.i.) per acre.
Authorization and waiver agreements must be
obtained from TPR prior to use.
Caparol 4L on Dill
Caparol 4L may be applied post-
emergent as a broadcast application at .25-.5
lb a.i./A (.5-1 pint/A) to direct seeded dill.
Applications may be made no closer than 30
days prior to harvest. Applications are to be
in a minimum of 20 gallons of water per acre.
A maximum of lb a.i./A (2 pts/A) of Caparol
4L may be applied to dill per growing season.
Crops treated with Caparol 4L can be sold for
fresh market only. Authorization and waiver
agreements must be obtained from TPR, Inc.
prior to use.
Caparol 4L on Parsley
Caparol 4L may be applied
postemergent as a broadcast application at
0.25-0.5 lb a.i./A (.5-1 pint/A) to direct seeded
parsley. Applications may be made no closer
than 30 days prior to harvest. Applications
are to be in a minimum of 20 gallons of water
per acre. Apply no more than a total of 1.0 lb
a.i./A (2 pints/A) of Caparol 4L may be
applied to parsley per growing season. Crops
treated may be sold for fresh market only.
Authorization and waiver agreements must be
obtained from TPR, Inc. prior to use.
(Stall, Vegetarian 97-12)
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Florida 4-H Youth Win National
A Marion County delegation of 4-H
youth represented Florida in championship
fashion at the recent convention of the
National Junior Horticultural Association
(NJHA). The old historic city of
Williamsburg, Virginia was the site for the
convention which was attended by delegates
from all over the U.S.. The Marion 4-H'ers
earned their right to attend and participate in
horticultural contests and activities by
winning state events in Horticultural Judging
and in Plant Connections demonstrations held
during State 4-H Congress in Gainesville,
July, 1997. The NJHA convention was
conducted October 31-November 4, 1997.
The 1998 meeting will convene in Memphis.
A total of 175 youth representing 23
states participated in the Hort ID and Judging
contest, which was divided into three
divisions: 4-H, Open, and Honors. Marion
4-H agent Bob Renner chairs a national
committee which sets up and conducts this
In the 4-H division, the Marion County
team won I' place. They ousted Nebraska,
which had barely beaten Florida at the three
previous national events, as National
Champion. The Florida youth were coached
by 4-H agent Bob Renner. Members of the
team were: Derick Taylor (the team's high
scorer), Sarah Lorenz, Brooke Adams, and
Renner also coached the first place
team in the Open Division. North Carolina
was second out of a field of 12 teams in this
division. Members of Renner's team were:
Todd Rudnianyn (lt), Krista Renner (2nd),
Amy Upton (3r), and Janie Upton (4t).
Perhaps the biggest honor for the
Marion County group came in the Honors
Division, where Tori Lundock won 1'l place.
This category contains extra plant materials
and is more challenging. Only previous
Division winners are eligible to compete here.
Amy Upton and Krista Renner had
won the state Plant Connections
Demonstrations contest and now represented
Florida in the national finals. Their cacti
demonstration was declared a National
Winner in the Production category.
Because of the excellence of his
leadership in NJHA activities and his record
of many championships over several years,
Bob Renner was awarded the Diamond Pin,
the most prestigious award given annually by
the National Junior Horticultural Association.
So, congratulations to you, Bob, and to your
outstanding achievers. I'm sure I speak for all
your colleagues here in the Florida 4-H
horticultural group in saying we are all proud
(Stephens, Vegetarian 97-12)
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Dr. S. M. Olson
ofess r & Editor
Dr. G. J. Hochmuth
Dr. S. A. Sargent
Dr. C. S. Vavrina
Dr. D. N. Maynard
Dr. W. M. Stall
Dr. J. M. White