231 Effects of Stand Deficiencies and Timing of Replanting on Yields of `Athena' Muskmelon

in HortScience

Seedling losses shortly after emergence in muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) can be potentially devastating to growers. Muskmelon growers often have problems with obtaining adequate stands and need to understand the affects of replanting seed into poor stands. Field studies were conducted over 2 years to determine if replanting (at 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks after the initial seeding) into stand deficiencies of 10%, 30%, and 50% affected `Athena' muskmelon size and yield. `Athena' muskmelon stand deficiencies up to 30% does not appear to reduce total or marketable numbers, but stand deficiencies of 50% or more will decrease total and marketable melon yields. Replanting into 10%, 30%, and 50% stand deficiencies will increase early season melon numbers regardless of the replant times used. For main-season and total-season harvests, there was no advantage of replanting into 10% deficient stands, and in most cases, replanting reduced total and marketable melon numbers. In the 1997 experiment, replanting into 30% and 50% stand deficiencies improved yields but this did not occur in the 1998 experiment. `Athena' muskmelon should be replanted only if a stand reduction of ≈50% or more occurs. Melon numbers were generally higher if replanted by 1 or 2 weeks compared to 3 or 4 weeks, but the timing of replanting does not appear to have significant influence on total or marketable melon numbers.

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