Productivity and Growth of Short-internode Muskmelon Plants at Various Spacings or Densities

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Dean E. KnavelDepartment of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40546

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Short-internode (SI) muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) genotypes Ky-P7 (si-1 gene for SI) and Main Dwarf (si-3 gene for SI) were compared with the normal-internode (NI) cultivar Mainstream at various plant spacings or planting densities over 3 years. SI `Honey Bush' (si-1 gene for SI) and `Bush Star' (si-1 gene for SI) were included in 2 years. At double the population, SI plants (si gene type) produced ≈35% fewer fruit than `Mainstream' plants grown at one-half the population density. Spacing generally had no effect on average fruit weight, but increasing plant density of SI genotypes decreased the number of fruit per plant. Generally, doubling the density reduced leaf area and total plant dry weight, but had minimal effect on the amount of shaded leaf area. Ky-P7, `Honey Bush', and `Bush Star' plants had more leaf shading than `Mainstream' and Main Dwarf plants.

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