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James E. Simon, W. Dennis Scott and Gerald Wilcox

A study was initiated at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center to demonstrate the effect of transplant age and transplanting date on the scheduling of melon harvests. Muskmelon (Cucumis melo cv. Superstar) was seeded into #38 growing trays with Jiffy-mix media. Seeding dates were such that 14 and 21 day old seedlings were transplanted April 25, May 9, 17 and 24. The plants were grown on black plastic with trickle irrigation Marketable fruit were harvested starting on June 28 and continuing through August 12. Neither transplant age or date had a significant effect on the number of fruit harvested or on total yield. However, each transplant date showed a distinctive harvest peak beginning June 30 for the April 26 transplant then June 7, 14 and 21 for each successive transplant date.

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W. Dennis Scott, Gerald E. Brust and R.E. Foster

Field and laboratory experiments were conducted to study the effect of soil applied (Carbofuran) Furadan on watermelon and cantaloupe yields. Yields were significantly (p≤ 0.05) greater when Furadan was used than when it was not. The observed yield increases may have been due to factors other than just the insecticidal properties. Other systemic insecticides demonstrated no similar increase in yield. Yield increases were also evident even when plants were grown in sterile soil. Yield increase was due to a significant increase in the first harvest of watermelon and the first three harvests of cantaloupe. Numbers of fruit and average wt/fruit were increased for watermelon at the first harvest. Midwest growers usually receive the highest price per pound of watermelon at the first harvest. This significant increase in early harvest more than pays for the application of the chemical.

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Elizabeth T. Maynard, Charles S. Vavrina and W. Dennis Scott

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. cvs. Superstar and Mission) transplants were grown in cellular seedling trays of polystyrene or styrofoam, with individual cells ranging in volume from 7 to 100 cm3, transplanted to the field, and grown to maturity in Florida and Indiana during the 1993 and 1994 growing seasons. Seedling leaf area, shoot and root weights before transplanting, and shoot dry weight 20 days after transplanting increased linearly with increasing cell volume in Florida. Thirty days after transplanting, vine length showed significant linear and quadratic trends with respect to cell volume in Indiana. In Florida, early and total yields increased linearly as transplant cell volume increased for `Mission' in both years and for `Superstar' in 1994. In Indiana, early yields increased linearly as transplant cell volume increased for `Mission' in 1994 and for `Superstar' in both years, but cell volume did not consistently affect total yield. Transplant tray effects on early and total yield unrelated to linear or quadratic effects of cell volume occurred in both locations, but these effects were not consistent.

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W. Dennis Scott, B. Dean McCraw, James E. Motes and Michael W. Smith

Field experiments were conducted to quantify the effect of Ca supplied as gypsum in factorial combination with watermelon [Citrullus launatus (Thumb) Matsum and Nakai] cultivars Charleston Gray, Crimson Sweet, and Tri-X Seedless on yield and the elemental concentration of leaf and rind tissue. Also, the effect that ontogenetic changes and sectional differences had on the elemental concentration in rind tissue was investigated. The experiments were conducted at two locations in Oklahoma. Yield was not affected by Ca; however, mean melon weight was reduced at 1120 kg Ca/ha. Leaf Ca concentration increased linearly in response to Ca rate. `Tri-X Seedless' had lower leaf Ca and higher K concentrations than did `Charleston Gray' or `Crimson Sweet'. Fruit ontogeny (days from anthesis) and melon section (blossom or stem-end) interacted to affect elemental concentrations in the rind tissue. There was also a significant genotypic effect on elemental concentration in rind tissue. Increasing rates of Ca applied to soil reduced the incidence of-blossom-end rot (BER) in `Charleston Gray' melons. Calcium treatment did not affect flesh redness or soluble solids concentration (SSC) of watermelon.