Increasing Melon Yields

High yields are obtained on freely drained soils where water is not limiting.

Plant density and spacing are critical to ensure crops make best use of environmental conditions so that yield potentials are reached.

Maintenance of optimum pH ensures nutrients are readily available. The use of herbicides or cultivation will remove any weed competition.

Growers can minimize the competitive effects of strong vegetative development by pruning. However, it is important to avoid excessive pruning as un-shaded crops can be at risk of sunscald.

The control of salinity within the root environment, and water supply management, will maximize growth and ensure good nutrient availability.

The use of fungicides and insecticides will reduce the incidence of yield and quality sapping diseases and pests.

Crop nutrition is also essential

  • Nitrogen and potassium are key elements in boosting leaf growth and maximizing yield potential and quality. However, too much nitrogen at flowering can restrict flowering, and therefore fruit set and yield. Correct form of nitrogen is critical; over-use of ammonium-N sources can restrict growth and adversely affect quality.
  • Phosphorus is important for early growth and rooting, and then again throughout growth, for higher yields of heavier fruit.
  • Calcium is needed for early seedling strength and to ensure vigorous leaf development and canopy growth, thereby providing high yields.
  • Magnesium also ensures good leaf growth.
  • Poor availability of any micronutrient will restrict yield. Boron is particularly important at flowering to maximize fruit set.