Influencing Melon Quality

Quality Water Melon

The aim of any producer is a high quality crop that satisfies the end user. There are several agronomic factors which can influence this, many are within the control of the grower, under given growing systems, climatic and soil conditions.

Balanced fertilizer programs starting early during establishment and vegetative growth as well as during crop development, are needed to ensure good melon quality. Crop nutrition is therefore essential. Crop quality standards vary between markets and countries. Many have been established as a result of local preference, taste and tradition.

Most melon consumers are looking for a firmness in the melon flesh and a sweet taste (Total Soluble Solids). Thus, handling quality – particularly rind strength and elasticity, which also effect melon shelf life - is very important.

Crop Nutrition and Melon Quality

Nitrogen is important for sugar content and taste. However, too much nitrogen during the later stages of growth increases rind blemishes and encourages rots.

Phosphorus is important during establishment for root growth as well as during flower formation to increase melon fruit set. It also helps produce thicker skins with well-developed netting.

Potassium has a critically important role in ensuring top quality fruit by determining the level of sugar at harvest.

Calcium also has a major role to play in maximizing fruit quality by strengthening rind cell walls and maintaining good fruit condition, shape and storage characteristics. It also plays a major role in minimizing Blossom End Rot (BER).

Boron also has a role to play in improving melon skin quality, ensuring complete melon seed set and actively encouraging uptake of calcium.

Magnesium – in balance with potassium and calcium – ensures good pulp firmness and sugar content.

Other Crop Management Practices Increasing Melon Quality

  • During the later stages of growth, it is particularly important to ensure that environmental and growth constraints do not limit quality potential. Maintaining a steady growth of fruit at all times with adequate, but not excessive water-use, will ensure good quality criteria are met.
  • Growers can avoid cracking by selecting tolerant varieties and growing them on soils where drainage is not a problem and where water supply can be properly managed.
  • Control of pests and diseases is particularly important during flowering and fruit-fill.

Find Yara Advice on Every Melon Quality Issue

Reducing Melon Fruit Cracking

Reducing Melon Fruit Cracking

To avoid melon fruit cracking, growers can select more tolerant melon varieties and grow them on soils where drainage is not a problem and where water supply can be properly managed.

Increasing Melon Fruit Netting

Increasing Melon Fruit Netting

Melon netting is the waxy, raised crisscross, net-like protecting structure found on the rind of some Cantaloupe types.

Reduce Melon Glassiness

Reducing Melon Glassiness

Low calcium supply can induce an early softening, or glassiness appearance of melon fruits, while the fruit is still immature.