Influence of Transplant Age on Performance of Muskmelon (2004) - 2 pages
Successful production of muskmelon in Saskatchewan’s short growing season hinges on the use of transplants. Transplanting allows the temperature-sensitive germination process to occur under ideal conditions in the greenhouse. Transplanting also extends the effective length of the growing season. Typically cucurbits like melons are transplanted when relatively young (<2 weeks old), as they tend to become root-bound and sensitive to transplanting shock. However, use of larger, more advanced transplants may be advantageous when long-season crops like melons are grown in regions with an exceptionally short growing season. This trial evaluated the impact of transplant age on the performance of two muskmelon cultivars - Athena and Earligold. The transplants used were either 10 or 28 days old.
The seedlings were planted into the field in the 3rd week of May onto IRT mulch with clear polyethylene row covers and drip irrigation. Conditions following transplanting were relatively cool and transplant survival was excellent. The cool weather however persisted for the duration of the 2004 growing season and development of the melon crop was slow. The trial was damaged by a late August frost and subsequent growth, fruit yields and fruit quality were poor.