Hydroponically produced 'Galia' muskmelon – What’s the secret?
Nicole L. Shaw, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Scott Taylor
University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Horticultural Sciences Department
Gainesville, FL 32611-0690
‘Galia’ muskmelon (Cucumis melo var. retuculatus L.) is a green-fleshed specialty melon with a yellow-netted exterior, bold aroma, and sweet flavor that is highly desirable in the European market. ‘Galia’ and ‘Galia-type’ melon cultivars were developed especially for protected agriculture production areas with warm, sandy soils, such as in the Middle-East, Israel, and Spain. ‘Galia’ melon can also be successfully grown hydroponically in a greenhouse. Twelve ‘Galia’ or ‘Galia-type’ muskmelon cultivars were grown over three seasons in Gainesville, FL. Seedlings were transplanted into perlite-filled polyethylene bags on 31 March, 1999, 14 October, 1999 and 1 March, 2000 and were grown in a double-layer-polyethylene covered greenhouse with passive ventilation. Environmental growing conditions varied among seasons and were reflected in fruit yield and quality. Marketable number of fruit per plant was less than three fruits when plants were not pruned or temperatures dropped below 20ºC. Marketable fruit number or weight per plant was not different among cultivars when they were not pruned, however, there were differences among cultivars when plants were pruned or temperatures were below 20ºC. Average fruit weight was greater than 1.20 kg when plants were not pruned and less than 0.80 kg when temperatures were below 20ºC. ‘Revigal’ and ‘Omega’ produced five fruit per plant in Spring 2000, but yields were not significantly different than ‘Gal-152’, ‘Gal-52’, ‘Galia-H’, ‘Galia-Z’, ‘Galor’, ‘Golan’, and ‘Jalisco’. Average fruit weight in Spring 2000 was between 0.70 kg and 0.90 kg per fruit depending on cultivar. Soluble solids readings were greater than 11.3º Brix in Spring 2000 with ‘Gal-52’, ‘Galia-H’, ‘Galia-Z’, ‘Galor’, and ‘Revigal’ cultivars.
Download complete article in PDF format here.