Indiana CropMAP     NewCROP

Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 1998

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Cucumber, Muskmelon, and Watermelon

Muskmelon

Varieties Season Quality Remarks
Eclipse Mid Excellent Heavy net, round, very firm flesh
Legend Mid Excellent Medium net, oblong, large uniform fruit
Starfire (HM 2608) Mid-Late Very Good Very large fruit, good netting
Starship Early-Mid Very Good Excellent size and net, uniform fruit
Superstar Early Good Very large fruit, excellent netting
Promising Western cantaloupes for the Midwest: Don Carlos, Explorer, HyMark, Primo, Tastysweet, Veracruz

Promising green flesh muskmelons: Makdimon, Passport, Galor 2, Galor 3.

Honeydew and Crenshaw melons for trial: Daybreak, Early Dew, Moonshine, Sunex 7051, Venus

Watermelon

Varieties Maturity (days) Fusarium Wilt Resistance* Color Shape Approx. wt. (lb.)
Seeded Watermelons        
Carnival 86 7 lt. green, striped blocky 22-26
Crimson Sweet 88 -- green striped blocky round 20-30
Fiesta 88 9 dk. green, striped blocky 22-26
Matador 95 -- dk. green long oval 25-30
Regency 82 9 dk. green, striped blocky oblong 18-22
Royal Jubilee 95 8 lt. green, striped long oval 25-30
Royal Sweet 85 7 lt. green, striped blocky oval 20-25
Sangria 85 9 dk. green, striped long blocky oval 20-26
Sultan 88 -- lt. green, striped oblong 25-30
Seedless Watermelons**        
Crimson Trio 85 7 med. green, striped globe 14-16
Genesis 85 -- dk. green, striped round 15-18
Millionaire 90 7 lt. green, striped oblong 13-20
Nova 85 -- dk. green, striped round 14-16
Revelation 85 -- lt. green, striped round oval 15-18
Shadow 90 7 dk. green, striped round oval 15-18
SummerSweet 5244 90 6 lt. green, striped round oval 16-20
Tri-X-313 90 6 lt. green, striped round oval 16-20
Yellow-fleshed Watermelons        
AU-Golden Producer 88 -- lt. green, striped blocky round 20-30
Yellow Baby 68 -- lt. green, striped round 9-12
Suggested Small Ice-box Variety: Jade Star

Seeded Varieties for Trial: Baron, Emperor

*Fusarium Wilt Resistance Ratings for Muskmelon and Watermelon: a score of "9" indicates excellent resistance, a rating of "1" indicates little or no resistance. Black Diamond has a rating of 1. Cultivars with a resistance rating less than "6" should not be planted in fields with a history of Fusarium wilt. See Purdue Extension publication BP-19 for a more extensive list of wilt-resistant muskmelon and watermelon varieties.

** Pollinators must be planted with seedless varieties. Use a long watermelon such as Royal Jubilee or Sangria as the pollinating variety. Crimson Sweet works well as a pollinator, but its fruit will be seeded and have a similar appearance to most seedless varieties.

Cucumber

A. Slicing Varieties Season Disease Resistance*
Dasher II Early 1-2-3-4-5-6
General Lee Main 3-4-5-6
Lightning Very Early 3-4-6
Speedway Very Early 1-2-3-4-5-6
Thunder Very Early 3-4-6-7
For Trial Only: Jazzer

B. Pickling Varieties Season Spine Color Disease Resistance*
Calypso Early to Mid White 1-2-3-4-5-6
Carolina Mid White 1-2-3-4-5-6
Fancipak M Early to Mid White 1-2-3-4-5-6
Green Spear 14 Mid White 1-3-4-5-6
Score** Early White 1-2-3-4-5
*Degree of resistance varies according to variety. Disease resistance codes are as follows: 1) angular leaf spot, 2) anthracnose, 3) cucumber mosaic virus, 4) scab, 5) downy mildew, 6) powdery mildew, 7) zucchini yellow mosaic virus.

** Machine harvest only.

Spacing

Muskmelons: Rows 5 to 7 ft. apart. Plants 3 to 5 ft. apart in row. 1 to 2 plants per hill. Plastic mulch is recommended. Clear mulch is suggested only for earliest plantings in northern areas.
Watermelons: Rows 6 to 12 ft. apart. Plants 3 to 6 ft. apart in row. One plant per hill. Plastic mulch is recommended.
Cucumbers: Rows 4 to 6 ft. apart. Plants 15 to 18 in. apart in row. Pickles (Machine harvest): Rows 18 to 20 in. apart. Plants 5 to 7 in. apart in row. Cucumbers should be planted after the danger of frost is past since they are not frost tolerant. For proper germination, soil temperature must be above 60°F. Planting too early when the soil is too cold and wet will result in poor seedling emergence.

Fertilizing

Lime: To maintain a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Muskmelon in particular is very sensitive to low soil pH and should be limed to 6.3 to 6.8. If your soil test indicates less than 70 ppm magnesium, then use dolomitic limestone or apply 50 lb. Mg per acre broadcast preplant incorporated.

Preplant: N, 40 to 60 lb. per acre; P2O5, 0 to 150 lb. per acre; K2O, 0 to 200 lb. per acre. Adjust according to soil type, previous management, and soil test results for your state. For transplants, a starter solution at the rate of 1 cup (8 oz.) per plant is recommended. See p. 2 for fertilizer type suggestions. If the transplant flat receives a heavy fertilizer feeding just prior to setting the starter solution can be eliminated.

Sidedress N: Apply 45 lb. N per acre in a band to either side of the row when plants are rapidly vining. At least half of the nitrogen should be in the nitrate (NO3) form. For direct seeded watermelon, the preplant N application can be replaced by an early sidedressing of 40 lb. N per acre when plants show the first set of true leaves followed by the 45 lb. N rate at the rapid vining stage of growth. If heavy rains occur in June, 30 lb. N per acre should be applied through the irrigation system at fruit set (late June - early July).

For muskmelons and cucumbers grown on plastic mulch, the N rate can be reduced because N losses from leaching are greatly reduced. For this culture system, apply 50 lb. N per acre broadcast preplant over the row just prior to laying the plastic. Sidedress 30 lb. N per acre on either side of the plastic at vining when the plant roots have reached the edge of the plastic (mid June). If you are using trickle irrigation, then apply the 50 lb. N per acre preplant and apply 0.5 to 1 lb. N per acre daily or 3 to 6 lb. N on a weekly basis through the trickle system until fruit are about 2 inches in diameter.

Irrigation

Cucumbers: Maximum yields and fruit quality will only result if the plants receive adequate and timely moisture. Depending upon your soil type, approximately 1 to 2 in. of water per week is needed to obtain high quality cucumbers. An irregular water supply, particularly during blossoming and fruit development, can detrimentally affect fruit quality and result in increased nubins or hooked fruit.

Muskmelons: Muskmelon are moderately deep rooted and require adequate soil moisture with good drainage. Natural rainfall may not be adequate. Supplemental irrigation may be required, particularly in the early stages of growth. When irrigating, irrigate the soil in the effective root zone to field capacity. A good steady moisture supply is critical for good melon production. After melons have attained a good size, it is best if irrigation is reduced. Reduced irrigation at this time can in some cases increase the sugar content of the mature fruit. Excessive moisture during fruit ripening can result in poorer fruit quality.

Watermelons: Watermelons are deep rooted plants, so natural rainfall often is adequate and irrigation may not be cost effective on heavier soils. Adequate soil moisture in the early growth stages will help to ensure vigorous growth and is also critical during blossoming and fruit development.

Harvesting

Cucumbers: Unless a once-over mechanical harvester is being used, cucumbers should be harvested at 2-4 day intervals to prevent losses from oversized and overmature fruit. Desired harvest size ranges from 5 to 8 in. long and 1.5 to 2 in. in diameter for fresh market. If growing for a processor, be sure to understand the specific terms of their contract at the beginning of the growing season. Prices received are related to the quantity of fruit within specific size ranges as established by either USDA guidelines or by a processor.

Muskmelons: Harvesting is done manually and great care must be exercised at picking to harvest only the physiologically mature plants. Fruits must be in the half or full slip state. Fruit harvested prior to the half slip stage will be too green and will not ripen properly. The shipping of undermature fruit has been a problem and should be avoided.

Watermelons: Harvesting watermelons at the correct stage of maturity is critical and difficult. While each cultivar is different, maturity can be determined in several ways. Ground spots changing in color from white to yellow, browning of tendrils nearest the fruit, ridges on the rind surface, and a hollow or dull sound when "thumped" all indicate correct maturity. Melons should be cut from the plant to avoid vine damage and prevent stem-end rot.

Diseases Controlled Treatment Comments
Bacterial fruit blotch Plant uncontaminated watermelon seed. If fruit blotch has occurred in the past, sanitize the greenhouse thoroughly. Contaminated fields should be fall-plowed and planted to crops other than melon or cucurbits for at least 2 years. Subsequent grain crops are suggested for the rotation so that broadleaf herbicides will kill volunteer watermelon seedlings in the spring. In situations where fruit blotch threatens, applications of copper hydroxide at 10-14 day intervals beginning at fruit set may help reduce the rate of spread of the disease. The pathogen is primarily seed-borne (introduced with contaminated watermelon seed), but may overwinter on infested plant material in greenhouses and in the field. Muskmelons may be infected, but they do not appear as disease-prone as watermelons . Copper applications may be effective in reducing losses only if the disease is diagnosed early, and sprays are applied before widespread infection has occurred. Repeated use of copper may result in an reduction of watermelon yield. Copper will not provide acceptable control of fungal diseases such as anthracnose or gummy stem blight.
Alternaria leaf blight (muskmelon) 3-4 year crop rotation. Rotation with noncucurbit crops will significantly reduce the threat of Alternaria in future melon crops.
  Bravo, Terranil, or Echo at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 1.5 to 2.5 lb. per acre for dry (DF, DG) formulations.
or
Apply protective fungicide beginning when vines touch within rows or at first sign of the disease. Use a 7-10 day application interval. 0 day PHI.
  Dithane, Manzate, Penncozeb or Manex II at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 2 to 3 lb. per acre for dry (WP, DF, DG) formulations. 5 day PHI.
Angular leaf spot (cucumber and muskmelon) Resistant varieties (cucumbers only)
or
Several cucumber varieties have genetic resistance to angular leaf spot.
  Citcop 5E at 3 pt. per acre. or Kocide DF at 2 to 3 lb. per acre. or Champion WP at 2 to 3 lb. per acre. Apply copper bacteriacides at the first sign of disease. Alternate or tank mix with fungicides to maintain protection from other diseases. Sprays will result in marginal chlorosis of cucurbit leaves. 0 day PHI.
Anthracnose (cucumber, muskmelon, watermelon) Resistant varieties (cucumbers only) Many cucumber varieties have genetic resistance to anthracnose.
  3-4 year crop rotation. Rotation with non-cucurbit crops will decrease the threat of anthracnose in future years.
  Bravo, Terranil, or Echo at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 1.5 to 2.5 lb. per acre for dry (DF, DG) formulations.
or
0 day PHI. Apply fungicides at the first sign of disease or when vines touch within rows. Bravo and mancozeb fungicides protect against Alternaria and gummy stem blight infection as well as against anthracnose.
  Dithane, Manzate, Penncozeb or Manex II at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 2 to 3 lb. per acre for dry (DP, DF, DG) formulations. 5 day PHI.
Bacterial wilt (cucumber and muskmelon) A systemic insecticide (Furadan) should be incorporated into soil before transplanting. Contact insecticides should be applied to seedlings before transplanting and then continued on a regular basis after the systemic insecticide loses effectiveness (2-3 weeks). Control of this disease depends on control of striped and spotted cucumber beetles. Fields should be scouted regularly for the presence of beetles. Insecticides should be applied only when beetles are present. When large numbers are present, treatments may be required twice weekly.
Downy mildew (cucumber, muskmelon, watermelon) Resistant varieties. Several cucumber varieties have genetic resistance to downy mildew.
  Ridomil Gold Bravo 82W at 1.5 lb. per acre. or Ridomil Gold MZ at 1.5 - 2.0 lb. per acre.
or
0 day PHI. Apply Ridomil Gold Bravo or Ridomil Gold MZ at the first sign of disease. Use 14 day application interval. Most fungicides that protect against Alternaria and gummy stem blight also provide some downy mildew protection.
  Bravo, Terranil, or Echo at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 1.5 to 2.5 lb. per acre for dry (DF, DG) formulations. 0 day PHI.
Fusarium wilt (muskmelon) Use resistant muskmelon cultivars: Legend, Eclipse and Superstar. These cultivars have good resistance to strains of Fusarium found in Indiana and Illinois. Check wilt resistance table on page 47.
Fusarium wilt (watermelons) Use resistant watermelon cultivars: Royal Jubilee, Royal Star, Royal Sweet, and Sangria. Check table on page 47. Rotation with non-cucurbit crops will decrease incidence of wilt.
Gummy stem blight (cucumber, muskmelon, watermelon) 3-4 year crop rotation. Rotation with other crops will significantly decrease the threat of gummy stem blight in future years. Use disease-free seed and clean, uncontaminated growing trays for raising seedlings.
  Bravo, Terranil, or Echo at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 1.5 to 2.5 lb. per acre for dry (DF, DG) formulations.
or
0 day PHI. Disease is most severe on watermelon. Apply protective fungicides beginning when vines touch within rows or at the first sign of disease. A 7 day spray interval is recommended.
  Dithane, Manzate, Penncozeb or Manex II at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 2 to 3 lb. per acre for dry (WP, DF, DG) formulations. 5 day PHI.
Nematodes (muskmelon and watermelon) Methyl bromide. or Sodium methyl dithiocarbamate.
or
Methyl bromide and Sodium methyl dithiocarbamate give best results when nematode populations are moderate to high. Vydate gives adequate control when nematode populations are low to moderate and most or all product is applied under plastic mulch.
  Vydate L at 1 to 2 gal. per acre in 20 gal. water broadcast. Incorporate 2 to 4 in. deep. Apply in spring before planting.
Powdery mildew (cucumber and muskmelon) Use resistant varieties wherever possible. Many cucumber varieties are resistant to powdery mildew. Cantaloupe varieties resistant to powdery mildew include Legend, Saticoy, and Summer.
  Bayleton at 4 oz. per acre. or Benlate at 8 oz. per acre.
or
Make initial fungicide application at approximately 7 days before first harvest for muskmelon. A second application is recommended 2-3 wks. after the first. 0 day PHI for Bayleton and Topsin. 1 day PHI for Benlate.
  Topsin 70WSB at 4 oz. per acre. If one fungicide is not effective in a given year, switch to another in the following season.
Scab (cucumber) Resistant varieties. Several cucumber varieties are resistant to scab infection.
  3-4 year crop rotation. Rotation will significantly reduce the threat of scab infection in subsequent cucumber crops.
  Bravo, Terranil, or Echo at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 1.5 to 2.5 lb. per acre for dry (DF, DG) formulations.
or
0 day PHI.
  Dithane, Manzate, Penncozeb or Manex II at 2 to 3 pt. per acre for flowable (F) formulations or 2 to 3 lb. per acre for dry (WP, DF, DG) formulations. Apply fungicides on a 7-14 day schedule. 5 day PHI.
Virus diseases Apply insecticides for aphid and cucumber beetle control since viruses are transmitted by these insects. Insect control will not be effective in reducing virus incidence in late-season cucurbits. Several virus diseases including cucumber mosaic virus, watermelon mosaic virus, squash mosaic virus, and zucchini yellow mosaic virus can occur in the Midwest. Squash mosaic virus is seed transmitted. Inspect seedlings and discard those with virus-like symptoms. Obtain seed from reliable sources.
Herbicide* Treatment** Comments
Preemergence    
Alanap 2L 6 to 8 qt. per acre. Use lower rate on light colored sandy soils (less than 1% organic matter). Normally tank mixed with Prefar. A second broadcast application of Alanap made just before plants vine will give some control of small emerged broadleaves.
Prefar 4E 5 qt. per acre on light-colored sandy soils (less than 1% organic matter), 6 qt. on other soils. Apply before seeding or transplanting and incorporate lightly. May stunt crop if used under clear plastic.
Curbit 3EC 3 to 4 pt. per acre. Requires signing a waiver of liability before using. Direct seeded: Use low rate on light soil. Apply to soil surface within 2 days of seeding. Do not incorporate. Needs 1/2 in. rain or irrigation within 5 days to activate. If no rain occurs, cultivate shallowly. Heavy rainfall or irrigation after application may cause crop injury. Transplants: Apply as a banded spray to soil between rows of plastic mulch. Do not apply over or under hot caps, row covers, or plastic mulch. Do not broadcast over top of plants.
Dacthal 75WP 8 lb. per acre on light colored soils (less than 1.5% organic), 14 lb. on darker colored soils in at least 50 gal. water. Direct seeded crop: Apply to soil (no emerged weeds) after plants have 4 to 5 true leaves. Apply to moist soil or irrigate lightly after application to improve weed control. May be applied between rows of plastic mulch.
Command 4EC 0.5 to 0.75 pt. per acre. Cucumbers in Illinois only. Apply before planting and incorporate shallowly. Place seed below chemical.
Postemergence    
Poast 1.5E 1 to 1.5 pt. per acre plus 1 qt. COC per acre. Apply to actively growing grasses. Maximum of 3 pt. per acre per season. 14 day PHI.
Stale Seedbed    
Gramoxone Extra 2.5E 2 to 3 pt. per acre plus 1 pt. nonionic surfactant per 100 gallons spray solution. Apply to emerged weeds before seeding or transplanting or after seeding but before crop emergence. RUP.
Roundup Ultra (4 lbs./gal.) 2 to 3 qt. per acre. Apply to emerged weeds before planting the crop. Wait 3 days before planting.
*For specific weeds controlled by each herbicide, check table on page 23.
**Rates given are for overall coverage. For band treatment, reduce amounts according to the portion of acre treated.
Insects Controlled Treatment Comments
Seed corn maggots and cucumber beetles in seed beds Treat seeds with a combination fungicide-insecticide, such as captan-lindane, at 1 oz. per 25 lb. of seed. and Early clean plowing of cover crops will generally result in less damage to seedling plants in the field.
  Spray emerging seedlings with a mixture of 3 tablespoons methoxychlor 50WP per 2 gal. of water plus an approved fungicide at a rate for 2 gal. of water. This is enough spray to treat one 10-sash bed, or about 400 sq. ft. Do not expect a fumigant used on the soil-manure mixture before seeding to protect seedling plants as flies can continue to lay eggs after plant emergence. Use low pressure when spraying to avoid seedling injury.
Cucumber beetles Apply at planting (either at seeding, or time of transplanting) Furadan 4F at 2.5 fl. oz. per 1000 linear feet of row. Apply directly into seed furrow or as a 7 inch band over the row. This application is for seedling protection and beetle control after seedlings emerge or as transplants become established. Indiana and Illinois only.
Cucumber beetles and other insects listed on the labels Monitoring Fields should be monitored frequently (2-3 times per week) to detect mass emergence of beetles in the spring. Insecticide applications should be focused on periods of heavy beetle activity. Evening sprays will reduce bee kill.
Thresholds

Cantaloupe and Cucumber—1 beetle/plant

Watermelon—5 beetles/plant

Apply throughout the season when beetles exceed threshold. If Furadan 4F was applied just before or during transplanting, plants will need one spray to protect plants until plant uptake of Furadan has occurred.
Adios at 0.5 to 0.75 lb. per acre.
or
0 day PHI. Apply when beetle populations reach economic threshold levels.
  Pounce 3.2EC at 4 to 8 fl. oz., or 25WP at 6.4 to 12.8 oz. per acre.
or
Apply a minimum of 4 gal. finished spray per acre by air or 20 gal. finished spray per acre with ground equipment. 0 day PHI.
  Ambush 2EC at 6.4 to 12.8 fl. oz., or 25WP at 6.4 to 12.8 oz. per acre.
or
Apply by ground equipment using sufficient water to obtain full coverage of foliage. Do not apply more than 1.6 lb. a.i. per acre per season. 0 day PHI.
  Asana XL at 5.8 to 9.6 fl. oz. per acre.
or
Do not exceed 0.25 lb. a.i. per acre per season. 3 day PHI.
  Sevin 50 WP at 2 lb., or 80SP at 1.25 lb., or XLR Plus at 1 qt. per acre.
or
Some phytotoxicity may result when carbaryl is applied during hot humid weather, especially on seedlings and newly set plants. Carbaryl may be highly toxic to bees visiting plants during bloom. 3 day PHI.
  Methoxychlor 2EC at 2 to 6 qt. pr acre.
or
Relatively non-toxic to bees. 7 day PHI.
  Thiodan, Endosulfan, or Phaser 50WP at 2 lb., or 3EC at 1 qt. per acre.
or
2 day PHI. Do not exceed 6 applications or 3 lb. a.i. per acre per season.
  Diazinon AG500 at 1 pt. or 50WP at 1 lb. per acre.
or
3 day PHI for melons, 7 day PHI for cucumbers.
  Rotenone according to label directions. 1 day PHI.
Aphids Conserve natural enemies. Limiting the use of insecticides will conserve predators and parasites that help keep aphid populations under control.
  Monitoring. Look for the presence of predators or parasitized aphids. Several predators per aphid colony will probably bring the aphid population under control without insecticide.
  Thiodan, Endosulfan, or Phaser 50WP at 1 to 2 lb. or 3EC at 0.6 to 1.3 qt. per acre.
or
2 day PHI.
  Dimethoate at 1.5 pt. per acre.
or
Do not use on cucumbers. 3 day PHI.
  M-Pede at 1.25 fl. oz. per 50 gal. water.
or
0 day PHI. Must contact aphids to be effective.
  Metasystox-R 2SC at 2 pt. per acre. 14 day PHI for muskmelon (no more than 3 applications per season), 7 days for watermelons (no more than 2 applications per season), and 3 days for cucumbers (no more than 2 applications per season).
Mites Kelthane 35WP at 1 to 1.6 lb. per acre.
or
2 day PHI.
  Dimethoate at 1.5 pt. per acre.
or
Do not use on cucumbers. 3 day PHI.
  Agri-mek 0.15EC at 8 to 16 fl. oz. per acre. 7 day PHI. Do not exceed 48 fl. oz. per acre per season. Allow at least 7 days between applications. Do not make more than two sequential applications.
Whiteflies Align or Neemix according to label directions.
or
0 day PHI.
  M-Pede at 1.25 fl. oz. pr 50 gal water. 0 day PHI. Must contact whiteflies to be effective.


Indiana CropMAP     NewCROP

last update Wednesday, October 07, 1998 by aw