Lack of Netting in Muskmelons

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

Recently a muskmelon field was observed with a whole section of the field producing fruits without netting (bald).

Melons have several different potential rind patterns: smooth such as honeydews, wrinkled such as canary melons, or netted such as our eastern muskmelons and western cantaloupes. Netting is controlled genetically and is highly heritable. Breeders select for netting types in their programs when developing new melons.

Commonly we find lack of netting in muskmelons where fruits have not fully developed due to poor pollination and late in the season when nights are cool affecting fruit development. There is also an association with calcium levels and netting. Poor netting can be a result of calcium deficiencies under low pH soil conditions.

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