Watermelon Fertility and Irrigation Management

Dear Watermelon Growers,

At our past winter technical meeting, several growers suggested fertilizer recommendations need to be reevaluated for watermelon production in our area. This suggestion is timely and critical. We plan to initiate a project for the 2020 watermelon production season to reevaluate the fertility and irrigation practices used in Indiana.  We will identify 7-10 watermelon fields with different irrigation and fertility practices. We will collect soil samples and plant tissue samples at different crop growth stages. Lab results will be shared with growers immediately after they are received. Growers who wish to closely watch the nutritional status of the watermelon plants may want to take this free opportunity. As part of this project, we will collect information about fertilizer and irrigation application, and approximate yield of the evaluating field from growers. Summarized results of this project will be shared at the next Southwest Indiana Vegetable and Melon Growers meeting with approval from participating growers. No growers’ names or the location of the field will be disclosed.

If you are interested in participating this project, please contact Wenjing Guan at guan40@purdue.edu or call Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center Office (812) 886-0198 by April 15, and let us know your answer for the following questions:

1. Location of the field (for example, Oaktown, Decker, etc. )

2. Which of the production practices best describe the field(s). If you have multiple fields you would like to participate in this study, please indicate all that apply.

A. Plastic covered beds without irrigation; fertilizers only applied preplantly and broadcast

B. Plastic covered beds with drip irrigation; fertilizers only applied preplantly and broadcast

C. Plastic covered beds with central pivot irrigation; fertilizers only applied preplantly and broadcast

D. Plastic covered beds with drip irrigation; fertilizers are preplant and partially applied through fertigation

E. Plastic covered beds with drip irrigation; fertilizers are exclusively applied through fertigation

F. Fertilizers are banded applied preplantly

G. Sidedress fertilizers may be applied

H. Foliar fertilizers may be applied

3. What is the best way to contact you?

Thank you very much for your interest in participating in this study. Please do not hesitate to contact Wenjing Guan (guan40@purdue.edu) if you have any questions.

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