Foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality
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Foliar Applied Potassium: Effects on Cantaloupe Quality. Gene Lester, Ph.D. Research Plant Physiologist Weslaco, Texas. 1. Enzyme activation 2. Protein synthesis 3. Cell extension 4. Production of Chloroplasts 5. Transport of Sugars – leaf to fruit 6. Unloading of Sugars – into fruits.

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Foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality
Foliar Applied Potassium: Effects on Cantaloupe Quality

Gene Lester, Ph.D.

Research Plant Physiologist

Weslaco, Texas


Foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality

1.Enzyme activation

2.Protein synthesis

3. Cell extension

4.Production of Chloroplasts

5.Transport of Sugars – leaf to fruit

6.Unloading of Sugars – into fruits


Foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality

  • Ca – fruit firmness, membrane stability

    and extends shelf-life

  • B – Carbohydrate metabolism, sugar

    transport

  • Zn – Carbohydrate metabolism,

    membrane stability

  • Mg – Photosynthesis, CO2 fixation

  • NO3 – Carbohydrate demand



Foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality

Plant derived K via the soil; Availability problems are due to

  • Soil K concentration

  • Soil pH – pH 8 and lower

  • Moisture conditions

  • K buffering capacity


Foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality

Quantity of K absorbed by plant roots

  • Transport demand (light, wind, temp.)

  • Soil type (clay > sandy)

  • Root metabolism (extraction efficiency)

  • *Uptake competition (Ca and Mg)

  • *Root tip age (younger > older)

  • *Root growth stage (active > non-active)

  • *Problem: the most efficient and abundant uptake of K is prior to fruiting


Foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality

Study: potential solution to soil derived K availability problems in melons

  • Foliar spray: K-metalosate @ 24% K

  • Foliar applications – during fruit growth and maturation

  • Timing – None, weekly, bi-weekly

  • Greenhouse plants – potting mix

  • Regular complete soil fertigation schedule which included K


Foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality

Analyses were problems in melons

  • Days to maturity

  • Fruit weight

  • Fruit firmness

  • K concentration

  • Soluble solids concentration SSC

  • Sugars

  • Ascorbic acid - derived from glucose

  • B-carotene - derived from chloroplasts


Summary weekly applications of foliar k applied to melons
Summary problems in melons: weekly applications of foliar K applied to melons

  • Reduces days to maturity

  • Increases SSC

  • Increases fruit firmness

  • Increases fructose content – sweeter less calories

  • Increases total sugar content

  • Increases ascorbic acid (Vit. C) content

  • Increasedb-carotene (pro Vit. A) content