Vegetables I

Volume 1 of the series Handbook of Plant Breeding pp 381-418


  • Todd C. WehnerAffiliated withDepartment of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University

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Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a member of the cucurbit family (Cucurbitaceae). The crop is grown commercially in areas with long frost-free warm periods. Plants must be grown at a wide spacing because of their long, trailing vines. The exception is for dwarf cultivars where the plants can be grown at a tighter spacing. The crop may be established in the field by planting seeds or using containerized transplants. Management of plant pests (weeds, insects, and diseases, including nematodes) is essential during the production period. Three-fourths of the world production is grown in Asia, with China the leading country in production.