Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the effects of optimum temperature, depth of planting, and simulated moisture stress on smellmelon germination and subsequent emergence. Smellmelon germination increased with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 C, with the highest germination of 83% occurring at 30 C. Germination percentages decreased to 49 and 15% with temperatures of 35 and 45 C, respectively. Emergence from depths of 9 to 15 cm was less than 25% for all temperatures. Highest emergence from depths of 1 to 6 cm occurred with 30 and 35 C. Smellmelon germination was reduced from 81 to 61% when the osmotic potential was reduced to − 0.2 MPa and was further reduced to 48 and 7% with solutions of − 0.4 and − 0.6 MPa, respectively. Field studies were conducted to evaluate smellmelon biomass production in 1999 and 2000 when competing with cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). End of season-smellmelon leaf area values were 16,280 and 22,053 cm2 per plant in 1999 and 2000, respectively, or 67 and 117 g of leaf dry weight per plant for 1999 and 2000, respectively. In 1999, smellmelon produced 60 g of stem dry weight per plant, and it increased to 75 g in 2000. Optimum germination temperature for smellmelon coincides with those for many annual crops. These data indicate that smellmelon germination and emergence can occur under a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the basis of biomass production values, smellmelon may also be a very efficient competitor with many cultivated crops.
Nomenclature: Smellmelon, Cucumis melo var. dudaim Naud. CUMMD.