Watermelon Grafting Improves Yields

Research by a University of California Cooperative Extension crops advisor showed California watermelon growers that by using grafted plants, they could plant fewer plants and get the same yield, with consistent fruit quality through the season. The grafted plants are more robust, and when they are planted at four- to five-foot spacing, they produce the same yield as conventional plants at three-foot spacing. After two years of field testing, growers reported that, on average, their successfully grafted fields produced 15% to 25% more watermelons than non-grafted fields per acre, while using 30% fewer plants and the same amount of water and fertilizers. The practice could also benefit other vegetable and fruit crops.