Grafted seedlings improve quality and yield
Being at the forefront of technological advances in agriculture, Hishtil SA has conducted extensive trails with grafted seedlings throughout the country. Feedback from some growers indicates increases in production and better product quality through the use of grafted seedlings.
Increased fruit size was observed and higher quality fruit was harvested from grafted plants. Ungrafted plants showed reduced vigour and vitality when compared to grafted plants in the same planting. These results were consistent in trails performed countrywide over a number of seasons. However, it is important to note that not all rootstocks are suitable to all conditions. It is advised that trials be undertaken to establish the best rootstock for individual conditions and needs.
The use of grafted watermelon seedlings has become a common practice amongst producers worldwide. Growers report increased yields as well as improved internal quality of fruits. This enables producers to open new market opportunities not previously available to them, including processing and even export.
A lack of rotation in net and greenhouse structures will cause pests like nematodes to destroy the viability of a crop within a short period of time. With the availability of suitable rootstocks, farmers are now able to complete an entire production season with above average fruit quality and minimal plant losses due to nematode damage.