Cucurbit crops were among the first vegetable crops to be grafted — successfully on a routine basis — for commercial production in early 20th century Asia.
Today, preparing and using grafted cucurbit crop plants remains significant in multiple ways. The rise of cucurbit grafted plant production systems (many thousands of acres and millions of plants annually) has fueled interest in rootstock development, thereby strengthening the role of superior germplasm in integrated crop management strategies. The increasing prominence of grafted plant-based watermelon, melon and cucumber systems has also fostered interest in grafting, healing and distribution methods and technology.
Recognizing that it may best to manage systems featuring grafted plants differently from systems relying on ungrafted ones, growers, scientists and others also continue to develop and optimize research-based recommendations for grafted plant spacing, population density, irrigation, fertility, pest, disease and other aspects of management.
Finally, the ever-increasing number of rootstock-scion combinations calls others to evaluate the effects of each on watermelon, melon and cucumber fruit quality, changes in which will shape the overall interest in grafting throughout the value chain.