Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


Richard Hassell

Document Type



Plant and Environmental Sciences

Publication Date

Spring 2013


The cost of re-growth control is a major reason for the lack of grafted transplants in U.S. watermelon production. Chemical methods of re-growth control could alleviate this cost and increase the efficiency of watermelon grafting in the U.S. Fatty alcohol solutions are used in tobacco as a contact sucker control, and could be used to burn out the rootstock meristem and control regrowth. This study was conducted to determine the optimal fatty alcohol application rate for rootstock regrowth control. Two fatty alcohol products at six concentrations were applied to Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria cv. ‘Emphasis’) and Interspecific Hybrid Squash (Cucurbita maxima x C. moschata cv. ‘Carnivor’) rootstocks as the cotyledons unfolded. On days 1, 7, 14, and 21 after application, rootstocks were individually rated for both damage and re-growth. Results showed a significant decrease in re-growth as concentration increased up to 7.5% fatty alcohol, while damage increased significantly at fatty alcohol concentrations of 6.25% and above. We conclude that the best control of re-growth with a level of acceptable damage is achieved using an application rate between 6.25% and 7.5%, depending on environmental conditions within the greenhouse.