Enza Zaden’s traditional Melon House Fair is limbering up. The event has become an essential date on the sector’s calendar, and the seed company will open its doors again during the last week of June and the first week of July to show the full potential of its portfolio.
Once again, they are putting the spotlight on two key concepts: ‘Resistances Make a Difference’ and ‘All-Year Round’ (solutions to cover the 365 days a year with the same type of product) that are added to the importance of flavour for the melon crop.
Enza Zaden offers complete programmes in Piel de Sapo, Yellow, Galia and Cantaloupe. The first three include resistances to powdery mildew and aphids. And the offer of Charentais (with resistance to aphids) and Branco has increased.
Piel de Sapo
In the Piel de Sapo melon range, they are completing the entire programme from Almeria to Castilla-La Mancha with resistances to powdery mildew (in addition to aphids), good-sized plants, good production and flavour. Genci Armero, Head of Melons for Iberia at Enza Zaden, explains to Fruit Today that this year they are presenting two new developments: Barroso, for greenhouses in Almeria; and Corrales, a material with very good flavour for medium-late cycle in Murcia and late in Castilla-La Mancha.
As in Piel de Sapo, in Yellow melons, they are offering a complete programme with resistances to powdery mildew and aphids for all regions. The latest is Mielón, a material developed for the medium segment in crops under plastic in Almeria. It stands out due to its high production and the quality of its fruit, without any internal problems, or spotting on the skin, and with a good post-harvest.
In a pre-commercial phase, they also have E25M.01256, for late cycle in Murcia, and transplants from Castilla-La Mancha.
Within its programme with double resistance, Enza Zaden offers the early variety Bernal, mainly focused on Murcia (although it may also be grown in Almeria), which is then continued with Maioral, for crops in Castilla-La Mancha.
The Cantaloupe line incorporates resistance to aphids in all its materials and it has added a new melon in an introductory phase, its first Cantaloupe variety with double resistance to powdery mildew and aphids. It is called E25S.01310 and it is born as a complement to Enzor within the medium cycle for Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha.
As in the Cantaloupe segment, Enza Zaden’s entire offer of Charentais melons has resistance to aphids. These are the already well-known varieties: Makeba, Pleiade and Volupta.
For the Portuguese market, the variety Podengo stands out. It is a Branco melon with double resistance to powdery mildew and aphids that is now in its second year on the market.
Flavour in watermelons
This year, the Tyrion watermelon (mini black), has been added to a black seedless watermelon for Murcia and La Mancha, CLM E26S.00179. This variety could already be seen at the open days last year and it will become a commercial material over the year of 2023. Genci Armero underscores its main characteristics: very good flavour, intensity of flesh and very good setting, thanks to a strong plant that covers the fruit very well.
Additionally, at the Melon House Fair visitors will be able to see varieties that are already on sale in the US: Riogrande and Cracker Jack, which are being tried out in Spain. “Externally, they are of the Crimson type; they are very good to eat and have a very good post-harvest.”