Cucurbits are grown in the Southeast in open fields on raised beds covered with plastic tarps. As an industry leader with more than 50 years’ experience, TriEst Ag is committed to bringing expertise, innovative solutions, and real field support to help cucurbit growers optimize their yields.

Cucurbits Fumigation

Due to the climate in the Southeast, growers have the ability to produce multiple crops from a single fumigation and tarping. It is common practice for a grower to fumigate once in the spring for a pepper crop, which is followed by a summer cucurbit (squash, cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon) crop and a late fall or winter cabbage crop before removing the plastic tarp to begin the next fumigation cycle. Squash, cucumber and cabbage are a second or third crop in the production cycle following fumigation.

Soil fumigants are used to suppress populations of harmful pests and pathogens beneath the plastic tarp:

  • Parasitic Nematodes
  • Rhizoctonia
  • Pythium
  • Fusarium
  • Weeds (specifically nutsedge)

Soil fumigants are applied two to four weeks before the crop is planted. Formulations can be used on their own or co-applied with other fumigants. One pass and you are done – helping with residue management for erosion control, reduced application costs, lower pounds of active ingredient which can positively affect bufferzone allowances, a shorter plant back window, and broad-spectrum efficacy.

Real Cucurbits Results

Grafted Watermelon Trial

Central North Carolina
Spring Production 2021

Trial Focus:

The trial focused on increasing yields and speeding up the maturity date of grafted watermelons. Fumigation was used to add early vigor and suppress disease/nematodes. The use of both grafted and non-grafted plants was to determine viability of trading pollinator costs for fumigant.

Fertility adjustments were made specific to the needs of grafted production. The trial comparisons were determined by the impact of all treatments on fruit size and sugar content.

Trial Graph Data
NC Watermelon Trial, 2021


Harvest Events
Three harvest events

  • June 30 (74 DAP)
  • July 12 (88 DAP)
  • July 26 (102 DAP)

Joyride is an 86-day melon. Grafted maturity same as standard plant maturity, but heavier yields were shifted 5-7 days. There was a strong yield response to applications of fumigant. Vine health remained great through final harvest on grafted plants, while the vine health of the standard plant was spent.

Trial Graphs


We specialize in a well-rounded and complete fertility program designed for cucurbit production.

Dry Fertilizer: Ground Control Command

Ground Control Command is a poly-coated dry fertilizer, provided by Haifa, can be customized for any analysis and coated from 1-16 months. It offers a more uniform extended release and leaching protection.

The poly-coated fertilizers release plant nutrients slowly and continuously throughout the growth cycle. A single application of GC-Command controlled release fertilizer will supply optimal levels of nutrients for an extended period of time.

Liquid Fertilizer: Liberty Acres

Liberty Acres Fertilizer fertigation grade liquid fertilizer blends supply all key crop nutrients in a single blend that is compatible and approved for a drip irrigation system.

  • Liberty Acres Fertilizer has a full line of standard blends that can be customized to meet production goals or specific soil needs.

Label PDF Download

Foliar Nutrition: Metalosate Powered by Albion Technology

Foliar Nutrition Watermelon Program

Foliar Nutrition: Watermelon Program

(Multimineral, Big 5, Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium 0-0-24)

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Metalosate Powered by Albion Technology uses natural amino acids to chelate the minerals. They are rapidly absorbed, translocated, and metabolized by plants upon application.

  • Improves production & vine health
  • Increases fruit quality
  • Increases fruit size, firmness, and quality
  • Longer shelf life


All cucurbits require regular, uniform watering during the growing season for better establishment, healthy vine growth, and fruit production. Drip irrigation is often encouraged by agronomists as water is applied in the plant root zone without wetting the foliage which helps discourage foliar diseases.

Let TriEst Ag guide you with choosing the right irrigation system for your cucurbit growing plans. We have decades of experience designing drip and fertigation systems that are completely manual to fully automated. We also offer mobile pump/filter trailers and skid options to accommodate the rotation schedules of cucurbit production.

Grafted Plants

Our partner company, Tri-Hishtil, offers great grafted watermelon and cantaloupe options for growers. They are grown and grafted in the USA and ship nationwide. Tri-Hishtil is devoted to growing high quality grafted watermelon plants that offer growers soil borne disease resistance, longer harvest windows, and positive yield effects.

Tri-Hishtil offers 2 rootstock styles.

  • The C. maxima x C. moschata an interspecific hybrid squash. The interspecific squash offers good plant vigor and soil borne disease resistance.
  • Carolina Strongback, a citron rootstock cultivar. The Carolina Strongback offers good vigor, soil borne disease resistance, and also offers some nematode resistance as well.

All Tri-Hishtil grafted watermelon and cantaloupes offer:

  • Fusarium Wilt Resistance
  • Soil borne disease resistance
  • Decrease in field rotations
  • Reduction in plant population
  • Superior plant and fruit quality
  • Longer harvesting windows
  • Positive effects on yield

Tri-Hishtil grafted watermelons and cantaloupes work with any variety of production.

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Drone view of grafted plants. Trial Plant Health.

Drone view of grafted plants.
Drone view of grafted plants. Trial Plant Health.

Drone view of grafted plants.


Plasticulture Equipment

View our plasticulture equipment that has been built and tailored to fit almost any need.