Cora Seeds, an Italian seed company that breeds and sells the main varieties on the Italian market, introduced Nikas F1 mini-watermelons.
Plants are compact and very easy to manage, and fruits set very well. The flesh has an excellent colour, it is crunchy and tasty and only has micro-seeds.
As they mostly ripen at the same time, harvesting is done only a few times. They are also more resistant during transport because of thicker rinds.
The fact that there are only a few micro-seeds is not only better for consumers, but also for growers and retailers, because it means there is less air around seeds. Less air means less degradation and longer shelf-life.
Fruits are also appealing to consumers, not only for the flesh and aroma, but also thanks to a particularly shiny dark green rind.
Another advantage of Nikas F1 is that it is an early variety with a 60-day cycle in the Pachino area.
Nikas F1: data sheet
Type: Seeded mini-watermelon (micro-seeds)
Weight: 2kg very regular
Fruit: Round with dark green stripes and few small seeds
Flesh: Red, very sweet and crunchy (12.5 Brix level)
Note: Very productive medium-vigorous plant ideal for exports and retail
Nikas F1 is a brand new product with very few small seeds, which is a perfect alternative to triploid varieties as pollinisers are not necessary and therefore production costs are lower.
Expectations for the next campaign
As Maurizio Bacchi, General Manager of Cora Seeds, told FreshPlaza, "a few years after it was first introduced on the market, Nikas F1 mini-watermelons already gained their share of the market, as it did not take much to convince growers of such high quality. This is why we are very positive about the upcoming campaign and we think we will make a big leap forward. Growers, markets/supermarkets and consumers are already convinced, which is a difficult thing to do if they quality is not excellent."