Sakata has presented Don Gregorio, its first Piel de Sapo Melon for Greenhouse production, to farmers and marketers who were pleasantly surprised by this variety's flavor. “We have achieved our goal: to land in Almeria with a high-quality, excellent-tasting greenhouse melon that is no different from the melon grown outdoors,” stated Joaquin Navarro, Head of Development at Sakata.
In addition, Don Gregorio closes the melon cycle so producers can offer melons with the same genetics as Sakata 12 months of the year. “We are sure that this variety will be a great success, as it also has the ability to achieve good calibers under stress conditions,” Navarro added.
Don Gregorio is a variety designed using Sakata's genetics: it is especially suitable for early cycles in Almeria and Murcia's greenhouses. In Almeria, planting dates range from January 20 to February 20-25.
Francisco Perez, a commercial technician of Sakata in this area, was in charge of showing the fruit, which has a fine mottled honey-colored skin, firm meat, and a high level of Brix degrees. “It is a variety that ripens from the inside out, that's why it has a high sugar level and a great traditional flavor,” he said. "Its fruits are dense and heavy, which allows for a very good post-harvest,” he stated. In addition, it has excellent tolerance to powdery mildew and aphids, pests that are usually a problem in the cultivation of greenhouse melon in the area.
Francisco Manrique, a farmer of the Adra farm where the variety was presented, has no doubts: “I give it a ten. I'll plant it next year and I recommend it.” The plant can be handled well without any difficulties and it requires very few treatments to yield a good melon of good caliber, he added. The plant has a medium vigor, which is perfect so that the melon does not crack, he stated, adding that he hasn't had any problems with aphids. It yields very good quality fruit and hardly any fruit is discarded, he added.
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