By Rick Gush, Urban Farm contributor
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Melons are other crops that are
sometimes deliberately stressed with saltwater at the end of the
fruit-production cycle in order to encourage the plant to produce sweeter
Conventional growers withhold
water during fruit development to create the beneficial stress that produces
The production of more sugars
in stressed plant cells is a natural reaction, because stress will remind a
plant of its own mortality and urge the plant to produce materials that will
increase the chances of success for the next generation.
Stressed melon plants will push
more sugars into the developing fruits because this will give the seeds in the
fruit a better chance of being eaten by animals and dispersed appropriately for
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