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EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT MULCHING MATERIALS ON PLANT GROWTH, FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY OF TWO CULTIVARS OF WATERMELON (CitrulluslanatusThunb.)
- The study was conducted to investigate plant growth, fruit yield and qualityattributes of two cultivars of watermelon as affected by mulching materials during thewinter seasons of 2014 and 2015 in the field of Department of Horticulture andAgricultural Biotechnology, Yezin Agricultural University. The treatments were laidout in two-factor factorial arrangement in randomized complete block design with four replications. The first factor was mulching materials: rice straw, blackpolyethylene, silver polyethylene and clear polyethylene and without mulch wascontrol. The second factor was cultivars: namely 855 and Padamya.The data on main vine length (cm), number of nodes on main vine and numberof branches per plant were weekly recorded. Soil moisture content (%) and weedinfestation (g) were also measured. At harvest time, single fruit weight (kg), total fruityield (ton ha-1), skin and pulp firmness (kg cm-2), Brix %, juice content (%) and total titratable acidity (TTA %) and color values of L*, a*, b* were also analyzed. Allmulching materials showed significantly higher single fruit weight and total fruit yieldthan control. The plants without mulch (control) showed the lowest values in singlefruit weight and total fruit yield. All mulching materials not only maintained themaximum soil moisture but also suppressed weed infestation. There was an interaction between mulching materials and cultivars on single fruit weight, total fruityield and also the fruit quality attributes of juice content and color values of L*, a*and b*.According to the results, mulching practice is efficient for watermelonproduction and silver polyethylene mulch is the best among them. There were nosignificant differences in the main growth parameters of single fruit weight and totalfruit yield between two cultivars. Moreover, the quality attributes of Brix %, juicecontent and TTA % of cultivar 855 did not differ from cultivar Padamya. Therefore,cultivar Padamya may be a potential cultivar for local consumption and for export infuture along with the cultivar 855.
Aung, Kyaw Moe
- Yezin Agricultural University