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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 quality attributes of two cultivars of watermelon as affected by mulching materials during the winter seasons of 2014 and 2015 in the field of Department of Horticulture and Agricultural Biotechnology, Yezin Agricultural University. The treat-ments were laid out in two-factor factorial arrangement in randomized complete block design with four replications. The first factor was mulching materials: rice straw, black polyethylene, silver polyethylene and clear polyethylene and without mulch was control. The second factor was cultivars: namely 855 and Padamya.The data on main vine length (cm), number of nodes on main vine and number of branches per plant were weekly recorded. Soil moisture content (%) and weed infestation (g) were also measured. At harvest time, single fruit weight (kg), total fruit yield (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. All mulching materials showed significantly higher single fruit weight and total fruit yield than control. The plants without mulch (control) showed the lowest values in single fruit weight and total fruit yield. All mulching materials not only maintained the maximum soil moisture but also suppressed weed infesta-tion. There was an interaction between mulching materials and cultivars on single fruit weight, total fruit yield 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 watermelon production and silver polyethylene mulch is the best among them. There were no significant differences in the main growth parameters of single fruit weight and total fruit yield between two cultivars. Moreover, the quality attributes of Brix %, juice con-tent 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 in future along with the cultivar 855.
Aung, Kyaw Moe
Khin, Thida Myint1
- Yezin Agricultural University