Watermelon yield and size when grown on four mulch colors

James M. White

Abstract


Six watermelon cultivars [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] were grown in a plastic mulch, drip irrigation system using four plastic mulch colors (red, blue, black, and silver). Plots were 45 ft long on 6 inch raised beds, 9 ft on center, with four replications in a randomized complete block design. Seeds were planted 19 Mar. 2002 plants transplanted to the field with 36 inch spacing on 12 Apr. Fruit were harvested 19 June. The overall average yield by cultivar ranged from 451 to 220 cwt/acre. The width ranged from 9 to 8.1 inches, length from 14.7 to 9.7 inches, and average fruit weight from 21.6 to 14.5 lb. There were no differences for the degrees Brix, but taste ranged from fair to good. Watermelon response to the four plastic colors differed by cultivar. Three cultivars had higher yields on red and black mulch, while one had highest yield on red, one on blue, and one on silver and blue. For the average yields for the six cultivars, there were no differences for red, blue, and black.

Keywords


citrullus lanatus; color mulch; drip irrigation; variety trial

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283