Reducing disease incidence and increasing productivity of ampalaya (Momordica charantia L.) through pruning and protected cultivation

H.B. Dimabuyu, Z.C. Gonzaga, D.C. Lusanta, J.S. Mangmang, O.B. Capuno, G.S. Rogers
Ampalaya, which is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, is susceptible to soilborne diseases with incidence and severity aggravated by excess soil moisture. Management practices such as installation of low-cost protective structures made of bamboos and pruning have been shown to reduce the problem and increase the yield of vegetable crops. This study was conducted to evaluate different pruning treatments on the growth, yield, disease incidence and profitability of ampalaya grown under either a protective structure or in the open field. Horticultural characteristics, yield and yield components, meteorological data, which include rainfall and temperature, and diseases incidence were monitored. The incidence of diseases infecting ampalaya, which included bacterial wilt, Cercospora leaf spot, downy mildew and namamarako, were generally lower under protective structures than in the open field. The lower incidence of diseases was attributed to the capacity to regulate moisture under the protective structure. Plants grown under protective structures matured significantly earlier and had a longer productive growing period. Furthermore, marketable fruits were greater in number, heavier and bigger resulting in significantly higher total fruit yield. Pruning also enhanced production of bigger and heavier fruits compared with unpruned plants. Plants under protective structures, regardless of pruning treatment, incurred higher production costs compared with those in the open field; however, higher net returns were generated due to increased yields. Pruning of vines up to 1.5 m from the base gave the highest net returns.
Dimabuyu, H.B., Gonzaga, Z.C., Lusanta, D.C., Mangmang, J.S., Capuno, O.B. and Rogers, G.S. (2016). Reducing disease incidence and increasing productivity of ampalaya (Momordica charantia L.) through pruning and protected cultivation. Acta Hortic. 1128, 177-182
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1128.26
Cucurbitaceae, bamboo house, drip irrigation, protective structure, bacterial wilt, Cercopora leaf spot, downy mildew

Acta Horticulturae