Response of organically grown mini watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai) to different green manure crops and nitrogen fertilization
Green manure and nitrogen (N) fertilization are important agronomic practices under organic farming system. Among summer fruits, mini watermelons [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] have high consumers favor and their interest can be further strengthened by the introduction of organic crop production, which gives an added value to fruits. A field trial was conducted in Southern Italy (Apulia region) during 2018 to evaluate the response of mini watermelon ('Modellino F1') to different green manure crops and N fertilization. A total of 26 levels of experimental treatments, derived by the factorial combination of two N fertilization levels (0 and 80 kg ha‑1) and 13 green manure crops (Trifolium incarnatum, Vicia sativa, Lupinus albus, V. faba, Avena sativa, A. strigosa, Raphanus sativus, Sinapis alba, Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgare, Secale cereale, ×Triticosecale, and one control treatment) were applied. The fruit total yield and number of fruits per plant were affected by green manure and N fertilization, whereas no effect was detected for fruit mean weight. Moreover, a significant interaction between green manure and N fertilization was found on yield. The total soluble solids were significantly affected by N fertilization. The best results were obtained by leguminous crops, suggesting that leguminous green manure and organic N fertilization improve the mini watermelon production in organic farming systems.
Fracchiolla, M., Lasorella, C., Santamaria, P., Renna, M., Signore, A. and Cazzato, E. (2020). Response of organically grown mini watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai) to different green manure crops and nitrogen fertilization. Acta Hortic. 1294, 85-90
mini watermelon, green manure, N fertilization, organic farming