Effects of organic farming practices on yield and quality of 'Barattiere', a local cultivar of Cucumis melo L. from Puglia (southern Italy)

M. Renna, A. Signore, C. Lasorella, P. Santamaria, E. Cazzato, M. Fracchiolla
The 'Barattiere' is a local cultivar of Puglia (southern Italy) belonging to Cucumis melo L. species. Its fruits are consumed at the immature stage, fresh and raw, like cucumber, due to their better quality profile. They are characterized by being refreshing and digestible as well as having high potassium and low reducing sugar and sodium contents. This study reports first results of a field research that evaluates the effects of some organic farming practices on yield and quality parameters of 'Barattiere' fruits. The trial compared eight treatments deriving from factorial combination of four soil management practices (SMP) (conventional tillage; no-tillage; conventional tillage with green manuring; no-tillage with mulching) and two fertilizer treatments (FT) (0 and 180 kg ha‑1 of blood based liquid fertilizer - nitrogen = 5%; C/N ratio = 3.5; Iron = 500 mg L‑1). Vetch (Vicia sativa L.) was used as cover crop. Number and weight of fruits, CIE Lab color traits, protein content, Na, K, Ca, Mg and Fe in fruits were analyzed. Results show that different FT as well as the interaction SMP × FT did not affect significantly yield and quality. On the other hand, conventional tillage with green manuring, integrated with mechanical weed control, gave a yield over 100% higher in comparison with no-tillage and mulching without weed control. None and/or little differences regarding other parameters were detected. In conclusion, organic production of 'Barattiere' fruits in Puglia could be carried out by using practices that maintain or increase soil organic matter, such as green manuring, although weed control plays an important role.
Renna, M., Signore, A., Lasorella, C., Santamaria, P., Cazzato, E. and Fracchiolla, M. (2020). Effects of organic farming practices on yield and quality of 'Barattiere', a local cultivar of Cucumis melo L. from Puglia (southern Italy). Acta Hortic. 1294, 53-60
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1294.7
cover crop, green manure, mulching, organic fertilizers, tillage

Acta Horticulturae