The effect of mulching and low tunnel on the yield, yield components and quality of watermelon
Watermelon is one of the economically most important vegetable crops in the Republic of Serbia. Due to its origin, watermelon has high requirements toward growing conditions and especially high requirements toward heat in all stages of growth and development. Open-field production on soil mulched with plastic mulch is the dominant agricultural practice. Since recently, areas under watermelon production in low plastic tunnels are increasing. The use of mulching and low tunnels both give significant results in the early production of almost all vegetable crops, but mostly in warm-season vegetables which are sensitive to low temperatures. This paper aimed to analyze the effect of mulching and low tunnel on the yield, yield components of watermelon and dry matter content in the fruits. The following treatments were investigated: mulching with black PE in open field, mulching with black PE in low tunnels and bare soil in open field as a control treatment. The trial was set up in Despotovo in a random block design on the chernozem soil. Three watermelon hybrids, New Fantasy F1, Celine F1, and Top Gun F1, were tested in this experiment, in three replications. The application of black PE mulch resulted in significantly higher yields (average increase of 34.6%) in all three hybrids compared to the control treatment bare soil. The highest average number of fruits per plant was observed in the combination mulching and low tunnel (4.7), which was significantly higher than mulching alone (3.7) and control without mulching (3.0). Control without mulching had the highest fruit weight, significantly higher than mulching and low tunnel. The highest dry matter content was found in hybrid Top Gun F1 with mulching (11.5%), and the lowest in hybrid Celine F1 with mulching in a low tunnel (9.6%).
Adamović, B., Paroški, D., Vojnović, Đ. and Ilin, Ž. (2021). The effect of mulching and low tunnel on the yield, yield components and quality of watermelon. Acta Hortic. 1320, 101-108
black PE mulching, watermelon dry matter, low tunnel, yield