EFFECT OF MULCHING AND OF DIFFERENT MOISTURE REGIMENS ON THE MELON (CUCURBITA MELO CV. "NUMBER ONE") PRODUCTION
TABLE 1 - Melon production area, surface (ha), percentage and production (q) for the year 1962
|Northern Italy||1,262||( 9.5)||224,708
|Central Italy||2,950||( 22.2)||547,554
|Southern Italy||6,208||( 46.7)||1,120,052
|T O T A L||133,099||(100.0)||2,345,902|
For early crops-which use transplanting - chiefly during the First stages of their growth temperature has a particular importance. For normal crops, starting when temperature is no more limitant, probably soil moisture is the principal factor at least for the first stages of their growth (from seeds germination to reproductive phase).
Almost all papers on melon and other Cucurbitaceae mulching investigate the relationships between the effects of this technique and the amount of heat under covered soil (2, 4, 5, 6). Obviously these relationships deal only with one of the effects of mulching. We think that for the most part of italian melon crops the relationships between mulching and irrigation are the most important ones.
For these considerations we are studying the influence of mulching and different irrigation levels on Cucurbitaceae.
In this paper we refer some results obtained on melon.
In particular we have studied the influence of three soil moisture regimens and of mulching with black polythene sheets (0.05 thick) on melon fruits production.
Mulching and irrigation treatments were combined in a 3 x 2 factorial design replicated four times in randomized blocks.
Trials have been carried out in a sandy loam, not very deep soil on a gravelly subsoil at the level of 40–50 cm whose textural and hydrological characteristics are the following :
|course sand||22.33%||retention capacity||26 %|
|fine sand||60.46%||wilting point||6 %|
|loam||20.17%||bulk density||l, 4kg/dm|