SOIL Studies

SOIL Studies

2014, Vol 3, Num, 2     (Pages: 090-101)

Yield and Fruit Quality Response of Drip-Irrigated Melon to the Duration of Irrigation Season

Neslihan ŞENGÜL 1 ,Osman YILDIRIM 2 ,Nilgün HALLORAN 3 ,Şeyda ÇAVUŞOĞLU 4 ,Evran DOĞAN 5

1 Central Research Institute For Field Crops, Ankara- Turkey
2 Univ. of Ankara, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. of Farm Structures and Irrigation, Ankara-Turkey
3 Univ. of Ankara, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. of Horticulture, Ankara, Turkey
4 Univ. of Yuzuncu Yıl, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. of Horticulture, Van, Turkey
5 Department of Training Extension and Publications, Ankara, Turkey

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A field study was conducted in Ankara, a semi-arid region of Central Anatolia, Turkey. Yuva and Cantaloupe Sally F1 melon cultivars (Cucumis melo L.) were irrigated by drip method from transplanting to the beginning of the flowering (If), fruit set (Ifs), ripening (Ir), and harvest (Ih), and included a non-irrigated treatment (I0). Growth, yield, and fruit quality parameters in response to the duration of irrigation season were determined. The number of shoots and female flowers per plant, shoot length, and titratable acidity in Cantaloupe were lower than in Yuva, while similar total soluble solids content of fruit flesh was obtained in both cultivars. Irrigation application provided for an increase in the fruit number per plant, fruit size, fruit weight, and yield, and resulted in a decrease in total soluble solids and the ratings of sensory characteristics compared with non irrigated treatments in both cultivars, but these increases and decreases in the above parameters could not be correlated with the increase in the duration of the irrigation season, hence the amount of seasonal irrigation water. The highest yields were obtained in Ir treatment in Yuva and in Ir and Ih treatments in Cantaloupe. Continuing irrigation during fruit ripening furthered shoot growth in both cultivars, did not affect yield in Cantaloupe, and remarkably reduced yield in Yuva. Irrigation from the stage of transplanting until the beginning of fruit ripening was suggested as well for both cultivars with regard to considerably high yield and high fruit quality. In this irrigation program, irrigation water amounts of 388.3-441.4 mm were applied, seasonal evapotranspiration of 499.0-587.1 mm was found, and a yield per plant of 6105-6206 g in Yuva and 7533-7878 g in Cantaloupe was obtained.

Keywords : Cantaloupe, drip irrigation, fruit quality, yield, Yuva