Impact of Different Mulching Materials on the Growth and Yield of Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) in Abakaliki, Southeastern Nigeria

Gilbert Nwokwu, Longinus Aniekwe


Field trials were carried out in 2009 and 2010 dry season plantings to evaluate the effects of different mulching materials on the growth and yield of watermelon in Abakaliki, South eastern Nigeria, in a 2 x 5 factorial experiment arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) in three replications. Factor A consisted of two watermelon cultivars (koalack and sugar baby), while factor B was five different mulching materials (black plastic mulch, transparent plastic mulch, rice hull mulch, grass mulch and a control). The plots were irrigated twice daily (morning and evening) enough to make moisture available for the plants. Sugar baby cultivar performed better than koalack. All the mulching materials were significantly (p<0.05) different from the control on all the growth and yield parameters. However, rice hull mulch was better in enhancing watermelon performance, followed by transparent plastic mulch, then black plastic mulch, while the least came from the control. On the other hand, the treatments generally increased moisture content which also increased the crop yield over the control.

Keywords: Watermelon, mulch, moisture, growth and yield parameters.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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