Research Article

Effects of variety and manuring on the growth, yield and nutritional quality of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus L.) in a rainforest zone of Nigeria  

Agele  Samuel , Sajo  Adeola , Aiyelari Peter
Department of Crop, Soil & Pest Management, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Horticulture, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 22   doi: 10.5376/ijh.2016.06.0022
Received: 23 Aug., 2016    Accepted: 09 Oct., 2016    Published: 16 Nov., 2016
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Preferred citation for this article:

Agele S., Sajo A., and Aiyelari P., 2016, Effects of Variety and Manuring on the Growth, Yield and Nutritional Quality of Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus L.) in A Rainforest Zone of Nigeria, International Journal of Horticulture, 6(22):1-14 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2016.06.0022)

Abstract

The effects of variety and manure application on the growth, yield and nutritional quality of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus L.) were investigated during the rainy and late cropping seasons in Akure, a rainforest zone of Nigeria. Treatments were a factorial combination of five watermelon varieties and three manure types laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. The watermelon varieties were Crimson Sweet, Charleston Grey, Kaolac, Anderson and Sugarbaby, while the manures which were applied at 3 weeks after planting, were organomineral fertilizer (OMF) (5 t/ha), NPK (compound) fertilizer (200 kg/ha) and an unmanured control. The watermelon varieties tested responded differently in terms of growth and yield components due to differences in their genetic composition. In the rainy season, Charleston Grey performed well in terms of growth (biomass) but produced poor fruit yield while Kaolac and Anderson recorded high fruit yields. Late season favored growth and yield in Crimson Sweet and Kaolac, however, Kaolac produced good fruit yields as both rainy and late season crop. Fruit quality parameters such as the number of rotten and cracked fruits differed among the varieties, in both rainy and late season, Charleston Grey and Kaolac produced the highest number of rotten and cracked/split fruits. Sugarbaby and Anderson performed best in both seasons while Charleston Grey is not adequately adapted to rainy season growing environmental conditions. The NPK fertilizer enhanced higher growth and yield over OMF and unmanured control in both seasons. Significant interactions between variety and manuring were found for growth and fruit yield characters of watermelon. In the rainy season crop, application of NPK and organomineral fertilizer enhanced fruit yield components of watermelon varieties (Kaolac, Anderson, Crimson Sweet and Sugarbaby). In the late season, NPK fertilizer enhanced number of fruits per plant in Charleston Grey, highest mean fruit diameter and mean fruit weight per plant in Anderson.  The chemical and proximate constituents of fruits of watermelon varieties were significantly affected by manure application. In the rainy season, NPK enhanced fruit contents of N, P, K, moisture, total solids and vitamin C in most varieties except in Anderson. In late season, NPK enhanced the nutritional (total solids) contents of the varieties while OMF enhanced fruit contents of P, Ca, crude fiber, vitamin C and total solids in some of the varieties. However, unmanured Anderson had highest vitamin C content in the late season. It is concluded that application of NPK and OMF fertilizer enhance growth, yield and nutritional quality of watermelon varieties in both rainy and late season in the study area.

Keywords
Watermelon; Growth; Yield; Nutrition; Seasons; Variety; Manuring; Humid forest
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International Journal of Horticulture
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