Revista Chapingo. Serie horticultura
Print version ISSN 1027-152X
TAPIA-VARGAS, L. M. et al. Nutritional management based on nutrient status, fruit quality, and yield relationships in cantaloupe. Rev. Chapingo Ser.Hortic [online]. 2010, vol.16, n.1, pp. 49-55. ISSN 1027-152X.
Fertigated cantaloupe grown on plastic mulch is subjected to intense use of water and fertilizer for the aim of obtaining high fruit yields and quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of nutritional management on fruit yield, fruit quality and leaf nutrient content in leaves and petiole cellular extract (PCE) of cantaloupe grown with fertigation and plastic mulch. Two experiments were carried out, one in 2006 and one in 2007; both experiments were started in March. Evaluated soil-applied treatments were seven fertilizer combinations consisting in five dosages of nitrogen (N) (0, 60, 120, 180 and 240 kg·ha-1), two of phosphorus (P) (0 and 100 kg·ha-1), and two of potassium (K) (0 and 200 kg·ha-1); a treatment of 180-100-200 was used as the control. Furthermore, three treatments of leaf applications of inorganic and organic fertilizer and plant growth promoters were also evaluated. N-NO3 and K+ content in PCE, N and K content in leaves plus fruit yield, fruit quality and sugar content were determined. The results indicated that N was the main factor affecting fruit quality, fruit yield, PCE N-NO3 content, and total N concentration in leaves. A significant relationship (r>0.70, P<0.05) between fruit yield and nutritional condition was found. Maximum N-NO3 values were between 230 and 418 mg·L-1 while total foliar N was 2.41 %. We concluded that it is feasible to reduce N fertilizer up to rates of 120 kg·ha-1 while P2O5, K2O, and foliar fertilizer applications can be suppressed without affecting fruit yield, fruit quality, PCE and leaf nutritional status in cantaloupe.
Keywords : Cucumis melo; muskmelon; fertigation; plastic mulch.