Effect of the date of planting seedlings and polypropylene fibre covering on the yield, nutritive value and quality of cv. Malaga F1 melon
Treść / Zawartość
Melon is a species of high nutritional value, valuable medicinal properties as well as taste properties which are increasingly appreciated by consumers. It is sensitive not only to frost but also to temperatures below 10°C, which cause physiological disorders. Adequate thermal conditions for this plant’s growth can be ensured by an appropriately late planting of seedlings. However, a late planting date does not guarantee a high yield of good quality fruit. Earlier planting of seedlings and improved growth conditions can be achieved through the use of flat covers. The effect of different planting dates of seedlings (15th and 25th of May and 4th of June) and the time when polypropylene fiber covers were removed (4 and 8 weeks after the planting of seedlings, before fruit harvest and control without covering) on the yield quality and selected nutritive value components of melon fruits was investigated. The experiment was conducted in 2008-2010, in central-eastern Poland (51°53′N, 22°27′E). Fruits from plants planted on 15th of May were characterized by the highest yield and weight of marketable fruits, the highest content of dry matter and total sugars, as well as the highest flesh thickness, but the lowest flesh firmness. However, the planting date had no influence on the content of monosaccharides, ascorbic acid and iron or on the acidity of melon flesh. Higher yields were obtained from the covered plants, however the duration of covering had no significant effect on the yield. Fruits from plants covered for 8 weeks or until harvest were characterized by thick flesh and higher weight as compared to ones harvested from plants covered for 4 weeks and uncovered. Covering had no influence on the content of investigated components of the nutritive value of melon fruits.