Journal Of Applied Horticulture ISSN: 0972-1045


Maria Remedios Cigales Rivero and Octavio Perez Zamora

Centro Universitario de Investigacion y Desarrollo Agropecuario Universidad de Colima. Km 40Autopista Colima-Manza-nilloTecomdn, Col. 28100Mexico. InstitutoNacionaldeInvestigacionesForestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias. Campo Experimental Tecomdn.

Key words: Cucumis melo L., nitrogen fertilization, petiole sap, export product, soil moisture

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2007, volume 9, issue 1, pages 41-45.

Abstract: In cantaloupe farming (Cucumis melo L.), the production of export quality fruit require nutritional indicators that allow an adequate management of nitrogen fertilization and irrigation water supply. This study with cantaloupe muskmelon was carried out to test four nitrogen fertilization treatments and three levels of soil moisture tension under field conditions. Nitrate content (N-NO3) in the cellular extract was evaluated as an indicator of nutritional status. Significant correlation was found between the lowest nitrate concentrations in the petiole sap and the N fertilization doses in three different sample periods. The effect of soil moisture tension on nitrate concentration varied in both years; this was attributed to soil temperature differences. Results showed that it is feasible to establish outcome predictions of yield and quality of the fruit based on the nitrate concentration in petiole sap, concluding that this is an adequate indicator of the nutritional status of the cantaloupe plant. However, its use as a guide for managing fertilization and irrigation must include a permanent follow up of the crop that evaluates the effects of environmental factors in plant growth and uptake of the nutrients.

Journal of Applied Horticulture