Feasibility of Improving Cucumber Yield without Chemical Control in Soils Susceptible to Nematode Buildup

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  • 1 Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Red River Research Station, P.O. Box 8550, Bossier City, LA 71113

Studies were conducted for 2 years in root-knot-nematode-infested soils to determine growth and yield response of `Dasher II' cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) to double-cropping with nematode-resistant tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), using nematode-free cucumber transplants and preplant treatment with ethoprop nematicide. Cucumbers grown following the nematode-resistant `Celebrity' tomato during the same season produced significantly more plant dry weight, more fruit per plant, and higher premium and total yields than did cucumbers double-cropped with the nematode-susceptible `Heatwave' tomato in both years. The cucumber produced longer stems in 1992 and fewer culls in 1993 following resistant tomatoes. Cucumber plants raised in nematode-free soilless mix for 3 weeks before transplanting produced significantly longer stems and more plant dry weight than did direct-seeded cucumbers in 1992, but not in 1993; however, they produced significantly higher premium yield in both years, and higher total yield, more fruit per plant, and fewer culls in 1993. Preplant treatment with ethoprop significantly increased cucumber stem length, dry weight, premium and total yield, and number of fruit per plant in 1992 but not in 1993. Ethoprop treatment had no effect on the percentage of culls in either year. Chemical name used: O-ethyl S,S-dipropyl phosphorodithioate (ethoprop).

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