839 PB 381 EFFECTS OF ANTITRANSPIRANT AND POLYACRYLAMIDE GEL ON EARLY GROWTH OF MUSKMELON (CUCUMIS MELO L. CV. HILINE)

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Forestry, University of Nebraska, Lincoln NE 68583-0724

Field experiments were conducted in 1991, 1992, and 1993 to evaluate the effects of antitranspirant (Folicote, Aquatrol Inc.) and polyacrylamide gel (Supersorb, Aquatrol Inc.) on early growth of muskmelon. A RCBD with split plot arrangement was used with sheltered and exposed areas as the main treatments and seven combinations of antitranspirant spray and gel dip applications as subtreatments. Two greenhouse experiments were also conducted to simulate field research. A RCBD with seven treatments described as subtreatments in the field research was used in the greenhouse studies. Based on destructive harvests in the field, treatments and subtreatments did not affect dry weight or leaf area index. Specific contrasts, how ever, showed that gel application significantly increased dry weight and leaf area index whereas the spray application tended to reduce these factors during the first three weeks after transplanting. Significant differences between dip and spray subtreatments disappeared by five weeks after transplanting. In both greenhouse experiments, gel dip application increased dry weight and leaf area index of muskmelon at all observations from 2 weeks to five weeks after transplanting. We conclude that gel application generally will provide more benefit during early muskmelon growth compared to the use of antitranspirant spray.

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