Drip Irrigation Effect on Yield and Fruit Size of Jack-o-lantern Pumpkins

in HortScience
View More View Less
  • 1 Purdue University, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Westville, IN, 46391

Benefits of drip irrigation for jack-o-lantern pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo) in the midwestern United States are not documented. Field trials were conducted on a sandy loam soil to compare yield and fruit size of unirrigated pumpkins (NONE) with pumpkins irrigated when in-row soil water tension (SWT) 30 cm deep reached 20 kPa (HIGH) or 60 kPa (MED). The 2004 trial included two planting methods, direct seed (SD) and transplant, and two cultivars, `Gold Medal' (GM) and `Magic Lantern' (ML). GM typically has larger and more vigorous vines than ML. In 2005 the trial included only SD ML. Rainfall June through August totaled 38.4 cm in 2004 and 28.2 cm in 2005. In 2004 HIGH increased yield 13% compared to NONE (42.1 vs. 37.2 t·ha-1). MED (39.0 t·ha-1) did not differ from NONE. Neither planting method nor cultivar influenced the yield response to irrigation. The effect of irrigation on average weight per pumpkin depended on cultivar. In 2004, ML with HIGH averaged 7.76 kg per pumpkin, 16% heavier than NONE at 6.67 kg. MED averaged 7.17 kg. Irrigation did not affect average weight of GM: HIGH, MED and NONE averaged 12.6, 12.8 and 12.3 kg, respectively. For SD ML, combined analysis of 2004 and 2005 data showed an 18% increase in average pumpkin weight for HIGH vs. NONE (7.94 vs. 6.72 kg), but no significant effect of irrigation on yield (33.6, 29.8 and 28.4 t·ha-1 for HIGH, MED and NONE, respectively). Irrigation did not affect the number of pumpkins produced per hectare for either cultivar in either year. Results suggest that compared to no irrigation, maintaining SWT less than 20 kPA with drip irrigation may lead to 1) yield increase on the order of 10% or less, 2) 16% to 18% increase in average pumpkin weight for ML.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 165 13 1
PDF Downloads 84 30 1