Cucumbers Planted Immediately after the Termination of a Nematode-resistant Tomato Cultivar Produce Higher Yields

in HortTechnology

In the southern United States, the polyethylene-mulched and drip-irrigated beds remaining after the last harvest of fresh-market tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) offer the potential for producing a cucumber (Cucumis sativus) crop to increase grower profit. A 2-year study of double-cropping cucumbers with `Celebrity' (nematode-resistant) and `Heatwave' (nematode-susceptible) tomato cultivars was conducted at the Red River Research Station in northwestern Louisiana to assess the benefits of this system and to determine how soon cucumbers should be planted following the termination of the tomato crop. Results indicated that cucumbers planted after `Celebrity' produced significantly greater premium and total yields per acre than did cucumbers planted after `Heatwave'. Plant fresh weight of cucumbers was greater and the percentage of galled roots was smaller when planted after `Celebrity' than when planted after `Heatwave'. Planting dates had significant effects on cucumber yield. Cucumbers planted in early July, immediately after the termination of the tomato crop produced the highest yield. Cucumbers planted in early August, 1 month after terminating the tomato crop produced an intermediate yield, and cucumbers planted in September, 2 months after the termination of the tomato crop, produced the lowest yield. A gradual decline of plant fresh weight and a gradual increase of galled-root percentage resulted from delaying cucumber planting beyond the July month. Year of planting had no significant effect on cucumber productivity, but it did influence plant fresh weight and the percentage of galled roots significantly. Average minimum temperature in September was lower than the minimum safe temperature for growing cucumbers. The combined effect of higher temperature and lower percentage of galled roots may have contributed to the increased yield of cucumbers planted in July.

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