An Irrigation Scheduling Model for Summer Squash

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31794

An irrigation scheduling model for summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was developed and validated during 1986, 1987, and 1989. The model is represented by the equation: 12.7(i - 4) × 0.5ASW = Di-1 + [E(0.14 + 0.015) - P - I]i, where crop age in days is i; effective root depth is 12.7(i - 4) with a maximum of 381 mm; usable water (cubic millimeter per cubic millimeter of soil) is 0.5ASW, deficit on the previous day is Di-1; evapotranspiration is pan evaporation (E) times 0.14 + 0.015i; rainfall (in millimeters) is P; and irrigation (in millimeters) is I. The model was validated during the three years using a line-source irrigation system with irrigation depths ranging from 5% to 160% of the model rates. Nitrogen rates were 50%, 100%, and 150% of the recommended rate. Marketable fruit yields increased as the irrigation depths increased up to the model rate then decreased with greater water application depths. Marketable fruit yields increased as the N rate increased in 1987 and 1989, but yields were similar at all N rates in 1986. The shelf life of marketable fruits was not influenced by irrigation or N rates.