Windbreaks can increase crop growth and improve crop quality. The effects of shelter on vegetable production varies with crop, location, and farming practices. While the advantages of minimizing wind stress on vegetable production is well-known, little research documents the specific response of vegetables to microclimate modification through the use of shelterbelts.
During the summer, 1991, a preliminary experiment was conducted on the effects of tree windbreaks (shelterbelts) on muskmelon plant growth, yield, and fruit quality. A split-plot design was used with shelter and exposed areas as main treatments with 3 replications. Subtreatments were 7 combinations of anti-transpirant and time of application. Leaf growth was measured 4 and 6 weeks after planting. Muskmelon fruit were harvested over a 6 week period at 2 day intervals. Muskmelon yield, fruit and cavity diameter, fruit color, and total sugar content were obtained.
The use of anti-transpirant did not significantly affect total yield, fruit or cavity diameter, total sugar content, or early leaf growth. The effect of shelter varied with the measured variable.