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  • Author or Editor: C.E. Motsenbocker x
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Colored plastic mulches were evaluated for their effect on the production of a triploid (`Honeyheart') and a diploid (`Sangria') watermelon cultivar during the spring growing season. Colored mulches affected cucumber beetle populations; the SRM-Red (Selective Reflective Mulch) and yellow plastic mulch plots had among the highest cucumber beetle populations recorded in both cultivars while the silver-reflective and the silver-on-black plastic mulches had among the lowest. In general, most mulched plots had longer vines than the bare-ground treatment, with few differences in vine length among treatments by 4 weeks. There were no differences among mulch treatments in first and total `Honeyheart' harvest while the IRT-100 (infrared transmitting; green), PST (photosynthetic reduced transmitting), and silver-on-black plastic mulches had the highest first `Sangria' harvest and among the highest total `Sangria' harvest. Plants in plastic mulch treatments had higher yields as a result of higher fruit number per area. Fruit weight, length, and diameter and total soluble solids for both cultivars were not affected by colored plastic mulch treatments.

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Three row covers (spunbonded polyester, double-slitted, and perforated polyethylene) used in combination with clear polyethylene mulch and trickle irrigation for muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) production in 1985 and 1986, increased soil (5-cm depth) minimum and maximum temperatures and air (15-cm height) maximum temperatures compared to clear mulch alone. Increased minimum air temperatures resulted from the use of all row covers in 1985. All row covers enhanced earliness in both years. However, in 1985, there were no total marketable yield differences; in 1986, total marketable yield was greater with the spunbonded and double-slitted row covers than with the no row cover treatment. Within row cover treatment, the use of the perforated row cover in 1986 resulted in lower total marketable yields than with the spunbonded row cover. Excessive air temperatures with the perforated row cover may have resulted in reduced marketable yield. Lower minimum air temperatures in 1986 may have resulted in lower yields than in 1985.

Open Access

The objective of this study was to identify a sweetpotato canopy type ideally suited to suppress weed growth. With this knowledge, breeders could select sweetpotatoes that require less weed control. Diverse canopy types, ranging from upright, short-internode bunch types to long-internode trailing types, were compared in a split-plot design (hand-weeded and weed treatments). We also included lines with deeply lobed leaves (palmate) and more entire-leaf types. Our results show no significant differences between lines for total ground surface area covered after 6 weeks of growth, no differences in weed dry weight at harvest and few differences in canopy dry weight at harvest. Total ground surface area covered correlated positively with total yield, and weed dry weight correlated negatively to total yield. We were unable to identify individual lines that yield better when pressured with weeds compared to the hand-weeded control, but we were able to identify lines that yield poorly when pressured with weeds compared to the hand-weeded control. These results demonstrate the difficulty in categorically identifying a superior canopy.

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