Galia-type muskmelon (Cucumis melo cv. Gal-152) was grown as a fall and spring crop to determine the effect of plant density (1.7, 2.5, 3.3, and 4.1 plants/m2) on yield, fruit quality, plant growth, and economic feasibility for producing the crop in a greenhouse. Plant density had no influence on the early or total number of fruit produced per plant. Marketable yields increased linearly from 11.0 to 20.0 kg·m−2 in fall and from 21.9 to 48.3 kg·m−2 in spring with increasing plant density. Mean fruit size was unaffected by plant density during fall (mean weight, 1.0 kg), but was reduced linearly during spring from 1.8 kg at 1.7 plants/m2 to 1.5 kg at 4.1 plants/m2. Soluble solids content was unaffected by plant density in either fall or spring and averaged 10.1% in both seasons. Number of leaves per plant was unaffected by plant density, but internode length was increased at 4.1 plants/m2 compared with plants from the other densities. Increasing the plant density of ‘Gal-152’ muskmelon grown under protected cultivation led to increased yields in both fall and spring without negatively impacting fruit quality. When the market price is $1.44/kg, increased yields at 3.3 plants/m2 can potentially increase net returns over yields of plants spaced at 2.5 plants/m2 by 25% and nearly double net returns from plants grown at 1.7 plants/m2.
Juan C. Rodriguez, Nicole L. Shaw and Daniel J. Cantliffe
Juan A. Argüello, Alicia Ledesma, Selva B. Núñez, Carlos H. Rodríguez and María del C. Díaz Goldfarb
The objectives of this work were to a) determine vermicompost effect on bulbification dynamics in terms of garlic (Allium sativum L.) bulb dry weight and sucrose metabolism and b) evaluate the impact of vermicompost on garlic bulb yield and quality. The treatments were soil (control) and 1 soil: 1 vermicompost (by volume). The use of vermicompost as a substrate caused early bulbing (18 to 20 days) and lengthened bulb filling period. Bulb filling period corresponded to an increase in the total soluble carbohydrates and a later modification in nonstructural carbohydrate distribution patterns regarding fructan (scorodose) metabolism. The vermicompost treatment increased scorodose accumulation, which was directly related to the harvest index, resulting in greater yield and bulb quality. Bulb quality was not modified in terms of bulb pungency and soluble solids content by the use of vermicompost.