Effect of soil moisture conservation techniques and levels of irrigation on soil moisture retention and yield of oriental pickling melon

Veeraputhiran, R.; Joseph, P.A.; Nair, P.V.; Jaikumaran, U.; Unnithan, V.K.G.

Madras Agricultural Journal 85(5/6): 215-220


Accession: 003112780

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A field experiment conducted in the summer rice fallows at the Agricultural Research Station, Mannuthy, Kerala during 1996 revealed that incorporation of coir pith, sawdust and paddy waste into the sandy clay loam soil increased soil moisture content over controls by 10.9, 1.6 and 7.1%, respectively and field water use efficiency (WUE) of the oriental pickling melon crop by 9.9, 5.3 and 19.9%, respectively. Consumptive use was also increased by the moisture conservation techniques. Levels of irrigation showed a negative relationship with WUE and a positive relationship with consumptive use. The peak consumptive use and crop coefficient coincided with the fullest canopy development and flowering stage of the crop. The crop depleted about 50% of soil water from the top 15-cm layer. The crop needed frequent irrigations as dictated by an IW/CPE ratio of 1.2 for maximum yield. Incorporation of paddy waste, coir pith and sawdust increased yields by 27, 17 and 10%, respectively compared with controls. It was concluded that the incorporation of moisture conservation materials can save 5 irrigations required by the crop.