Growth and yield performance of melon (Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad as influenced by organic manures
Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad is an important herb known for its edible seeds rich in fat and protein. The plant is also used traditionally for the treatment of a number of ailments. Field experiments were conducted from October to December, 2015 to investigate the effects of different organic manures on the growth and yield performance of Melon at the experimental site of the Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. The experimental design was a 3×4 plot factorial with treatments arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. There were thus twelve treatment combinations plus a control. The treatments were Poultry manure (PM), Cowdung (CD) and Goat manure (GM) applied 0.6, 1.2, 1.8 and 2.4 t ha-1. Plots without manure treatments were used as the control. The results obtained from the studies indicated that the vine length and the number of leaves of the plant increased proportionally with time. PM produced the maximum length at 8 weeks after planting (174.00cm at 1.8 t ha-1), which was statistically similar to those produced by CD (166.73cm at 1.2t ha-1). Also, the highest mean number of leaves plant-1 was observed in PM-treated plant (93.00cm at 1.8t ha-1) which was similar to those of GM (85.33cm at 2.4 t ha-1). Application of GM at 1.8t ha-1 also promoted early flowering by two days. PM outperformed the other treatments in terms of yield and yield components.
Keywords: Poultry manure, growth, yield, melon