Efficacy of Mulching Materials on Growth Performance and Yield Characters of Summer Squash (Cucurbita pepo cv Shlesha 1214) in Mahottari, Nepal
An experiment was conducted to study the effect of mulching materials on growth performance, and yield characters of summer squash under water constraint condition during February to May 2020 in Mahottari district, Nepal. Shlesha 1214 variety of summer squash was used and the experiment was laid in single factor Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with 4 replications in an area of about 600 m2. Four different mulching materials black plastic mulch, silver on black plastic mulch, rice straw mulch and sawdust mulch were used as treatments, un-mulched plot serving as control. The effect of mulching materials on growth parameters was found to be statistically significant. Plant height, number of leaves per plant and leaf petiole length were the highest in silver plastic mulch. Effect of mulches on days to opening of first male flower had non-significant effect but had the significant effect on days to opening of first female flower, total number of male and female flowers per plant, Sex ratio, Fruit length, Number of fruits per plant, total number of pickings and the yield. Highest yield (72.16 Mt/ha) was recorded with silver plastic mulch and lowest (46.73 Mt/ha) was recorded with saw dust mulch. Highest B:C (3.46) ratio was obtained from silver plastic mulch and the lowest (1.98) being at saw dust mulch. The use of plastic mulch (plasticulture) mainly silver on black plastic mulch is a better tool for promoting vegetable production in the research area.
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