Effects of Tillage methods on some soil physical properties, growth and yield of Water melon in a semi-arid region of Nigeria

  • A. Dauda Department of Agricultural and Environmental Resources Engineering, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria
  • K. D. Maina Department of Agricultural Engineering, Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Nigeria

Abstract

An appropriate tillage method is necessary to create an optimum seed bed condition for optimum crop growth and yield.  Two-year field experiment was conducted in 2013 and 2014 to investigate the effects of different tillage methods on the physical properties of sandy loam soil, growth and yield of water melon (Citrullus vulgaris) in a semi-arid environment. The Tillage treatments were disc ploughing plus disc harrowing (DP+DH), double disc ploughing (DDP), double disc harrowing (DDH),  disc ploughing (DP) and disc harrowing (DH) as minimum tillage (MT) and zero tillage (ZT) and direct drilling method (control). The watermelon seeds were Planted manually placing three (3) seeds per hole at an interval of 1.5m along the rows and 50cm between the rows at an average depth of 5cm. The treatments were laid in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. Results showed that disc ploughing + disc harrowing (DP+DH) was found to be more appropriate and profitable tillage method in improving soil physical properties and growth and yield of water melon in a sandy loam soil. Watermelon yield, fruit weight (FW), fruit length (FL), fruit diameter (FD) and leaf area index (LAI) were significantly influenced (P=0.05), but influence of tillage treatments were not significant on the number of fruit per plant (NFPP). A numerical value of 31.0t/ha, 26.0, 5.4kg, 29.0cm, and 33.8cm were recorded for maximum crop yield, NFPP, FW, FD and FL respectively in DP+DH-treated plots. For zero tillage (ZT) treatment, maximum of crop yield and NFPP were 26.5t/ha and 20.0 respectively.  Thus for enhanced growth and yield of watermelon, DP/DH would be more preferable. The orthodox method of zero tillage is out rightly discouraged

Published
Feb 1, 2017
How to Cite
DAUDA, A.; MAINA, K. D.. Effects of Tillage methods on some soil physical properties, growth and yield of Water melon in a semi-arid region of Nigeria. ARID ZONE JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING, TECHNOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT, [S.l.], v. 13, n. 1, p. 54-65, feb. 2017. ISSN 2545-5818. Available at: <http://azojete.com.ng/index.php/azojete/article/view/63>. Date accessed: 23 may 2017.
Section
Articles