Effect of Irrigation Methods and Plastic Mulches on Water Productivity of Melon

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associated Professor, Agricultural Engineering Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Crop and Horticultural Science Research Department, Isfahan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Isfahan, Iran.


Due to the limited water resources for agricultural production in Iran, increasing water productivity and optimal use of water resources in the agricultural sector is essential. This experiment was conducted to study the effect of irrigation methods and plastic mulches on water productivity and early maturity of Melon culitvar “Garmak”, in Isfahan province. Statistical design was split plot based on RCBD in three replication with distributing three irrigation systems (surface, drip and porous pipe) in main plots, two types of soil covers (black and transparent and without cover as a check) in sub plots. The results showed that in terms of crop yield, there was no significant difference between drip and surface irrigation methods with a yield of 59 and 54 tons per hectare. Crop yield in the porous pipe irrigation method was drastically reduced, while the drip irrigation method reduced the applied water compared to the surface irrigation method by 50 percent and increased the applied water productivity more than 2 times. Drip irrigation had a significant effect on the early maturity of the crop, so that the early yield increased by 28 percent. The effect of different plastic mulches on yield, yield components and crop maturity was significant at 5 percent probability level. The interaction effects of irrigation method and mulching on yield and early maturity also showed a significant increase in both transparent and black mulch. Crop yield and yield of early maturity increased in both transparent and black mulch. The highest yield and early maturity of the crop were obtained in drip irrigation with transparent mulch, 66500 and 22603 kg / ha respectively, which increased by 42 and 133 percent, respectively, compared to surface irrigation without mulch. Plastic mulches were effective in reducing soil evaporation, conserving moisture, controlling soil temperature and reducing weed growth. For optimal use of water resources, the use of drip irrigation in combination with plastic mulch in Melon crops is recommended as a solution to reduce water consumption and achieve a marketable product.


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