Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry




A field study was conducted in Ankara, a semi-arid region of Central Anatolia, Turkey, on clay-loamy soils in the vegetation seasons of 2005 and 2006. Kırkağaç melon cultivar (Cucumis melo L. cv. Kırkağaç) was irrigated by the drip method from transplantation to the beginning of the flowering (IS_f), fruit setting (IS_{fs}), ripening (IS_r), and harvesting (IS_h) periods. Water amounting to 50% (P_{50}), 75% (P_{75}), and 100% (P_{100}) of full irrigation water were applied. Some analyses were carried out regarding the growth, yield, and fruit quality parameters in these irrigation programs. Moreover, the amount of water, the seasonal evapotranspiration, and the water use efficiency having been used were determined for each irrigation program. Carrying on the irrigation during the ripening period furthered shoot growth except P_{100} application, did not significantly affect fruit yield and the soluble solids content of the fruit flesh. Similar but relatively larger fruit size and heavier weight were found in the treatments of IS_r and IS_h. Fruit yields in the P_{75} and P_{100} applications were found similar, but they were found to be higher than the P_{50} application. The soluble solids contents and the ratings of sensory characteristics were higher in the P_{75} application. As a result of this study, with respect to the considerably high yield and fruit quality, it was suggested that irrigation be kept on going until the beginning of fruit setting, not during the ripening period, and the application of 75% of full irrigation water amount (IS_r P_{75}) is the most convenient irrigation program. In addition, irrigation water amounting to 319.6-331.1 mm was applied and 427.1-472.6 mm seasonal evapotranspiration and 8.9-9.2 kg m^{-3} water use efficiency was determined in the (IS_r P_{75}) irrigation program.


Kırkağaç, melon, drip irrigation, yield, fruit quality, water use efficiency

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