Effect of a Brassica Juncea Cover Crop on a Mono-Succession of Melon

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Abstract

The ban of methyl bromide and the need for low environmental impact of agriculture has recently increased the interest in the biofumigant effects of Brassica species on soil-borne pathogens. Many researches have tested the toxic effects of Brassica green manures on several soil-borne pathogens in vitro, but field studies have not assessed definitely the efficiency of biofumigation at the field scale and the effect on crop development and production quality. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of a winter-spring cover crop of Brassica juncea compared to bare soil on a mono-succession of melon. The biomass of the B. juncea plants or of the weeds eventually developed in bare soil, used as control, were managed as follows:(i) shredded and left on the soil as organic mulching; (ii) shredded and incorporated into the soil; (iii) shredded and incorporated into the soil under PE mulching along melon crop rows. Marketable and unmarketable production, fruit weight and fruit quality (thickness of the epicarp and pulp, percentage of edible part, soluble solid content, firmness, etc.) were evaluated on melon fruits. The use of Brassica juncea as a cover crop positively influenced melon yield and quality compared to bare soil when the biomass was incorporated into the soil, while no difference was found when PE mulching was used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalACTA HORTICULTURAE
Volume1005
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture

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