Watermelon ( Citrullus Lanatus )

Live Mulch Climatic Adaptation Capabilities In Humid Tropics Cropping System

Authored by: David O. Ojo

Handbook of Cucurbits

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781482234589
eBook ISBN: 9781482234596
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b19233-9

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Abstract

In situ live mulch crops such as watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) can suppress weed populations, resulting in reduced reliance on herbicides, reduced soil temperature, improved soil moisture, and additional income from sale of produce harvested in mixed cropping systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Previous studies indicate that cover crops could suppress weed populations and reduce reliance on herbicides (Duppong, 2004; Saini et al., 2008; Pelosi et al., 2009; Anugroho and Kitou, 2011; Muleke et al., 2012; Hertwig et al., 2013; Isah et al., 2014) and that in situ live mulch cover crops give short-term cash supplements from produce harvested, thereby making adoption by farmers more attractive, easier, and quicker (Ali, 1999; Anyszka et al., 2006; JodaugienÄ—, 2006; Willard et al., 2008; Elzaki et al., 2013). It is suspected that changes in crop production practices might be due to weed control, temperature, moisture, and flexibility in African humid tropics cropping systems. Grain amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus L.) is important for its higher protein content compared to other staple crops, such as rice, maize, sorghum, and millet (Bressani, 1988) in sub-Saharan Africa where meeting daily dietary requirements is challenging. It is drought tolerant and highly adaptable to the tropics as a potential crop, thereby contributing to food self-security in the region. Watermelon commands higher prices than the local nonexotic crops especially during dry seasons. The present investigations, therefore, seek to quantify the impact of various densities of in situ watermelon live mulch on weed control and yield potential and climatic change adaptation capability strategy in the humid tropics amaranth production system.

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