Effect of Different Tillage Methods on Crop Yield and Yield Components of Watermelon
A two year field experiment was conducted to investigate the response of crop yield and yield components of watermelon to different tillage methods in the arid lands of Iran. Tillage treatments in the study were moldboard plow + two passes of disk harrow as conventional tillage (CT), two passes of disk harrow as reduced tillage (RT), one pass of disk harrow as minimum tillage (MT) and no-tillage (NT) as direct drilling method. The statistical results of the study indicated that tillage method significantly (P≤0.05) affected crop yield, fruit weight (FW), fruit length (FL), fruit diameter (FD) and total soluble solids (TSS), but there was no significant differences in other components such as number of plants per hectare (NPPH) and number of fruits per plant (NFPP). The maximum value of crop yield (21.11 t ha-1), NPPH (2730), FW (5.15 kg) and FD (20.3 cm) was observed in case of CT treatment, while maximum value of NFPP (1.56), FL (23.0 cm) and TSS (7.8%) was noted in case of RT treatment. On the other hand, the minimum value of crop yield (12.26 t ha-1), NPPH (2590), 1 NFPP (1.40), FW (3.38 kg), FL (20.7 cm) and FD (17.9 cm) was obtained in case of NT treatment, while the minimum value of TSS (6.6%) was noted in case of MT treatment. Accordingly, moldboard plow followed by two passes of disk harrow (CT) was found to be more appropriate and profitable tillage method in improving crop yield and yield components of watermelon in the arid lands of Iran.