AS  Vol.6 No.1 , January 2015
Compost and Compost Tea Management of Mini Watermelon Cultivations Affects the Chemical, Physical and Sensory Assessment of the Fruits
ABSTRACT
Compost, rich in plant nutrients, is a readily available fertilizer with beneficial effects on physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of the soils. Moreover compost-based treatments can exert protective effects against plant diseases occurrence and/or stimulate an enhanced plant physiological status with improvements in quantity and quality of crop productions. In this study the effects of three different compost-based cropping managements on the productive response and main quality parameters of watermelon fruits were investigated. Treatments, in comparison with the conventional cultivation method, were: soil amendment with an agricultural waste compost (AWC), a municipal waste compost (MWC) and a foliar treatment with a compost tea blend (CTB). The productive responses and colour parameters related to compost treatments did not show significant differences compared to control ones, which reached a total yield of about 10.22 kg·m-2 with a mean weight of 2.74 kg. AWC caused a higher ascorbic acid content with an increase of 50% than conventional treatment, while fruits obtained by CTB showed higher values in firmness and Quality Index than control samples. The analysis of main sugars highlighted that the application of compost as biofertilizer influenced the ratio among fructose, glucose and sucrose with respect to those observed for control fruits.

Cite this paper
Liguori, L. , Pane, C. , Albanese, D. , Celano, G. , Zaccardelli, M. and Matteo, M. (2015) Compost and Compost Tea Management of Mini Watermelon Cultivations Affects the Chemical, Physical and Sensory Assessment of the Fruits. Agricultural Sciences, 6, 117-125. doi: 10.4236/as.2015.61009.
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