Optimization of yield and quality of hull-less seeded pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo var. styriaca) through foliar application
Keywords:PAU Magaz Kadoo-1, Hull-less, Pumpkin, Seed yield, Foliar application
The present investigation was conducted during the spring 2021 and 2022 at Vegetable Research Farm, Punjab Agricultural University,
Ludhiana for optimization of yield and quality of hull-less seeded pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo var. styriaca) through foliar applications. The experiment was laid down in randomized complete block design with thirteen treatments viz., T1 (control-water spray), T2 (ZnSO4 @0.5%), T3 (MgSO4 @ 0.5%), T4 (KNO3 @ 0.5%), T5 (B @ 0.5%), T6 (ZnSO4 @ 1.0%), T7 (MgSO4 @ 1.0%), T8 (KNO3 @ 1.0%), T9 (B @ 1.0%), T10 (ZnSO4 + MgSO4 + KNO3 + B; each @ 0.5%), T11 (ZnSO4 + MgSO4 + KNO3 + B; each @ 1.0%), T12 (Salicylic acid @ 100ppm) and T13 (Salicylic acid @ 200 ppm), replicated thrice. All thirteen foliar treatments exhibited significant influence on horticultural yield and quality traits of hull-less seeded pumpkin cv. PAU Magaz Kadoo-1. Among horticultural traits, maximum vine length was observed in T10 (ZnSO4 + MgSO4 + KNO3 + B; each @ 0.5%) while, salicylic acid @ 200 ppm (T13) gave highest leaf length, leaf width and petiole length. Minimum days to 50 % male and female flowering as well as harvest were observed with foliar application of ZnSO4 @ 0.5% (T2). ZnSO4 + MgSO4 + KNO3+ B; each @ 0.5% (T10) and MgSO4 @ 0.5% (T3) significantly affected the fruit yield traits like polar and equatorial diameter of fruit, flesh thickness, fruit weight, number of fruits per plant, number of fruits per plot, fruit yield per plant, fruit yield per plot and seed yield traits viz., number of seeds per fruit, 100-seed weight and seed yield per plant. Quality traits like seed color, dry matter, oil content, protein content, ash content, fiber, total sugar and reducing sugar too were maximized by foliar application of T10 (ZnSO4+ MgSO4 + KNO3 +B; each @ 0.5%) and T3 (MgSO4 @ 0.5%). Consequent to the above and the cost involved, T3 (MgSO4 @ 0.5%) can be adjudged as the best treatment for enhancing the growth and yield of PAU Magaz Kadoo-1. Thus, four foliar applications of MgSO4 @ 0.5% at fortnightly interval with the onset of 50% flowering can significantly improve hull-less seeded pumpkin’s horticultural, yield and quality attributes
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