ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 80 Number 4
Effects of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) management methods on weed infestation and soil temperature in Swaziland. (205)
Organically-grown cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) was managed under four methods, viz., freely trailing on the soil, trained on a trellis, trained on a platform, and trained on a pyramidal structure, to evaluate the effects of these management practices on weed infestation and soil temperature. The results indicated that fruit yield was negatively correlated with weed infestation (r = -0.295) and disease score (r = -0.193). The untrained crop had a higher disease incidence, but lower weed infestation than the trained crop. Soil surface temperatures showed a general decrease with time, but there was no clear relationship between fruit yield and soil temperature. It is recommended that for better weed suppression, cucumber should not be trained or staked, but for reduced disease infestation, there is a need to train the crop. However, it is suggested that a similar investigation be carried out to assess the cost effectiveness of training the crop and the influence of management regimes on the relative ease of carrying out agronomic practices.
Keywords: Cucumber; Training methods; Weed suppression; Soil temperature