Salt stress and K/Ca ratios of the nutrient solution in the production and quality of the melon


ABSTRACT Melon cultivation under saline conditions is a challenge, as the plants can suffer a reduction in fruit production and quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the production and quality of noble melon fruit fertigated with different saline solutions and K/Ca ratios. The experimental design was of randomised blocks, with treatments arranged in a 3 x 6 factorial scheme, using three melon cultivars (Bazuca, McLaren, County) fertigated with six nutrient solutions [S1 - standard nutrient solution (SNS); S2 - SNS + NaCl (5.0 dS m-1); S3 - S2 enriched with K (50%); S4 - S2 enriched with K (100%); S5 - S2 enriched with Ca (50%); S6 - S2 enriched with Ca (100%)]. At the end of each cultivar cycle, the fruit was harvested and assessed for the following parameters: fresh fruit weight, fruit diameter, internal cavity, pulp thickness, pulp firmness, soluble solids content, titratable acidity, soluble solids/titratable acidity ratio, and vitamin C. Salt stress impaired the physical characteristics of the fruit of the three noble melon cultivars. The nutrient solution enriched with 50% K (S3) did not reduce the effect of salt stress on fresh weight or fruit size in the melon, but afforded an increase in fruit quality.



Cucumis melo L, Salinity, Fertigation