Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science (GARJAS) ISSN: 2315-5094
February 2015 Vol. 4(2): pp. 068-074
Copyright © 2015 Global Advanced Research Journals
Full Length Research Paper
Effect of three covering materials on vegetative growth of cucurbits in Kenya.
Arnold Onyango Watako
Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, School of Agricultural and Food Sciences; Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, P.O Box 210 – 40601, Bondo, Kenya.
Accepted 15 January, 2015
Different covering materials were compared at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Juja in Kenya (1o 5’ S latitude, 37o 1’ E longitude and 1520m above sea level) on their effect on vegetative growth of cucurbits. Three structures equivalent of main treatments each having ventilation gaps were covered with 50% shade net (T1); glass (T2) and UV stabilized plastic sheet (T3) materials respectively were used. The sub treatments were cucurbits family; cucumber and butternut respectively. In each structure twelve pots were placed, six of each crop type. The experiment was laid out as a random complete block design and replicated three times, each replication consisting of two pots. Dry bulb temperature was highly significant in all the treatments with plastic house having the highest mean temperature of 33.83oc followed by glass house with 32.5 oc and shade house with 30oc respectively while the wet bulb temperature was not significantly different at p<0.05. The relative humidity in all the treatments was not significantly different at p<0.05 although plastic house had the highest RH of 91.5%, followed by shade house with 90.5% and glass house with 80%. There were significant differences in weeks 3, 6, 7 and 8 for plant height but no significant influence with the type of covering material. However, shade house treatment dominated cumulatively in plant height. Glasshouse treatment yielded most leaves in week 4 for cucumber, weeks 6 and 7 for butternut and week 8 for both butternut and cucumber. Solar rays were more direct to the plant in shade house than in glasshouse or plastic house. There was a positive correlation between light intensity and leaf area (r=0.1) showing that for every unit increase in light intensity, the leaf area increased by 0.1. Considering the temperature and relative humidity variables and the direct effect of solar rays in the shade house coupled with plant height pa rameter, shade house is an appropriate structure for cucurbit production in a tropical climate.
Keywords: Protected cultivation, cucurbitaceae, growth, Kenya.