EFFECT OF ALTERNATE PARTIAL ROOT ZONE DRIP IRRIGATION AND MULCHING ON ZUCCHINI
Keywords:drip irrigation, APRD, mulching, saline soil, and Zucchini
Innovative irrigation agricultural and irrigation strategies are desirable in the face of dwindling water resources and increasing demand for food, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. The presented work investigated the effect of both Alternate Partial Root-Zone Drying (APRD), mulching and drip irrigation system type on yield productivity and water use efficiency of Zucchini. Field experiments were conducted at Testing and Research Station for Tractors and Farm Machinery, Alexandria Governorate. The experimental treatments were: two types of irrigation management (full and APRD), and two soil covering (plastic mulching and without plastic mulch) under both surface and subsurface drip irrigation systems. The soil electrical conductivity was 8.19 mmhos/cm, which classified as moderate saline soil. Results showed that the highest Zucchini yield was 6.15 (ton/fed), where the lowest yield was 4.3 (ton/fed) for (MCSS) and (WAS) treatments respectively. Alternate Partial Root-Zone Drying technique enabled a decrease in Zucchini yield with small percentage ranging from 12 to 17% because the plant exposed to a water stress 50% of the needed irrigation water requirements. Otherwise, applying both (APRD) technique and mulching under subsurface drip irrigation increased the water use efficiency (WUE). The highest (WUE) was 6.3 (kg/m3), where the lowest was 2.9 (kg/m3) for (MASS) and (WCS) treatments respectively. The statistical analysis was a highly significant effect for the irrigation treatments on Zucchini productivity, (WUE), and plant morphological characteristics. Thus, It is recommended to apply (APRD) technique with a water stress less than 50% of the needed irrigation water requirements.