Open Access

Soil moisture levels affect growth, flower production and yield of cucumber


Field trial to determine the optimum soil moisture level for enhanced performance of cucumber was conducted in polyethylene covered rain shelter for two seasons in 2017 and repeated in 2018. The research was conducted at Rongo University Research and Teaching field. Three seeds of cucumber ‘Ashley’ were sown directly in 3.5 litre plastic pots containing 8 kg of sterilised air-dried growth medium made up of sand and top soil in the ratio of 1:2. The treatments were four levels of water applied at 100 % (control), 80 %, 60 % and 40 % pot capacity. The experimental design was completely randomised block design replicated three times. Data on the plant growth, flower production and yield were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and mean separation tests at p ≤ 0.05 level of significance. There were significant differences on the vine growth, internodes length and diameter as a result of Water Stress (WS) levels. The treatments also significantly affected the Relative Leaf Water Content (RLWC) and Relative Leaf Expansion Rate (RLER) but did not affect the number of leaves per vine. Fruit firmness was also affected by water stress. To optimise the productivity of cucumber, the soil moisture level should be maintained to at least 80 % of the field capacity throughout its productive phase.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Plant Science