Article | . 2018 Vol. 36, Issue. 2
Impact of Within-row Plant Spacing and Fixed Fruit Setting on Yield and Quality of Rockmelon Fruit Cultivated by Drip Irrigation in a Greenhouse



Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University1
Department of Aquaculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia2
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia3




2018.. 172:182


PDF XML




Experiments were conducted in a ventilated greenhouse located in a commercial farm (2°56'N, 101º54'E) at Broga, Malaysia from 2014 to 2015. The objective of this study was to evaluate the interaction between within-row plant spacing and fruit-set position on the yield and quality of ‘Glamour’ rockmelon fruit. Rockmelon was grown at 1.57 m between rows with 0.15 m, 0.30 m, and 0.60 m of within-row plant spacing. The plants were fixed to set fruit at T1 (one fruit, 1-7 lateral branches), T2 (one fruit, 8-14 lateral branches), T3 (two fruits, 1-7 lateral branches), and T4 (two fruits, 8-14 lateral branches). As within-row plant spacing decreased from 0.30 m to 0.15 m, yield per ha was increased by 58.1%, and a 3.7-fold increase in yield was seen from 0.60-m to 0.15-m spacing. Total soluble solids (11.96°Brix) and total carbohydrate content (86.60 g GE 100 g DW) were highest at a plant spacing of 0.60 m. Our results demonstrated that the interaction between 0.30-m within-row plant spacing with two fruits set at 8-14 lateral branches showed the most commercially viable outcome in fresh fruit weight as these conditions produced two fruits with an average fruit weight of 2.20 kg per fruit.



1. Ban D, Goreta S, and Borosic J (2006) Plant spacing and cultivar affect melon growth and yield components. Sci Hortic 109:238–243. doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2006.04.015   

2. Bangerth F, Ho L (1984) Fruit position and fruit set sequence in a truss as factors determining final size of tomato fruits. Ann Bot 53:315–319. doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aob.a086695  

3. Barni V, Barni NA, Silveira JRP (2003) Meloeiro em estufa: duas hastes é o melhor sistema de condução. Ciênc Rural 33:1039–1043. doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782003000600007  

4. Baron VS, Najda HG, Stevenson FC (2006) Influence of population density, row spacing and hybrid on forage corn yield and nutritive value in a cool-season environment. Can J Plant Sci 8:1131–1138. doi.org/10.4141/P05-136  

5. Bhella HS (1985a) Response of muskmelon to within row plant spacing. Proc Indiana Acad Sci 94:99–100  

6. Bhella HS (1985b) Muskmelon growth, yield and nutrition as influenced by planting method and trickle irrigation. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 110:793–796  

7. Brinen GH, Locascio SJ, Elmstrom GW (1979) Plant and row spacing, mulch, and fertilizer rate effects on watermelon production. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 104:724–726  

8. Cabello MJ, Castellanos MT, Romojaro F, Martınez-Madrid C, Ribas F (2009) Yield and quality of melon grown under different irrigation and nitrogen rates. Agric Water Manag 96:66–874. doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2008.11.006  

9. Davis GN, Meinert UGH (1965) The effect of plant spacing and fruit pruning on the fruits of P.M.R. No. 45 cantaloupe. Proc Am Soc Hortic Sci 87:299–302  

10. de Queiroga F, Puiatti M, Fontes PCR, Cecon PR (2008) Fruit yield and quality of cantaloupe melon, under greenhouse conditions, as affected by number of fruits and position in the plant. Bragantia 67:911–920  

11. Department of Agriculture, Peninsular Malaysia (2011) Fruit crops statistic, government of Malaysia. http://www.doa.gov.my/c/ document_library/get_file?uuid=37c24b5a-01fc-44f0-961e-d2c987cf12a5&groupId=38371. Accessed 24 January 2017.  

12. Douglas JL, Heidi AB, Sean FO (2000) Conversion of nitrogen to protein and amino acids in wild fruits. J Chem Ecol 26:1749–1763. doi.org/10.1023/A:1005503316406  

13. Dubois M, Gilles KA, Hamilton JK, Rebers PA, Ith FS (1956) Calorimetric method for determination of sugars and related substances. Anal Chem 28:350–356. doi.org/10.1021/ac60111a017  

14. El-Hamed K, Elwan M (2011) Dependence of pumpkin yield on plant density and variety. Am J Plant Sci 2:636–643. doi.org/10.4236/ ajps.2011.25075  

15. Etienne A, Génard M, Lobit P, Mbéguié-A-Mbéhuié D, Bugaud C (2013) What controls fleshy fruit acidity? A review of malate and citrate accumulation in fruit cells. J Exp Bot 64:1451–69. doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ert035  

16. Fagan EB, Medeiros SLP, Simon J, Luz GL, Borcioni E, Jasniewicz LR, Casaroli D, Mafron PA (2006) Evolucão e particão de massa seca do meloeiro em hidroponia. Acta Sci Agron 28:165–172. doi.org/10.4025/actasciagron.v28i2.977  

17. Higashi K, Hosoya K, Ezura H (1999) Histological analysis of fruit development between two melon (Cucumis melo L. reticulatus) genotypes setting a different size of fruit. J Exp Bot 50:1593–1597. doi.org/10.1093/jxb/50.339.1593  

18. Hubbard NL, Pharr DM (1990) Sucrose metabolism in ripening muskmelon fruit as affected by leaf area. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 115:798–802  

19. Kamiya E (1969) Culture and management of melon in greenhouse (in Japanese). Seibundo Shinkosha Press, Tokyo, Japan, pp 56–62  

20. Knavel DE (1988) Growth, development, and yield potential of short-internode muskmelon. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 113:595–599  

21. Kultur F, Harrison HC, Staub JE (2001) Spacing and genotype affect fruit sugar concentration, yield, and fruit size of muskmelon. HortScience 36:274–278  

22. Lee SK, Coggins JCW (1982) Dry weight method for determination of avocado fruit maturity. Calif Avocado Soc Yearbook 66:67–70   

23. Lester GE, Hodges DM (2008) Antioxidant associated with fruit senescence and human health: Novel orange-fleshed non netted honey dew melon genotype comparison following different seasonal productions and cold storage durations. Postharvest Biol Technol 48:347–354. doi.org/10.1016/j.postharvbio.2007.11.008  

24. MAAI (Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry) (2015). Agrofood statistics of Malaysia in 2014. Information Management and Statistics Section Policy and Strategic Planning Division, MAAI, Malaysia  

25. Maynard ET, Scott WD (1998) Plant spacing affects yield of “superstar” muskmelon. HortScience 33:52–54  

26. Mendlinger S (1994) Effect of increasing plant density and salinity on yield and fruit quality in muskmelon. Sci Hortic 57:41–49. doi.org/10.1016/0304-4238(94)90033-7  

27. Muhammad RM, Nik Mohd Masdek NR (2016) Overview of melon industry in Malaysia. Accessed on 4th July 2017 at http://ap. fftc.agnet.org/ap_db.php?id=677&print=1   

28. Nerson H, Edelstein M, Paris HS, Karchi Z, Govers A (1984) Effects of population density and plant spacing on the vegetative growth, flowering and yield of cv. Galia muskmelon. Hassadeh 64:698–702  

29. Norrizah JS, Hashim SN, Siti Fashiha F, Yasee SM (2012) β-carotene and antioxidant analysis of three difference rockmelon (Cucumis melo L.) cultivars. J Appl Sci 12:1846–1852. doi.org/10.3923/jas.2012.1846.1852  

30. Paris HS, Amar Z, Lev E (2012) Medieval emergence of sweet melons, Cucumis melo (Cucurbitaceae). Ann Bot 110:23–33. doi.org/ 10.1093/aob/mcs098  

31. Peirce LC, Peterson LE (1961) The response of muskmelons to spacing, seeding date and plant container. Proc Am Soc Hortic Sci 77:432–439  

32. Rasmuna MM, Mohd MS, Mohd Zaffrie MA, and Siti ZP (2015) Kajian Menanda Aras Teknologi Pengeluaran Tembikai. Laporan Projek Sosioekonomi, Pusat Penyelidikan Ekonomi dan Sains Sosial, MARDI, Serdang, Malaysia.  

33. Rodriguez JC, Shaw NL, Cantliffe DJ (2007) Influence of plant density on yield and fruit quality of greenhouse-grown Galia muskmelons. HortTechnology 17:580–585  

34. Rubatzky VE, Yamaguchi M (1997) World vegetables. Principles, production and nutritive values, 2nd ed. Chapman and Hall, New York, USA, pp 843  

35. Seabra Júnior, S, Pantano SC, Hidalgo AF, Rangel MG, Cardoso AII (2003) Avaliação do número e posição do fruto de melancia produzido em ambiente protegido. Hortic Bras 21:708–711. doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362003000400028  

36. Syn GY, Heong CS, Yoo KC (1991) Effect of temperature, light intensity and fruit setting position on sugar accumulation and fermentation in oriental melon. J Korean Soc Hortic Sci 32:440–446  

37. Tabasi A, Nemati H, Akbari M (2013) The effects of planting distances and different stages of maturity on the quality of three cultivars of tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill). Not Sci Biol 5:371–375  

38. Valantin M, Gary C, Vaissiére BE, Frossard JS (1999) Effect of load fruit on partitioning of dry matter and energy in cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.). Ann Bot 84:173–181. doi.org/10.1006/anbo.1999.0904  

39. Valantin M, Gary C, Vaissiere BE, Tchamitchian M, Bruneli B (1998) Changing sink demand affects the area but not the specific activity of assimilate sources in cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.). Ann Bot 82:711–719. doi.org/10.1006/anbo.1998.0739  

40. Valantin M, Morinson M, Vaissiere BE, Gary C, Robin P (2006) Source-sink balance affects reproductive development and fruit quality in cantaloupe melon (Cucumis melo L.). J Hortic Sci Biotech 81:105–117. doi.org/10.1080/14620316.2006.11512036  

41. William II MM (2012) Agronomics and economics of plant population density on processing sweet corn. Field Crop Res 128:55–61. doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2011.12.007  

42. Zahara M (1972) Effects of plant density on yield and quality of cantaloupe. Calif Agric 26:15