The Effects of Different Tillage Systems and Cultivars on Growth, Yield and Quality of Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) in a Semi-Arid Sub-Tropical Environment

  •  Phiwokwakhe A. Dlamini    
  •  Michael T. Masarirambi    
  •  Paul K. Wahome    
  •  Mfanzile A. Dzimba    


Conservation agriculture is a concept for resource-saving agricultural crop production system that serves to achieve acceptable profits and sustaining production while conserving the environment. The popularity of zucchini also known as baby marrow in the Kingdom of Eswatini has increased in recent years specifically for its economic value in the foreign market. This study was carried out at Malkerns Research Station, Malkerns in the Middleveld of the Kingdom of Eswatini to assess the effectiveness of different tillage methods and cultivars on growth, yield and quality of zucchini. The tillage methods used were zero, basin and mulch tillage. Furrow tillage was used as a control. The results showed that tillage methods had significant (P<0.05) differences in growth and yield of zucchini. Minimum tillage plants exhibited lowest number of leaves (9.5), vine length (36.4 cm), leaf area index (2.5) and number of flowers (6), number of fruits (1.3) and marketable yield/plant (4.6 ton/ha). Non-significant (P>0.05) differences were obtained from plants grown under basin, mulch and furrow tillage. The highest vine length (69.6cm), leaf number (17.0), LAI (3.6), and marketable yield (15.7 ton/ha) were obtained in zucchini plants grown under basin tillage system. However, there were no significant (P>0.05) differences in accumulation in leaves of zucchini plants of mineral content. In terms of the cultivars there were no significant (P>0.05) differences in vegetative growth. Star 8023 showed superiority in terms of number of fruits and marketable yield. It was observed that minimum tillage was less suitable in zucchini production as compared to other tillage systems. For higher production in zucchini, basin, furrow and mulch may be used. The best cultivar to use is star 8023.

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  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0461
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-047X
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: semiannual

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