Using mulch to decrease and optimize water use, increase yield and fruit quality is known as a practical method. For this purpose, a split-factorial experiment based on complete block design with three replications on two melon cultivars was conducted in Torbat-e-Jam, Iran. Interval irrigation treatments in three levels (six, eight and 10 days) were considered as main plot and mulch (rice straw and paddy, plastic and no mulch) and cultivar (Khatooni and Ghasri) were considered as sub plots in a factorial design. Results showed that there was a significant difference between plastic mulch and the control and also between interval irrigation treatments for yield, sugar percentage, resistance to damping off and spider mite, leaf area and soil moisture. The largest leaf area and soil moisture was observed with plastic mulch. The largest contamination to spider mite and damping off were occurred using straw plus paddy rice mulch. Plastic mulch increased the sugar percentage of both cultivars as well. Plastic mulch for six day interval irrigation increased yield and fruit quality through increased yield and fruit quality to increase for more than eight day interval irrigation. Regarding the advantages of plastic mulch for reduction of water use and improvement of yield and fruit quality, using plastic mulches is recommended for dry lands.


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