The use of Crop Rotation to Control The Soil-Borne Fungi Causing Vascular Wilt of Watermelon in the Plain of Sanoor, Palestine

Hazem Sawalha


A field experiment was carried out in the plain of Sanoor (Sahel Sanoor) to quantify the soil-borne fungi causing vascular wilt of watermelon and to study the efficiency of various crop rotations to control this disease. Estimation based on the colony forming units per a gram of soil, showed that the unit counts were 3935.5, 2826, 1941.5 and 1462.5 for Fusarium, Verticillium, Phytophthora and Pythium, respectively. The maximum efficiency of fungi suppression was achieved when watermelon was planted after sorghum cultivation for two successive years. Such rotation gave 62-92% reduction in the studied soil fungi and increased crop production of watermelon by 83-90%. Crop rotation including planting sorghum or maize after wheat in two successive years gave significant reduction in fungal counts ranged from 59-88%. Also, these rotations increased watermelon productivity from 80-88% when it was planted in the third year. In addition, planting watermelon after two years of planting chickpeas and wheat or planting wheat for a couple of successive years achieved 40-76% and 71-77% reduction in the soil fungi, respectively. These rotations increased watermelon production from 76-84%. Also, the crop rotation which included planting sesame in the first year and wheat in the second year reduced the soil fungi from 41-73% and increased watermelon production from 71-80%. Furthermore, planting watermelon after anise in the first year followed by wheat in the second year caused a reduction in the studied fungi by 46-73%. Planting watermelon after 2-years crop rotation between wheat and clover by which the former was planted in the first year followed by latter in the second year suppressed fungi by 57-78% and increased production by 69-70%.


Vascular wilt, Crop rotation, Watermelon, Soil-borne fungi

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