FRUIT QUALITY OF WATERMELON (CUCUMIS MELO L.) AS INFLUENCED BY GIBBERELLIC ACID
This research, conducted at Isabela State University's San Mariano campus in Santa Filomena, San Mariano, Isabela, spanning from April 20, 2020, to June 5, 2020, aimed to assess the impact of Gibberellic acid (GA3) on watermelon fruit quality. The study employed a two-factor experimental design, with the main plot factor representing GA3 concentration, comprising three levels (C1-Control, C2-20 ppm, and C3-30 ppm), and the sub-plot factor representing fruit load, including three levels (T1-2 Fruit per plant, T2-3 Fruit Load per plant, T3-4 Fruit Load per Plant). The experimental layout followed a Split-plot Design and was replicated three times. Results indicated that the application of 30 ppm GA3 led to the production of the heaviest and largest fruits with thicker flesh. However, it is noteworthy that the various GA3 concentrations did not exert a significant influence on sugar content in the fruits. Furthermore, when evaluating the interaction between 30 ppm GA3 and four fruits per plant (C3T3), it was observed that although this combination resulted in the heaviest fruits, it did not yield any positive effects on fruit diameter, fruit weight per sampling area, or sugar content. Nevertheless, all treatment combinations displayed noteworthy variations in terms of flesh thickness. For example, the combination of 30 ppm GA3 concentration and four fruits per plant (C3T1) yielded a remarkable flesh thickness of 8.83. Based on these findings, it is recommended that the practice of applying a 30 ppm GA3 concentration be adopted as a cultural practice for watermelon production. This approach is expected to enhance fruit size and flesh thickness, thereby contributing to improved watermelon quality.
Gibberellic acid, watermelon, Fruit-load.