Growth and Development of Watermelon in Response to Seasonal Variation of Rainfall.
The study was conducted in Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta in order to evaluate the performance of the growth and development of watermelon in response to change in season in Nigeria. The experimental site used for this study contained mini plots within which seeds of watermelon were planted. The dry season planting was carried out with irrigation between the period of 5th January and 14th March, while the wet season planting was conducted without irrigation between 29th March and 6th June 2013. Comparison was made between the results of plant growth parameters obtained for both seasons by using the Student t-test analysis. The growth and development parameters analysed were; number of leaves, vine length and number of internodes. The result of the analysis showed that there was significant difference in the performance of watermelon for the two seasons. The significant difference in number of leaves, vine length and number of internodes of watermelon grown in dry season significantly differed from that of wet season as the growth of watermelon in dry season was rapid and faster, while it was relatively slower during the wet season. The principal cause of this is the moisture supply which was found to be supplied frequently to plant in dry season while for wet season, rainfall was not constant and therefore, growth process was slowed down. Based on this result, it is therefore recommended that watermelon should be planted in dry season with application of irrigation and in the wet season with supplemental irrigation.