Management of Root-Knot Nematode with Non-Chemical Methods for Sustainable Production of Cucumber under Protected Cultivation
The multi-faceted benefits of growing crops under protected cultivation are gradually establishing it as a promising technology for vegetable cultivation in India. However, the adoption of successive cropping patterns in soil-based closed structures is leading to the buildup of soil-borne pathogens and pests, which are becoming a major hindrance to the sustainable production of these crops, particularly in the northern plains. Root-knot nematodes (RKNs) are a critical threat to protected
... tion and farmers are required to contribute a significant amount of time and money for their management. To reduce the overdependence of chemicals, the present study explored the potential of plant-based by-products as amendments for the management of RKN in cucumbers grown under a plastic greenhouse. A pot trial was conducted to assess the efficacy of different plant-based amendments against nematodes in cucumber plants. The pot trial results revealed that the application of mustard cake (MC) and neem cake (NC) at 1 t ha−1 either alone or as a combined application with farmyard manure (FYM) of 2.5 t ha−1 was effective against RKN infestation, reflecting the improved plant growth parameters of cucumber. Based on the results of the pot trials, treatments with plant-based amendments and FYM i.e., T1: MC 1 t ha−1; T2: NC 1 t ha−1; T3: FYM 2.5 t ha−1; T4: MC 1 t ha−1 + NC 1 t ha−1 + FYM 2.5 t ha−1, along with the treated check carbofuran 3 G 2 kg (a.i.) ha−1 (T5) and untreated check (T6), were evaluated in multi-locational field trials. The results revealed that the combined application of MC 1 t ha−1 + NC 1 tha−1 + FYM 2.5 t ha−1 exhibited promising results in decreasing RKN infestation (56–58%) in all of the three RKN-infested polyhouses, with significantly enhanced yields at all of the three locations. Soil organic carbon also increased significantly in the amended plots, indicating improved soil health. The results of the present work hold good promise for the management of RKN in the protected cultivation of cucumber with an environment friendly approach, along with the additional incentives of improved soil health.