Growth and Yield of Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) in Plastic House in Response to White LED Supplementary Lighting

Wasinee Chamchum, Somchai Glahan, Somsak Kramchote, Phonkrit Maniwara, Patcharaporn Suwor


Watermelon plants cultivar ‘Kinaree 457’ were grown in plastic house under natural daylight only (control) or with nightly LED supplementary lighting for 6 h (6:00 pm-12:00 pm) or 12 h (6:00 pm-6:00 am) starting from transplanting up to fruit harvest. Plant height, leaf chlorophyll content and fruit yield significantly increased in response to 6 h supplementary LED lighting. Fruit mass, size (length x width) and flesh thickness at 6 h LED treatment were about 2.3 kg, 19.3 ×15.7 cm, and 15.7 cm, respectively, while the fruit of control had 1.7 kg, 16.0 × 14.3 cm, and 13.8 cm, respectively. No significant treatment effect was obtained on peel thickness, flesh color L* and b* values, juice pH and total soluble solids. However, 6 h LED treatment resulted in lower reddening flesh (lower a* values), firmness and higher titratable acidity relative to the control, suggesting the need for improvement in cultural management. Furthermore, multivariate statistics of principal component analysis (PCA) performed on physico-chemical quality revealed the variations among watermelons from lighting and control treatments regardless of lighting hour.


Fruit quality; Greenhouse crop production; Light-emitting diode; Multivariate analysis; PCA

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