SOLARIZATION AND BIOFUMIGATION REDUCE PYTHIUM APHANIDERMATUM INDUCED DAMPINGOFF AND ENHANCE VEGETATIVE GROWTH OF GREENHOUSE CUCUMBER IN OMAN
M. Deadman, H. Al Hasani, A. Al Sa’di
Damping-off disease, caused by Pythium aphanidermatum is a major constraint in the greenhouse crop sector in Oman. Current commercial management practice relies almost exclusively on excessive chemical fungicide inputs. Under commercial conditions solarization and biofumigation (solarization following organic amendment of soil) both reduced P. aphanidermatum inoculum levels in soil relative to untreated controls. Both treatments also reduced the level of damping-off disease in greenhouse seedlings. Biofumigation and solarization both enhanced crop growth as measured by stem height and stem diameter. Effects on pathogen population levels, disease incidence and plant growth were greater during summer growing seasons than during the winter.