Studies on seed biology, distribution, and chemical control of smellmelon (Cucumis melo var. agrestis Naudin): an invasive weed.
Smellmelon is an invasive weed in the Golestan and Mazandran provinces of Iran. In a series of experiments, germination of freshly harvested seeds, cardinal temperatures, plant burial depth, and distribution and chemical control of smellmelon were evaluated to assist us in developing a management program to help growers manage this weed more effectively. The optimal seed germination temperature was estimated at 32.7 C by a two-piece segmented model. Mature fresh seeds of smellmelon exhibited no dormancy, whereas mucilage of the seed negatively affected germination. The greatest seed sowing depth from which seedlings emerged was 5 cm. Geographical distribution of smellmelon occurred up to an elevation of 350 m above sea level, whereas the density of smellmelon decreased at elevations higher than 151 m. Imazethapyr reduced plant growth and the reproductive capacity of smellmelon. Germination of seed from smellmelon plants treated with imazethapyr was significantly reduced compared with seed treated with bentazon or bentazon plus acifluorfen. A combination of tillage of deeper than 5 cm, early planting time, and the use of imazethapyr can reduce smellmelon competition in various field crops.