Effect of seed meals on weed control and soil physical properties in direct-seeded pumpkin

Rupinder Saini, Atinderpal Singh, Sanjit K. Deb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mustard (Brassica sp.) seed meal (MSM) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seed meal (SSM) are the byproducts of the seed oil extraction process. They release biologically active allelochemicals that can provide a resource for supplemental nutrients and weed suppression in vegetable cropping systems. Our field experiment aimed to assess the phytotoxic impact of MSM and SSM on weeds and seedling establishment of direct-seeded pumpkin under semi-arid conditions and to study the impact of MSM and SSM on soil physical properties and soil water retention characteristics. The meals were incorporated into the soil 2 weeks before pumpkin planting at two rates (1150 and 2250 kg ha−1). MSM at both rates reduced early season grass and broadleaf weeds by 75 to 82% and 69 to 76%, respectively, as compared to the untreated control. However, SSM at both rates provided 59 to 65% and 54 to 59% controls of narrow and broadleaf weeds, respectively. Both MSM and SSM provided significantly better weed control and pumpkin yield as compared to the untreated control, but higher pumpkin yield was recorded with a lower rate of MSM. In addition, soils amended by both the seed meals had higher saturated hydraulic conductivity, soil water content, and lower bulk density than the untreated control. Overall, our findings suggest that the use of both MSM and SSM as an organic adjuvant is effective in controlling weeds and improving soil physical properties; however, additional research is required to further evaluate these findings and improve the reliability of MSM and SSM for weed suppression following application to agricultural soils.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5811
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020


  • Broadleaf weeds
  • Mustard seed meal
  • Narrow leaf weeds
  • Soil water content
  • Sunflower seed meal


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