Main Article Content
Cucurbita moschata is widely grown in both tropical and temperate region due to its structural adaptability. The study was carried out to assess the performance of C. moschata on soil (humus) and soilless media (NPK 15:15:15 and NPK 20:10:15 growth media). These treatments are designated as TC, TA and TB, respectively. Standard procedures were followed in the assessment of mineral elements, nutritional composition, pigment compositions, and morphological characters (vein length, leaf area and number of leaves) of C. moschata in the three treatments. Among the treatments, C. moschata had the highest vein length, leaf area and number of leaves in TA, while TC recorded the least. Nutritional compositions of C. moschata were: moisture content (80.10%, 87.10% and 69.50%), carbohydrate (5.34%, 3.80% and 15.00%), ash content (3.61%, 1.20% and 4.10%), crude lipid (0.60%, 0.80% and 0.60%), crude protein (8.75%, 6.56% and 8.75%) and crude fiber (1.60%, 0.34% and 2.05%) for the treatments (TA, TB and TC). The mineral composition of C. moschata grown in TA, TB and TC growth media respectively were Mg (138.15 mg/kg, 43.90 mg/kg and 109.15 mg/kg), Mn (73.35 mg/kg, 0.25 mg/kg and 123.30 mg/kg), K (2,892.30 mg/kg, 3,338.80 mg/kg and 1,950.80 mg/kg), Zn (47.60 mg/kg, 10.55 mg/kg, 34.00 mg/kg), Ca (2,731.50 mg/kg, 337.95 mg/kg and 426.30 mg/kg), Na (89.65 mg/kg, 108.15 mg/kg and 66.60 mg/kg) and Fe (211.25 mg/kg, 0.00 mg/kg and 137.55 mg/kg) while copper was not detected. The pigment contents indicated the presence of chlorophyll a (0.32 mg/g, 0.39 mg/g and 0.24 mg/g), chlorophyll b (0.46 mg/g, 0.64 mg/g and 0.40 mg/g), carotenoid (0.33 mg/g, 0.42 mg/g and 0.30 mg/g), and xanthophyll (0.05 mg/g, 0.10 mg/g and 0.00 mg/g) for the three treatments, respectively. The study recommends the use of NPK 15:15:15 solution in a soilless condition and the inclusion of NPK 15:15:15 to the soil to improve the performance of Cucurbita moschata.