The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology
Vol. 86 No: 6
Effects of the application of 'cash' on the growth, fruit yield, and nutrient status of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) grown in reclaimed saline soil
MOSTAFA M. RADY and ASHRAF SH. OSMAN
The effects of ‘cash’ [a novel 2:5:1 (w/w/w) mixture of calcium sulphate, ground sunflower heads, and humic acid] as a soil amendment on the growth, fruit yield, and leaf nutrient status of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) grown on reclaimed saline soil (EC = 9.4 dS m-1) were investigated.
A glasshouse experiment was performed in a completely randomised design with six treatments (0, 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 g ‘cash’ kg-1 soil) each with four replicates.
The results indicated that ‘cash’ increased both the shoot dry weight (DW) plant-1 and the root DW plant-1, the free proline contents of leaves, and leaf chlorophyll contents.
The use of ‘cash’ also increased the number of fruit plant-1, fruit yield pot-1, and fruit vitamin C contents, although total soluble solids (TSS) contents were not affected.
The contents of nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and calcium (Ca), and the Ca:Na ratios of leaf tissues increased with all application rates of ‘cash’. Leaf phosphorus (P) contents showed no response to any applied level of ‘cash’. Leaf sodium (Na) contents declined gradually with an increase in the level of ‘cash’ applied to the soil.
We concluded that ‘cash’ has a pronounced positive effect on the growth and fruit yield of tomato plants grown in reclaimed saline soil. ‘Cash’ therefore has the potential to be used as a soil amendment for vegetable crops such as tomato to overcome the adverse effects of salinity in newly-reclaimed soils.
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