Growth Response of Snap Bean and Tomato as Affected by Salinity and Irrigation Method

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  • 1 Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690
  • | 2 Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690

Although the effects of salinity on yield of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) grown under arid and semiarid conditions are well known, little information is available on the effects of salinity on crops grown in more humid conditions. In Florida, availability of high-quality water for irrigation may be reduced because of increased domestic consumption and sea water intrusion. Two greenhouse studies were conducted to determine the influence of irrigation system and water quantity and quality on the growth of tomato and snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Bean plant heights and weights were greater with drip irrigation than with subirrigation. Bean seed germination percentage, plant height, and shoot weight decreased linearly with an increase in electrical conductivity of irrigation water (ECi) from 1 to 4 dS·m-1. Tomato leaf water potential and plant height decreased linearly with increasing salinity. Tomato stem and leaf weights were greatest at the intermediate salinity (2 dS·m-1) during initial growth, and stem weights decreased linearly with increased salinity during flowering. With drip irrigation, concentration of N for both crops decreased and concentration of P increased with an increase in water application from 0.75 to 1.5 times the estimated evapotranspiration rate (ETa). Tomato and bean tissue Na concentrations increased linearly with increased salinity. Total fruit yield and average fruit weight decreased linearly in tomato, and marketable fruit yield decreased quadratically with increased salinity.

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