Salinity limits crop growth and development. Therefore a moderately salt tolerant crop Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd) was used to study the effect of foliar sprays on leaf area and fruit weight per plant. A foliar spray of 250 ppm KNO3 increased the leaf area under non saline conditions by 16% and under 0,2% sea-salt dilution by 12% compared to the control (Table 1).
The plants sprayed with 250 ppm KNO3 under saline conditions of 0,2% sea-salt dilution not only inhibited toxic effects of salt on fruit formation, but also increased the fruit weight per plant by 77%, whereas a foliar spray of 500 ppm KNO3 increased the fruit weight per plant by 18% (Figure 1).
Table 1. The effect of a 250 ppm KNO3 foliar spray on the total leaf area (cm2) per plant compared to non-spray and non-saline conditions.
Figure 1. Effect of foliar spray of KNO3 on fruit weight per plant (g) of Lagenaria Siceraria grown under various levels of saline water irrigation.
Ahmad, R. and R. Jabeen, 2005. Foliar spray of mineral elements antagonistic to sodium-a technique to induce salt tolerance in plants growing under saline conditions. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 37(4): 913-920.