|Author:||Hamdy, A. ; Chouaib, W. ; Pacucci, G.|
|Book Group Author:||NA|
Cultivation of crops in soilless substrates is a practice gaining great interest internationally nowadays, especially under greenhouse conditions. Moreover, in the arid and semi-arid regions of Mediterranean area, due to the shortage of freshwater, more attention has been paid to the use of low quality waters: saline and treated waste. This work investigated the aubergine cultivar (Galine F1) response to saline irrigation practice in soilless culture. Three inert substrates, i.e. sand, pozzolana [volcanic ash] and perlite, were utilized, in the absence and presence of soil conditioner (SC). Saline water with electrical conductivity of around 6.0 dS/m was used for irrigation. A split-plot experiment with 4 replications was carried out under controlled conditions in greenhouse. The soil conditioner was mixed with the inert substrates up to a depth of 9 cm at a ratio of 15% by weight. Irrigation was managed by a computerized system and was practised with sea water mixed with freshwater and nutrient solution to reach a final EC value of 6 dS/m. The average water consumption of aubergines was approximately 2900 m3 ha-1, and the yield water use efficiency (YWUE) was 23.5 g litre-1. The greater improvement of YWUE of 28% with SC was observed for pozzolana substrate while the increment for perlite and sand was lower at 14 and 8%, respectively. Higher yields were obtained on perlite (73.2 t ha-1) followed by sand (64.6 t ha-1) and pozzolana (55.1 t ha-1). The presence of SC in the inert substrates improved (+20%) the yield only on pozzolana. For all the investigated substrates, under saline irrigation, accumulated salts did not exceed the 4 dS/m, particularly at flowering and fruit setting growth stages. Furthermore, monitoring the salt accumulation in the substrates during the cropping period is crucial and leaching should be practiced if salts exceed 4 dS/m. The results confirmed that saline irrigation practice could be successfully applied for aubergines in soilless culture.
|Pages:||245 - 251|
aubergines, crop yield, irrigation, perlite, plant waterrelations, protected cultivation, salinity, sand, soil conditioners,soilless culture, substrates, volcanic ash, water use efficiency,Solanum melongena, Solanum, Solanaceae, Solanales, dicotyledons,angiosperms, Spermatophyta, plants, eukaryotes, brinjal, cultivationunder glass or plastic, eggplants, watering, Horticultural Crops (FF003)(New March 2000), Plant Water Relations (FF062), Plant Production(FF100), Soil Water Management (Irrigation and Drainage) (JJ800)(Revised June 2002) [formerly Soil Water Management]