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.