Response of tomato to irrigation with saline water applied by different irrigation methods and water management stratigies

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Agricultural Minufiya Univ., Shibin El Kom, Egypt

2 Hort. Inst., Agric. Res. Cen., Egypt.


In a field experiment the effects of irrigation with saline drainage water (seasonal average of 4.5 dS/m) and non-saline water (0.55 dS/m) applied by two different water management strategies (cyclic or blended saline water with non-saline water in different ratios) and two different irrigation methods (drip or furrow) were studied on growth and productivity of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill cv Floradade), salinity distribution in root zone and water use efficiency. The results indicated that salinity (at 3 dS/m and above) significantly reduced leaf area, height and dry weight of plant as well as fruit weight and number and hence total yield, but increased fruit T.S.S. content. Water use efficiency (WUE) was increased by using water with low and moderate salinity levels (2 and 3 dS/m) as compared to those obtained with non-saline water (0.55 dS/m) or the highest salinity level (4.5 dS/m). Salinity increased Na, Cl and Mg contents as well as dry matter percentage, but decreased N, P, K and Ca contents in leaves of plants. Drip irrigation enhanced tomato growth, yield and WUE under both saline and non-saline conditions, but showed more advantages under saline conditions as compared with furrow irrigation. Drip irrigation method did not allow salt accumulation in root zone (wetted area beneath the emitters and the plants). However, more salt accumulated in root zone (30 cm apart from irrigation source) of furrow irrigated plants. Mixing saline with non saline waters (blending) produced better results in terms of more vigorous vegetative growth and highest yield, than that produced by alternate saline with non saline water (cyclic). Using saline water up to 3 dS/m produced yield that was not significantly differ than that produced by non saline water if applied by drip irrigation and blended water management.