Effect of Fertilizer Application on Plant Growth and Fruit Yield of Salvadora persica Plantation on Salt Affected Soil in Arid Rajasthan

Ranjana Arya

Abstract


S. persica is a preferential halophyte, evergreen multipurpose tree species grows widely on  arid salt affected lands in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab states of India (6.73 M ha).  Realizing the potentials, management practices viz., Farm yard manure, gypsum and nitrogen, for its establishment were worked out earlier. Experimental site is located on a hummocky, sandy  plain. Soils are coarse sandy to loamy sand, underlain by hard, compact, pan of calcium carbonate at 75-100 cm depth. The substratum is impervious to roots and water. Incremental tree growth was minimal after ten years.  Thirteen fertilizer combinations consisting of control, FYM, N, P K and Zn were applied in Random Block Design in three replications in January, 2009. After three years all the treatments recorded better incremental growth as compared to control. Phosphorus application with FYM either alone or with other inorganic fertilizers was most effective. Maximum height increment was 35.9% in T12 (FYM + K2SO4 + SSP) and T9 (FYM + Urea + SSP) treatments, crown growth in T13 (FYM + K2SO4 + SSP + Urea + ZnSO4 ), T12, T9, and T6 (FYM + SSP) treatments (ranging from 40 to 51%). For collar girth, four treatments [T12, T13, T11 (FYM + ZnSO4 + SSP) and T6] recording more than 50% incremental growth contain phosphorus either alone or with other elements. Fruit yield was influenced by rainfall also. After deficient monsoon, the mean fruiting was observed in 24.2% trees only in April, 2010. Zinc application influenced the fruit yield and per tree yield was more in T4 (341g), T7 (334g) and T13 (243.7g) followed by in T3 (123g). After above average monsoon (562 mm), mean fruiting tree percentage was 49.5% (nil –T1 to 77.8% in T2 and T11 treatments) in 2011. T12 was the best treatment recording maximum overall fruit yield of 1.25 kg (207 g/tree) closely followed by T13  (1.20 kg; 240 g/tree) and T8  (1.10 kg; 353g/tree), respectively indicating the positive influence of Potassium with Phosphorus. While most trees have mixed colored (purple, white and pink) fruits, few trees yielded only white colored fruits every year.

Keywords


Halophyte; Miswak; Farm Yard Manure; Nitrogen; Phosphorus; Potassium

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