Effect of Salinity on Growth, Yield and Quality Indices of Tomato in Soilless Culture



The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of NaCl application on yield and some growth parameters of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum cv. Falkato). The study was carried out during September 2005 until May 2006 using soilless culture. The plants were fed with a complete nutrient solution, of electrical conductivity at levels of (a) 1.5 (control) (b) 3.5, (c) 5.5, (d) 6.5 dSm-1 replicated three times. Sodium chloride was added to the standard nutrient solution (control) to obtain the higher EC levels. Results indicated that total yield, mean fruit weight, and leaf area were significantly reduced with increasing salinity levels, while dry matter percentage was increased. Highest total yields were found by control and as well by the treatment (b) with 14.33 and 13.25 kg/m2 respectively with no significant differences observed. Treatments (c) and (d) had the lowest total yields of 10.18 and 9.73 kg/m2 respectively. Increase in salinity affected the size of fruits, so that the fruits in grade 1 were reduced while fruits of grade 2 and 3 were increased. Total soluble solid (TSS), titrable acidity (TA), fruit juice electrical conductivity, fruit dry matter, and the level of vitamin C increased with higher salinity. Salinity increasing also reduced the levels of K, N and Ca, while increasing the amounts of Na and Cl in fruits.