RESPONSE OF ORNAMNETAL ANNUALS TO SALINE WATER IRRIGATION
Availability of fresh water is meager in expansion of gardening in all the countries. In many gardens, farm ponds are utilized for irrigation without analyzing the quality of the water. Alternative sources like ponds can be used for irrigation, but salinity will be a problem. Keeping this in mind an experiment was laid out in completely randomized design with three replications. Salinity was induced by adding NaCl of four different concentrations viz., 0.4 , 0.8, 1.2 and 1.6 % and was irrigated on alternative days on two ornamental flowering annuals viz., Zinnia and Petunia. Twenty days old seedlings were subjected to treatments as per the schedule with a control. Phenological observations viz., plant height, number of branches, number of leaves, earliness in flowering, number of flowers, flower diameter are observed at Initial, 40 and 55 days after sowing. From the results, it was found that plant growth reduced with the elevated NaCl concentration. Saline treated plants had earlier blooming upto 1.2% and with the incaresed salinity levels, the plants falied to initiate flowering and started withering.
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