EFFECTS OF IRON FORTIFICATION IN WATERCRESS UNDERSOILESS CULTURE SYSTEMDewan Limboo, Sujata Upadhyay, Laxuman Sharma, Rajesh Kumar,Suren Limbu and Obadiya Rai
An experiment was conducted to study the effect of iron fortification in morphology, minerals and antioxidantcomposition of watercress under organic soilless culture for testing the possibility of increase in iron contentin its edible parts at Dept. of Horticulture, Sikkim University, Gangtok during 2017-2018. Plants weregrown in a solution of 500 g vermicompost and 5 g citric acid in trays filled with cocopeat +coarse perlite(1:1). The experiment was laid out under the protected condition. Four different concentrations ofFeSO4@0.2%, 0.3%, 0.4% and 0.5% were used. All the morphological parameters like leaf length, number ofleaves per plant, leaf thickness, plant height, plant fresh weight and plant dry weight showed significantincrease at 0.5% concentration of FeSO4 fortification. Minerals like Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn contentin plant werealso significantly increased at given concentration. In contrast, the maximum concentration of FeSO4 showedthe opposite effect on the antioxidant content in the watercress plant. Overall, the watercress plants grownin increased amount of FeSO4 media were luxuriant in their growth with increased number of essentialelements especially iron. Therefore, the findings suggest that FeSO4 can be used in the growing media foriron fortification in watercress with yield enhancement.