IMPACT OF FERTIGATION ON PAPAYA CROP UNDER PROTECTED CONDITIONSDamandeep Singh, Shailesh Kumar Singh and Lal Bahadur Damathia
A study was conducted on âRed ladyâ papaya grown under protected conditions to evaluate the variations in plant growth, fruit production and quality parameters as induced by different fertigation levels in comparison to traditional fertilizer application. The experiment consisted of five treatments that included four fertigation and one manual fertilizer application treatments. The four fertigation treatments applied were 60, 80, 100 and 120 percent recommended dose of fertilizers (RDF) denoted respectively as T1, T2, T3 and T4 treatments and in addition fifth treatment (T5) was of manual fertilizer application equal to recommended dose of fertilizer for papaya crop. Among different treatments; least average plant height (313.50 cm), number of days taken for flower initiation (189) and fruit set (194), maximum average stem girth (47.53 cm), number of functional leaves per plant (32.0), height of first flowering (103.50 cm), fruits per node (1.66) were recorded in T1 fertigation treatment. Whereas, highest average plant spread (296.41 cm), number of fruits per plant (46.26), fruit length (20.67 cm), fruit circumference (40.53 cm), fruit yield (42.79 kg/ plant) and desirable levels of fruit quality parameters such as total soluble solids, acidity and sugars were observed in T2 treatment, i.e. fertigation at 80 percent RDF. Under protected cultivation; 80 percent of recommended fertilizer dose given through drip irrigation resulted in maximum yield and quality fruits of 'Red lady' papaya cultivar.
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