EFFECTS OF SECONDARY SEWAGE EFFLUENT ON THE GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT, FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY OF TOMATOES (LYCOPERSICON LYCOPERSICUM (L.) KARTEN)

V.E. Emongor, B.J. Macheng , S. Kefilwe
Two greenhouse trials were carried out to evaluate the effects of secondary sewage effluent on the growth, development and quality of tomato fruit. Tomato plants irrigated with secondary sewage effluent or secondary effluent plus fertilizer had higher vegetative growth (Plant height and leaf numbers) and water content (leaf, stem, and root), but lower dry matter partitioning to the various plant parts. The plants irrigated with secondary sewage effluent had significantly (P< 0.01) higher leaf nitrogen (92%), phosphorus (450%), magnesium (88%), calcium (20.4%), potassium (35%) and sodium (105%) compared to plants irrigated with tap water. Tomato plants irrigated with secondary sewage effluent had significantly (< 0.001) higher root magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, nitrogen, iron and sodium compared to plants irrigated with tap water. Similarly tomato plants irrigated with secondary sewage effluent had significantly (P< 0.01) higher fruit magnesium (41.9%), calcium (52.3%), nitrogen (16.2%), phosphorus (26.5%), potassium (14.3%), iron (21.1%) and sodium (1238%) than plants irrigated with tap water. Tomato plants irrigated with secondary sewage effluent produced higher fruit yield/ha (114.9%) and fruit number per plant (39.9%) than plants irrigated with tap water. The fruits from tomato plants irrigated with sewage water had no faecal coliforms. Due to the high fruit yield, mineral content in the tomato fruit and absence of faecal coliforms in fruits irrigated with secondary sewage effluent, it was concluded that secondary sewage effluent can be used for irrigation (drip) and fertigation of horticultural crops such as tomatoes as it contains a cheap source of available plant nutrients both macro- and micro-nutrients.
Emongor, V.E., Macheng , B.J. and Kefilwe, S. (2012). EFFECTS OF SECONDARY SEWAGE EFFLUENT ON THE GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT, FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY OF TOMATOES (LYCOPERSICON LYCOPERSICUM (L.) KARTEN). Acta Hortic. 944, 29-40
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.944.3
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.944.3
tomato, secondary effluent, fruit quality, nutrient partitioning, faecal coliforms
English

Acta Horticulturae