Yield of Tomato Crop Irrigated with Untreated Industrial Sewage Effluent and Remediated with Potassium Silicate and Compost Applications

Document Type : Original Article


1 Environmental Pollution, Plant Ecology and rang Dept., Desert Research Center, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Horticulture Dept., Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams Univ., Egypt


An experiment was conducted for the two successive seasons of 2017 and 2018 to investigate the deleterious effect of irrigating tomato plants with untreated industrial waste water and the possible ameliorating effects of compost and potassium silicate applications on the growth and production of the grown plants. Tomato seedlings of hybrid K186 were transplanted at the four-true leaf stage and irrigated with untreated waste effluent. Compost was applied during the soil preparation at rates of 0 (control), 10, 20, and 30 m3 /feddan. Potassium silicate was sprayed on the plants three times; at 20, 40 and 60 days after transplanting in the concentrations of 0 (control), 3, 4 and 5 cm3 /l. Results revealed that vegetative growth and fruit yield of treated plants were increased by increasing compost and potassium silicate rates compared by the control (without compost and potassium silicate).The interaction effect of the treatment showed an added effect of both treatments on all measured parameters. Plant length, number of leaves and number of branches increased as the application rate of compost and potassium silicate increased. Similarly, SPAD readings showed similar positive and significant trend. In the contrary, contents of Zn, Pb, Ni, Cd and Mnresponded negatively and significantly to the interaction effect of the treatments showing the highest effect with the treatment 5 cm3 potassium silicate associated with 30 m3 compost application compared to the control. Similar to the positive effect on vegetative growth, the positive additive effect of both treatments was clear on total fruit yield where the highest effect was recorded with the treatment combining the highest rate of application of both potassium silicate and compost. It could be concluded that potassium silicate and compost applications can ameliorate the harmful effects of heavy metals in the soil.