Leaf Application of Humic Acid on Morphologic, Flowering and Fruit Traits of ‘Local’ and ‘Selva’ Strawberry Cultivars under Different Cultivation Beds

Document Type : Research Article




Introduction: In recent years, applying humic acid has been common in enhancing the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of crops. The use of biofertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers has an effective role in increasing the health of plants, animals, and humans, and reducing environmental pollution. Chemical fertilizers are gradually being replaced by biofertilizers. Strawberry is a fruit with high nutritional value. Choosing the right nutritional conditions such as fertilizers and suitable cultivation beds to achieve high quantitative and qualitative yield in this plant is inevitable. In recent years, the use of humic acid has been common in enhancing the vegetative and generative characteristics of crops. Humic acid is a rich source of potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. The method of application of humic acid has an effective role in improving the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of plants. Combining some cultivation beds such as perlite, composts, and fertilizers including agricultural waste (such as rice bran and tea wastes) into soil cultivation beds have had an effective role for improving the quantity and quality of plants.
Materials and Methods: A pot experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of foliar application of humic acid and different cultivation beds on morphology, flowering and fruiting of two strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) cultivars ‘Local’ and ‘Selva’ in Islamic Azad University, Rasht Unit, on 2016. Different concentrations of humic acid (0, 300, 600, and 1000 mg l−1) were applied as foliar application in two steps (late March containing three leaves and late April containing five leaves) on strawberries cultivated in different beds (usual soil and usual soil with rice bran, or perlite, or  tea wastes). The experiment was carried out as factorial based on a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. Some traits including plant height, root number, root length, leaf length, shoot number, shoot length, shoot diameter, leaf number, node number, flowering time, flower diameter, flower number, fruit number and fruit weight were measured.
Results and Discussion: Analysis of variance showed that the interaction effect of humic acid × cultivation bed ×cultivar on plant height, shoot length, shoot number, leaf number, root length, root number, flower diameter (p≤0.01), fruit weight, and fruit number (p≤0.05) was significant. The interaction effect of these three factors on shoot or stolon diameter, leaf length, flowering time and flower number was not significant. Results of mean comparison showed that the highest shoot or stolon number (14.82) were obtained in ‘Selva’ cultivar treated with 1000 mg l−1 humic acidcultivatedin usual soil with tea wastes. The highest fruit weight (35.45 g) and fruit number (15.41 per plant) were obtained in ‘Selva’ cultivar treated with 1000 mg l−1 humic acidcultivatedin usual soil with perlite. The maximum leaf number (16.03 per plant) was obtained in the treatment of 300 mg l−1 humic acid and the cultivation bed of usual soil and rice bran in ‘Local’ cultivar. Minimum fruit number (3.58) and fruit weight (8.23 g) were obtained in ‘Local’ cultivar cultivated in usual soil bed without humic acid. The highest number of root (19.56) was obtained in the treatment of 600 mg l−1 humic acid and the cultivation bed of usual soil with perlite in ‘Local’ cultivar. The highest amount of flower diameter (7.85 mm) was calculated in the treatment of 1000 mg l−1 humic acid and the cultivation bed of usual soil with tea wastes on ‘Selva’ cultivar. These results suggest that humic acid foliar application might be benefit to enhance fruit characteristics of strawberry. Totally, humic acid application increased growth and yield of strawberry. Since the most important parameters for increasing the quality of strawberry fruit is fruit characteristics, it is recommended to use 1000 mg l−1 of humic acid cultivated in the usual soil mixture with tea wastes. Strawberries are widely cultivated worldwide due to their high nutritional value. Chemical fertilizers have been used as a way to increase crop yields, but have led to problems such as nitrate accumulation, pot life, and poor quality and environmental pollution. Therefore, organic fertilizers have been used. Humic acid can improve quantitative and qualitative production by having properties such as providing more available essential elements and increasing plant resistance to various biological and non-biological stresses. A positive association has been reported between the use of humic acid and the increases in growth, yield and product quality in strawberries and other plants. Proper cultivation bed plays an important role in the optimal growth and development of plants. Salinity increases osmotic stress, ion toxicity, oxidative stress and food imbalance. The use of compost fertilizer and foliar application of humic acid increased the growth, yield and quality of strawberry fruit.


Main Subjects

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Volume 35, Issue 1 - Serial Number 49
February 2021
Pages 135-151
  • Receive Date: 05 September 2020
  • Revise Date: 12 December 2020
  • Accept Date: 11 January 2021
  • First Publish Date: 19 January 2021