Effect of calcium silicate and moisture content of the substrate on the growth and productivity parameters of cucumber

Georgy Faroutine1, Ramón Arteaga-Ramírez2*, Joel Pineda-Pineda3, and Mario Alberto Vázquez-Peña2
Water deficits can be mitigated by silicon in plants. Two greenhouse experiments were conducted at the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo to determine whether Si affects the growth, nutrient absorption, and fruit production of a ‘Braga F1’ hybrid cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) under water deficit. A completely randomized design was used with two factors, substrate moisture (55%-65%, 75%-85%, and 90%-100% of container capacity) and Si dose (0, 50, 100 mg L-1 SiO2) applied to the substrate, resulting in nine treatments with four replicates. After transplanting, moisture content was determined on days 30 to 60 (trial I) and 60 to 90 (trial II). Accumulated fruit production (AFP), total soluble solids (TSS), aerial (ADB) and radical dry biomass (RDB), leaf area (LA), and concentrations of N, P, K, and Mg in fruits, leaves, and stems were determined. ANOVA and Tukey tests (P ≤ 0.05) were performed. For AFP and TSS, ADB and LA (trial II), the interaction between Si concentration and moisture in the substrate was nonsignificant in either trial. Individual Si effects increased fruit production without affecting TSS content. ADB, RDB, and LA production increased under water stress as a result of the interaction between Si concentration and moisture content. Application of 50 mg L-1 SiO2 resulted in 36.5% more ADB, 17.3% more LA, and 46.5% more RDB than 100 mg L-1 SiO2 and 38.8%, 29.6% and 48.9% more than Si alone. The concentration of N, P, K, and Mg in fruits, P and K in leaves, and N and K in cucumber stems also improved.
Keywords: Cucumis sativus, drought, hydric deficit, silica fertilization, water.
1Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Instituto de Ingeniería Agrícola y Uso Integral del Agua, 56230, Texcoco, Estado de México, México.
2Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Departamento de Irrigación, 56230, Texcoco, Estado de México, México.
3Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Departamento de Suelos, 56230, Texcoco, Estado de México, México.
*Corresponding author (rarteagar@taurus.chapingo.mx).