The Response of Fordhook Giant / Swisschard (Beta vulgaris var Cicla) and Mustard (Brassica Juncea) Spinach Vegetables to Irrigation with Saline Water

Main Article Content

M. V. Dlamini
M. T. Masarirambi


Saline irrigation water is becoming an important water source as fresh water is fast becoming a scarce resource in many areas of the world, including Eswatini, especially in arid and semi-arid regions.  A study to test the response of two varieties of spinach (fordhook giant and mustard) to salinity was conducted in a field pot experiment at the Faculty of Agriculture at the Luyengo Campus of the University of Eswatini.  The treatments were laid in a randomized block design (RCBD).  The experiment consisted of four treatments, each replicated twelve times.  Treatments were salinity levels of 0.0 dS/m, 1.5 dS/m, 2.0 dS/m and 3.5 dS/m.  All the treatments were subjected to similar agronomic practices. Spinach was grown and observed for a period of five weeks.  Plant height was measured and the number of leaves counted weekly throughout the experiment. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between salinity treatments were obtained for plant height beginning in week 2 but were more pronounced in week 3, 4 and week 5.  No significant differences were obtained for the number of leaves.  There were however, clear significant differences between spinach irrigated with none saline irrigation water compared to saline irrigation water.   It was concluded that irrigating spinach with saline water of more than 2.0 dS/m drastically reduce plant growth but not the number of leaves under the conditions of the experiment.

Salinity, spinach, growth, irrigation.

Article Details

How to Cite
Dlamini, M. V., & Masarirambi, M. T. (2020). The Response of Fordhook Giant / Swisschard (Beta vulgaris var Cicla) and Mustard (Brassica Juncea) Spinach Vegetables to Irrigation with Saline Water. Asian Journal of Advances in Agricultural Research, 14(3), 20-26.
Original Research Article


Ors S, Suarez DL. Salt tolerance of spinach as related to seasonal climate. Hort. Sci. (Prague). 2016;43: 33–41. DOI: 10.17221/114/2015-HORTSCI

Ors S, Suarez DL. Spinach biomass yield and physiological response to interactive salinity and water stress. Agric. Water Manager. 2017;190:31-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2017.05.003

Grattan SR. Crop salt tolerance. ANR Publication 8562. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. 2016; 1- 6. Available:

Ibrahim Mohd Hafiz, Nur Azira Abas, Syeda Massoma Zahra. Impact of salinity stress on germination of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica). Annual Research & Review in Biology. 2019;31(5):1-12. Article no. ARRB.47891. ISSN: 2347-565X, NLM ID: 101632869

Ferreira, Jorge FS, Devinder Sandhu, Xuan Liu, Jonathan J. Halvorson. Spinach (Spinacea oleracea L.) response to salinity: nutritional value, physiological parameters, antioxidant capacity, and gene expression. Agriculture. 2018;8:163. DOI: 10.3390/agriculture8100163

Munns R, James RA, Läuchli A. Approaches to increasing the salt tolerance of wheat and other cereals. Journal of Experimental Botany. 2006;57: 1025–1043. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erj100

Chenping Xu, Beiquan Mou. Responses of spinach to salinity and nutrient deficiency in growth, physiology, and nutritional value. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 2016;141(1):12–21.

Orcutt DM, Nilsen ET. The physiology of plants under stress: Soil and biotic factors. Wiley, Hoboken, NJ; 2000.

Bergman ML, Varshavsky HE, Gottlieb, Grossman S. The antioxidant activity of aqueous spinach extract: Chemical identification of active fractions. Phytochemistry. 2001;58:143–152.

Edenharder R, Keller G, Platt KL, Unger KK. Isolation and characterization of structurally novel antimutagenic flavonoids from spinach (Spinacia oleracea). J. Agr. Food Chem. 2001;49:2767– 2773.

Pandjaitan N, Howard LR, Morelock T, Gil MI. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of spinach as affected by genetics and maturation. J. Agr. Food Chem. 2005; 53:8618–8623.

Shannon MC, Grieve CM. Tolerance of vegetable crops to salinity. Sci. Hort. 1999; 78:5–38.

Delfine S, Alvino A, Zacchini M, Loreto F. Consequences of salt stress on conductance to CO2 diffusion, Rubisco characteristics and anatomy of spinach leaves. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 1998;25: 395–402.

Downton WJS, Grant WJR, Robinson SP. Photosynthetic and stomatal responses of spinach leaves to salt stress. Plant Physiol. 1985;77:85–88.

Kaya C, Higgs D, Sakar E. Response of two leafy vegetables grown at high salinity to supplementary potassium and phosphorus during different growth stages. J. Plant Nutr. 2002;25:2663– 2676.

Langdale GW, Thomas JR, Littleton TG. Influence of soil salinity and nitrogen fertilizer on spinach growth. J. Rio Grande Valley Hort. Soc. 1971;25:61–66.

Pasternak D, De Malach Y. Handbook of plant and crop stress. Marcel Dekker, New York, NY; 1994.

Ayers RS, Westcot DW. Water quality for agriculture. FAO Irrigation and drainage paper 29 Rev 1. Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations. Rome; 1994.

Murdoch G. Soils and land capability in Swaziland. Ministry of Agriculture. Mbabane; 1970.

Turhan Ahmet, Hayrettin Kuscu, Nese Ozmen, Mehmet Sitki Serbeci, Ali Osman Demir. Effect of different concentrations of diluted seawater on yield and quality of lettuce. Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research. 2014;74(1):111–116.

Ünlükara A, Yurtyeri T, Cemek B. Effects of Irrigation water salinity on evapotranspiration and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L. Matador) plant parameters in Greenhouse Indoor and Outdoor Conditions. Agronomy Research. 2017; 15(5):2183–2194. Available:

Bar-Yosef B, Markovich T, Levkovich I. Lettuce response to leachate recycling in an arid zone greenhouse. Acta Hort. 2005; 697:243–250.

Anjali R, Aruna R. Alleviation of the effects of NaCL salinity in spinach (Spinacia Oleracia L var All Green) using plant growth regulators. Journal of Stress Physiology & Biochemistry. 2013;9(3):122– 128.

John W, Downton S, James W, Grant R, Simon P. Robinson. Photosynthetic and stomatal responses of spinach leaves to salt stress. Plant Physiol. 1985;77:85- 88. DOI: 0032-0889/85/77/0085/04

Robinson RP, Downton WJS, Millhouse JA. Photosynthesis and ion content of leaves and isolated chloroplasts of salt-stressed spinach. Plant Physiol. 1983;73: 238–242.

Delfine S, Alvino A, Villani MC, Loreto F. Restrictions to carbon dioxide conductance and photosynthesis in spinach leaves recovering from salt stress. Plant Physiol. 1990;119:1101-1106.