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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.
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