Effect of pre-harvest foliar spray of calcium and potassium on fruit quality of Pear cv. Pathernakh
Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia Burm Nakai) is one of the important fruit of temperate region of the world. It can be grown in a wide range of climatic conditions and tolerate as low as – 26°C temperature when dormant and as high as 45°C during growing period. A large number of pear cultivars require about 1200 h below 7°C during winter to meet their chilling requirements to flower and fruit satisfactorily. Growing costs of fertilizers and increasing concern about ground water pollution has resulted indiscriminate or excessive soil fertilization problem that may be solved by more efficient fertilizer application technologies.
The availability of new promising oriental pear or Japanese pear [Pyrus pyrifolia (Burm) Nakai] cultivar like ‘Patharnakh’, pave an opportunity for extending its cultivation under tarai region of Uttarakhand. Even though the cultivar ‘Patharnakh’ is good for tarai region but the quality is not much good to attract consumer acceptance. An experiment was conducted in 2015 to 2016 to study the effect of foliar spray of micronutrients on Pear. Fifteen year old pear trees were treated with three concentrations (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0%) of calcium and potassium nutrients viz., calcium chloride, calcium nitrate, potassium sulphate and potassium nitrate; and water spray as a control at 30 days intervals starting from fruit set, that is, 20 th March 2013, 20th April 2013 and 20th May, 2013. Each treatment was replicated thrice, in which one tree serving as a unit treatment. The experiment was conducted in Factorial Randomized Block Design (RBD). The observations were recorded on the basis of biochemical characters viz., total soluble solids, acidity, ascorbic acid contents, total sugars, reducing sugar and non reducing sugar. Fruits treated with potassium nitrate at 1.5% showed the highest total soluble solids (11.72), total sugars (7.62%), reducing sugars (6.10%) and non reducing sugars (1.51%). However, titratable acidity (0.46 %), and ascorbic acid (6.42 mg/100 g) were found maximum with calcium chloride at 2.0% concentration. Therefore on the basis of economic point of view reducing the excessive cost of applied inputs by use of micronutrients can be an alternative to get quality produce. So, these treatments may be recommended for adaptation of Patharnakh pear in tarai region.
Present studies clearly showed that different pre-harvest treatments of calcium and potassium at 1.5% had positive effect on quality of pear. Thus it can be concluded that potassium nitrate and calcium chloride improved the quality attributes of pear fruits cv. Pathernakh. Therefore in order to maintain the quality of the produce pre-harvest foliar spray of calcium and potassium with 1.5% can be recommended for the pear in tarai regions.