Author Topic: Salt tolerant varieties  (Read 260 times)

gmuller

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: 6
  • Bendigo, Australia. 515mm rain - if we are lucky
    • View Profile
    • Useful Seeds
    • Email
Salt tolerant varieties
« on: 2019-04-01, 12:48:39 AM »
I'm might be buying a property with unlimited bore water - but it is moderately brackish at 3000 ppm, at the upper limit for even salt tolerant veges. Wondering about possible approaches to parent selection and breeding approaches to develop salt tolerant vege varieties. I'm  mostly interested in standard temperate vegetable lines - tomatoes, squashes, lettuce, peas, beans, melons, capsicums, brassica greens, chard, etc. thoughts?

(I could go and live where it rains, or has potable bore water, but that means losing my local community links, such as they are.)
GM

Ocimum

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 12
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #1 on: 2019-04-01, 01:47:27 AM »
The salt content of the water is only part of the equation:

The rain (flushing down excess salt), even if it is only once a year is also important.
Fungi reduce the negative effects of salt in the soil

On Tomatoes: the Galapagos tomatoes are said to be salt-tolerant. Maybe use them as a parent for your crosses?

Andrew Barney

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 159
  • Karma: 22
  • Northern Colorado, Semi-Arid Climate, USA
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #2 on: 2019-04-01, 06:06:13 AM »
Many of the wild tomatoes supposedly have salt tolerant genetics. Out of the galapagos tomatoes I think I've read conflicting reports, but one supposedly has it (galapagense?) And the other does not? (Cheesmaniae?)

I guess you won't know until you just select for it. But i remember reading about one plant that can excrete salt out on its leaves. I think they had wanted to gmo that trait into a form /maize variety. Never heard about it again. But I've heard many vegetables have higher salt tolerance than we think,  so i say go for it! Other approaches like fungi sounds like a good idea.

Ferdzy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 40
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #3 on: 2019-04-01, 06:31:52 AM »
We get salty water from our deep well. I couldn't tell you exactly how salty, but it is definitely there. We don't use it, at all, after our first disasterous attempt. It killed ALL our peas and beans. Other plants did varying degrees of badly. We have a shallow well as well and now we use it until it runs out (a few weeks after it stops raining) then we switch to town water. (We have gone up to 6 months with no rain, but 4 to 6 weeks is more typical.)

Other comments - the water from the deep well worked okay until it stopped raining. Once the plants were getting NO other water they could no longer cope. Peas and beans died completely. I'm linking to what I wrote about it at the time. Looking at the photos it seems like most other things didn't do as badly as I remembered. Also, it was a combination of salty water and high heat that did them in. Another thing to keep in mind - it was our 3rd year of gardening here and our soil was still in a fairly poor unimproved state, which would have reduced the ability to cope as well.

https://seasonalontariofood.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-phase-of-garden.html

Beets, kale, spinach, tomatoes and peppers get mentioned as being salt-tolerant. Asparagus is a sea-side plant and people actually put salt on it to weed it, I hear. Sea kale is another salt-tolerant perennial, but I haven't grown it.

Beans and peas, cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes get mentioned as having LOW tolerance and that was sure our experience with the beans and peas.

Because excess salt is a common problem in agriculture there is a lot of research available out there.


Steve1

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #4 on: 2019-04-01, 07:45:24 AM »
Hi Gregg,
As far as peas - I remember that one accession of P.fulvum we had did well with salt, as measured (from memory with non significant difference) of root and shoot growth with controls. It performed far better than the local field peas.
It's tricky in the crossing department though. I'll see if I can dig up the graphs from that torture session and if I can get permission post it here for you. 
There are accessions of tepary beans that are salt tolerant - of the three I have I might have data early next year.
I havent seen anyone with germplasm of wild species tomatos - but there's someone I know that might.
I'd lean toward trying any of the vegetable varieties that are listed as drought tolerant - in particular American Indian (Hopi and other) veges. The osmotic adjustment is the same physiological process.
Cheers
Steve
 

gmuller

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: 6
  • Bendigo, Australia. 515mm rain - if we are lucky
    • View Profile
    • Useful Seeds
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #5 on: 2019-04-01, 04:14:35 PM »
Thanks all for comments. The property is soo attractive (walk to shops, town amenities, small enough to manage, lovely house) that the salty water might have to be overlooked. I'm also wondering how much water i might use on 1000 square metres (probably my upper limit of cultivation). Annoyingly, a rural water irrigation channel goes past the front boundary, but the authority isn't issuing any more licences - and no room for a storage dam anyway (the property has environmental planning overlays that severely limit modifications to water flow.)
Doing sums at the moment on free salty bore water versus 100000 litre rainwater tank ($20K), (I could probably intercept 300000 litres a year) versus shandying salty water (need a smaller tank) versus just paying for domestic drinking water by the megalitre ($2K per year)...

Steve, thanks for the info re availability of salt resistant varieties - would be keen to find out more.
gm

Diane Whitehead

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 73
  • Karma: 17
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #6 on: 2019-04-01, 09:42:19 PM »
I remember seeing a thriving vegetable garden on a sandy beach but it was so long ago I can't remember what they were growing.

A lot of people here collect seaweed from the beach and put it on their gardens.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

gmuller

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: 6
  • Bendigo, Australia. 515mm rain - if we are lucky
    • View Profile
    • Useful Seeds
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #7 on: 2019-04-01, 10:07:58 PM »
thanks Dianne.
I think an occasional dressing of seaweed might not deposit the amount of salt that constant watering in a relatively high evaporation climate might do. Just got a water sample and sent to lab. Fingers crossed.
GM

Diane Whitehead

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 73
  • Karma: 17
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #8 on: 2019-04-01, 11:09:00 PM »
Hmmm.  "high evaporation"

How about rigging up a sun-powered still - no whiskey, just pure water.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Ocimum

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 12
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #9 on: 2019-04-02, 03:03:41 AM »
If you have a hammer, all your problems look like nails. On a breeding forum it is clear that the main topic would be salt tolerant varieties. But I anyway highly advise you to get the books "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond" by Lancaster. As a combination to breeding it would be great!

https://www.harvestingrainwater.com/

Best of luck with your soil analyses!

B. Copping

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39
  • Karma: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #10 on: 2019-04-04, 04:00:30 PM »
Tack hammer for tacks...sledgehammer for garden stakes.
And all the hammers in between.
Plenty of choices!
:D

For searching the web, “halophyte” is a useful term.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halophyte

Cultivated veggies that I know of:
Orach, New Zealand Spinach, Okahijiki.


spacecase0

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #11 on: 2019-04-07, 09:43:22 PM »
But i remember reading about one plant that can excrete salt out on its leaves.
Distichlis spicata https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distichlis_spicata

I had a squash plant that seemed to do it, but could have been calcium by the way it tasted

Raymondo

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 53
  • Karma: 12
  • Northern Tablelands, NSW, Australia
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #12 on: 2019-04-08, 06:18:31 PM »
Gregg, what’s the rainfall there? What about doing dryland growing? I have two large areas in the field nearest the house which are not irrigated at all. Organic matter levels are currently low so in a drought not much grows. I expect that will improve as organic matter levels build. Very impressed with flax, cowpeas, mung beans and sorghum as cover crops in dry periods. I’ll add millet to the mix next summer.
Ray
Mildly acidic clay loam over clay and ironstone; temperate climate modified by altitude (1000m); avg rainfall 780mm; usually wet summers and dry winters.

gmuller

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: 6
  • Bendigo, Australia. 515mm rain - if we are lucky
    • View Profile
    • Useful Seeds
    • Email
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #13 on: 2019-04-08, 08:33:25 PM »
Gregg, what’s the rainfall there? What about doing dryland growing? I have two large areas in the field nearest the house which are not irrigated at all. Organic matter levels are currently low so in a drought not much grows. I expect that will improve as organic matter levels build. Very impressed with flax, cowpeas, mung beans and sorghum as cover crops in dry periods. I’ll add millet to the mix next summer.
Bendigo averages 500mm per year, Ray. spread through the year if you look at the averages, but my experience is that we can have 01,2, or 3 deluges in summer, that dump 70-80mm over an hour or two, so need a fair capacity of tank storage to harvest it. and we can go months without effective rain.
The dryland approach is enticing, but part of the idea of moving was to indulge my current breeding projects as they now stand. decisions, decisions.
Re salt excreting plants - lots of the salt bushes that grow a bit further inland from here have that characteristic - Chenopodeaceae mostly.
gm

Steve1

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« Reply #14 on: 2019-04-09, 06:16:09 AM »
Hi Gregg,
Here's a more thorough review of salinity in peas, however it is restricted to sativum.
It's only for those that like to wade through a thesis. Accessions covered are landraces and local Oz field peas for the most part.
https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/38605/307726_PHD%20Thesis%20Antonio%20Leonforte.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

I'll get you the fulvum data soon, both last years and this years - as we have a second accession getting the same treatment at the moment.
Did you consider maybe as an aside partial desal with reverse osmosis? Not the cheapest option - but if you arent trying to remove all the salt it might be viable. Just a thought.