A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of seed invigouration techniques such as seed priming and seed coating on crop growth, sex expression and crop productivity of ridge gourd. The seeds of ridge gourd were subjected to a schedule of seed invigouration techniques which included seed priming and seed coating with TNAU seed coating formulations. The seeds subjected to various treatments were sown in the field and observations were made on field emergence, crop growth, sex expression as well as yield attributing factors.The results revealed that irrespective of the treatments, significant effect was observed in field emergence (%), vine length (cm), number of leaves plant-1, number of branches plant-1, leaf chlorophyll content and leaf area index, compared to control. Among the treatments, highest improvement in all the growth parameters was observed in ‘seed priming + seed coating formulation II @ 4g kg-1’. Concomitant to the vigourous plant growth recorded in ‘seed priming + seed coating formulation II @ 4g kg-1’, there was an early initiation of male (31.77th day) and female flowers (36.75th day). This treatment also recorded higher number of female flowers plant-1 (13.78) resulting in higher number of fruits (10.78) as well as higher number of seeds per fruit (90.07). The corresponding values recorded by control seeds were 11.56, 9.56 and 85.55, respectively. The higher number of seeds as well as 100 seed weight ultimately resulted in higher seed yield plot-1 of 4.36 kg with this treatment while the control recorded only 3.52 kg/ plot. The results endorsed that maximum effect of seed invigouration can be obtained by subjecting the seeds to ‘seed priming + seed coating with brassinosteroid based ‘TNAU seed coating formulation II @ 4g kg-1’, in order to obtain higher crop growth and yield.
Key words : Ridge gourd, Brassinosteroid, Seed coating formulation, Field emergence, Seed priming, Crop growth, Sex expression, Crop productivity