Silicon leaf spraying increases biofortification production, ascorbate content and decreases water loss post-harvest from land cress and chicory leaves
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Silicon (Si) leaf spraying can benefit the production and post-harvest quality of leafy vegetables, however the effect of Si application in land cress and chicory is unknown. This study aimed to verify Si supplementation by foliar spraying when using different sources and concentrations in content of Si and ascorbate in leaves, fresh and dry mass production, and water loss of chicory and land cress during storage. The experimental design was randomized in a 2 x 4 factorial scheme, with potassium silicate and sodium and potassium silicate stabilized with sorbitol, and four concentrations: 0 (control), 0.84, 1.68, and 2.52 g L −1 of Si. Tree foliar applications were carried out in four replications. Si foliar sprayings were applied every ten days; with the first application at 28 days after transplanting. It was determined that applying Si as a foliar spray was practical to increase the Si accumulation, plant growth, and biofortification as well as decrease the post-harvest water loss of land cress and chicory leaves. The Si concentration of 2.52 g L−1 as potassium silicate was recommended for foliar application in land cress and chicory.