Semi-arid environments are characterized by low soil organic matter, lack of sufficient precipitation and occurrence of high temperatures at the terminal of growing season. Effects of foliar application of salicylic acid (SA) and ascorbic acid (AS) during vegetative and reproductive stages at three farmyard manure (FYM) rates (zero (FYM1), 15 (FYM2), 30 (FYM3)t·ha-1) were studied on the growth and yield components of lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) under supplemental irrigation of semi-arid highland in the north-west of Iran. The results revealed that application of farmyard manure especially at high level could significantly increase the morp-ho-physiological traits such as plant height, first pod height, plant canopy spread, rooting depth, the number of root nodules, ground cover, chlorophyll content and relative water content. Although improving effects of SA and AS on growth parameter were less than FYM, plants treated with SA showed better performance than plants treated with AS. A similar status was observed for grain yield and yield component. So the highest grain yield was recorded at FYM by foliar application of SA. It can be concluded that FYM3 as the most promising manure application rate was adopted to improve both root and total above-ground plant growth. Also this work highlights the importance of exogenous application of growth regulators in lentil cropping systems in semi-arid region with the Mediterranean climate.
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