Field experiments were carried out during two seasons Kharif, 2010 (March to June) and Summer, 2011 (January - May) at Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India to study the influence of drip fertigation and sowing season on growth, physiological attributes and seed yield of pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L.) cv. VBN3. The treatments included four fertigation levels (F1- 50% of SRDF through drip, F2- 75% of SRDF through drip, F3- 100% of SRDF through drip and F4- 150% SRDF through drip) and three foliar spays (S1- foliar spray of 0.5% ZnSO4, S2 -foliar spray of 100 ppm succinic acid and S3- foliar spray of 100 ppm humic acid) and control (surface irrigation with conventional method of fertilizer application). The experiment was laid out in split plot design with three replications. Drip fertigation was given once in six days as per the treatment schedule and drip irrigation was given once in three days. The results revealed that drip fertigation with 100% SRDF through water soluble fertilizers + foliar feeding with 0.5% ZnSO4 (F3FS1) and lowest with 50% SRDF as WSF through drip registered higher crop growth, physiological characters and seed yield in both season. Between the seasons, Kharif crop recorded 15.2% higher seed yield over Summer as compared to normal soil application of fertilizers. The increased in seed yield with 100% SRDF as WSF + foliar feeding with 0.5% ZnSO4 was mainly due to greater and consistent availability of nutrients, growth hormones and soil moisture which leads to better crop growth, physiological characters and seed yield components and eventually reflected on the seed yield.
Key words: Pigeonpea, drip fertigation, season, growth characters, seed yield.