To further explore the effects of different soil textures on soil leaching and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum
L.) growth using a combined irrigation and drainage technique and provide a theoretical basis for the improvement of saline alkali land in Xinjiang, we used a test pit experiment to test soil moisture, salinity, soil pH, permeability, cotton agronomic characteristics, cotton yield and quality, and water use efficiency in three soil textures (clay, loam, sand soil) under the combined irrigation and drainage (T1) and conventional drip irrigation (T2). We measured the soil moisture content in different soil layers of clay, loam and sandy soil under the T1 and T2 treatments. Clay and loam had better water retention than sandy soil, and the soil moisture under the combined irrigation and drainage treatment was slightly higher than that under conventional drip irrigation. Under T1, the average salt content and pH value in the 0–60 cm soil layer of clay, loam and sandy soil decreased by 14.09%, 14.21% and 12.35%, and 5.02%, 5.85% and 3.27%, respectively, compared with T2. Therefore, T2 reduced the salt content and pH value of shallow soil. Under T1 and T2, the relative permeability coefficient (K/K0) values in different soil textures at different growth stages of cotton were ranked as follows: sandy soil > loam > clay. Under T1, the K/K0 values for different soil textures at different growth stages of cotton were >1; therefore, T1 improved soil permeability. The yield and water use efficiency of seed cotton under T1 and T2 in different soil textures were ranked as follows: loam > clay > sand, and there were significant differences between the different treatments. In loam, the cotton yield and water use efficiency of the combined irrigation and drainage treatment were 6.37% and 13.70% higher than those for conventional drip irrigation treatment, respectively. By combining irrigation and drainage to adjust the soil moisture, salt, pH value and soil permeability of different soil textures, the root growth environment of crops can effectively be improved, which is of great significance to improving the utilization efficiency of water and fertilizer and promoting the growth of cotton.
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