Effects of organic liquid fertilizers on biological activities and fruit productivity in open-field cherry tomato






ABSTRACT This study evaluated the effects of liquid fertilizers (LF) with farm-derived renewable resources on biological activities and chemical attributes of the soil and fruit in an open-field tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum var. cerasiforme) experiment conducted in South Korea in the 2019 growing season. The LF treatments included bone+fish meal (BF), fish+phosphoric acid (FP), sesame oil (SO), starfish (SF), nontreatment (NT) as control, and oil cake (OC) as an organic fertilizer, fertigating two times per week during the growing season. The pH in LF ranged between 7.4 and 8.3, and electrical conductivity in the LF was the highest on SF (0.69 dS·m-1), SO (0.64 dS·m-1), and BF (0.45 dS·m-1). Total amount of total-N supplied was the highest for SF (679 mg·plant-1), SO (654 mg), and BF (333 mg). The number of some invertebrates was increased by the BF and SF treatments. Earthworm biomass was significantly increased by the SF treatment. The NT and OC treatments reduced operational taxonomic units and the richness estimator of Chao1 and ACE. Seasonal SPAD and PS II values in the leaves were reduced on the FP-plants on 45 and 60 days after fertigation. The SF treatment increased fruit fresh weight and fruit yield to 4.2 kg per plant, with similar results observed for BF-treated plants. Fruit yield efficiency was improved by the BF treatment, followed by SO and SF among all the treatment. Starfish would be the promising LF for use as a supplemental nutrient amendment to increase agroecosystem health, nutrient availability, and fruit productivity.

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