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Vermicompost in seedling potting media can affect germination, biomass allocation, yields and fruit quality of three tomato varieties

Zaller, Johann G (2007) Vermicompost in seedling potting media can affect germination, biomass allocation, yields and fruit quality of three tomato varieties. European Journal of Soil Biology, 43, S332-S336.

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Summary

Commercial potting media often contain substantial amounts of peat that was mined from endangered bog and fen ecosystems. The main objectives of this study were to assess (1) whether the substitution of peat by vermicompost (VC) in potting substrate affects the emergence and biomass allocation of tomato seedlings (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) under greenhouse conditions and (2) whether VC amendments in seedling substrate affect tomato yields and fruit quality after plants were transplanted into equally fertilized field soil. Amended VC was produced of food and cotton waste in a windrow system by Eisenia fetida Sav.. Vermicompost amendments significantly influenced, specifically for each tomato variety, emergence and biomass allocation (root:shoot ratio) of seedlings. Marketable yields of field tomatoes remained unaffected by VC amendments in seedling substrates. Peel firmness and glucose-fructose ratios of fruits were variety-specifically affected by VC amendments in seedling substrates. Results show that vermicompost could be an environmentally friendly substitute for peat in potting media with no detrimental effects on seedling performance and fruit quality.
Full text paper available online at www.sciencedirect.com


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Research affiliation: Germany > University of Bonn > Institute of Organic Agriculture
Deposited By: Zaller, Dr. Johann G
ID Code:18267
Deposited On:11 Feb 2011 09:12
Last Modified:11 Feb 2011 09:12
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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