Effects of vermicompost fertilization on soil, tomato yield and quality in greenhouse.

Affiliation

Liu XC(1)(2), Chen L(3), Li SQ(4), Shi QH(1)(2), Wang XY(1)(2).
Author information:
(1)College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an 271018, Shandong, China.
(2)State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an 271018, Shandong, China.
(3)Juancheng Daya Town Agricultural Comprehensive Service Center, Heze 274612, Shandong, China.
(4)Jinan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Ji'nan 271100, China.

Abstract

The excessive use of chemical fertilizer on vegetables in protected facilities resulted in soil degradation, serious soil-borne diseases, and lower vegetable yield and quality. We examined the effects of vermicompost on soil nutrient, enzyme activities, microbial quantity, tomato growth, yield and quality in greenhouse. The results showed that both broadcast and furrow application of vermicompost improved soil environment, and significantly increased contents of soil organic matter and soil nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). Vermicompost application significantly increased sucrase and catalase activities, abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes, and decreased the abundance of fungi in the soil. Furrow application but not the broadcast application promoted the growth of tomato plants. The vermicompost promoted root activities and leaf photosynthesis, increased chlorophyll, nitrogen and potassium contents in leaves. Broadcast and furrow application of vermicompost significantly increased tomato yield by 22.7% and 32.6%, respectively. Furrow application increased the contents of soluble protein, soluble sugar, vitamin C and titratable acid by 66.1%, 11.0%, 122.6% and 29.9%, respectively, and decreased nitrate content in tomato fruits by 65.7%. However, broadcast application did not affect fruit quality.