The tremendous scale of protected vegetable cultivation in China incidentally produces considerable vegetable residue (the remaining parts of plants after the final harvest), a group of researchers says. They looked into the low use rate of vegetable residue, resulting in nutrient waste and environmental pressure in China.
A recent study puts forward vegetable residue directly returned to the soil and investigated its feasibility. Residue return was steadily conducted 5 times in a Chinese solar greenhouse with the cucumber–tomato rotation pattern. Results showed that residue return increased the soil alkali-hydrolyzed nitrogen and available potassium contents by 4.97–26.22% and 9.31–21.92%, respectively, along with slightly reduced soil pH and bulk density by 1.00–5.39% and 6.72–11.81%, respectively. Gemmatimonadetes, Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, Basidiomycota, and Mortierellomycota were the major phyla with noticeable changes when residue return was conducted 5 times. Fruit yield began to obtain a remarkable increase by 5.81–9.26 t·ha−1 after residue return was conducted 3 times, bringing about additional profits of 5382.0–8519.2 USD·ha−1.
"Residue return could cut down the disposal expense of vegetable residues by 480.89 USD·ha−1. Moreover, residue return could supplement nutrients to soil, potentially contributing to reducing chemical fertilizer inputs. In conclusion, in situ vegetable residue return could be considered to be a feasible and sustainable use technique for vegetable residues in the Chinese solar greenhouse," they conclude.
Read the complete research at www.mdpi.com.