Legume-based manure can increase soil nitrogen availability and tomato yield

Information about the availability of soil mineral nitrogen (N) in organic greenhouse tomatoes after the application of mobile green manure (MGM), and its impact on plant nutrient status and yield, is scarce. Considering this knowledge gap, the effects of legume biomass from faba beans that are cultivated outdoors (FAB), or from feed-grade alfalfa pellets at two different doses (AAL = 330 g m −2 ; AAH = 660 g m −2) that were applied as MGM on the nutrition and yield of an organic greenhouse crop of tomatoes were evaluated.

All of the MGM treatments increased the mineral N concentrations in the soil throughout the cropping period, and the total N concentration in tomato leaves when compared to the untreated control. FAB and AAH treatments had a stronger impact than AAL in all of the measured parameters. In addition, AAL, AAH, and FAB treatments increased the yield compared to the control by 19%, 33%, and 36%, respectively.

The application of MGM, either as faba bean fresh biomass or as alfalfa dry pellets, in organic greenhouse tomatoes significantly increased the plant available soil N, improved N nutrition, and enhanced the fruit yield. However, the N mineralization rates after the MGM application were excessive during the initial cropping stages, followed by a marked decrease thereafter. This may impose an N deficiency during the late cropping period.

Read the complete research at www.researchgate.net.

Gatsios, Anastasios & Ntatsi, Georgia & Celi, Luisella & Said-Pullicino, Daniel & Tampakaki, Anastasia & Savvas, Dimitrios. (2021). Legume-Based Mobile Green Manure Can Increase Soil Nitrogen Availability and Yield of Organic Greenhouse Tomatoes. Plants. 2021, 10. 10.3390/plants10112419. 

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