Vermicompost beneficial for organically grown tomatoes

Nov 17, 2011

A study evaluated the effects of adding vermicompost to substrates in organically grown greenhouse tomatoes. Results showed the incorporation of vermicompost into organic substrates to be beneficial in terms of growth and marketable yield. The substrates containing vermicompost also produced a significantly lower incidence of defective fruit when compared with rockwool-grown tomato plants.

Marketable yields of organic horticultural crops frequently fall below those of conventional crops; this and other factors restrict widespread adoption of . Researchers recently studied the growth and yield responses of tomatoes grown in organic substrates amended with vermicompost and compared the results with grown in a popular growing medium. "More research in this area is needed to provide a base of information that will lead to the expansion of the organic sector, especially in the greenhouse industry, to meet consumer demands and preferences", they explained.

Four substrates were used in experiments to determine if any of the substrates could improve the marketable yield of tomatoes when compared with rockwool under . The researchers used Solanum lycopersicum L. 'beefsteak' tomato in the experiments.

According to the study published in HortScience, the revealed significant differences in both the marketable and commercial yields obtained from the organic substrates compared with the rockwool-grown plants. Tomatoes grown in a substrate of coconut coir/vermicompost and those grown in a substrate composed of aged /coconut coir/vermicompost had significantly higher marketable yields per plant when compared with plants grown in rockwool. "The result may be explained by individual components (vermicompost or composted manure) and the right ratios of the combination of the growing substrates", explained author Youbin Zheng. "Both substrates contained varying proportions of vermicompost."

The researchers concluded that the addition of vermicompost to growing substrates in organic production was beneficial for tomato growth. In additional to the benefit of higher yields, the substrates containing vermicompost also produced a significantly lower incidence of defective fruit when compared with rockwool-grown .

Explore further: Lupin bread rises to the quality challenge

More information: The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: hortsci.ashspublications.org/c… /abstract/45/10/1510

Provided by American Society for Horticultural Science

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vermicompost from pig manure grows healthy hibiscus

Dec 10, 2009

Vermicomposting, the practice of using earthworms to turn waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer, can be an economical, organic waste management practice. During vermicomposting, earthworms and microorganisms stabilize organic ...

Demystifying yield fluctuations for greenhouse tomatoes

Apr 15, 2010

Growing tomatoes is not always easy. In many parts of the world summers are too hot to grow tomatoes in greenhouses, even those with intricate cooling systems. In cooler climates where tomatoes are grown year-round ...

Substrate developed from sawmill shavings

Mar 07, 2006

University of Navarre scientists in Spain have developed an organic substrate from sawmill wood shavings to use for intensive crop growth in containers.

The future of organic ornamental plants

Dec 11, 2009

Whether plants are grown for food or ornamental use, conventional agricultural production methods have the same environmental impact. Pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers can find their way into ...

Recommended for you

Scientists see how plants optimize their repair

7 hours ago

Researchers led by a Washington State University biologist have found the optimal mechanism by which plants heal the botanical equivalent of a bad sunburn. Their work, published in the Proceedings of the Na ...

User comments : 0