Early vegetative growth of tomatoes cultivated under different types and dosages of fertilizer applied in the drip irrigation system
Keywords:dosage, drip irrigation, inorganic fertilizer, liquid organic fertilizer, tomato
AbstractNutrient availability will affect plant growth, especially at the early development of the plant. Organic and inorganic fertilizer provides a different level of the nutrient. This research aimed to study the early growth of tomato cultivated under different fertilizer types and dosages. The greenhouse experiment was set in a Randomized Completely Block Design. The treatments were various types of fertilizer (Liquid Organic Fertilizer/LOF, inorganic fertilizer, LOF+AB Mix), and different dosages per day (225 mL, 450 mL, 675 mL 900 mL). Tomatoes were planted in polybags in a greenhouse and with treatments according to the experimental design, each treatment was repeated three times. Fertilizer was applied together with irrigation water, as drip fertigation, and automatically set as to irrigate at 06.00 am. 12.00 pm, at 06.00 pm. The liquid fertilizer concentration applied was 5 mL/L. Plant height and number of leaves were observed every two days for two weeks. The results showed there was no interaction between fertilizer type and fertilizer dosage in affecting plant height and number of leaves during early vegetative growth of tomato plant, except for plant height at 8 daps (days after planting) and 10 dap. Until 6 daps, application of inorganic fertilizer and 225 mL liquid fertilizer/day resulted in significantly higher plant height than other treatments. However, at 8 daps until 16 daps, the application of LOF+ NPK Mix and 450 mL liquid fertilizer/day resulted in significantly higher plant height and a higher number of plant leaves than other treatments. This result indicating that mixed between inorganic and organic fertilizer support better growth of tomato plant at their early stage. Further study, examining the effect of types of fertilizer and fertilizer dosage supplied in drip irrigation on the yield and quality of tomato is needed to confirm the recent results.
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