Two sets of pot experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of different compost types (market compost, home compost and vermicompost) and their rates on growth of pot grown tomato. During the first experiment, two compost types (market and home composts) each applied at four rates (0, 200, 400 and 800 g/pot) were evaluated while during the second experiment all the three compost types including vermicompost each applied at five rates (0, 200, 400, 600 and 800 g/pot) were evaluated. The chemical compositions of the composts were analyzed using appropriate laboratory procedures. Results revealed that market compost had the highest available P, exchangeable K and total S content whereas vermicompost had the highest organic matter and total N content followed by market compost. Growth parameters increased with increasing rates of home compost and vermicompost, but decreased with increasing rate of market compost. Shoot nutrient content varied much between compost types than compost rates. Shoot nitrogen and potassium concentration was higher with the application of market compost; phosphorus concentration was higher with the application of vermicompost while sulphur concentration was the highest with the application of home compost. Growth reduction at the highest market compost application could be ascribed to higher pH and total soluble salt content, especially chloride and potassium.
Key words: Compost, salt stress, tomato, toxicity, vermicompost.
HC, home compost; VC, vermicompost; MC, market compost; OM, organic matter; N, nitrogen; Av.P, available phosphorus; Exch. K, exchangeable potassium; S, sulphur.
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