The present study was undertaken to determine how direct administration of earthworm urine to the apical bud or to the stem-base of the leaf-vegetable crop amaranthus affected the growth performance of the apical and axillary buds, stem girth and roots of the crop. Apical application significantly facilitated the growth of both apical and axillary buds, and the general growth of the whole plant. For agricultural mandates that focus on the production of apical and axillary buds (eg, production of teas), yield can be stimulated by applying low earthworm urine concentration at the stem base, or medium and high concentration of earthworm urine on the apical buds. Application of medium to high concentration of earthworm urine at stem base produces inhibitory effects on the growth of apical buds, axillary buds, stem girth and roots. This result will find commercial and technological applications if relevant farmers could: (1) have a vermin culture to aseptically produce earthworm urine, (2) mix the urine with oil to reduce evaporation when applied, and (3) air-spray by helicopter on his or her farm. Significantly improved yield is expected. Potential beneficiaries of such technology include tea farmers whose products enjoy premium value when restricted to the apical and axillary buds and their immediate neighboring young foliage leaves. Similarly, pharmacognosists and herbal practitioners could apply the principles to increase their harvest of pharmacologically active products harvestable from buds and fresh foliage leaves.
Key words: Earthworm urine, tea farming, axillary buds, apical buds, plant growth hormone, herbal extraction.
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