Effective microorganisms (EM), a commercial concoction of microbes that includes yeasts, fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes, have been found to be effective in enhancing crop growth by a number of scholars. The present study was carried out mainly to investigate the effects of effective micro-organisms on growth, yield and quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum mill) grown under a controlled environment, along with selected soil properties. Treatments included: control, effective microorganisms, mineral fertilizer, effective microorganisms + mineral fertilizer, compost, compost + effective microorganisms, compost + mineral fertilizer and compost + mineral fertilizer + effective microorganisms. EM application had a negative effect on tomato leaf dry matter yield, number of leaves, number of trusses, fruit yield and number of fruits. The negative effects of EM were ascribed to nitrogen immobilization by the effective microorganisms that could have resulted in reduced nitrogen availability to plants. The lower number of fruits associated with EM application resulted in improved average fruit weight of tomatoes grown in the greenhouse, possibly as a result of more assimilates being partitioned to the few fruits formed.
Key words: Tomato, compost, effective microorganisms (EM), mineral fertilizer, yield.
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