Growth Evaluation of Tomato Plant (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in Response to Melon Seed Shell Biochar Soil Amendment

Authors

  • C. O. Ojesola, A. K. Akintokun, P. O. Akintokun, M. O. Taiwo and S. O. Adebajo Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Keywords:

Agronomic parameters, Fertilizer, Food, Pyrolysis, Screenhouse

Abstract

Agrochemicals are applied to soil for improved crop yield to meet the nutritional needs of the ever-increasing human population. However, extensive usage of these agrochemicals can get into food causing illness when consumed. Research into safer means of achieving crop yield led to the discovery of biochars. The effect of melon seed shell biochar on tomato plant growth, under screenhouse conditions was investigated in this study. The shells obtained after the removal of melon seeds were milled and pyrolyzed at 500°C using 1 hr heating time to produce the biochar. Mid Infra-red Reflectance Spectroscopy was employed in the determination of feedstock, biochar and sterilized soil physicochemical properties. The experiment consisted of 4 biochar application treatments (0 (control), 5 (T1), 10 (T2) and 20 (T3) t/ha.) Biochar amendment significantly enhanced the cation exchange capacity, manganese, sodium, copper and zinc contents of the soil. Pyrolysis also improved organic carbon, organic matter, total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, boron and manganese in the feedstock. Agronomic parameters of tomato plants on biochar-amended soils were significantly enhanced relative to the control whereas T1 enhanced weight of fruits better than T2, T3 and the control. There were significant improvements in tomato plant yield and nutritional composition of soil as revealed in this study.

Author Biography

C. O. Ojesola, A. K. Akintokun, P. O. Akintokun, M. O. Taiwo and S. O. Adebajo, Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

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Published

05/12/2024