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Nitrogen management in a sandy loam soil grown with cucumber plants and fertilized by vermicompost

Khaled Mohamed Lela, Abdellatif Saleh El-Sebaay, Shaimaa Hassan Abd-Elrahman*, Mahmoud Mohamed Elbordiny

Soil and Water Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, P.O. Box 68–Hadayek Shoubra, Cairo 11241, Egypt


Global attention is shifting to using fertilizers organically produced from available wastes in the surrounding ecosystem to provide sustainability in agriculture and conserve the environment. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible changes in the yield and quality of cucumber resulting from different combinations of organic solid and liquid fertilizers prepared from different organic wastes, as compared to applying mineral fertilizers. Furthermore, detecting available N concentration in sandy loam soil and total N concentration in cucumber leaves considering the effect of the studied treatments every 15 days after transplanting (DAT) until 120 DAT. Four fertilizer treatments (3 organic fertilizers, i.e., vermicompost (VC), pigeon manure (PM), and compost (COMP) in addition to mineral fertilizers) were tested in a randomized complete blocks design with three replicates. The organic fertilizer treatments were divided into three categories, the first was solid added through two equal doses. The second category was like the first one plus adding vermicompost tea (VCT) through drip irrigation (DI). The third category was like the second one, but the VCT was substituted with pigeon manure tea (PMT). Obtained results showed that the treatments of PM50/50, and VC50/50 as ground applications plus PMT or VCT through DI were given significant increases in available N in the studied soil, and enhanced the cucumber plant growth parameters, yield traits, and the total concentration of N in leaves throughout the experimental period. Additionally, the highest benefit/cost ratio (5.68) was achieved with the application of organic treatments compared to traditional ones (3.28).

Keywords: Vermicompost, Pigeon manure, Organic aqueous extract, Organic farming, Detecting N in soil and plant, Cucumber plants

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