Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 83, No 2 (2018)

Legume Mulch Materials and Poultry Manure Affect Soil Properties, and Growth and Fruit Yield of Tomato


Pages: 161-167


Present emphasis on sustainable agriculture requires successful soil resources management geared towards quality soil environment and crop production. Mulching and application of poultry manure (PM) are easy ways to enhance natural soil-nutrient build-up and soil quality protection. Field experiments were carried out to determine effects of mulching and poultry manure on soil properties, growth and yield of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). The legume mulch types derived from Leucaena leucocephala, Gliricidia sepium, and Acacia auriculiformis, rates of PM (0 or 10.0 t ha-1) were tested over 2015 and 2016. Legume mulch materials, with or without addition of PM, reduced bulk density and soil temperature and increased porosity, moisture content and soil chemical properties compared with the initial soil status before application of treatments. In both years, with or without addition of PM to mulch, Acacia improved soil physical properties and increased soil organic matter (SOM) compared with Leucaena and Gliricidia mulches that increased N, P, K, Ca and Mg compared with Acacia mulch without PM. In 2015, without addition of PM, Gliricidia increased tomato growth and yield compared with Leucaena and Acacia. Acacia with addition of PM had the highest value of growth and yield. In 2016, with or without addition of PM, Acacia increased growth and yield compared with Leucaena and Gliricidia. In 2015, addition of PM to Leucaena, Gliricidia and Acacia mulches increased tomato fruit yield by 40.0, 9.2 and 84.9%, respectively. Also in 2016, addition of PM with Leucaena, Gliricidia and Acacia mulches, increased fruit yield of tomato by 43.0, 45.0 and 52.8%, respectively. Leucaena and Gliricidia mulches enhanced tomato growth and yield through direct nutritional contributions, whereas Acacia mulch did so through mulching effects on soil microclimate. Acacia+PM produced significantly higher yield, therefore adequate application of PM to mulches should be encouraged, especially where farmers use Acacia legume materials as mulch to maximize their contribution to soil and crop productivity.


Solanum lycopersicum, Acacia, Gliricidia, Leucaena, C:N ratio, lignin

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