Influence of vermicompost on strawberry plant growth and dehydrogenase activity in soil
Institute of Horticulture (LatHort), Graudu iela 1, LV-3124 Dobele, Latvia
Vermicompost is increasingly becoming popular as an organic fertiliser used for different crops. Effects of vermicompost on strawberry plant growth and soil properties were studied in this investigation. The research was performed in LatHort from 2015 to 2017. Strawberry was grown on open field in rows. Two trials were established. In Trial 1, the application of vermicompost with a dose of 50 mL per plant was compared to growing without any fertilization. In Trial 2, several treatments were used: 1) only inorganic mineral fertilization applied; 2) vermicompost applied with a dose of 100 mL per plant in planting holes, later mineral fertilization applied; 3) vermicompost applied with a dose of 100 mL per plant in planting holes, no additional fertilization applied; 4) vermicompost applied two times per season on the ground around plants with dose of 50 mL per plant, no mineral fertilization applied. The plant growth was assessed two times per season by evaluating the amount of leaves and plant height. Soil dehydrogenase activity was evaluated during all growing seasons as indicator of soil microbial activity. The application of vermicompost positively influenced plant growth in comparison to growing without fertilization. In Trial 2, plant growth varied among years. During first two growing seasons better plant growth was observed for plants fertilized by inorganic mineral fertilizers, while later the growth levelled off for all treatments applied. The application of vermicompost had positive influence on the soil dehydrogenase activity in contrary to fertilization by mineral fertilizers.