Opposite tendency between yield and taste of organic tomato by increasing biochar doses in a slightly humous arenosol
¹Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Food Microbiology, Hygiene, and Safety, Somlói Str. 14–16, H-1118 Budapest, Hungary
²Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of
Agro-Environmental Studies, Budapest, Villányi Str. 29–43, H-1118 Budapest, Hungary
³Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Ecological and Sustainable Production Systems, Budapest, Villányi Str. 29–43, H-1118 Budapest, Hungary
⁴Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Agricultural and Food Machinery, Villányi Str. 29–43, H-1118 Budapest, Hungary
The tomato is the edible berry of the plant Solanum lycopersicum. Tomato plants are widely grown in temperate climates worldwide and are mostly cultivated as annuals. The objective of this study was to understand the interrelation between fruit quality of tomato, some soil biological parameters, and the addition of increasing biochar (BC) soil amendment doses. BC is an industrial product, made from organic waste by pyrolysis. Its use in the soil is known to improve fertility and several soil functions. Among organic, ecological conditions, a field experiment was performed in a type of slightly humous arenosol soil. Effect of increasing doses of biochar (BC) (0.5-, 1.0-, 2.5-, 5.0, 10 m/m% and control) was studied. Nutrient content and Total Soluble Solid (TSS) of the fruits, the ripeness, and the marketable/non-marketable ratio of yield were assessed. The presence of some cultivable microbial physiological groups (fungi, bacteria) and the soil-dehydrogenase activity (DHA) was estimated. Results represented that the changes of fruit TSS content was not linear with the increasing doses of BC. The increased yield (+53%) had an inverse correlation with the TSS content of the berry’s pulps, and the content was lowest at the highest BC dose. Optimum doses of BC were considered, like 1–2.5 m/m%, supported by the nutritive element content (+55% N, +76% P, +83% K) and enhanced microbial activities (+45% DHA). Grouping the parameters by Pearson Correlation Coefficient, the biochar amendment was a driving factor for tomato growth, with certain dose limits in the studied organic agricultural practice.