Growth, dry matter production of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) seedlings and soil physicochemical properties as affected by organic and inorganic nutrient sources



A lath house trial involving four doses of inorganic N and P and six types of organic potting
materials was undertaken in the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre in the year 2011 to
determine the effect of organic and inorganic nutrient sources on the soil physico-chemical
properties, growth and dry matter production of avocado seedlings. Four levels of inorganic
N and P (N0P0, N150P200,N300P400 and N450P600mg/pot) as the first factor and five organic materials,
FYM (farmyard manure), FD (farmyard manure mixed with decomposed coffee husk), DCH
(decomposed coffee husk), UCH (un decomposed coffee husk) and UF (un decomposed
coffee husk mixed with farmyard manure), including TS (Top soil) as the second factor were
evaluated in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Avocado shoot
(plant height, stem girth, number of leaves and leaf area) and root growths (root girth, primary
root length and lateral root length) were significantly (p < 0.01 or p < 0.05) affected by the
independent effect of organic and inorganic nutrient sources. The lowest and highest shoot
growths were recorded at N0P0 and N300P400of fertilizer application, respectively. Most vigorous
shoot growths were recorded from seedlings grown in TS:DCH (2:1) followed by (TS:FYM
(2:1). Media prepared from TS: UCH (2:1) had the least avocado shoot and root growths.
Seedlings grown on decomposed organic materials produced higher amount of root growth
in the order: TS : FYM (2:1)>TS:FD (2:1)>TS:DCH (2:1). Media prepared from TS:UCH(2:1)+N0P0
and TS:DCH (2:1)+N450P600 resulted significantly the lowest and the highest shoot dry mass,
respectively. TS : FYM (2:1)+N300P400produced the highest total dry matter followed by TS:DCH
(2:1)+N450P600. The lowest total dry matter, on the other hand, was obtained from TS:UCH (2:1)
+ N0P0. Decomposed organic materials incorporated into the growing media had significantly
improved the water holding capacity of the media at both the permanent and field capacity.
The decomposed organic materials, in particular, had a positive influence on most chemical
properties considered during the study (Total N, available P, Organic carbon, pH, CEC and
EC).With the increase in the rate of application of inorganic NP fertilizers, the pH and EC of the
growing media had accordingly decreased; Total N and available P, on the other hand, had
improved. Apart from independent effects, the electrical conductivity of the growing media
was also significantly affected by the interaction of organic and inorganic source of fertilizers.
In conclusion, most vigorous avocado seedlings under lath house condition was obtained
by amelioration of the growth media using TS : FYM(2:1) +N300P400 followed by TS: DCH (2:1)
+ N450P600.


Growth, Dry matter, Inorganic fertilizer, Organic materials, Seedlings, Shoot, Root growths, Physical, Chemical properties

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