Effect of Vermicompost on Chemical and Biological Properties of an Alkaline Soil with High Lime Content during Celery (Apium graveolens L. var. dulce Mill.) Production
The aim of this study was to investigate impact of vermicompost on chemical and biological properties of an alkaline soil with high lime content in the presence of plant under the open field conditions in semiarid Mediterranean region of Turkey. The study also included farmyard manure and chemical fertilizers for comparison and was conducted in two consecutive growth seasons in the same plots to observe any cumulative effect. Plots were amended with fertilizers in different rates and celery (Apium graveolens L. var. dulce Mill.) was grown as the test plant. In general, vermicompost appeared to be more effective to increase organic matter, N, P, and Ca compared to farmyard manure. Soil alkaline phosphatase and β-glucosidase activities, especially in the second growth season, were significantly elevated by the vermicompost application. Urease activity, however, appeared not to be influenced by the type of organic fertilizer. A slight but statistically significant difference was detected between organic amendments in terms of number of aerobic mesophilic bacteria with vermicompost giving the lower values. Results showed that, in general, vermicompost significantly alters chemical and biological properties of the alkaline soil with high lime content during celery production under field conditions compared to farmyard manure and that it has a high potential to be used as an alternative to conventional organic fertilizers in agricultural production in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.
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