Chemical and Biological Fertilization of Calendula officinalis Plant Grown in Sandy Soil

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The present study was carried out at the Nursery of Ornamental Horticulture Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt during the two successive seasons 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. Calendula officinalis grown in 30 cm diameter plastic pots filled with sandy soil received ten treatments including (1) NPK conventional fertilization (control); (2) ½NPK + compost (C); (3) ½ NPK + sheep manure (SM); (4) ½ NPK + compost tea (CT); (5) ½ NPK + sheep manure tea (SMT); (6) ½ NPK + CT + SMT; (7) ½ NPK + C + biofertilizer (B), (8) ½ NPK + SM + B, (9) ½ NPK + CT+ B and (10) ½ NPK + SMT+ B. NPK chemical fertilization (control) was added by using ammonium sulphate (20.5%N) at the rate of 400 kg/feddan (7.0 g/ pot), calcium superphosphate (15.5% P O ) at the rate of 400 kg/fed (7.0 g / pot) and potassium sulphate (48% K O) 2 5 2 at the rate of 150 kg/fed (2.7 g/ pot). ½ NPK was containing the half dose of NPK. The compost was added at 4 ton /fed (71 g/pot) while sheep manure was added at 20 m / fed (353 cm / pot). Both compost tea or sheep 3 3 manure tea were diluted four times with water and were applied as foliar application (10 ml/plant) in the early morning regularly every 15 days during the vegetative stage starting a week after transplanting and stopped at flowering stage. A commercial biofertilizer Microbin contained N-free living bacteria (Azotobacter chroococcum and Azospirillum brasilense) and a phosphate dissolving bacteria (Bacillus megaterium) was also applied in treatments containing biofertilizer application before sowing and during transplanting. Results showed that ½ NPK + CT+ SMT was the best treatment examined for improving vegetative, flowering and yield parameters as well as chemical composition in most cases.

Weaam R.A. Sakr
Journal of Horticultural Science & Ornamental Plants