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