ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 101, No. 1 (2014), p. 67–74
DOI  10.13080/z-a.2014.101.009

Mulch type and application of manure and composts in strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) production: impact on soil fertility and yield



The objective of this research was to quantify the effect of the application of organic fertilizers: farmyard manure, vermicompost, spent mushroom compost, under two different ground cover management systems (black polyethylene and wheat straw mulch) on soil nutrient levels and strawberry yield during a two-year production cycle. The application of organic fertilizers, in the amounts equivalent to 170 kg ha-1 N, had the greatest impact on the concentration of available phosphorus, which was significantly higher on fertilized plots than on the control even two years after the application. The plots fertilized with farmyard manure and mushroom compost had higher concentrations of available potassium than the control, while the application of vermicompost did not affect the concentration of available potassium in the soil. The application of composts did not affect the concentration of available microelements in the soil, while the concentrations of Fe, Zn and Cu in the year of the organic fertilizers application were significantly higher on farmyard manure fertilized plots than on the control. The application of all three organic fertilizers had a significant effect on the mineral N concentration in the soil only in the year of the application and the following spring. However, the plots covered with polyethylene mulch had a higher mineral N concentration than the control at all sampling times. The concentration of available microelements was significantly higher in soil covered with black polyethylene mulch than in soil covered with straw mulch. Preplant application of organic fertilizers led to increase of yield, ranging from 14.3% in vermicompost treatmet to 17.3% in the farmyard manure treatment in relation to the control, only in the 1st fruiting year. However, the application of polyethylene mulch facilitated a higher strawberry yield than straw mulch in both fruiting years.

Key words: nutrient availability, organic fertilizer, residual effects.

Full text: 101_1_str9.pdf