Spinach powder as soil conditioner enhances physiochemical properties of soil and growth characteristics of Solanum melongena
Purpose (i) To evaluate the efficacy of spinach in dry powdered and liquid form as a sustainable substitute for chemical fertilizers; (ii) To analyze and compare the morphological and yield-related parameters of Solanum melongena plants using spinach powder and compost as compared to the control treatment.
Method In a pot experiment, Solanum melongena seeds were sowed in soil mixed with spinach powder and compost while the control pots were without any amendment to the soil. The spinach -amended soil, compost-amended soil, and control soil sample were compared in terms physiochemical characteristics like pH , EC ,TDS, organic matter , nutrients i.e. nitrogen , phosphorus, potassium ,calcium ,magnesium and heavy metals. While, plant morphological traits plant height, root length, numbers of flowers and fruits were recorded.
Results The pH of spinach-amended soil was slightly alkaline before plantation as compared to control soil. The nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content in spinach dry powder was 15%, 36% and 49%, respectively. The organic carbon content was 56% with moderate amount of micronutrients like calcium, magnesium and iron. Spinach powder-amended soil significantly improved the plant morphological characteristics like stem height, root length and able to produce more flowers and mature fruits as compared to compost-amended soil and control soil.
Conclusion The use of spinach in powder and liquid concoction was a suitable alternative to chemical fertilizers. It was able to deliver all major macro- and micronutrients to soil thus improving the fertility and has significant impact on plant growth and yield.
The organic fertilizer-derived spinach powder is beneficial since it can greatly minimize the amount of chemical fertilizers usage while also produced high-yielding plants that were free of dangerous pollutants.