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Original Article

Vermicomposted corn waste in the organic cultivation of cherry tomato seedlings and its effects on the soil-plant system



Propose: In this study, vermicomposted corn waste was applied to the organic cultivation of cherry tomato seedlings under the edaphoclimatic conditions of the Brazilian semiarid region, and the effects were evaluated in the soil‒plant system.

Method: The vermicomposts were prepared by mixing corn waste in an organic substrate. The experiment was divided into two parts: sowing in trays and growing seedlings in pots. In both steps, the following biometric attributes were evaluated: plant size, root length, root weight, aboveground biomass, leaf weight, and leaf area. Three vermicompost concentrations were assessed: 1.5%, 3.0%, and 6.0% (m/m). As a control, a soil sample without vermicompost was also evaluated.

Results: In general, plants that grew in a substrate containing vermicompost developed more when compared to the sample control (19.2-22.0 vs 15 cm). Furthermore, in general, plants cultivated with higher vermicompost concentrations presented better results in all evaluated parameters. In addition, a sample composed of a mixture of corn straw and cob showed the best results, indicating that joint management of both residues is advantageous for all assessed attributes.

Conclusion: The results confirm the expectation that it is possible to apply vermicomposted corn residues in the organic cultivation of cherry tomatoes and that the strategy of carrying out germination in a tray, followed by transplantation into pots, had a positive effect on the development of seedlings. When compared to other studies, the climatic and edaphoclimatic conditions experienced in this work did not interfere with plant development, since the seedlings showed good development results in all evaluated parameters.



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