Nitrogen uptake by radish, spinach and “Chingensai” from composted tea leaves, coffee waste and kitchen garbage

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Courtesy of BioCycle Magazine

A pot experiment was conducted to determine the effects of the application of composted tea leaves (TC), coffee waste (CC), and kitchen garbage (KC) on the nitrogen and nitrate accumulated in radish (Raphanus sativus L. cv. 'radicula pers'), Chingensai (Brassica campestris L. cv. 'Choyo No. 2'), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L. cv. 'Ban chu paruku') as compared with the effect of inorganic 15N labeled fertilizer (IN) application. The compost was applied at the rate of 24 g kg-1 soil, corresponding to about 250 to 300 kg N ha-1; the A value method was used to estimate nitrogen uptake. Dry matter production was significantly higher in the IN and TC treatments than in the KC and CC treatments for all the species and tissue. Of the composts used, TC was most effective in increasing N uptake and N content in the vegetables. The composts derived N recovery as a percentage of total N uptake varied with plant species, 50.8%-62.9% in radish root, 35.3%-60.4% in radish leaf, 29.9%-48.2% in spinach leaf, and 31.3%-54.8% in Chingensai leaf. The N-use efficiencies of IN, TC, CC, and KC were 6.3%, 6.3%, 5.3%, and 6.6% in radish root; 13.6%, 9.7%, 8.4%, and 6.7% in radish leaf; 22.4%, 14.4%, 3.6%, and 5.8% in spinach leaf; and 61.2%, 39.5%, 25.5%, and 21.5% in Chingensai leaf, respectively. Nitrate accumulation in edible portions was highest in plants provided with IN as compared with those grown with composts, and nitrate content in radish root was markedly higher than that in the leaf. It is observed that the fate of compost derived N differed noticeably with vegetable species, plant part, and compost source.

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