Ashim Sikdar, Nowshad Zaman, Sourov Deb, Noiret Chakma and Md. Omar Sharif
To manage necessary amount of food for the growing world population, it is very important to maintain fertility of usual arable land as well as to bring problem soils including sandy soil under coverage of regular crop cultivation. In this context, biochar is a very promising option as soil conditioner and therefore, a plant growth trial in pot was operated at the net house of the Department of Agroforestry and Environmental Science, Sylhet Agricultural University, Sylhet to evaluate the influence of tea waste and sugarcane bagasse biochar on the morphology, yield and yield contributing traits of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) in sandy soil. The experimental set-up was arranged following randomized complete block design with three replications under eight treatments. The treatments were: T0 (CK, Control, no amendment), T1 (CF, Chemical fertilizers), T2 (2.5 % TWB (tea waste biochar) + CF), T3 (5% TWB + CF), T4 (10% TWB + CF), T5 (2.5% SBB (sugarcane Bagasse biochar) + CF), T6 (5% SBB + CF); and T7 (10% SBB + CF). The results revealed that the different morphological characteristics like plant height (PH), number of leaf plant-1 (NLP), leaf length (LL), plant fresh weight (PFW), and stem diameter (SD) showed no significant difference among the treatments. The highest PH (107.33 cm) and RL (70.67 cm) were found in T0 (CK) whereas the maximum LL (27.33 cm), SD (16.83 mm), and fresh root weight (FRW) (19.67g) were noted in T3. The maximum number of leaves plant-1 (NLP) (20) and PFW (110.67 g) of okra were observed in T2 and T6, respectively. In case of total leaf chlorophyll content (TLCC), the maximum value was determined in T4 (47 µmol m-2), but the treatments were not significantly different from each other. The number of pod plant-1 (NPP) (23.7), pod length (PL) (18 cm), individual pod weight (IPW) (18 g), number of seed pod-1 (NSP) (45) and pod weight per plant-1 (PWP)(425 g) of okra were found to be highest in T7, followed by T4 and T6. The yield and yield contributing characters of okra showed significantly higher value for biochar treatments (T2 – T7) over to the control (T0) and sole chemical fertilizer treatment (T1). After the cultivation of okra, the highest pH value (7.2) was found in T7, followed by T6. The results of this study might contribute to enlarge the prospects of biochar application in the production of okra and other crops in both normal and less fertile soils
Keywords:Tea waste; Sugarcane bagasse biochar; Soil conditioner; Abelmoschus esculentus; Plant growth; Yield; Sandy soil.