Ashim Sikdar, Sourov Deb, Nowshad Zaman, Noiret Chakma and Md. Omar Sharif
The potential of biochar as a soil conditioner has been approved by scientists worldwide due to its large surface area, high water retention capacity, slow nutrient releasing nature and liming ability; and it might also help to get desirable crop yield in problem soil like acidic soil. Hence, an experimental field trial was operated at the research field of the Department of Agroforestry and Environmental Science, Sylhet Agricultural University, Sylhet to evaluate the performance of banana peel biochar (BB) and orange peel biochar (OB) in the growth and yield of tomato (Solanum lycopersicon Mill.) and country bean (Lablab purpureus) under acidic soil conditions. In case of tomato, plant height (PH), number of leaves plant-1 (NLP), leaf length (LL), and stem diameter (SD) in treatments having different levels of biochar were significantly higher than the control. The maximum PH (72.20 cm), NLP (21), LL (35.66 cm), SD (9.05 cm), and total leaf chlorophyll content (TLCC) (50.56 µmol m-2) of tomato were found in T7 (3% OB w/w + CF) followed by T4 (3% BB w/w + CF) whereas in country bean, the PH (373 cm), NLP (34), branch number (BN) (3), and TLCC (36.65 µmol m-2) were also recorded in T7 followed by T4. The root length (RL) (43.5 cm) and fresh root weight (FRW) (14 g) of country bean were the maximum at T7, followed by T5 (1% OB w/w + CF). According to the results, positive effects of BB and OB application were observed on all the yield parameters of country bean and tomato. The number of pod plant-1 (NPP) (384), individual pod weight (IPW) (5.78 g), total pod weight plant-1 (TPWP) (2220 g), and pod length (PL) (10.57 cm) of country bean were also found to be highest in T7, followed by the T4. Similarly, the highest NFP (37), IFW (55 g), and TFWP (1980 g) of tomato were noted in T7, followed by T4. After the cultivation of country bean and tomato, a significant increase in the soil pH was noticed at T3 (2% BB w/w + CF), T4, T6 (2% OB w/w + CF) and T7 in respect of the control. Therefore, the findings of the study suggest that both BB and OB could have a positive impact on growth and yield components of tomato and country bean by altering soil pH of acidic soil.
Keywords: Fruit peel biochar; Soil conditioner; Solanum lycopersicon Mill.; Lablab purpureus; Acidic soil.