Effect of Amending Soil with Lippia and Ocimum Species Biomass on Postharvest Quality of Greenhouse Tomatoes
Many studies with soil organic amendments have focused on potential to manage soil pests and diseases. However, little has been documented on the ability of fresh organic amendments to boost postharvest quality of greenhouse tomato. A pot experiment was conducted in a greenhouse at Egerton University, Njoro, to study the impact of fresh soil amendments from Lippia kituensis Vatke (LK) and Ocimum gratissimum L. (OG) on postharvest quality of tomato. The experiment was laid in a Randomized Complete Block Design with plant biomass (LK and OG), replicated three times. The plant biomass was from the leaves and flowers of LK and OG which were chopped into small pieces and thoroughly mixed with the soil. Each amendment rates were 0, 2% (200g), 4% (400g) and 8% (800g) in 10 kg potted soil mixes. Data was collected for 10 days after harvest, on tomato titratable acidity (TA), total soluble solids (TSS), sugar acid ratio, fruits firmness, lycopene content and weight loss. Data was analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results indicated that application of soil organic amendments using either LK or OG significantly enhanced postharvest quality of greenhouse produced tomato compared with control. Tomato fruit firmness, TSS, sugar acid ratio, and lycopene contents were improved by 6-23.8%, 1.5-5.7%, 13.3-28.0%, and 4.2-5.5%, respectively, compared with the control. Weight loss and TA were reduced by 1.3-3.0% and 7.7-16.1%, respectively, compared with the control. The findings of this study may contribute to enhancement of postharvest quality of greenhouse produced tomato.
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