Effects of adding synthetic Zeolite at the expense of Mineral Fertilizer on the Sandy Soil parameters and Nutrition conditions: A case study on Papaya Plant
Keywords:Soil amendment, Combined fertilizer, Zeolite NPK, Papaya, Nutrition
The present study is testing the feasibility of using environmental friendly-blended mixture containing a combined fertilizer (Z/F) made up of synthetic zeolite (Z), derived from local natural resource, and NPK (19 N: 19 P2O5: 19 K2O) mineral fertilizer (F), aiming to help in fertilizer reduction, and improving the plant nutrition and sandy soil quality. Different Z/F rates of 1.0 to 8.0 (g/ pot/plant) were respectively added to 1.0 - 5.0 (g/ pot/plant) amounts of NPK and used to grow papaya seedlings in the Pomology greenhouse, under Egyptian conditions during summer season. The XRD, SEM-Eds, and XRF were used to identify the mineral and chemical composition of the rock and zeolite, whereas, the starting (SS) and ending soils (ES) chemical and physical parameters and nutrient concentrations were measured by spectrophotometer, atomic absorption among other tools. Obtained results indicated that, applying (Z/ F) fertilizer mixture resulted in soil improvement with enhanced plant nutrition, where the optimum results obtained on increasing the zeolite contents at the expense of NPK amounts to certain limits. The highest performance was recorded for samples containing 2-3 Z: 1 F, meanwhile the extremes of having all mixture made completely of either zeolite or fertilizer implied the lowest improvement values
of all treatments. Additionally, applying (Z/ F) seemed to directly influence the soil quality by upgrading its fine fraction, elevating water retention and organic matter content. Whereas, improved nutrient concentration were the main benefits of papaya on using lower rates of fertilizer (1.0-2.0 g/ pot/ plant). The indirect impact of using (Z/ F) fertilizer on the sandy soils is the substitution of the expensive mineral fertilizer with more appropriate, cost-effective, and environmentally safe alternative with retail of adding new reclaimed areas.
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