Isfahan University of Technology
Purpose An experiment was conducted to assess the ability of municipal solid waste compost (MSWC), peat, perlite and vermicompost (VC) to improve the growth of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.), an important horticultural commodity, in hydroponic culture. Methods Organic matter, when used as a substrate, can affect tomato cultivar ‘Grandella’ plant growth. In this study, we studied the effect of MSWC, either composted by earthworms (VC), or in an uncomposted form, as well as conventional substrates peat and perlite, on tomato growth when incorporated into hydroponic culture. Growth and physiological attributes were assessed at the fruiting stage. Results Among several ratios of MSWC, peat, perlite and VC, VC with 25 % compost increased the number of red fruits in the harvest period significantly more than the control. The use of VC, peat and perlite increased root fresh and dry weight, root volume, mean photosynthesis, and the number of fruits at all physiological stages compared to the control. Conclusion Vermicompost can improve tomato growth physiology when used as one part of the substrate in hydroponic culture.