Effects of organic and inorganic fertilization on growth and yield of Physalis peruviana L. crop under Mediterranean conditions
Physalis peruviana L. is an Andean Solanaceae fruit crop with great nutraceutical qualities, potential health benefits and adaptability to Mediterranean climates. In the current study, a first approach on the effect of organic and inorganic fertilization on P. peruviana crop under Mediterranean semi-arid conditions was performed. A field experiment was laid out according to a completely randomized design, with three replicates and three fertilization treatments [untreated (control), organic fertilization (biocyclic humus soil) and inorganic fertilization (inorganic fertilizer 40-0-0+14.5 SO3)]. Phenological growth stages and their corresponded growing degree days were evaluated. In addition, some growth parameters, fruit yield and yield components were evaluated. The results indicated that the duration of phenological growth stages was in accordance with durations mentioned in tropical climate. The highest branches number per plant (24.4), leaf area per plant (1997.3 cm2), fruit number per plant (41.52), fruit yield (7.51 t ha-1) and average fruit weight (5.32 g) were found in inorganic fertilization plots, whereas the highest plant height (44.15 g) and fruit diameter (12.52 mm) were recorded under organic fertilization; however, the differences between the organic and inorganic fertilization were not statistically significant. In terms of dry weight per plant, there were significant differences among the fertilization treatment with the values obtained under inorganic fertilization (81.24 g). To sum up, P. peruviana showed satisfying adaptability under Mediterranean climate conditions and has great potential in becoming an alternative cultivation for small and medium producers of Mediterranean countries. In addition, the results indicated that organic fertilization (with biocyclic humus soil) should be considered as an alternative to inorganic fertilizers for P. peruviana production.
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