Organic soil amendments influence soil health, yield, and phytochemicals of globe artichoke heads
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of plant- and animal-based soil amendments on soil nutrient availability, CO2 respiration, yield and phytochemicals of artichoke (Cynara cardunculus cv. 179) heads. Four certified organic fertilisers: fish meal, blood meal, alfalfa meal and chicken manure, were used as experimental treatments. After two years of organic soil amended with the plant-based fertiliser (alfalfa meal), soil respiration and content of organic matter (OM) was higher than that in soil amended with animal-based fertilisers (fish meal, blood meal, and chicken manure), though the difference in OM between alfalfa and chicken manure was not statistically significant. The marketable yield from soil amended with chicken manure was higher than that amended with alfalfa meal and in the first year (2015) yields from both chicken manure and fish meal treatments were higher than that of the alfalfa treatment. Concentrations of phytochemicals in artichoke heads grown in soil amended with alfalfa treatment were higher than in those grown with animal-based fertilisers (for chlorogenic acid the difference was significant only in 2016). Conversely, the cost of the alfalfa meal was higher than that of the animal-based fertilisers. Overall, plant-based fertiliser can be an ideal option for improving soil and head quality of artichokes, but animal-based fertilisers may be an appropriate choice for organic farmers when yield and cost are the main concerns.
author list (cited authors)
Othman, Y. A., & Leskovar, D.