Effects of fertilization, Trichoderma spp. and Bacillus subtilis on vigour of tomato and cabbage seedlings
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In Uganda, very many people have been involved in the production of Tomato and Cabbage seedlings in the nursery for a very long time; however sustainable production has been hampered by low vigor. Greenhouse nursery trail was conducted to assess the effects of fertilization, Trichoderma spp. and Bacillus subtills on vigor of Tomato and cabbage seedlings; using spilt – split plot in completely randomised design (CRD). The objective of the study was to determine the effect of two fertilizers (NPK 19-19-19 and Natural foliar fertilizer) on tomato and cabbage seedling vigor, and determine the effect of microbes (Trichoderma spp. and Bacillus subtilis) on tomato and cabbage seedling vigor. The plant materials used were Tomato – Anja F1 and Sinag F1 and Cabbage – Bowie F1 and Botran F1 and the growth media used was mixture of peatmoss and charcoal dust in ratio of 1: 1 with pH = 8.5 and EC = 1.32. The germination, Fractional green canopy cover (FGCC), leaf number, stem length, Quantum yield (Phi2) and the relative chlorophyll (Chl) content for Tomato and Cabbage seedlings were analysed after application of Trichoderma asperellum X116 strain, Trichoderma koningiopsis X115 strain and Bacillus subtilis XBS1 strain with NPK 19-19-19 (NPK: 19 – 19 – 19) and Natural foliar fertilizer fertilizers. The results were compared with control (No microbe + fertilizer). Trichoderma spp. and Bacillus subtilis had no significant effect on germination and fractional green canopy cover in both Tomato and Cabbage; the microbes also increased leaf number, stem length, quantum yield and Chlorophyll content however, microbes had significant differences Tomato seedling. In cabbage seedlings, interactions between varieties and fertilizers had significant difference in increasing leaf number, stem length and relative chlorophyll content and it had no effect on Fractional green canopy cover and Quantum yield. Fertilizer also had significant differences in influencing the growth parameters in both Tomato and cabbage seedlings. In overall evaluation, Trichoderma spp., Bacillus subtilis and NPK 19-19-19 may improve seedling vigour but Trichoderma asperellum and NPK 19-19-19 may be considered as a viable strategy to solve the problem of seedling vigor with varieties Anja F1 for tomatoes and Botran F1 for Cabbage (for breeding) and assist the developing and commercial nurseries dealing in vegetables to maintain sustainable production of vigorous vegetable seedlings.