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The influence of compost and zeolite co-addition on the nutrients status and plant growth in intensively cultivated Mediterranean soils


Abstract The main objective of the study was to test the benefits of compost and zeolite co-addition on the fertility of organic-rich Mediterranean soils. Previous pot study in greenhouse found that zeolites mixed with compost significantly improved potassium availability as well as exchangeable potassium capacity in the soils. To further test this finding, a field experiment was conducted using potato – Solanum tuberosum L., desiree cultivar in peat soils of the Hula Valley, Israel. Adhering to the protocol of the greenhouse experiments, the treatments included 5% compost addition with no zeolites, 2% zeolite addition without compost, co-addition of 5% compost mixed with 2% zeolites and control. We found that compost addition increased significantly the potatoes yield and the number of large tubers; however, the zeolite addition had no impact on yield. Co-addition of compost and zeolites did not improve total crop yield or number of large tubers compared with compost addition only. The results are consistent with nutrients availability (N, P, K) across the treatments. In a commercialized field using the experiment conditions, the 2% zeolite addition would amount to 18 ton of zeolites per hectare. Hence, we conclude that soil amendment with the tested zeolite might be beneficial to improve soil retention for cationic nutrients (e.g. K+) under high leaching systems such as plant culture in pots, but in the field with high loads of compost, its effect is minor.

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Last updated on 12/23/2019