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Effect of organic amendments and microbial application on sodic soil properties and growth of an aromatic crop

Trivedi, Pragya, Singh, Kripal, Pankaj, Umesh, Verma, Sanjeet Kumar, Verma, Rajesh Kumar, Patra, D.D.
Ecological engineering 2017 v.102 pp. 127-136
Ocimum basilicum, Ocimum tenuiflorum, barrels, carbon, cement, electrical conductivity, enzyme activity, exchangeable sodium, microbial biomass, nitrogen, oils, planting, seedlings, sludge, sodic soils, soil depth, soil fertility, soil microorganisms, soil pH, soil respiration, tannery waste, vermicomposts
In this experiment, we studied the effects of microbial inoculation, vermicompost and sludge application on physical, chemical and microbial properties of sodic soil and growth of Ocimum basilicum (holy basil). Sodic soil collected from natural field was amended with two bacterial strains A and C (isolated from the same soil), vermicompost and tannery sludge @ 5tha−1 upto 0–15cm soil depth of field buried cement barrels (125cm height, 49.5cm diameter) in such a way that nine treatments (control sodic soil (T0), vermicompost or VC (T1), VC+strain A (T2), VC+strain C (T3), VC+strain A and C (T4), tannery sludge or TS (T5), TS+strain A (T6), TS+strainC (T7), and TS+strain A and C (T8) were formed. After application of these treatments, soil was incubated for one month at constant moisture. After one month of incubation period, 35 days old seedlings of O. basilicum were planted in barrels. Significant changes in soil properties (physico-chemical, microbial and enzyme activities), due to application of microbes and organic amendments, were observed after one month of incubation (AIS) and at crop harvest (ACH). On an average soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), exchangeable sodium (Na), soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (SMBN), soil respiration (SR), microbial quotient (Cmic:Corg), and metabolic quotient (qCO2) were significantly higher in incubated soils than crop harvested soils. Study concludes that use of vermicompost, sludge and microbial inoculants increase soil fertility and enhance yield and oil quality of Ocimum basilicum. Furthermore, incubation for one month before crop plantation was sufficient time for amendments to facilitate changes in sodic soil properties.