Assessment of Ficus religiosa (L.) leaf compost on seed germination and plant growth parameters of Solanum lycopersicum L. var. swaraksha

Shilpa K.J.*, Raghudas J., Sahana B.R.

*Department of Botany, Mangalore University, Jnana Kaveri P.G. Centre Chikka Aluvara -571232,
Kodagu, Karnataka, India

(Manuscript received 8 September 2023; accepted for publication 18 April 2024)

Abstract. The study aimed to investigate the effects of Ficus religiosa (L.) leaf compost on the germination and plant growth parameters of tomato seedlings. Physical parameters of the leaf compost and soil, such as color, texture, appearance, electric conductivity, pH were recorded. Various concentrations of the leaf compost ranging from 10% – 40% were used in the study. The total carbon, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus levels in soil and leaf compost before sowing and after sowing were also measured. The results revealed that the seedling growth parameters such as Mean Germination Time, Initiation of Germination, Mean Daily Germination, Speed of Germination, Completion of Germination, Peak Value, Germination Value were maximum at 40% Leaf compost. The results of plant growth parameters of tomato plants revealed that the 40% LC showed maximum increase in shoot length, number of leaves, diameter of leaves, length of leaves, root length, number of leaflets, total plant length, fresh weight and dry weight. The average percentage of carbon, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus content significantly increased with a higher dose of leaf compost compared to the control. The results indicated that leaf compost of F. religiosa at 40% improved plant growth minimizing the need of chemical fertilizers.