Inorganic and Organic Amendments Affect Soil Fertility, Nutrition, Photosystem II Activity, and Fruit Weight and May Enhance the Sustainability of <i>Solanum lycopersicon</i> L. (cv. ‘Mountain Fresh’) Crop
controlled release fertilizer (CRF), fertilization
Environmental effects of industries and plants
Renewable energy sources
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AbstractOne of the most important issues for modern agriculture is how to decrease fertilization rates and enhance the sustainability of crops, without decreasing yields. Two inorganic (zeolite—zeo; vermiculite—ver) amendments and their mixtures with an organic soil amendment (goat manure) (i.e., zeo + ver, manure + ver, manure + zeo) were tested, and compared to the application of a controlled release fertilizer (CRF), in order to investigate if they were able to satisfy the nutritional needs of <i>Solanum lycopersicon</i> L. plants. For this purpose, a 112-day pot experiment was performed. After zeo and manure application, exchangeable K was increased from 16.5 times to 37.5 times. At the end of the experiment, total plant biomass was significantly higher in the CRF treatment, compared to the ver treatments (ver, ver + manure). Leaf K concentration was significantly higher in the zeo treatment (5.93% dw), compared to those determined in the CRF, ver, and ver + manure. In contrast, significantly higher foliar N was found in the CRF (4.83% dw) and zeo + ver (4.24% dw) treatments, compared to manure + ver. Finally, photosystem II (PSII) activity was significantly higher in ver, and this was ascribed to the optimum foliar Mn found in this treatment (138 mg kg<sup>−1</sup> dw). It is expected that these data will provide a thorough insight towards decreasing chemical fertilization inputs and enhancing the sustainability of <i>Solanum lycopersicon</i> L. crop.