Effect of Vermicompost and Compost on Lettuce Production

Adriana Hernández1*, Hugo Castillo2, Dámaris Ojeda1, Ana Arras1, Julio López1, and Esteban Sánchez3

A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate the effect on total growth and leaf nutritional content in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in the Agrotechnology Sciences Department of the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Mexico in 2007. Three types of fertilization treatments were analyzed: two organic and one conventional or inorganic. Both vermicompost and compost were produced from cattle manure in a 25-wk process. The study included 12 experimental units made up of lettuce plantlets var. Great Lakes. A linear model was fitted for statistical analysis using a completely randomized experimental design. ANOVA was performed and means were compared by orthogonal contrasts. Results showed differences in weight and leaf content for the N and K variables, and the highest mean values for these variables were in the urea treatment. Leaf content of Ca, Mg, and Mn showed higher values in organic fertilization treatments. The vermicompost treatment showed a higher contribution of Mg, Fe, Zn, and Cu, and lower Na in lettuce leaf content when compared to compost usage.

Keywords: fertilization, nutrient, growth, quality.
1Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Facultad de Ciencias Agrotecnológicas, Escorza 900. Col. Centro. 31000. Apartado Postal 24 Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México. *Corresponding author (aernande@uach.mx).
2Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Facultad de Zootecnia y Ecología. Escorza 900. Col. Centro. 31000. Apartado Postal 24 Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México.
3Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo A.C., Unidad Delicias, Av. 4ª Sur 3820, Fraccionamiento Vencedores del Desierto, 33089, Delicias, Chihuahua, México.