PLANT&FOREST

Effects of nutrient-coated biochar amendments on the growth and elemental composition of leafy vegetables

Jun-Yeong Lee1,†, Yun-Gu Kang1,†, Jun-Ho Kim1, Taek-Keun Oh1,*, Yeo-Uk Yun1,2,*

1Department of Bio-Environmental Chemistry, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
2Division of Environmentally Friendly Agriculture, Chungnam Agricultural Research and Extension Services, Yesan 32418, Korea

†These authors equally contributed to this study as first author.

*Corresponding authors: ok5382@cnu.ac.kr, aoggi61@korea.kr

Abstract

Biochar is emerging as a promising substance for achieving carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation. It can absorb several nutrients via ion bonding on its surface functional groups, resulting in slow dissociation of the bonds. Biochar, like organic fertilizers, contributes to sustainable nutrient management. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of nutrient-coated biochar amendments on leafy vegetables production and soil fertility. The nutrient-coated biochar was produced by soaking rice husk biochar in a nutrient solution containing nitrogen (N), phosphorus, and potassium for 24 hours. Nutrient-coated biochar and organic fertilizers were applied to soil at a rate of 120 kg·N·ha-1. The growth components of the leafy vegetables showed that nutrient-coated biochar led to the highest fresh weight (FW) of both lettuce and kale (i.e., 146.67 and 93.54 g·plant-1 FW, respectively). As a result, nutrient-coated biochar amendments led to superior yield compared to the control treatment and organic fertilization. The elemental composition of leafy vegetables revealed that soil amended with nutrient-coated biochar resulted in higher nutrient contents, which was attributed to the high nutrient contents supplied by the rice husk biochar. Soil amendment with nutrient-coated biochar positively enhanced the soil fertility compared to amendment with organic fertilizer. Therefore, nutrient-coated biochar is a promising substance for enhancing agronomic performance of leafy vegetables and improving soil fertility.

Keywords

eco-friendly agriculture, kale, lettuce, nutrient-coated biochar, organic fertilizer

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