The need to recycle organic agricultural and urban wastes is not just for environmental issues but also for economical and sustainable advantages. The current studies were conducted during winter and summer seasons on lettuce and egg plant respectively of 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 at Central Laboratory for Agricultural Climate (CLAC), Dokki, Agricultural Research Center (ARC), Giza governorate, Egypt. The main objectives were investigating the ability of use rice straw and vermicompost as a substrate instead of peat moss or perlite in substrate culture and to determine the effect of treatments on vegetative growth, nutrients content (nitrogen, phosphors, potassium), as well as total yield of lettuce and egg plant. Different sizes of chopped rice straw (8-10, 6-8, 4-6 and less than 2 mm) combined with three vermicompost levels (5%,10% and 15% v/v) were applied in horizontal bags of substrate culture. Lettuce plant (Lactuca sativa L.) iceberg was transplanted in October and eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) was transplanted in February, both crops were cultivated in horizontal bags of substrate culture. The experiment design was a split- plot with three replications. The obtained results indicated that, using rice straw in a small size less than 2 mm significantly increased plant height, number of leaves per plant, plant dry weight and increased yield for both crops lettuce and eggplant. Vermicompost at 15% gave the highest vegetative growth and yield compared with the other treatments. The smallest size of rice straw less than 2 mm combined with vermicompost 15% increased significantly vegetative growth and total yield of lettuce and eggplant. The physical and chemical properties of different mixtures varied from the first and second year. The use of rice straw and vermicompost as a substrate instead of burial or incineration led to decrease CO2 emission, save the environmental and nutrients and at the same time introduce new method for recycling rice straw.
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Author Name: Farag A.A., M.S.M. Ahmed, F. A. Hashem, M. A. A. Abdrabbo, M. A. Abul-Soud & H. A. Radwan
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Keywords: Lettuce, Eggplant, Vermicompost, Chopped rice straw, Rice Straw WHC, Substrate culture, Recycle agricultural and urban wastes, Vermicomposting