عنوان مقاله [English]
Recently, the impact of chemical farming and the negative consequences on the environment and human health are on rise in Iran. Organic farming is gaining attention and increasing globally because it is eco-friendly, safe and has benefits for human health. The use of organic fertilizers in agriculture improves soil structure. Plant spacing and fertilizer applications have significant influence on the growth and yield in crop production. Optimum plant spacing ensures the proper use of land, as well as growth and nutrition in plants. Balangu (Lallemantia royleana Benth.) is a medicinal plant from Lamiaceae family, containing essential oils and mucilage. The most important feature of this plant is the mucilage of the seeds. The seeds are a good source of fiber, oil and protein, and have medicinal and nutritional properties. Using the appropriate plant density and environmental friendly methods like organic fertilizers can improve the quality and quantity of medicinal plants production.
Materials and Methods
In order to study the effect of organic fertilizers and plant density on the qualitative characteristics of Balangu (Lallemantia royleana Benth.) as a medicinal plant, an experiment was conducted at the Research Station of Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, during the growing season of 2011-2012. Soil samples were collected from the 15 cm depth of each experimental plots for laboratory analysis. This experiment was carried out as factorial layout based on randomized complete block design with three replications. Treatments were included five levels of fertilizer (cow manure, sheep manure, chicken manure, municipal solid waste compost and control) and three levels of plant density (20, 30 and 40 plant m-2). The studied traits were included amount of mucilage, swelling factor, swelling per gram mucilage, mucilage and seed yield. Data were analyzed with SAS software. The F test was used to test the significance of mean squares and means were compared with Duncan’s test at the 5% level of probability
Results and Discussion
The results showed that fertilizer treatments had no significant effects on the studies criteria except mucilage and seed yield. Mucilage yield, seed yield and swelling factor were significantly affected by plant density. Maximum quality yield was obtained in treatment of chicken manure and highest plant density (40 plant m-2). The highest amount of mucilage (0.19 grams mucilage per gram seed) was obtained in treatment of municipal solid waste compost and sheep manure. The highest inflation rate per ml of mucilage was obtained in cow manure treatment (96.5 ml per gram of mucilage). Different levels of density had no significant effect on the amount of inflation per gram of mucilage. Plant density had significant effect on the seed yield (p≤0.05). So that the maximum of this trait (437 kg ha-1) was obtained at 40 plants per m2 density.
The highest and lowest amount of mucilage yield were obtained in treatments of 40 and 20 plant m-2 density, respectively. The interaction effect between fertilizer and plant density had significant (p≤0.05) effect on the seed yield, so that the maximum of this trait (605 kg ha-1) was obtained in treatment of fertilizer application and 40 plant m-2 density.
In general, the results of this experiment showed that fertilizer treatments had no effect on the quality of Balangao except mucilage, but the organic fertilizers could affect mucilage content. Among the qualitative characteristics of the Balangao, the swelling and mucilage content were affected by the plant density treatments. It seems that the mucilage is significantly affected by the effect of plant density on the seed yield. The lack of the effect of plant density on qualitative characteristics of the Balangao showed that these characteristics are more affected by genetic, not environmental control.