It is quite undeniable that the quality of our soil is fast degrading. With little focus on the soil as a living entity and so much use of chemical fertilizers, its nutrients lessen day by day. With this premise, scientists have developed biofertilizers that aim to develop the crop and also, improve the quality and fertility of the soil. Biofertilizers use microorganisms to enhance the physical condition of the soil and the crop. The most popular biofertilizers today usually contain rhizobia, mycorrhiza, bacillus, etc. (bioalberta.com, 2007)
This experiment will be conducted to develop better nursery management for bananas with a focus on root health through pre-plant inoculation of rhizosphere-enriching amendments and the manipulation of soil media composition. Through this, we shall be able to test how biofertilizers affect the growth of bananas as well as on the soil.
Tissue-cultured components of banana will be obtained. The plants will be initially acclimatized via exposure to partial sunlight and gradual loosening of the bottle cover. After two weeks of acclimatization, the plantlets will be transferred into a black polyethylene seedling bag, each containing either a sterile potting medium or a combination of both compost and the sterile potting medium. The control bags will be composed of a sterile potting medium without the addition of biofertilizers. Prior to transplanting, each seedling bag will be dipped in a pan-full of water after such a time that field capacity will be obtained.
Treatments will be applied during transplanting except for the inorganic fertilizer, which will be applied two weeks after the initial treatments are applied. Commercially available biofertilizers will be dissolved in distilled water and each plant will obtain 5ml of the solution. On the other hand, about 5 g of Mykovam (biotech.org, 2006) biofertilizer will be directly applied to the seedling. About 2 g of a complete fertilizer will be applied to each plantlet having inorganic fertilizer treatment. Uniform application of the foliar fertilizer will be administered twice a week after the second week until one week before transplanting.
Each experimental unit will have 3 samples with four replicates. The experiment will be laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) (University, 2000). The data to be gathered are leaf width, length, and area. Also, we should also take note of the plant height, stem diameter, number of leaves, and leaf emergence. Data gathering will be on a weekly basis. The experiment will run for three months and a week before transplanting, two representatives per sample per treatment will be analyzed. The samples will be cleaned and then oven-dried. The data to be gathered for this part are fresh weight, dry weight, number of tree roots, and nutrient composition.
Compost is produced from the biological decomposition of organic wastes (www.ecochem.com, 2007). And so, because of the high nutrient value that can be obtained from these organic wastes, there is a bigger chance that the soil media with the compost will have better banana seedlings. Moreover, with the addition of the biofertilizer, the soil will continuously improve in terms of its properties and fertility. Also, it will promote better absorption of water, phosphorous, nitrogen, and zinc for banana seedlings. In addition, with the uniform application of foliar fertilizer (which can make elements, such as iron available to the banana seedling), the growth and results of the fertilizers can immediately be observed. (www.planetnatural.com, 2006)
With the given facts above, it is easy to infer that the medium with compost and biofertilizer will yield better results than compared with the sterile soil medium without the combination of compost.
Based on the given facts about the materials that will be used in this experiment, there is enough evidence to say that this experiment will be able to establish and manage a banana nursery. First of all, since tissue-culture banana plantlets are going to be used, there is an assurance that the planting material is disease-free. Moreover, with the addition of biofertilizers to the growing medium that is used for bananas, not only the crop will benefit but also the soil. Plus, the banana itself already has a sure source of nutrients in the form of the biofertilizers that are coated in their roots. Lastly, with the utilization of compost as a soil medium, there is an immense guarantee that the minerals needed both by the crop and the soil will be met.
However, for this experiment to be successful and valid, one must be patient in gathering the needed data since there are many parameters needed, and data gathering is done every week. One must also be critical and objective while gathering the data.
Also, with the onset of the organic trends in the world, this experiment can be a starting point in building big organic banana plantations since after all, this is not a whole package of organic production. This experiment can be modified in the future to really have an integrated production and management of bananas.
This ambitious experiment is just one of the many proofs that indeed, microorganism interaction is very evident and useful in our world. The challenge now lies to us on how we can conserve and preserve these interactions without degrading or exploiting them for negative interests.
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