Accepted 18th October, 2015
Production of healthy and vigorous tomato seedling is most important factor in successful commercial production and yield of quality tomato fruits. Moreover, germination of the seed is a critical stage, because the rest of the plant life is directly dependent upon the rate of its germination. Therefore, this experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of soil media on seedling growth of two tomato cultivars (Makis F1 and Nirvana F1) on different soil media. Soil media treatments were used either alone or in combination (Farm Yard Manure—FYM, compost, canal silt, FYM + compost, FYM + canal silt, compost + silt and FYM + compost +silt). Comparatively, both cultivars ‘Makis F1’ and ‘Nirvana F1’ exhibited highest plant height for soil media (T6, T7, T2 and T3) and lowest for T4, T5, and T1. Soil media had profound effect on seedling girth. T7, T8, T6, T3, T2 record the highest seedling girth while T1, T4 and T5 had the lowest. Although cultivar ‘Nirvana F1 maintained higher seedling girth in all the soil treatments, cultivar ‘Makes F1’ had the highest seedling girth under soil media T7 and T8. T7 registered the highest dry weight (DW) followed by T6. While soil media T2, T3, scored slightly lower DW than T7, the lowest DW obtained for T1 and T4. Cultivar ‘Nirvana F1’ had the highest germination percentage than cultivar Makis F1 that showed unsteady pattern of germination percentage. FYM alone was found to have the lowest growth characteristics due to its highly concentrated nutrients which lower the osmotic potential of soil media that limit the absorption of water by the roots of seedlings hence leading to reduced seedling growth. Soil media containing mixture of equal proportion of FYM, compost and canal silt are recommended for raising tomatoes seedling as their combination improved both germination and subsequently growth compared to soil media used alone. FYM is not recommended to be used alone in raising tomatoes seedlings since it has high concentrated nutrients which lower seedling growth.
Keywords: Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L., soil media, growth, seedling establishment