UTILIZING WEEDS AS A SOURCE OF ORGANIC FERTILIZER FOR IMPROVING OKRA (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) YIELD ATTRIBUTES
Utilizing weeds as a source of organic fertilizers greatly contribute to the vegetables production, particularly in organic farming. This study aimed to explore the potential of weeds as organic fertilizers in okra crop. The hypothesis was that it could effectively substitute synthetic fertilizers and be integrated into ecological farming. A pot experiment was carried out during kharif season (2020) at district Charsadda (34° 14' 18.67'' N, 71° 43' 28.12'' E), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Aqueous extracts (250 ml) from 10 different weeds were prepared and Tape water was considered as control for comparison. The experiment was implemented in completely randomized design (CRD) replicated four times having 11 treatments viz; T1 (Parthenium hysterophorus), T2 (Urtica dioca), T3 (Convolvulos arvensis); T4 (Taraxicum officinale), T5 (Euphorbia helioscopia), T6 (Cynodon dactylon), T7 (Cyperus rotunus), T8 (Cannabis sativa), T9 (Silybum marianum) T10 (Rumex crispus), T11 Tape water (control). Aqueous extract of each weed was applied to polythene bags containing 4 kg soil. Okra seeds of ‘Sabz Pari’ variety were sowed in polythene bags during April 2021. The results indicated that E. helioscopia and C. arvensis increased plant height of okra by 45% and 46% as compared to tape water. R. crispus and C. sativa increase number of leaves by 52% and U. dioica by 50%. Moreover, U. dioica increased number of pods plant-1 by 19%, 28% and 36% as compared to tape water, C. rotundus and C. arvensis respectively. Similarly, U. dioica increase pod length by 30% and 34% compared to tap water and C. arvensis respectively and increased pod weight by 42%, 48% and 53% compared to Tap water, C. arvensis and C. rotundus respectively. Consequently, the effect of U. dioca was significant on increasing okra growth attributes and yield. The results of present study contribute considerably to new knowledge on weeds-based organic fertilizer. Furthermore, field trials are needed to evaluate weeds aqueous extract as a source of organic manure in okra at different ecological zones.
Keywords: Organic farming, Stinging nettle, weeds-based fertilizer, weeds utilization, etc.