Liming tropical high upland acid soils improves soil fertility and cardamom productivity
Keywords:Cardamom, Liming, Nutrients, Soil pH, Yield
Increasing the productivity of Indian cardamom is revolving around both soil and forest canopy management. Maintaining tropical acid soil fertility and its productivity is the prime concern for successful cardamom cultivation under ongoing deforestation of fragmented rainforest. A field experiment with two doses each (1 and 2 kg plant-1) of burnt lime, dolomite and ground lime stone was carried out in an acidic soil. Results showed that all of the liming materials have had significant effect on correcting the soil acidity. Liming with dolomite at 2 kg plant-1 considerably improved soil chemical properties and increased the soil pH from very acidic to near neutral. Correction and improvement in the soil pH led to significantly enhance the growth and yield of cardamom. However, utmost care must be taken on the environmental implications of liming; particularly the ratio of soil Calcium and Magnesium as well as organic carbon loss and evolution of CO2.
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