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Article

Effects of Faba Bean Strip Cropping in an Outdoor Organic Tomato System on Soil Nutrient Availability, Production, and N Budget under Different Fertilizations

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CREA Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment, Via della Navicella 4, 00184 Rome, Italy
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CREA Research Centre for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Via Salaria 1, 63077 Monsampolo del Tronto, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Di Wu
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1372; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061372
Received: 16 May 2022 / Revised: 2 June 2022 / Accepted: 4 June 2022 / Published: 7 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology for Organic Vegetable Systems Redesign)
Crop diversification has been identified as a tool to improve both productive and environmental performances of organic horticulture. We tested the introduction of faba beans in a tomato cropping system—both as preceding crop and in strip cropping (SC)—under different fertilization strategies—faba residues, animal manure, and vegetable compost. We studied: (i) the tomato nutrient uptake and yield and quality; (ii) the soil-N and P, the N-budget, and the mycorrhizal colonization. SC did not provide consistent positive effects on tomato production and quality, namely the N-uptake, N in the tomato yield, the mean fruit weight, and the sugar accumulation in berries, regardless of the type of fertilizers applied. SC improved the tomato dry yield and P-uptake, especially in years when the faba growth and the subsequent yield were problematic. Faba residues could provide sufficient N to sustain tomato production but care should be given in balancing additional N-inputs. Organic fertilization increased the soil-N concentration but did not always translate into an increased yield and a higher quality production, with the risk of escalating N-losses. SC improved the soil-P availability and mycorrhizal colonization in tomato, due to the rhizobia–mycorrhiza-mycorrhiza association, especially when coupled with organic fertilization. Finally, introducing faba as SC holds potential to improve the productive and environmental performance of organic tomato production. View Full-Text
Keywords: intercropping; strip-cropping; faba bean; compost; manure; phosphorus; mycorrhiza intercropping; strip-cropping; faba bean; compost; manure; phosphorus; mycorrhiza
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MDPI and ACS Style

Warren Raffa, D.; Migliore, M.; Campanelli, G.; Leteo, F.; Trinchera, A. Effects of Faba Bean Strip Cropping in an Outdoor Organic Tomato System on Soil Nutrient Availability, Production, and N Budget under Different Fertilizations. Agronomy 2022, 12, 1372. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061372

AMA Style

Warren Raffa D, Migliore M, Campanelli G, Leteo F, Trinchera A. Effects of Faba Bean Strip Cropping in an Outdoor Organic Tomato System on Soil Nutrient Availability, Production, and N Budget under Different Fertilizations. Agronomy. 2022; 12(6):1372. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061372

Chicago/Turabian Style

Warren Raffa, Dylan, Melania Migliore, Gabriele Campanelli, Fabrizio Leteo, and Alessandra Trinchera. 2022. "Effects of Faba Bean Strip Cropping in an Outdoor Organic Tomato System on Soil Nutrient Availability, Production, and N Budget under Different Fertilizations" Agronomy 12, no. 6: 1372. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061372

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