African marigold (Tagetes erecta
L.) is one of the most important flower crops grown commercially throughout India as a loose flower for worshipping, garland making, and garden display. The productivity and quality of flowers is greatly influenced by the quantity and source of nutrients. At present, these nutrients are primarily supplied through chemical fertilizers. The indiscriminate use and complete reliance on the use of chemical fertilizers has also led to deterioration of soil health, thereby affecting sustainable flower production. Keeping these points in view, a field experiment was conducted on African marigold cv. “Orange Culcuttia” at the Horticultural Research Farm, Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India. The experiment was laid out in a randomized block design with three replications and twelve treatment combinations comprised of bio-organics (Cow Urine and Vermicompost), bio-fertilizers (Azospirillum
and Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria) and NPK fertilizers. Application of Azospirillum
+ Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria + 5% Cow Urine + 50% recommended dose of “N” through Vermicompost + 50% recommended dose of NPK fertilizer was most effective in increasing vegetative growth parameters, such as plant height, number of branches, plant spread, as well as flower yield parameters like number of flowers, flower diameter, fresh and dry weight of flowers, flower yield, flowering duration, shelf life, and it also had the maximum benefit:cost ratio. Thus, use of inorganic fertilizers conjointly with bio-fertilizers and organic manures resulted in excellent vegetative growth and flower yield attributes in African marigold.
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