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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-15

An Exploration into the Effects of Organic and Chemical Compounds on Spinach (Spinacia oleraceae) Growth Attributes

Department of Environmental Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication3-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Mehrdad Jafarpour Jafarpour
Department of Environmental Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Spinach is one of the important vegetables of Chenopodiacea family. It is from Center Aisa and the most likely Iran and it is considerable for high nutritional value. The present study investigated the influences exerted by such organic fertilizers as mushroom compost, mushroom vermicompost, sheep manure compost, sheep manure vermicompost, cow compost, cow manure vermicompost, municipal compost, chemical compost, and fertilizer-free soil upon spinach growth attributes at 8% and 12% levels. The results revealed the highest length of the plant in 12% mushroom compost and vermicompost and the heaviest fresh weight in cow and 12% mushroom vermicompost. In addition, solid soluble substances and the maximum amount of chlorophyll were reported to be attributed to 12% mushroom compost and mushroom vermicompost and compost at the 8% level, respectively. Therefore, the use of compost and vermicompost organic compounds, that had the high amount of nutrients, is suggested as a good organic manure in agriculture; it causes to increase yields, keep the soil organic matter, amend soil, and provide elements to plants.

Keywords: Cow manure, municipal compost, mushroom compost, spinach, vermicompost

How to cite this article:
Jafarpour MJ, Rahimzadeh S. An Exploration into the Effects of Organic and Chemical Compounds on Spinach (Spinacia oleraceae) Growth Attributes. J Earth Environ Health Sci 2015;1:11-5

How to cite this URL:
Jafarpour MJ, Rahimzadeh S. An Exploration into the Effects of Organic and Chemical Compounds on Spinach (Spinacia oleraceae) Growth Attributes. J Earth Environ Health Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Sep 23];1:11-5. Available from: https://www.ijeehs.org/text.asp?2015/1/1/11/159921

  Introduction Top

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is considered to be a member of the Chenopodiacea family. This plant is believed to originated from the central parts of Asia probably including Iran. [1],[2] Spinach has been planted for more than 2000 years. [3],[4],[5] It is a rosette leaves plant having high nutritional value. Delicate leaves and stem of the plant are used fresh or processed. [5] Among 42 fruit and vegetable types, this plant comes second in terms of value. [5] Spinach is a rich source of minerals and vitamins, especially Vitamin C. [2] Furthermore, the plant is rich in anti- oxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein. These two compounds have anti- oxidant, anti- cancer properties. Beta-carotene can improve lung function and reduce the risk of diabetes. Lutein reduces the risk of cataracts and improves eyesight during old ages. In comparison with other vegetable and fruit types belonging to the family mentioned above, spinach is also a good source of iron. [4] Spinach leaves have 2.3% protein which reduces cholesterol. [5] Another nutrient of the plant is 6.0% fat. Linolenic acid and linoleic acid are the most significant fatty acids of spinach. [5] The plant is reported to have 65.0% fiber. [4] Spinach seeds can relax and relieve inflammation in intestines and stomach. The seeds also have a lot of mucilage and fever reducing properties. The compounds existing in spinach have anti- bacterial properties. Besides, the plant contains chemicals called folic acid which is helpful in treating anemia. [6] Considering the important role of spinach in supplying such mineral elements as fibers, phenolic compounds, essential fatty acids and proteins in order to improve its functioning and quality, enough information about planting media, an increased performance and the quality of Iranian Spinach is necessary. [7]

These days using chemical fertilizer in large amount is so prevalent. This fact causes pollution in the soil and underwater. Also, the most significant problem is not suitable to eat such products. [1] Since fertilizers meet short-term nutritional needs of the plants, farmers usually neglect the long-term fertility of the products. This fact affects the productivity of the farming land in the long run to the effect that some researchers believe that the only way to maintain and improve soil fertility is to expose the soil to compost and vermicompost organic fertilizers. [8] Moreover, organic fertilizer results in amending soil texture and better uptake micronutrients via plants as well as provide carbon, and micro-organisms. Also, benefit using such material, instead of adding to garbage and increasing that, causes having a healthier environment. In the other hand, using such material is a cost-effective method for increasing soil quality. To this end, the present study investigated the effects of organic and chemical compounds on spinach growth properties.

To examine the compound effects of organic fertilizers on the quantitative and qualitative properties of spinach, this experiment was carried out at Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch Islamic Azad University in the academic year 1392-1393. The design of this study was completely random and comprised of 8 treatments, including, mushroom compost, mushroom vermicompost, sheep compost, sheep manure vermicompost, cow manure compost, cow manure vermicompost, municipal (urban) compost, chemical fertilizers, and nonfertilizer treatment at two levels of 8% and 12% organic fertilizer volume in 64 plots. The experiment carried out in the field. During harvest time, plant heights and weights were measured. In order to measure the amount of Vitamin C in spinach, 15 ml distilled water and 2 ml reagent were added to 15 ml spinach essence, and the solution was titrated in 0/01 normalized ion containing 16 g potassium iodide per liter. Finally, the amount of Vitamin C was measured. Sugar level was calculated by Refractometer (Model UG-[alpha], ATAGO® ). After device calibration, some of the essence was put on the device surface, and the digit showed the amount of sugar in the plant. Spectrophotometer (Model Perkin-Elmer Lambda 3B UV-Vis) was used to measure chlorophyll. Data analysis was performed by the 19 th version of SPSS, and the Duncan test was utilized to compare the means at 5% level of possibility. The related graphs were plotted using Excel.

  Results Top

This experiment showed how different fertilizer, organic or chemical, affected various traits in Spinach.

[Table 1] shows the results of the analysis of variance based on the Duncan test at 1% possibility level. The analysis of the obtained variance and graphs indicates that the largest spinach size was observed in chemical treatment, mushroom compost 12%, mushroom vermicompost 12% (48, 45.6, and 44 cm high). On the contrary, the lowest height was found at the end of the treatment period following the harvest time in cow manure compost 12% and 8% and in sheep compost 12% and 8% (30.6-32.3 cm high) [Figure 1].
Figure 1: A comparison of means (in cm) of a single plant with manure treatments

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Table 1: The analysis of variance of some measured properties

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According to Bagheri, [8] the plant height can be affected by the environment conditions. In this experiment, these effects were not only in the final stage but also all stage of the growth period. Chemical fertilizers rather than can supply spinach growth nutrients pretty faster leading to an increase in the size of the spinach plants exposed to chemical treatment. However, it should be noted that in addition to supplying plant nutrients via fertilizer treatments, it is essential to have gradual release of nutrient elements occurring in cow or sheep manure treatments, whereas chemical treatments release more than required elements in a short time period. Hence, aside from the qualitative properties of the treatments, more attention should be given to the suitable time span for releasing elements useful for spinach by organic fertilizers.

Vigardt [9] opined that the number of spinach leaves and the plant height is not affected by the volume of extra vermicompost laying a growth bed. This assertion is in line with the findings yielded by this study in which no significant difference was observed in such treatments as cow manure compost 8% and 12%, and sheep manure compost 8% and 12%. Yet, mushroom compost and vermicompost treatments rather than cow and sheep manure and municipal compost showed better achievements in supplying nutrient elements such as nitrogen, potassium and calcium for spinach. [10]

According to the results [Figure 2], vermicompost cow manure 12% and mushroom vermicompost 12% had the most fresh weight (232.6-233.6 g), whereas manure and municipal compost treatments had the least weight (86.6 g) that is equal to the control, the fertilizer-free treatment. Vermicompost cow manure and mushroom vermicompost were rich in nutrients. These treatments likely cause increasing uptake of nutrients, so it leads to promote the weight. In addition, the least weight was for low-quality municipal compost, which was poor in nutrient elements that are useful for the plant growth.
Figure 2: A comparison of the means of a single plant's fresh weight (in g) in manure treatments

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Another focal point of the study was the total amount of solid soluble substances (TSS). Indeed, TSS reflects the amount of sugar in the plant. Although there are various chemical procedures to measure sugar level, TSS method seems to be the simplest way. [12] The analysis of variance [Table 1] showed that applying various manure treatments for the purpose of growing spinach exerts a significant effect on the TSS level at 1% possibility in way that mushroom 12% vermicompost treatment (mean = 8.3) had the maximum level of TSS and 8% municipal compost with 8% mushroom compost (mean = 5) had the minimum TSS level [Figure 3].
Figure 3: A comparison of the total soluble solid means in manure treatments

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A careful review of the related literatures revealed the harvesting time and retention of plant characteristics could increase TSS level which are resulted from the hydrolysis of starch into simple sugars such as glucose and fructose. [12]

It is worth noting that any increase in TSS level accompanies the reduction in organic acids. [13]

The analysis of variance using Duncan test showed that changes in Vitamin C level of the plant were significant at 1% possibility. Comparison of the means illustrated that the maximum amount of Vitamin C was in control group (51.9 ml), whereas the lowest amount of Vitamin C was in 12% cow manure compost (23.5 ml) [Figure 3] and [Figure 4]. In addition, findings showed that in comparison to other treatments, mushroom compost 8% and 12% had the second lowest level of Vitamin C (33-38.8 ml) after cow manure compost. It was proved that adding chemical fertilizer reduces the amount of acid ascorbic in the spinach plant. Ershady [14] reported in his research that chemical fertilizers increased the nitrogen content of the leaves which reduced the acid ascorbic level in spinach and other fruit and vegetable types because in high nitrogen soil, spinach tends to collect nitrate in its structure. [15] This is in conformity with the findings gathered during the present study.
Figure 4: A comparison of the means of Vitamin C level (mg. in 100 ml) in manure treatments

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As shown in [Figure 5], the maximum level of chlorophyll was observed in mushroom vermicompost 8%, mushroom compost 8% and chemical treatments, whereas the minimum level was observed in mushroom compost 12% treatment (that is, the average chlorophyll index falls between 5.6 and 5.13). Besides, in comparison with sheep manure treatment, cow manure compost and vermicompost had a 30% increase in the level of chlorophyll which was in line with finding of Rahimi and Ronaghi. [15]
Figure 5: The maximum level of chlorophyll

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  Conclusion Top

In the last decade, agricultural products have been heavily relied on chemical fertilizers to achieve the higher performance contributed to numerous problems like environmental pollution. Applying nonorganic fertilizers in agriculture (inorganic farming) has manipulated the matter circulation and energy storage and has destroyed the natural role of the ecological system. Organic fertilizers including compost, vermicompost, and animal manures increase soil organic matter, improve soil fertility, and water holding capability. It also creates appropriate aeration and drainage in addition to long-term provision and maintenance of plants and microorganisms nutrients.

Moreover, recirculation of organic leftovers in soil eliminates environmental problems of dealing with the accumulation of these wastes. The findings of this research illustrates that using organic fertilizers including compost and vermicompost have positive effects on plant growth and soil properties. It also increases the available nutrients to the soil which eventually contributes to better stable achievements. Vermicompost treatments also provide elements such as Vitamin B 12 and auxin which stimulate the plant growth. [11] When organic fertilizers decompose, they release absorbable forms of nitrogen, phosphor, potassium, iron, manganese, and zinc for the plant, gradually and continually providing these absorbable nutrients to the plant which is in accord with the above-mentioned findings. [1] This survey suggests using more different levels of manure as well as having some tests on characteristics of manures such as pH, EC, and some elements before starting the experiment and after harvesting.

  Acknowledgment Top

The researcher gives all praise and thanks to Allah, the most merciful, who has given her the strength, health and inspiration of completing this study.

The researcher would also like to express her utmost appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Mehrdad Jafarpour for his guidance and attention.

  References Top

Kheiri Z, Esfandiari M, Cherati A, Amoli N, Ghanizadeh GH. Investigating the Effect of Manure Fertilizers on Nitrate Aggregation in Spinach After Rice Harvest; 1388. Available from: http://www.berenge.com. [Last accessed on 2014 Nov 25].  Back to cited text no. 1
Kallo G, Bergh BO. Genetic Improvement of Vegetable Crop. Percamon Press; 1993. p. 883.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kawazu, Okimura YM, Ishii T, Yui S. Varietals and seasonal difference in oxalate content of spinach. Sci Hortic 2003;97:203-10.  Back to cited text no. 3
Daneshvar M. Planting Vegetables. Ahvaz: Shahid Chamran University Publications; 2010.  Back to cited text no. 4
Salunkhe DK, Kadam SS. Handbook of Vegetable Science and Technology: Production, Compostition, Storage and Processing. Marcel Dekker, Inc.; 1998. p. 721.  Back to cited text no. 5
Salunkhe DK, Bilon HR, Reddy NR. Strong, processing and nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables. Vol. 1. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 1991. p. 85.  Back to cited text no. 6
Singh V, Pande PC, Jain DK. A Text Book of Botany, Angiosperms. India: Rastogi Publications; 1997.  Back to cited text no. 7
Bagheri AA, Zand A, Parsa M. Grains, limitations and guidelines. Mashhad: Jahad Daneshgahi Publicaitons; 1376.  Back to cited text no. 8
Vigardt AL. Influence of Coffee Vermicompost on Growth and Nutrient Quality of Greenhouse Spinach and Field Grown Green Bell Peppers. M.Sc., Thesis. Southern Illinois University Carbondale; 2012.  Back to cited text no. 9
Babai SK. What is vermicompost? Dehaghan: Jahad Keshavarzi Management; 1392.  Back to cited text no. 10
Rubatzky E, Yamaguchi M. World Vegetables, Principles, Production and Nutritive Values. Chapman and hall; 1997. p. 843.  Back to cited text no. 11
Watkins CB, Nock JF, Whitaker BD. Responses of early, mid and late season applecultivars to postharvesl application of l-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) under air and controlled atmos phers storange conditions. Postharvest Biol Technol 2000;19:17-32.  Back to cited text no. 12
Mozafar A. Plant Vitamins: Agronomic, Physiological, and Nutritional Aspects. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1994.  Back to cited text no. 13
Ershady M. Physiology after harvest. Jahad Daneshgahi Publications; 1385.  Back to cited text no. 14
Rahimi T, Ronaghi A. Investigating the effect of different zinc products on cadmium concentration and some low application elements in spinach in the limy soil. Greenhouse Planting Technol 1391;10:101-11.  Back to cited text no. 15


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]

  [Table 1]


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