Intercropping Hoophouse-Grown Tomatoes with Oyster Mushrooms (Pleaurotus ostrearotus) Reduces the Need of Phosphorous Fertilizer in Wyoming
presentationposted on 14.06.2017, 00:00 by Rael Otuya
Hoophouse tomato production in short growing season region remains vital to meet local consumer needs in Wyoming. Yield optimization is a challenge especially due to poor soil fertility and specifically, phosphorous (P) limitations. Sustainable integrated system that augment tomato yield by enhancing P is a key to successful production of tomatoes and possibly other vegetables. Planting edible mushrooms with tomatoes can help improve crop yields and provide additional high value crop but the information on such practice for the growing conditions in Wyoming where soil is marginally productive is limited. The study was established in May, 2015 in high tunnel at the University of Wyoming Students ACRES Farm. The main objective was to quantify the effect of intercropping different varieties of tomatoes with edible mushrooms on fruit crop and phosphorus (P) content and to compare the yield response with tomatoes grown with different fertilizer P rates. We hypothesized that mushrooms would produce fungal hyphae that extends out to greater riches of the soil thus increasing soil P solubility and availability to plants. The study consisted of a series of treatments arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Main treatments are tomato variety and P fertilizer amendment. We found that intercropping tomatoes with edible mushrooms perform equally well and comparable with P fertilizer. Producing edible mushrooms in addition to tomatoes creates an additional economic incentive.