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Jayasinghe PS, Pahalawattaarachchi V, Ranaweera KKDS. Effect of Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer on Plant Growth of Capsicum annum.
Discovery, 2016, 52(244), 723-734

Seaweed contains all the trace elements and growth hormones required by plants. Recently there is a growing concern over the use of seaweed liquid fertilizer (SLF). Today, there is a high demand for environment friendly agriculture for production of quality and healthy food to nourish the increasing population. The present study investigates the effect of seaweed extract, from Ulvalactuca, Sargusum wightti, Kapphaphycus alvarezii and Gracilaria verrucosa on the seed germination and plant growth of Capsicum annum. The Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer (SLF) was tested both with and without chemical fertilizers.The experiment was arranged in randomized Complete Block design (RCBD) with nine treatments four replications. Once a week a different Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer (SLF) individually and different SLF concentrations in combination with Recommended rate of Chemical Fertilizer (RCF) were applied to plants after germination and transplanting. Their performance was recorded once in two weeks. The average maximum fresh shoot height (15cm) and the dry weight (0.856g) were observed in application of foliar spray SLF75% plus RCF extracted from Sargussum wightti and Kapphaphycus alvarezii respectively.Seaweed extract 75% SLF withRCF increased significantly to root dry weight, number of leaves, number of flowers, number of pods, pod length over the control respectively in seaweed extracts from Sargussum wightti, Gracilaria verrucosa,Sargussum wightti and Ulvalactuca. The seaweed liquid fertilizer of each species with 100% (SLF only) foliar application was less effective on increase in above parameters than combined fertilizers (SLF plus CRF), but also has significant effect on increase in shoot height and other growth parameters when compared to control and recommended rate of chemical Fertilizer (RCF) only. Therefore, it could be concluded that combined effect in (SLF 75% plus CRF) foliar application could have met the requirement of micro nutrients in chili crop than SLF individually. The SLF -75% plus CRF foliar application of Sargussum wightti significantly increased several growth parameters such as shoot weight, root weight, number of leaves and number of pods when compared to the extracts preparation from other species. SLF applications in combination with CRF are proposed to be used for enhance the growth, yield and quality of Capsicum annum.

Keywords: seaweed extracts, germination, plant growth, liquid, fertilizer