Alice Munuu Mbithi


Beetroot (Beta vulgaris var. crassa L.) is one of the vegetable that is gaining prominence in Kenya due to its high nutritive and medicinal value. While the use of organic fertilizers has been reported to improve growth and yield of crops, majority of beetroot growers mostly use inorganic fertilizers. The result of this has been an increase in cost of production, high levels of residues in soil and environmental pollution. A study was done in the Horticulture Research and Teaching Field, Egerton University to address some of these problems, with the main objective of determining the effects of different application rates of vermicompost (0, 5, 10, 20 and 30t/ha) and a positive control (NPK 17: 17: 17) on growth and yield of beetroot. Growth variables investigated were leaf number (no./plant), plant height (cm), and Leaf Area Index (LAI), while yield variables included root yield, leaf yield and harvest index. Based on the results, vermicompost application at the rate of 30 t/ha increased the plant growth and productivity and therefore can be recommended in the organic production of beetroot.

Key words:  Beetroot, Vermicompost , Growth and Yield , Organic production 

Full Text:



Anonymous. 1968. National Canners Association Laboratory Manual Food Canners and Processors. AVI Publishing Co., Westport, CT. 300 pp.

Arancon NQ, Edwards CA, Atiyeh RM, Metzger JD. 2004. Effects of vermicomposts produced from food waste on greenhouse peppers. Bioresource Technol. 93: 139–144.

Atiyeh RM, Edwards CA, Subler S, Metzger JD. 2001b. Pig manure vermicomposts as a component of a horticultural bedding plant medium: effects on physicochemical properties and plant growth. Bioresource Technol. 78:11–20.

Atiyeh RM, Lee S, Edwards CA, Arancon NQ, Metzger JD. 2002. The influence of humic acids derived from earthworm-processed organic wastes on plant growth. Bioresource Technol. 84:7-14.

Edwards CA, Burrows I. 1988. The potential of earthworm composts as plant growth media in Neuhauser, C.A. (Ed.), Earthworms in Environmental and Waste Management. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, the Netherlands, pp: 211-220.

Hamilton, G., & Hamilton, N. (2011). Organic gardening (New ed., American ed.). New York, N.Y.: DK Pub.

Ismail SA. 1997. Vermicology: The Biology of Earthworms. Orient Longman Ltd., Chennai, India.

Jaetzold, R., & Schmidt, H. (1983). Farm Management Handbook of Kenya. Vol. II Natural Conditions and Farm Management Information. Part B. Central Kenya (Rift Valley and Central Province). Ministry of Agriculture. pp. 389-413. Nairobi, Kenya.

Kinyanjui, H. C. (1979). Detailed soil survey of Tatton Farm, Egerton College, Njoro. Ministry of Agriculture-National Agricultural Laboratories. Nairobi, Kenya.

Ladan Moghadam AR, Oraghi Ardebili Z, Saidi F. 2012. Vermicompost induced changes in growth and development of Lilium Asiatic hybrid var.

Lu, G., J.K. Fellman, C.G. Edwards, D.S. Mattinson and J. Navazio. 2003. ‘Quantitative determination of geosmin in red beets (Beta vulgaris L.) using headspace solid-phase microextraction’, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 51:1021-1025.

Rubatzky, V.E. and M. Yamaguchi. 1998. World Vegetbales: Principles, Production, and Nutritive Values. Chapman & Hall. New York. 572 pp.

SAS Institute. 2005. Step by Step Basic Statistics Using SAS: Student Guide; Version 9.1. Cary, SAS Institute Inc., North Carolina, USA. 40 pp.

Srivastava PK, Gupta M, Kumar Upadhyay R, Sharma S, Shikha S, Singh N, Tewari S, Singh B. 2012. Effects of combined application of vermicompost and mineral fertilizer on the growth of Allium cepa L. and soil fertility. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci. 175: 101–107.

Werner, M. and R. Cuevas. 1996. Vermiculture in Cuba. Biocycle. Emmaus, PA., JG Press. 37:61-62.

Winkler, C., Wirleitner, B., & Schroecksnadel, K. (2005). In vitro Effects of Beet Root Juice on Stimulated and Unstimulated Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 1 (4), 180-185.


  • There are currently no refbacks.