Improving Onion Productivity via Applying Humic Substances and Natural stimulants under drip irrigation system

Document Type : Original Article


1 Water and Environment Research Institute, Agriculture Research Centre, El-Gama St., Giza, 12619, Egypt

2 Soil, Water and environment Research Institute, Agric. Res. Center, Egypt

3 agricultural research institute

4 Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute


In Egypt, the aim is to increase onion productivity through the application of natural and organic stimulants, harnessing sustainable agricultural practices to meet the growing demand for this essential crop. By adopting these methods, farmers strive to enhance yields while minimizing environmental impact, thus contributing to the nation's food security and economic stability. Therefore, a field experiment was executed under drip irrigation system over two consecutive seasons (2022/23 and 2023/24) to assess the efficacy of applying potassium humate and potassium fulvate at a rate of 5.0 kg per feddan. These compounds, derived from organic matter, served as the main factor alongside the control group. Additionally, natural stimulants, such as onion extract (250.0 ml L-1), garlic extract (250.0 ml L-1), ginger extract (2%) and moringa extract (2%), applied via spraying, were examined as the sub main factor alongside the control group. Various traits were assessed and quantified, including leaves chemical constituents (N,P,K,%) and chlorophyll content at 85 days after transplanting. Additionally, physical and quality characteristics of bulbs, such as bulb weight and diameter, neck diameter, total bulb yield, and marketable bulb yield, were measured. Furthermore, the bulbs' content of vitamin C, total dissolved solids, total sugar, dry matter, fiber, anthocyanin, pyruvic acid, carbohydrates and protein were determined. Concerning humic substances, the highest values for all examined traits were observed when potassium fulvate was applied, followed by potassium humate and then the control group. As for the natural stimulants, the most effective treatment was moringa extract, followed by ginger extract, garlic extract, and finally onion extract, with all natural stimulants showing better performance compared to the control group. Generally, treating onion plants with potassium fulvate in conjunction with spraying moringa extract yielded the most favourable results. By adopting sustainable agricultural practices and incorporating these effective treatments, farmers can optimize yields while minimizing environmental impact, thereby contributing to national food security and economic stability.


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