Journal of Experimental Agriculture International,
The cherry tomato crop has a high production cost, which can be reduced in part using alternative substrates. The objective of this study was to evaluate the different alternative substrates for production of cherry tomato seedlings. The experiment was performed in a completely randomized design with five treatments (T1: Bioplant® commercial substrate (control treatment); T2: Earthworm humus; T3: Soil; T4: Mixture of 50% soil + 50% earthworm humus; T5: Mixture of 75% soil + 25% earthworm humus) in four replicates. Seedlings were collected and evaluated at 28 days after sowing. There was significant effect of the substrates in relation to the traits plant height, leaf number, fresh matter of aerial part and dry matter of aerial part. Based on the dry matter of aerial part, the treatments T1, T2, T4, and T5 presented the best plant development due to the accumulation of photoassimilates. Most of the alternative substrates had similar behavior to the commercial substrate, being reflected in the plant vigor and yield. Finally, we concluded that there are alternative substrates capable of replacing the commercial substrate. The T5 treatment is the most indicated, since it did not differ from the commercial substrate in relation to the agronomic traits and presented a production cost of only 24% in relation to the commercial substrate cost.