Assessment of Planting Date, Biological Fertilizer and Intercropping on Yield and Essential Oil of Cumin and Fenugreek



In order to evaluate the effects of different planting dates and biological fertilizers on yield, yield components and essential oil content in Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) intercropping, an experiment was conducted in a split-plot factorial arrangement in a randomized complete block design with three replications in research farm of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in 2009-2010. The experimental treatments were planting date in three levels (5 November, 5 December and 5 March) assigned to main plots, planting pattern in three levels (sole crop of Cumin, sole crop of Fenugreek and intercropping) and fertilizer in three levels (control, Pseudomonas putida and nitroxin fertilizer including: Azotobacter chroococcum + Azospirillum lipoferum) were arranged as factorial layout in subplots. Result showed that there were significant differences between planting dates of cumin and fenugreek in terms of all studied criteria except in harvest index and 1000-seed weight. Seed, biological and essential oil yields of cumin and fenugreek were higher in fall planting dates compared to 5 March planting date. Percentage of infected cumin plants by diseases was decreased in November and December planting dates (7.72 and 7.67%, respectively) compared to March planting date (36.16%). Effects of planting patterns was significant in terms of seed and essential oil yield of cumin and fenugreek. Biological fertilizers had no significant effect on cumin oil yield and had significant effect on fenugreek essential oil yield compared to control treatment. Result showed that the LER for 5 March planting date was rather higher than fall planting dates which indicated the positive effects of cropping system in this planting date. Also, pseudomonas treatment had higher LER compared with nitroxin and control treatments. Generally, the higher seed and essential oil content of cumin and fenugreek were obtained in nitroxin and pseudomonas treatments, respectively, at November planting date.