Acceptability of Dried Papaya (Carica Papaya) Leaves as Mulch for Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Plants Compared to Synthetic Fertilizer
A Research Paper Presented to the Faculty and Staff of
Dueñas General Comprehensive High School
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Subject Research II
By: Krystel Mae Labid
Zaira Gwyn Harder
Ashley Nicole Redoña
Background of the Study
The papaya leaves used in mulching is a small tropical tree with a straight stem marked by scars where leaves have fallen directly from it. Papayas do not have branches. The papaya fruit is pear-shaped with a bright golden-yellow skin. The flesh of the fruit is a brighter orange-yellow, juicy and silky smooth, with a sweet and sour flavor. The shiny gray or black seeds in the interior of the fruit have a peppery taste and are edible, although they are usually discarded. The papaya is an extraordinarily useful plant. In the tropics around the world papaya is the breakfast fruit, served either green or ripe. The juice is a popular beverage, and the leaves and young stems are steamed and served as a vegetable. The fruit yields an enzyme, papain, best known as a digestive aid but most commonly used to "clear" freshly brewed beer. The latex is used as a freckle remover, and the seed has antibacterial action against Bacillus cereus, Escherischia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Shigella flexneri. The leaves have been used as a substitute for soap, and for dressing wounds.
The leaf contains beta-carotene, calcium, carpaine, fats, flavonols, niacin, papain, tannins, and vitamin C (in higher concentration in the leaf than in the fruit). The leaf, unlike the fruit, is not a source of the protein-dissolving enzyme papain, but the latex (sap) in the leaf stem is. Papain remains in leaf preparations that have been dried over low heat, but it may be destroyed in products that are dried at high heat. Parts Used
Fertilizers are natural or artificial substances containing the chemical elements that improve growth and productiveness of plants. Fertilizers enhance the natural fertility of the soil or replace the chemical elements taken from the soil by previous crops. There are two kinds of this, synthetic fertilizers and organic fertilizer which may also be referred to as mulch. Synthetic Fertilizers are “Man made” inorganic compounds - usually derived from by-products of the petroleum industry. Synthetic fertilizers/Chemical fertilizers add nutrients to the soil, but they don’t add anything else. Plants need more than just nutrients to survive. They also need organic matter and living organisms. Synthetic fertilizers do not support microbiological life in the soil because since they are composed of high concentrations of mineral salts, they actually kill a significant percentage of beneficial microorganisms which are responsible for breaking down organic matter into a stable amendment for improving soil quality and fertility and for decomposition, and soil formation. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, feed your plants while building the soil's structure. Soils with lots of organic material, remain loose and airy, are better able to hold moisture and nutrients, foster growth of soil organisms, including earthworms, and promote healthier root development. Another advantage of organic fertilizers, is that they are made from plant and animal sources, or from rock powders. These materials need to be broken down by soil microbes in order for their nutrients to be released, and that takes time. Because organic fertilizer works slowly, it provides long-term nutrition and steady, rather than excessive growth.
In a tropical country like the Philippines, fruit bearing trees such as papaya, calamansi, banana and the like are abundant. The group believes that leaves falling from these trees must be put to meaningful use. And as...
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