in HortScience

The effects of amending soil with processed municipal waste (PMW), and the interaction of PMW with trenching, irrigation rates, and fertilizer rates on growth, and yield of tomato plants were tested. In a series of experiments, two rates of each of the following PMWs were incorporated into calcareous limestone soil: 1) Agrisoil (processed trash), 2) Daorganite (processed sewage sludge), 3) Eweson compost (processed trash and sludge), and 4) no PMW (control). In some experiments, secondary applications of PMW were applied to the beds at either a high rate, a low rate or not applied (control). There was no effect of secondary PMW applications on growth or yield. Generally, plants grown on trenched plots had greater growth and yield than plants on non-trenched plots. Plants grown in Daorganite had greater growth and yield than plants grown in the other PMWs. Plants in Daorganite tended to have higher photosynthelic and transpiration rates than plants in the other treatments. For all treatments, plants grown at one-half the standard fertilizer rate had less growth than plants receiving higher fertilizer rates. There was no interaction between irrigation rate and PMW for photosynthesis, growth, or yield. Plants grown in Daorganite had the greatest growth and tended to have greater yields, regardless of the fertilizer or irrigation rate. Processed trash composts (Agrisoil and Eweson) did not increase growth and yield, which may have been due to suboptimal application rates of these materials. Further studies are underway incorporating higher rates of these materials into the soil.

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