WILDFLOWER MEADOW ESTABLISHMENT IN MEDIA PREPARED FROM MINERAL ORE CO-PRODUCT AND COCOMPOSTED SOLID WASTE PLUS SEWAGE SLUDGE

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  • 1 Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717-1303

Ten 10 wildflower species grew satisfactorily in a 1:1 (vol.) mix of Ironrich (IR, mineral co-product of the titanium dioxide industry) and Fairgrow (FG, co-composted sewage sludge and solid waste). Shoot fresh weights in the low fertility IR and in the high fertility FG averaged 35% and 157%, respectively, those grown in IR+FG. Wildflower establishment in 10cm-deep outdoor seedbeds of IR, FG, or IR+FG were compared to those in soil (control) plots. Maximum percentage seedling emergence and emergence rate and synchrony were lower in FG than in IR, values in IR+FG being intermediate and similar to those for control plots. Shoot fresh weights, however, were greater from the IR+FG than from IR, FG or the control plots. Total shoot dry weights of wildflowers from 1 m2 subplots after 3 months were FG > IR = IR+FG > control, being respectively 8.4, 8.5, 5.1 and 1.1% those of total shoot dry weights of weeds.

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