STRAWBERRY GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THREE MINESOILS AMENDED WITH SLUDGE, HARDWOOD BARK OR A SUDAN-SORGHUM GREEN MANURE CROP.

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  • 1 West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26056-6108.

Strawberry (Fragaria × Anaassa cv. Tribute) plants were planted in 15 cm standard pots filled with overburden soils from three West Virginia surface mine sites. Initial pH levels were 6.5, 4.4, and 3.6. Prior to planting pH levels were adjusted with CaCO3 to 6.5-6.7 in each soil. Each soil was amended by mixing in 60.85 g/pot (62.5 dry kg/ha) of sewage sludge, Sudan-sorghum hybrid green manure crop, hardwood residues, or unamended. A dry fertilizer (.10-.045-,089, N-P-K) was also mixed into the soil at a rate of 0.5 g/pot (454 kg/ha). Plants were grown from 3-6 to 10-16, 1992, on which date harvests and measurements were performed. The sludge treatments significantly increased fresh and dry weight accumulation, number of leaves, leaf area, and number of runners per plant above that of the control plants. The hardwood residues amendment delayed first date of ripe fruit and decreased average fruit fresh weight in one of the soils. Hardwood residues also decreased leaf number in another soil. The pH levels were raised to 6.8-7.3 by the sludge in all soils and remained at or near these values during the growing period.

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