Municipal Solid Waste Compost and Fertigation Frequency on Growth of Potted Poinsettia

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-5611.

Municipal solid waste (MSW) may be a potential substitute for peat substrate in soilless medium. Adequate N and P are needed for a complete composting of MSW. MSW piles treated with diammonium phosphate (MSWP) or without P on Mar. 1994 were cured for 5 months. In Fall 1994, a factorial treatment combination of nine mixes and 3 fertigation treatments were evaluated in a completely randomized design on soft-pinched, single-stem `Red Sail' poinsettia. Mixes were MSW or MSWP ranging from 33% to 100% by volume in 1 peat: 1 perlite (v/v) and Sunshine mix was used as the control. Fertigation treatment began on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd week after potting. Fertigation solution contained 266 mg·liter–1 N from 30N–4.4P–8.8K. The total fertigations ranged from eight to 10 for the 13-week study. With MSW mixes, shoot dry mass at the week 1 fertigation was 36% larger than at the week 3 fertigation. At the week 3 fertigation, shoot dry mass with 100% MSWP was ≈53% greater than with the 100% MSW. Shoot dry mass with 100% MSWP was similar to the control at the week 1 fertigation.

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