Evaluation of Composted Municipal Sludge and Composted Yard Waste on Strawberries

in HortScience
Authors: R.C. Funt1 and A.K. Hummell1
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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210-1096

Compost increases nutrient availability, cation exchange capacity, and micronutrients in the soil. In urban areas, yard waste consisting of grass clippings, leaves, and woody materials can be composted. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of soil-composted municipal sludge and soil-composted yard waste mixtures on strawberry plants grown in the greenhouse. Earliglow strawberry plants were planted in pots containing a soil mix of 0%, 10%, 20%, or 40% by volume of composted municipal sludge or composted yard waste. Plants were grown in the greenhouse with supplemental lighting. Soil-compost mixes having greater the 90 mhos of soluble salts were detrimental to the plants; plant survival was reduced by 80% in the 40% composted sludge–soil mix within 2 weeks after transplanting. Plants survived and grew in all other treatments. Composted yard waste at 20% to 40% by volume increased leaf K and B, but decreased P, Ca, and Mg.

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