Compost Utilization for Vegetable Crops: Research and Grower Use

in HortScience
Author: Nancy E. Roe1
View More View Less
  • 1 Texas A&M Research and Extension Center, Rt. 2 Box 1 Stephenville, TX 76401

Utilization of municipal waste composts on vegetable crops may be advantageous if research can determine appropriate product maturity and quality standards, application methods and rates, application timing, and supplemental nutrient requirements. Experiments using compost for seed germination and seedling growth indicate that mixtures of compost with amendments such as perlite and vermiculite result in acceptable growth rates, but often require additional N and K for optimum growth. In the field, compost generally improves soil characteristics for vegetable crop growth. Tests using compost rates from 12 to 336 t·ha–1 either increased or did not change yields of vegetable crops. Highest yields are often produced from a combination of composts with additional nutrient sources. When the composts were used as mulches, vegetable crop growth and production were generally higher than from plants in unmulched plots, but lower than those from plots with polyethylene mulches. If growers are to accept the use of composts, the compost must be a consistent product, and yield increases must be high enough to justify the costs of transporting and applying the compost.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 49 13 1
PDF Downloads 77 32 1