A number of waste materials and byproducts (such as animal manure, municipal solid waste composts, and sewage sludge) are used currently in agricultural crop production. Human hair waste generated by barbershops typically would be disposed of at waste sites, landfilled, or composted along with other municipal solid wastes. Previous research has demonstrated that noncomposted human hair waste with an addition of municipal solid waste compost can be used as nutrient source for crops (Zheljazkov, 2005). However, there is no published research on the use of human hair as an exclusive nutrient source for greenhouse container production, although human hair waste based products have been commercially available to crop producers in the last couple of years (SmartGrow, FL City, FL).
The hypothesis of this study was that commercially available noncomposted hair waste cubes would support plant growth and the development of two consecutive crops (double cropping) and could be used as a sole nutrient source. The objective was to compare the productivity of four crops grown in commercial growth medium in pots with the following treatments: untreated control, noncomposted hair cubes at 2.5%, 5%, and 10% by weight, a controlled-release fertilizer (CRF), and water-soluble fertilizer (WSF). As model plants, we used four container-grown crops: lettuce, wormwood, yellow poppy, and feverfew.
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