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Catherine S.M. Ku, John C. Bouwkamp, and Frank R. Gouin

Treatment combinations of four cultivars, 26 mixes, and three fertigation treatments were evaluated in a completely randomized design. Poinsettia cultivars included `V-14 Glory', `Red Sails', `Lilo Pink', and `Annette Hegg'. The 26 mixes were 25%, 33%, and 50% of eight compost sources blended with 1 peat: 1 perlite (v/v), and Sunshine mix and Pro-Gro were the control. The eight compost sources were yard waste, lime and polymer dewatered biosolid, municipal solid waste (MSW), co-composted MSW 1 and 2, crab waste, and poultry litter. Fertigation treatment was began on first, second, or third week after potting. Fertigation solution was 250 mg/L N from 21N–2.2P–15.8K. The controls produced premium quality plants with 38 cm in canopy diameter, 11 total number of branches, and 28 cm in shoot height. Poultry litter, yard waste, polymer dewatered biosolid, crab waste, and MSW produced good quality plants with canopy diameter ranging from 30 to 35 cm. The canopy diameter with 25% compost treatments were 6% to 20% greater than those with 50% compost treatments. Total number of branches, shoot height, canopy diameter, and plant grade with first week fertigation were only 3% greater than those with fertigation delayed 1 or 2 weeks.

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Catherine S.M. Ku, John C. Bouwkamp, and Frank R. Gouin

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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Catherine S.M. Ku, John C. Bouwkamp, and Frank R. Gouin

Maryland Chesapeake Bay crab industry generates ≈20 tons of crab waste annually. The crab waste compost (CWC) was a mixture of crab chum and saw dust that had an initial EC of ≈26 dS·m–1. In Fall 1994, soft-pinched single stem `Annette Hegg Red' poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) in 15-cm azalea pots were grown in media containing Sunshine mix, 1 CWC: S base mix (BM), 1 CWC: 2 BM,. 1 CWC: 1 BM, or 2 CWC: 1 BM. Base mix is a 1 peat: 1 perlite (v/v). Fertigation treatment with 266 mg·liter–1 N from 30N–4.4P–8.8K was began on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd week after potting. The total fertigations ranged from 8 to 10 for the 13-week study. With Sunshine mix, shoot height and canopy diameter were ≈15% greater than with 16% CWC mix and were ≈27% greater than with 67% CWC mix. There was a ≈10% decreased in the shoot height and canopy diameter with increasing %CWC in mix from 17% to 67%, but there was no difference in number of branches among the CWC mixes.