Container and field experiments were conducted to evaluate sheep wool wastes and human hair wastes as soil amendments and nutrient sources for high-value crops. Overall, wool-waste or hair-waste additions to soil increased yields from basil, garden sage, peppermint, valerian, thorn apple, marigold, foxglove, and swiss chard; increased the amount of secondary metabolites (such as essential oils and alkaloids); increased NH4-N and NO3-N in the soil; and increased total N (and protein) content in plant tissue. The wool-waste or hair-waste additions did not affect soil microbial biomass, but decreased mycorrhizae colonization of plant roots. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) analyses indicated that some of the wool and hair in soil from the container and field experiments (after two field seasons and several harvests) retained its original structure, a significant amount of S, some N, and was not fully decomposed. Results from this study suggest that wool and hair wastes can be used as soil amendment and nutrient source for high-value container or field crops.
Leuzea, or Maralroot, is a perennial medicinal plant originating from Siberia, and is characterized with significant metabolic and tonic effects. A 3-year study was conducted at the Research Institute for Roses, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Kazanluk, Bulgaria, on the introduction of various genotypes of Leuzea (Rhaponticum carthamoides Willd/Iljin.) from the Altai region, Russia. Phenological observations, and up to 11 morphological indices were characterized for 1-, 2-, and 3-year-old plants. Generally, it was found that the climatic and soil conditions in the region were not very favorable for the growth and development of Leuzea. Also, for the tested region, Leuzea should be grown only under irrigation. Yields of Leuzea roots and rhizomes reached 7.19 t/ha in the 2nd year, and up to 8.62 t/ha in the 3rd year. Yields of aboveground herbage were up to 8.73 t/ha when plants were harvested at the beginning of blossoming. Second cut of the above-ground herbage of Leuzea was not satisfactory under the climatic conditions of the region. When grown for seed production, seed yields during the 3rd year were up to 128 kg/ha. Leuzea may have a potential as a cash crop for the region if grown for seed production.
One small-plotfield and five container experiments were conducted to evaluate sheep wool-wastes and human hair-wastes as soil amendments and nutrient sources for high-value crops. Overall, the wool-waste or hair-waste addition to soil: 1) increased yields from basil, garden sage, peppermint, valerian, thorn apple, marigold, foxglove, and swiss chard; 2) increased the amount of secondary metabolites (such as essential oils and alkaloids); 3) increased NH4-N and NO3-N in soil; 4) increased total N (and protein) content in plant tissue; 5) did not affect soil microbial biomass; and 6) decreased mycorrhizae colonization of plant roots. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analyses indicated that some of the wool and hair in soil from the container and field experiments (after two field seasons and several harvests) retained its original structure, retained a significant amount of S and some N, and was not fully decomposed. Our results indicate that single addition of wool or hair-waste of 0.33% by weight to soil would support two to five harvests or crops, without addition of other fertilizers, and may improve soil biological and chemical characteristics.
Bulgaria is famous for its 330-year-old-tradition in rose oil production, which is based on the Kazanluk rose (Rosa damascena Mill. f. trigintipetala Dieck.). The Bulgarian rose oil (otto) is recognized as the ultimate rose oil. For successful selection and breeding work of oil-bearing roses, information is needed on the variation of morphological and phenological characteristics and essential oil composition of locally available genotypes. We estimated the correlation coefficients between yields and morphological characteristics of 15 genotypes of Bulgarian oil-bearing rose. It was found that rose yields depended mostly on the number of flowers, the number of flower branches per bush, and the weight of individual flowers (r = 0.99, 0.88, and 0.84, respectively). Also, we established correlations between the concentrations of various essential oil constituents of the Bulgarian rose oil. Generally, higher concentration of citronellol + nerol was associated with lower concentration of geraniol and stereo-terpens (r = –0.76 and –0.59, respectively). Also, higher concentration of citronellol + nerol was positively correlated to increased concentration of terpene aldehydes (r = 0.63) and esters (r = 0.48). The geraniol concentration was positively correlated to stearoptenes (r = 0.57). Both morphological characteristics and essential oil constituents should be used for further selection of high-yielding cultivars with desirable essential oil composition.