biosolids stream ( City of Tacoma, 2011 ). It has become accepted by users as a quality potting substrate and garden amendment. The city produces about 4000 yard 3 of Tagro Potting Soil annually, using 25% of their biosolids stream. Biosolids composts have
Rita L. Hummel, Craig Cogger, Andy Bary and Robert Riley
Douglas T. Linde and Lawrence D. Hepner
Using composted biosolid waste as a soil amendment for turfgrass is becoming a common method for disposing of municipal waste. This study was conducted to evaluate turfgrass seed and sod establishment on subsoil amended with various rates of biosolid compost. To a soil that had its A-horizon removed, biosolid compost derived from sewage sludge was incorporated at rates of 0, 132, 270, and 402 yard3/acre. A fifth treatment included a single application of fertilizer at time of sowing. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) was seeded immediately after treatment application. The treatments were repeated on an adjacent area using kentucky bluegrass sod. For 1.5 years, turfgrass percent cover, color, density, and weeds were evaluated. Overall, the compost performed well as a soil amendment for turfgrass. A 2- to 3-inch depth of compost appeared to be the best incorporation rate for the soil and compost used in this study. High salinity and excessive ammonium nitrogen (NH4-N) levels in the compost-amended soil at the time of establishment caused a 2- to 3-week delay in seed and sod establishment. After the 2 to 3 weeks, the compost-amended plots outperformed the one-time fertilized plots in turfgrass color and density. Turf managers may want to account for the delay in establishment when incorporating a 60-day-cured compost.
Edward L. McCoy
), have OM contents smaller than this limit. Interestingly, composts (particularly biosolids compost) have been successfully used in sand-based root zones when the compost material has OM content as low as 600 g·kg −1 and compost OM contents rarely exceed
Kimberly A. Klock-Moore
Growth of `Oasis Scarlet' begonia (Begonia ×semperflorens-cultorum Hort.) and `Super Elfin Violet' impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook. f.) was compared in substrates containing compost made from used greenhouse substrates and yard trimmings (GHC) and in compost made from biosolids and yard trimmings (SYT). Treatments consisted of 100% compost (GHC or SYT) or compost combined with control substrate components at 60%, 30%, or 0%. Substrates containing SYT compost produced significantly larger begonia and impatiens plants than substrates containing GHC compost. Higher initial substrate nutrient concentrations in substrates containing SYT probably prompted increased begonia and impatiens growth because substrates containing SYT compost had significantly higher initial soluble salt, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations than substrates containing GHC compost. Begonia and impatiens shoot dry mass and size linearly increased as the percentage of SYT compost in the substrate increased from 0% to 100%. However, no difference in begonia or impatiens growth was observed among the different percentages of GHC compost. Initial soluble salt, N, P, K, Ca, and Mg concentrations also linearly increased as the percentage of SYT increased while only initial P, K, and Ca concentrations linearly increased as the percentage of GHC increased.
Mary Ann Rose and Hao Wang
Micronutrient supplements were applied to container rhododendron (Rhododendron L. × `Girards Scarlet' [Girard Evergreen Hybrid Group]) in three forms: uncoated micronutrient fertilizer; slow-release, NPK-plus-minors fertilizer; and biosolids compost (15% v/v). Control plants received no supplement. While all micronutrient treatments had significantly higher foliar Mn or Cu concentrations than controls 1 year after potting, they did not increase growth (dry weight) or plant quality. At 1, 3, and 12 months after potting, the compost treatment had significantly higher diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable levels of Mn, Fe, and Zn in the medium. Only one micronutrient fertilizer treatment increased extractable micronutrient concentrations (Cu) on all testing dates. Correlations between medium-extractable and foliar micronutrient concentrations were low (r 2 < 0.30). Vigorous growth in the control treatment suggested that adequate levels of micronutrients were supplied by the pine bark-hardwood bark-peat-sand medium. September concentrations [ppm (mg·L-1)] as low as 2.0 Mn, 17.8 Fe, 0.3 Cu, 4.2 Zn, and 0.9 B in DTPA extracts produced acceptable growth in rhododendron through the following June.
Michele Krucker, Rita L. Hummel and Craig Cogger
subirrigation system. Alternative substrates include biosolids compost, an uncomposted class A biosolids ( U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1994 ) blend, dairy manure compost, and solids from an anaerobic dairy manure digester. Our objectives were to 1
Tara A. O'Brien and Allen V. Barker
This research evaluated production of wildflower sods in soil and composts of mixed municipal solid waste, biosolids and woodchips, fall leaves, and mixed agricultural wastes. Soil or composts were laid on plastic sheeting in outdoor plots, and a mixture of wildflower seeds was sown in July and in September in separate experiments. Quality of sods was assessed in two growing seasons. Best sods with respect to seed germination, stand establishment, and intensity and diversity of bloom over two seasons occurred in mature biosolids compost and in agricultural waste compost. These composts were low in ammonium but rich in total N. Germination and growth of wildflowers were limited by high ammonium concentrations in immature biosolids composts. Nitrogen deficiency limited sod growth and quality in leaf composts. Poor N nutrition and weed competition restricted sod production in soil. Fertilization of soil promoted unacceptably large weed growth. Summer seeding or fall seeding resulted in good sods, but many annual flowers that appeared in the summer seeding were absent in the fall-seeded planting. Using plastic-lined plots was a convenient system for evaluating composts and other media in outdoor culture.
Jae H. Han, George L. Good* and Harold M. Van Es
Field experiments were conducted in 1998 and 1999 to determine the effect of soil-incorporated, composted municipal biosolids on the growth and nutrient content of 30.8 cm-38.5 cm Rhododendron × `PJM' grown as containerized plants. Biosolid compost produced in Endicott, N.Y., was incorporated in May 1998 and 1999 at rates of 0, 9.8 Mg/ha and 19.7 megag/ha to a depth of 23 cm. Each treatment was replicated six times in a randomized block design. Plants were planted 10 June 1998 and 8 June 1999. Plants were harvested 10 June, 19 Aug., and 22 Oct. 1998 and 8 June and 22 Sept.1999 after which they were dried, weighed, and analyzed. During 1998, there was little difference in dry weight or nutrient content in plants harvested at the August harvest date, however, dry weight and most nutrient levels increased with increasing rates of compost application in plants harvested at the October harvest date. In 1999, no statistical differences were noted at the September harvest date in plant dry weight or nutrient content. In 1999, measured soil physical properties (water retention, bulk density, water content, and soil strength) did not differ significantly between treatments. Excellent soil structure and drainage, relatively low rates of compost application and a severe drought may have contributed to the lack of any conclusive results noted in 1999 though some positive plant responses to the treatments were evident in 1998.
Paul Wiley, Carlos H. Crisosto, R. Scott Johnson and Harry Andris
Fruit quality, storage potential, and consumer acceptance were evaluated for `Elegant Lady' peach fruit from non-conventional and conventional fertilizer management systems. Conventional treatments were fertilized with synthetic sources of nitrogen (ammonium nitrate), while the non-conventional plots received organic sources of nitrogen such as vetch cover, biosolids compost, grass compost, chicken manure, or steer manure. Fertilization treatments were applied at high (300 N unit per acre) and low rates (100 N unit/acre) 2 years before the first postharvest evaluation. Evaluations were carried out for three seasons. There were no significant differences in fruit firmness (N) measured at different fruit positions, soluble solids concentration (%), pH, titratable acidity (% malic acid), water loss susceptibility (%), rate of softening, red color (%), or inking incidence. The incidence of flesh browning, mealiness, and flesh bleeding was only related to storage time and not to the fertilizer source. Therefore, the storage potential was not affected by the nitrogen fertilizer source. In our in-store consumer preference test during the 1995 season, 950 consumers did not perceive any taste differences between fruit from the different nitrogen fertilizer sources. Despite this, consumers still would prefer to buy fruit produced using an organic source of nitrogen rather than synthetic sources.
Brent L. Black and Richard H. Zimmerman
Highbush blueberry plants require low-pH, well-drained sandy soils. To increase the range of sites available for highbush blueberry production, by-products were tested as constituents in soilless media and as soil amendments. By-products, including coal ash, municipal biosolid compost, leaf compost, and acid peat, were combined in different proportions and compared to Berryland sand (alone) and Manor clay loam (alone and compost-amended) for a total of 10 media treatments. The pH of all treatment media was adjusted to 4.5 with sulfur. One-year-old tissue-cultured plants of `Bluecrop' and `Sierra' were planted in 15-L pots containing the pH-adjusted treatment media in 1997, producing their first substantial crop in 1999. For the 1999 crop, ripe fruit was harvested at weekly intervals over 5 weeks. ANOVA for yield indicated a significant cultivar × media interaction. `Bluecrop' appeared more sensitive to media treatment as yields on Manor clay loam were 80% less than on Berryland sand. Yields of `Bluecrop' on coal ash-compost mixes were similar to that of Berryland sand, and 1:1 coal ash:compost mixes produced significantly higher yields than did the 3:1 mixes. Yield of `Sierra' on Manor clay loam was 41% less than on Berryland sand, and plants growing on soilless mixes yielded 17% to 58% more than those on Berryland sand. `Bluecrop' fruit size was greatest for Berryland sand, but did not differ significantly among coal ash-compost mixes. For all media treatments, `Sierra' fruit size was inversely correlated with yield. Fruit from `Bluecrop' plants on coal ash-compost mixes ripened slightly earlier than on Berryland sand, but ripening date of `Sierra' did not vary significantly with soil treatment. The potential for employing these by-product mixes in small-scale commercial blueberry production will be discussed.