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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.

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institutions; wood wastes from construction, demolition, or both; wastewater (from water treatment plants); and biosolids (sewage sludge). Agriculture produces other organic wastes that can be composted: poultry, dairy, horse, feedlot, and swine manures; wastes

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+ 50% biosolids (BS), 100% municipal yard waste compost (compost), or 65% PB + 35% cottonseed hulls (CH) mixed with 0%, 15%, 30%, or 60% expanded shale (v/v). Total porosity. Total porosities for the four blends of organic materials without expanded

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soluble nutrients and organic C to soil ( Johnson et al., 2006a ), a high C- to-N ratio of composted municipal biosolids (CMB) reportedly limited turfgrass growth rate and development of dark green color ( Linde and Hepner, 2005 ). If the balance of N

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Top-dressings of composted municipal biosolids (CMB) increase nutrient concentrations in soil and clippings and enhance turfgrass color, quality, and growth ( Garling and Boehm, 2001 ; Hansen et al., 2007 ; Johnson et al., 2005 ). In addition

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Canadian environmental policies are aimed at reducing by 50%. the quantities of refuses intended for landfill by year 2000. In this perspective, landspreading and composting biosolids have been investigated as solutions. Paper sludges, wood wastes, and municipal solid wastes (MSW) are important components of landfill biosolids, but they are attractive by-products for agricultural use. Research projects were initiated to characterize the paper sludges produced by Daishowa Co. in Quebec City, wood wastes produced by Hydro-Quebec, and MSW composts produced from waste treatment at RITDM (Chertsey) and Conporec (Sorel). De-inked paper sludge and wood wastes have been landspreaded for growing potato and landscaping, whereas composted paper sludges have been evaluated as part of potting media for growing greenhouse plants and landspreaded for turfgrass production. The chemical and biological characteristics of these biosolids were investigated for their fertilization potential and their effect on plant growth.

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Composts of agricultural by-products (chicken manure and cranberry pomace), biosolids and woodchips, biosolids mixed municipal solid wastes, and autumn leaves were evaluated for production of turfgrass or wildflower sods. The best sods measured by establishment and growth of stands were in the agricultural compost, which was rich in N (avg. 1.7%) and low in NH4 + (avg. 135 mg N/kg). High NH4 + limited stand establishment with immature biosolids-based composts. Some of these immature composts had total N concentrations >2%. Leaf compost was too low in total N (<0.7%) to support sod production without supplemental fertilization. Aging of each compost improved its capacity to support sod production, apparently as a result of changes in the N status of the media. Growth of soilborne weeds was promoted by incorporation of composts into soil or by application of composts as mulches. A barrier mulch of paper or other materials that impeded weed emergence effected weed control. Use of a mature compost with adequate N and control of weeds are essential practices for sod establishment with composts. E-mail barker@pssci.umass.edu

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An agricultural compost of chicken manure and cranberry pomace, a municipal compost of biosolids and mixed municipal solid wastes, and a compost of autumn leaves were evaluated for production of turfgrass sods and wildflower sods. Composts made during the year of the experiment and one-year-old composts were compared. The experiment was conducted outdoors with composts layered on sheets of plastic laid on the soil surface. The sheets of plastic controlled soil-borne weeds and facilitated harvest of sods. The best sods measured by stand and growth were produced with the agricultural compost, which was rich in N (avg. 1.7%) and low in NH4+ (avg. 135 mg/kg). High NH4+ (>900 mg/kg) appeared to limit stand establishment with the fresh municipal compost. The leaf compost was too low in N to support sod growth without fertilization. Aging of each compost improved its capacity to support sod production, apparently as a result of changes in the N status in the media.

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Supported by Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, Camden, NJ 08101.

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Florida Agricultural Experiment Station journal series R-08799. The authors appreciate AllGro, Inc., West Palm Beach, Fla., Consolidated Resources Recovery, Sarasota, Fla., and Sumter County Solid Waste Facility, Fla. for providing composted

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