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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1146: III International Symposium on Organic Matter Management and Compost Use in Horticulture

Spent mushroom substrate as organic fertilizer: vegetable organic trials

Authors:   V. Gobbi, S. Bonato, C. Nicoletto, G. Zanin
Keywords:   organic matter, macronutrient, vegetables, lettuce, leek
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1146.6
The fast dynamics of vegetable production, characterized by rapid cropping successions, species with very different cultural requirements, intensity of soil cultivation and scarcity of manure, lead to a progressive depletion of the soil and a reduction of the overall fertility. The effect of different nitrogen sources on lettuce and leek production was evaluated in this experiment. The nitrogen mineral fertilizer for each crop was partially or completely replaced by spent mushroom substrate (SMS). A factorial combination of four fertilization treatments and three different types of SMS were arranged in a completely randomized blocks design. The four treatments were: unfertilized control (T0), mineral control (TMIN, 100% mineral fertilizer), T50 (50% SMS and 50% mineral fertilizer) and T100 (100% SMS). The three types of SMS were straw + poultry manure (SP), horse manure + poultry manure (HP) and straw + poultry manure + horse manure (SPH). Plants were harvested at marketable size, and samplings were carried out in order to evaluate morphological and dimensional traits for both crops considered. Nitrogen concentration, and anion and cation content were also considered. No statistically significant differences were recorded among treatments for marketable yields. A small increase in salt content was also recorded when mineral fertilizers were used. In general, SMS was demonstrated to be a suitable replacement for mineral fertilizers. Cultivation with SMS as soil amendment and fertilizer seemed to have generally positive effects on lettuce and leek performance, showing yields comparable to those with mineral fertilization.

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