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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 933: XXVIII International Horticultural Congress on Science and Horticulture for People (IHC2010): International Symposium on Organic Horticulture: Productivity and Sustainability

COMPOST BASED GROWING MEDIA FOR ORGANIC MELON SEEDLINGS PRODUCTION

Authors:   H.M. Abdelrahman, F.G. Ceglie, F.G. Erriquens , V. Verrastro, C.M. Rivera , F. Tittarelli
Keywords:   wastes, recycling, regulation, peat substitution, nursery, horticulture
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.933.10
Abstract:
Two types of compost were produced at the experimental compost facility of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (IAMB). The green waste compost (GWC) was composed of olive pruning and broccoli residues, and mixed waste compost (MWC) was composed of olive pruning and bovine manure. Both composts have alkaline pH, acceptable salinity content and low C/N ratio. They were evaluated as components of growing media in partial substitution of Sphagnum peat for organic melon seedlings production. A greenhouse trial was carried out to evaluate the composts as a peat substitute for melon seedlings’ growth. Treatments, differentiated on the basis of the volume percentage of both composts, were compared to the control (a mixture of peat, coconut fiber and perlite). Compost-based substrates were analyzed for physical, physicochemical and chemical parameters (bulk density, porosity, pH, EC, nutrients content, etc.). In accordance with the guidelines of organic production, all treatments were fertilized, at the beginning of the trial, with guano. At transplant stage of nursery trial, biometric parameters and nutrient contents of shoots were measured. Compost addition has affected the chemical and physical character¬istics of the media. Even though significant differences were observed, recorded values were in the range of acceptability for growing media. In terms of performance, seedling growth in treatments containing 30 and 50% of composts was significantly higher than in control. In terms of peat substitution, good results were obtained even though 10% of peat was used in the tested media.

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