Agroindustrial compost as a peat alternative in the horticultural industry of Ecuador
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This work was conducted in order to investigate the possibility of using different agroindustrial composts in the production of horticultural seedlings, thereby replacing part of the peat in the growing media. Three vegetable species differing in salt sensitivity - tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. var. Malpica) (the least sensitive), courgette (Cucurbita pepo L. var. Mastil F1) (moderately sensitive) and pepper (Capsicum annuum L. var. Largo de Reus Pairal) (the most sensitive) - were grown in nine media containing three composts, prepared by co-composting vegetable waste (flower, broccoli or tomato waste) with laying hen manure and sawdust, as well as peat in various ratios. The proportions of the three composts in the mixtures elaborated with peat were 25%, 50% and 75% (v/v). A substrate of 100% peat was used as control. The experiment was arranged in a completely-randomised design, with two replicates per treatment, under greenhouse conditions. Prior to sowing, some physical, physico-chemical and chemical properties of the growing media were determined and the seed germination and fresh and dry weights of the aerial parts and roots of the seedlings were also measured, as well as the mineral composition of the aerial parts of the plants. In most cases, the addition of compost to the growing media produced an increase in the pH, salt content and macronutrient concentrations, in comparison to peat, whereas the physical properties of the compost based-substrates had values very similar to those of an ideal substrate. Also, multivariate analysis showed that the media prepared with flower waste compost, at all concentrations, and the medium with tomato waste compost at 25% were the most suitable substrates for the three plant species tested.
CitationGavilanes, I., Jara, J., Bustamante, M.A., Pérez, M.D, Pérez-Espinosa, A., Lopez, M., Paredes, C. Agroindustrial compost as a peat alternative in the horticultural industry of Ecuador. "Journal of environmental management", 15 Gener 2017, vol. 186, p. 79-87.