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Evaluation of Dairy Manure Compost as a Peat Substitute in Potting Media for Container Grown Plants


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EVALUATION OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST AS A PEAT SUBSTITUTE IN POTTING MEDIA FOR CONTAINER GROWN PLANTS By RAFAEL GARCIA PRENDES A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2001

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ii Copyright 2001 by Rafael Garcia Prendes

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iii To my Mother and Father

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This thesis work would not have been completed without the help of several people whom I wish to thank. First, I thank my advisor Dr. Roger A. Nordstedt for all his help and support. He was always there when I needed any advice or to solve any problem. I would also like to give my special thanks to Dr. Dorota Z. Haman for her support, interest, knowledge and problem solving advice. I am grateful to Dr. James E. Barrett, who was there from the beginning to assist me with technical issues an d help me get off to a good start. Thanks to all my supervisory committee, whose comments and edits contributed substantially to my research and to this document. I would like to thank Claudia Larsen from the Environmental Horticulture Department for her h elpful suggestions and for allowing me to do part of my research in her laboratory. I also would like to thank Veronica Campbell for her advice and support. Special thanks go to Dr. Kimberly Klock Moore from the Fort Lauderdale Research and Edcuation Cente r for responding to my emails so quickly whenever I needed any information for my research. Special thanks go to my friends who were always ready to help me go through the rough times. Finally, I would like to thank three very special people in my life wit hout them, this would have never been possible my Mother, Father and Sister, to whom I dedicate this.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ .............................. iv LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ vii LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... viii ABSTRA CT ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... x CHAPTERS 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 1 Background and Justification ................................ ................................ .................. 1 Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 3 Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 5 2 LITERATURE REVI EW ................................ ................................ ............................ 6 Compost ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 6 The Composting Process ................................ ................................ ...................... 6 Marketing Compost ................................ ................................ ............................. 8 Compost vs. Peat ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 9 Compost Maturity and Stabil ity ................................ ................................ ............ 11 Growth Media for Container Grown Plants ................................ .......................... 13 Growth Media Physical Properties ................................ ................................ .... 14 Growth Media Chemical Properties ................................ ................................ ... 16 Compost as a C omponent in Potting Media ................................ ......................... 18 3 EVALUATION OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST PROPERTIES FOR USE AS POTTING MEDIA ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 21 Compost Production ................................ ................................ .............................. 21 Biological Properties ................................ ................................ ............................. 23 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 23 Materials and Methods ................................ ................................ ....................... 24 Results and Discussion ................................ ................................ ...................... 26 Physical and Chemical Properties ................................ ................................ ......... 28 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 28 Materials and Methods ................................ ................................ ....................... 28

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vi Substrate Aeration Test ......................................................................................29 Result s ................................................................................................................ 29 Discussio n .......................................................................................................... 32 4 DETERMINING THE AMOUNT O F DAIRY MANURE COMPOST THAT CAN BE USED AS A PEAT SUBSTITUTE IN CONTAINER GROWTH MEDIA ......34 Introduction ...........................................................................................................34 Materials and Methods ..........................................................................................34 Pour Thru Method ..............................................................................................37 Plant Tissue Analysis .........................................................................................37 Results ...................................................................................................................38 Discussion .............................................................................................................48 5 DAIRY MANURE COMPOST AS A COMPONENT IN CONTAINER GROWN MEDIA ......................................................................................................................50 Int roduction ...........................................................................................................50 Materials and Methods ..........................................................................................51 Results ...................................................................................................................53 Discussion .............................................................................................................61 6 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ........................................................................63 Summary ...............................................................................................................63 Conclusions ...........................................................................................................66 APPENDICES A. GERMINATION TEST CALCULATIONS ...........................................................67 B. PLANT TRIAL EXPERIMENT #1 DATA ............................................................69 C. PLANT TRIAL EXPERIMENT #2 DATA ............................................................78 LIST OF REFERENCES ..............................................................................................84 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .........................................................................................89

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vii LIST OF TABLES Table Page 2 1. General recommendations for physical and chemical properties of container grown media for bedding plants, foliage plants, and woody ornamentals. ................................ ....... 18 3 1 Results from evaluating physical parameters of dairy manure compost. ............................... 30 3 2. Complete digestion macronutrient chemical analysis for dairy manure compost. .................. 31 3 3. Macronutrients chemical analysis performed on the compost using extractant for evaluation as a container media. ................................ ................................ ........................ 32 3 4. Micronutrients chemical analysis performed on the compost using extractant for evaluation as a container media. ................................ ................................ ........................ 32 4 1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. ................................ ................ 39 4 2. Soluble salts (SS) and pH monitoring using the Pour Thru procedure on the media treatments. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 42 4 3. Initial pH, SS and macronutrient chemical analysis of the seven media treatments. ............... 44 4 4. Initial micronutrient analysis from the seven media treatments. ................................ ............. 44 4 5. Diagnostic leaf tissue chemical analysis. ................................ ................................ ............. 45 4 6. Final salvia yield parameters measured for comparison between the seven media treatments. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 47 5 1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. ................................ ................ 53 5 2 Soluble Salts (SS) and pH monitoring using the PourThru method on the media treatments. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 56 5 3. Initial pH, Soluble Salts (SS) and macronutrient chemical analysis from the seven media treatments. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 58 5 4. Initial micronutrient analysis from the seven media treatments. ................................ ............. 58 5 5. Final salvia yield parameters measured for comparison between the seven media treatments. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 59

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viii LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 3 1. Flow diagram of the nutrient removal and composting system at Gores Dairy, Zephyrhills, Florida. (Nordstedt & Sowerby, 2000) ................................ .......................... 22 3 2. Germination of wat ercress seeds comparing compost extract and deionized water. ............. 25 3 3. Incubator used for germination tests. ................................ ................................ ................. 26 3 4. Bioassay or direct seed germination method comparing peat and compost. ......................... 26 3 5. Percent germination versus time in compost extract germination test (B) for watercress seed packet I. ................................ ................................ ................................ 27 3 6. Percent germination versus time in compost extract germination test (B) for watercress s eed packet II. ................................ ................................ ................................ 27 4 1. Container capacity differences between the seven media treatments. ................................ .. 40 4 2. Moisture content differences between the seven media treatments. ................................ ..... 40 4 3. Bulk density differences between the seven media treatments. ................................ ............ 41 4 4. pH behavior for each of the media treatments compared with percentages of compost in the media. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 43 4 5. Mn concentration f rom diagnostic leaf tissue analysis ................................ .......................... 46 4 6. Ca concentration from diagnostic leaf tissue analysis ................................ .......................... 46 4 7. Average shoot dry weight compared with percentage of compost in the growth media for salvi a plants. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 47 5 1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. a) total porosity, b) container capacity, c) air space ................................ ................................ ......................... 54 5 2. Initial physical properties from the seven media treat ments. a) moisture content, b) bulk density. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 55 5 3. Differences in pH between mixes containing 100% compost vs. 100% peat. ...................... 57 5 4. Final plant dry weight measured from salvia. ................................ ................................ ...... 59

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ix 5 5. Final plant yield parameters measured from salvia. a) plant height, b) plant width, c) plant size. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 60

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x Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School Of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science EVALUATION OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST AS A PEAT SUBSTITUTE IN POTTING MEDIA FOR CO NTAINER GROWN PLANTS By Rafael Garcia Prendes December 2001 Chairman: Dr. Roger A. Nordstedt Major Department: Agricultural and Biological Engineering This study was conducted to determine if excess manure from dairy farms could be used in potting media for plant nurseries. The number of dairy farms in Florida has decreased, but the number of animals per dairy farm has increased. This usually leads to a larger amount of manure in a smaller land area. Composting organic wastes is an effective way to proce ss manure. It transforms raw manure into a stable material that can be suitable for use as a growth media in the nursery industry. The compost, either as a stand alone medium or as a component in potting mixes, was evaluated in a series of experiments duri ng the study. The first objective was to determine the physical, chemical and biological properties of screened dairy manure solids that had been composted. Biological properties showed no phytotoxicity or damage in germination tests compared with the con trol. Total porosity, container capacity, air space, moisture content and bulk density showed good values when compared with ideal ranges. Chemical properties tests showed

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xi that compost did not contain excess soluble salts levels nor excess nutrient levels, which are both a primary concern for growers when dealing with compost. The second objective was to evaluate how much peat could be substituted for compost in a potting mix without causing any significant differences in plant growth. Results showed that the mixes, which produced higher plant dry weights, were mixes from the 0% compost to the 40% compost substitutions. The 60% compost mix produced the same plant dry weight as the mix used as a control (60% peat). There were no significant differences in t he mixes for total porosity and air space. Bulk density increased with the amount of compost in the mix. Container capacity and moisture content decreased with increasing compost in the mix. Analysis of chemical properties showed that compost provided micr onutrients in the sufficiency range. Diagnostic leaf tissue analysis did not revealed any deficiencies or toxicities to plants with the addition of compost. The third objective was to compare common nursery mixes that contained peat with mixes that had co mpost instead of peat. Physical properties tests revealed that all mixes were within the recommended range values, but compost provided more air space and bulk density but less container capacity and moisture content. Total porosity remained the same. Chem ical properties tests showed that compost provided sufficient chemical elements compared with the peat mixes. The pH in peat based mixes was too low for plant growth. Plant growth parameters showed dry weights were higher in compost mixes, and plant size w as similar to those in peat mixes.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background and Justification Florida dairy farms have decreased in number but have increased in size. According to the Florida Agricultural Statistics Service (FASS, 2001b), as of January 2001, cow numbers in the state of Florida were at 155, 000 milk cows plus 40,000 replacement cows on 225 dairy farms. This represents an average fresh manure production of 11,700 tons per day and 4.3 million tons per year (ASAE, 1995). The average herd size in the state is one of the nations largest, about 68 8 milk cows per dairy farm (UF/IFAS, 2001). This can create an environmental problem, since there are a larger number of animals maintained on a smaller acreage of land. The concentration of waste and nutrients tends to be much higher compared with having more dairy farms with a smaller number of animals per farm. Nutrient losses from these large herds can be an environmental threat to groundwater and surface runoff. High water table and sandy soils in Florida are very susceptible to environmental problems Therefore, to comply with nutrient budget requirements being set by environmental agencies, dairy farms are trying to create unique and sophisticated waste treatment systems. Such a nutrient removal and drum composting system was installed at a commercia l dairy farm near Zephyrhills, Florida. The systems main purpose was to remove nutrients from a land limited dairy farm located in an area of increasing urbanization within the Hillsborough River watershed. The system removed coarse manure solids by mecha nical screening and then

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2 digested them in a horizontal drum composter. The end product from the drum composter was a compost material suitable for use as a potting media material in the plant nursery industry. The term dairy manure compost in this thesis refers to compost produced in conditions similar to those in the nutrient removal and drum composting system installed at Gores Dairy, Zephyrhills, Florida. Similar systems with similar conditions can produce similar dairy manure compost, but they may ha ve to be evaluated as well. Differences between compost products depend heavily on parent material. Composting is a very effective way to turn fresh manure solids into a product that has a high potential for use as a growth medium in the nursery industry. The main purpose is to replace peat, which is the predominant organic matter component in growing media and possesses properties similar to those of dairy manure compost. There is a potential market for this product in Floridas wholesale nursery industry The nursery industry in Florida according to FASS (2001a) leads the nation in gross wholesale sales of potted foliage for indoor use and foliage hanging baskets with sales of $393.9 million during the year 2000. Potted foliage sales accounted for $366.9 million of the same years total, while the sales of foliage hanging baskets totaled almost $26.9 million. Every time a foliage plant is sold, the medium is sold with it. This means that for every new plant grown, you need to replace the medium. If dairy manure compost can be proven effective for use in container grown media, then dairy farmers can sell this product. This will provide them with an incentive to deal with their environmental nutrient removal problems. Before this can happen, it must be demon strated that the drum composter can produce compost suitable for use in nursery container mixes or as a stand alone medium. The compost should meet the

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3 physical, chemical and biological properties standards that the nursery industry demands. According to G oh (1979), two major factors determine the successful production of container grown plants in commercial nurseries: the choice of the medium, particularly its physical properties, and the supply of plant nutrients. Although ornamental crops have different requirements for their growing conditions, most growers want a growing substrate that is consistent, reproducible, readily available, easy to work with, cost effective, and with appropriate physical and chemical properties (Poole et al., 1981). There would be two major benefits from replacing peat with composted cow manure: environmental benefits from reduction of peat mining, and export of nutrients from dairy farms to reduce problems of excess nutrients in ground and surface waters. Problem The main probl em to deal with is the strict nutrient budget requirements that dairy farms have to face. The high nutrient concentrations from diary farms, especially when a large number of animals are involved, can cause an environmental impact upon the area around it. The dairy industry cannot stop production, but pollution also has to be controlled to maintain a safe environment. If dairy farms are not required to control their manure then they will cause odors and contamination of groundwater and natural waterways thr ough seepage and surface runoff, respectively. High nitrate levels in groundwater that is used for drinking water can cause blue baby disease or methemaglobinemia. Also, high levels of P lead to eutrophication, which is the high proliferation of algae that consumes dissolved oxygen from the water, killing flora and fauna of rivers and lakes. So removing solids from the effluent and composting them will help reduce all these environmental problems. Removing solids from the effluent will

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4 reduce the anaerobic activity in the storage lagoon and reduce odors. Odors associated with aerobic composting from the manure are minimal, not only because it is an aerobic process but also because it takes place inside the drum composter. Also, by separating solids from the liquid manure, agitation of the manure is not usually necessary for emptying of the storage pond or structure. This minimizes the odor at the farmstead at the time of field application. Composting the solids can be very effective in a nutrient removal and composting system like the one installed near Zephyrhills, Florida. It must be proven that the composted solids have a high potential for use in potting media for the nursery industry. Composted materials have been used successfully to grow a wide spectru m of nursery crops, from flowering annuals (Wootton et al., 1981) to container grown tropical trees (Fitzpatrick, 1985). Compost maturity has to be evaluated to rule out any potential damage that plants may suffer due to any toxic compounds. According to F DACS (1994), compost maturity can be regarded as the degree to which the material is free of phytotoxic substances that can cause delayed or reduced seed germination, plant injury or death. The material has to have ideal growing properties for it to be use d as a growing media and not just rely on the fact that it is not phytotoxic. Nelson (1991) stated that media components in plant production are not as important as the medium properties like total porosity, water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity pH and soluble salt concentrations. Also, Klock (1999a) states that, before recommending the use of any compost amended substrate for the growth of bedding plants, identifying substrate physical and chemical properties associated with superior bedding pl ant growth is important. Therefore, actual plant experiment trials

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5 should also be performed to ensure the effectiveness of composts in ornamental crop production. Objectives The goal of this study was to verify that dairy manure compost could be used as a growth medium in container grown plants. There were three objectives to follow during the study: 1. Evaluate dairy manure compost properties to assess its suitability for the growth of plants in container media. 2. Determine the percentage of compost that can be substituted for peat in a typical nursery container mix. 3. Evaluate its effectiveness as a component and by itself as a growing substrate for nursery plants.

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6 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Compost There are many definitions of compost. For the purpose of this research thesis the U.S. Composting Council (2000) gives a very appropriate definition of compost, which is "Compost is the product resulting from the contro lled biological decomposition of organic matter that has been sanitized through the generation of heat and stabilized to the point that it is beneficial to plant growth. It bears little physical resemblance to the raw material from which it has originated. It is an organic matter resource that has the unique ability to improve the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of soils or growing media, and it contains plant nutrients but is typically not characterized as a fertilizer". The Composting Process The composting process is a waste management method used primarily to stabilize organic wastes. The stabilized end product can be used as a rich amendment for soil applications, such as in agricultural fields, landscape industry or nursery industry in potting mixes (EPA, 1998). Compost can improve the physical, chemical and biological properties of a soil or of a growing medium. Physical properties of soil improve mainly due to the high organic matter content of composts. It enhances soil structure, thereby increasing porosity, water holding capacity, and infiltration. Composts improve chemical properties by providing cation exchange capacity, and they are also a source of

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7 micronutrients. They improve biological properties by creating a diverse micro biological environment that can suppress plant diseases and nematodes. To achieve all of these benefits there are several factors that have to be taken into account. Factors, which affect the composting process, include aeration, parent material, temperatu re, particle size, pH and moisture (Rynk et. al 1992). All of these factors play a role in the natural decomposition and degradation of the raw organic materials. If these factors are optimal, the composting process is greatly accelerated. In this study, t he solids used for composting were solids separated from the effluent of a dairy manure nutrient removal system installed at a commercial dairy. The solids were placed in a horizontal drum composter for the composting process to take place (Nordstedt & Sow erby, 2000). A good composting process should have three basic phases. The first is an increase in temperature phase in which mesophilic microorganisms carry out the initial decomposition, breaking down the soluble and readily degradable compounds. During the second phase, mesophilic microorganisms tend to fade away due to higher decomposition temperatures (55 C or higher), so thermophilic microorganisms take over the decomposition process. This high temperature stage accelerates the breakdown of proteins fats, and complex carbohydrates like cellulose and hemicellulose from plant cells. Most of the plant pathogens, weed seeds and nematodes are destroyed during the high temperature stage. After most of the degradation has taken place the temperature start s decreasing. Mesophilic microorganisms reemerge in the process and take over the last stage, which is the maturing or curing stage of compost. With all these microorganisms proliferating in different stages of the composting process, the resulting end sta ble product called compost is a material high in microorganism diversity.

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8 The solids that come out as a stable product compost should have several characteristics for it to be a material worthy of use as a growing media. It should have a dark brown to black color, earthy odor, and pH close to neutral (pH 6 8), should not be phytotoxic (mature), and should have a soluble salts concentration of less than 2.5 mmhos/cm. Marketing Compost Compost quality and uniformity are the two most important character istics that should be taken into consideration when producing compost. The compost quality should be evaluated for the consumer or target market. Compost quality includes a number of parameters like organic matter content, water holding capacity, bulk dens ity, particle size, nutrient content, level of contaminants, C: N ratio, phytotoxicity, weed seeds, soluble salts, pH, color and odor (EPA, 1993). Although there isnt a universally accepted standard procedure on testing composts, there are many tests that can be performed to determine the efficacy of compost. One way to have a good impact on the compost market is to inform the consumer of the exact use that the compost is intended to provide, either as a potting mix, field application or mulch. Growers wil l then be able to look for compost products that will meet physical, chemical and biological parameters for the crop that they are growing, either on a field or in a greenhouse. For the consumer to acknowledge the use of compost and purchase it, it is impo rtant that the benefits are equal or better than a product already on the market. In other words, for compost to be cost effective for the consumer, it should be equally effective to the control media, and it should also be readily available and competitiv ely priced (Klock & Fitzpatrick, 1999). Given enough information on the product and its benefits, customers can know what they

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9 are dealing with and use it appropriately. In the nursery industry growers are always trying to find different alternatives for t heir potting mixes. This is where compost can be an alternative either as a component or as a stand alone substitute in potting mixes. Compost vs. Peat Both compost and peat will have the same function in a container grown media, and that will be to prov ide organic matter to that media. Compost can be used as a less expensive substitute for peat and other organic components in potting mixes. Peat has a lot of benefits that composts can also provide to a plant, like absorbing and retaining water, and be fr ee of weed seeds, diseases and pests. For a compost to be free of weed seeds, diseases, and pests and also be a stable material comparable to peat, the composting process has to be carried out properly to provide good quality compost. There are several ty pes of peat sold in the U.S. market: 1) sphagnum peat moss 2) hypnaceous peat moss, 3) reed and sedge peat, and 4) humus peat or muck. Sphagnum peat moss is the most suitable for use in the nursery industry, because it improves drainage, aeration, water ho lding capacity, and cation exchange capacity. It has two disadvantages: 1) it has a low pH and usually requires lime when used in potting media, and 2) it is difficult to wet so warm water or a wetting agent must be used to get it wet and ready for crop pr oduction. Hypnaceous peat moss decomposes more quickly but can still be used in potting media. The decomposition can reduce air space. Reed and sedge peat and humus or muck peat are not recommended for container media because they decompose too quickly, in terfering with the physical properties of the media. The largest source of sphagnum peat moss used in the U.S. comes from Canada. Canadian sphagnum peat moss is derived from the slow decomposition of sphagnum moss, which accumulates

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10 in Canadas bogs or pea t lands. To harvest peat, harvesters clear bogs of vegetation and then dig shallow ditches to lower the water table, when the peat dries, the equipment necessary to harvest the peat can operate on the field. Once a bog is ditched, harvesting begins with ha rrows coming into the field to loosen the top peat moss, which then dries in the sun for two to three hours before being vacuumed into large harvesters. It is then transported from the field to the plant where it is screened, graded and baled for storage o r shipment (Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association, 2001). This process obviously takes a lot of heavy machinery and labor, which in turn means higher prices for the material. Also, when harvesting all of these bogs, this land cannot be used for water col lection and filtration, and natural habitats for flora and fauna diversity are being eliminated or restricted. Another problem is that peat bogs are a large source of oxygen production for the atmosphere. Peat harvesting in most European countries has been banned due to the impact it has on the ecosystems. Peat bogs take centuries to regenerate once they have been harvested. On the other hand, compost production has increased tremendously in recent years, and it is now being viewed as an excellent alternati ve for dealing with raw wastes. In the United States, more farms are composting than municipalities, commercial/institutional establishments and other private sector groups combined (Kashmanian & Rynk, 1995). Compost as a potting media component has some advantages over peat. Compost has a higher pH (neutral), while peat moss is very acidic. Potting mixes using peat will usually have to be limed to raise the pH to the proper level for most plants. Peat moss is very low in plant nutrients, while compost pro vides the plant with micronutrients and microorganism diversity in the growing media. Compost can also provide natural

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11 protection against diseases of the seedlings and roots of plants due to beneficial organisms that live in well made compost (Greer, 1998) Compost is less expensive than peat. If a large potting media company has access to a source of good quality compost, they can reduce their costs with the correct use of compost in their mixes. Additionally, peat has been traditionally used as the organi c component in horticultural substrates. The demand for and use of peat is much greater than its natural production rate. Therefore, peat is not going to be a quickly renewable source in the short term because it is accumulated over long periods of time (K lock & Fitzpatrick, 1999). From an environmental standpoint the use of compost in potting mixes instead of peat is not only reducing peat harvesting, which in some places are natural habitats for animals and plants, but also contributing to the eliminatio n of some organic wastes such as dairy manure. Compost Maturity and Stability Compost maturity and stability are two very important parameters that can be measured to assure the quality of compost, thereby preventing not only plant damage but also storage and marketing problems. Maturity and stability are two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably when referring to composts. Stability refers to the stage of decomposition of the organic matter in the compost, and maturity means the level of completene ss of composting (California Compost Quality Council, 2001). Plant growth problems can be caused by incorrect usage or by immaturity of composts. Many factors in immature composts can affect plant growth. That is why plant studies can help determine if the composts are suitable for plant growth. Immature composts may have high C:N ratios, high soluble salt concentrations, high concentrations of organic acids and

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12 other phytotoxic compounds, high microbial activity, and/or high respiration rates (Jimenez & Ga rcia, 1989). Compost can be used in several ways: 1) as a container growing medium, 2) as a component of a growth media, 3) as mulch or top dress, or 4) as a field soil amendment. The use of compost in a container growing medium is one that requires the b est quality compost. Maturity and stability should be determined to avoid plant growth problems or mortality. A key trait of immature compost is that it consumes oxygen, so it will be more likely to have a negative effect on the oxygen supply to the roots (Brinton, 2000). Maturity should be assessed by measurement of two or more biological or chemical properties of the composted product. Germination index is a good indication of phytotoxins in the compost. Zucconi et al. (1981a) demonstrated reduced cress ( Lepidium sativum L.) seed germination index in the presence of phytotoxins produced during early stages of the composting process. According to Zucconi et al. (1981b) phytotoxicity during the composting process appeared to be strictly associated with the i nitial stage of decomposition. It was a transient condition that was possibly connected to the presence of readily metabolizable material. Production of phytotoxins ceases and phytotoxins themselves are inactivated in the succeeding decomposition stages. P hytotoxins can sometimes be identified as volatile organic acids like benzoic acid, phenylacetic acid, 3 phenyl propionic acid and 4 phenyl butyric acid (Toussoun and Patrick, 1963). In properly controlled composting systems, the stage characterized by a s trong toxicity is completed well before the end of the thermophilic phase. The horizontal drum composter, which produced the compost for this study, was a controlled composting environment during the entire composting process. Poorly aerated compost can ha ve a long lasting

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13 toxicity due to the unstabilized end product. The drum composter provided a continuously turning environment, giving the material a high temperature and continuous aeration. This provided a great advantage over other composting methods. T he temperature inside the drum composter measured an average of 55C. According to Shiralipour & McConnell (1991), a period of time longer than 48 h at 55C and longer than 24 h at 65 C was required to inhibit the germination of beggarweed seeds without t he presence of compost extract. In the presence of the compost extract, beggarweed germination was inhibited within 48 h at 55C and 18 h at 65C. Beggarweed is a heat resistant seed. At all temperatures tested, the addition of compost extract significantl y reduced seed germination. During the composting period both high temperatures and phytotoxins will produce an inhibitory effect on weed tree seeds. Rigid control of compost maturity will lead to a wider use of compost in the nursery industry. Commercial compost companies must monitor and manage their product to consistently produce a product that can be successfully used by container growers (Klock & Fitzpatrick, 1999). Growth Media for Container Grown Plants A very important part of nursery crop producti on is understanding the ideal characteristics that a growth medium should have to have successful crop production. Ideal characteristics of a growth medium are that it be free of weed seeds and diseases, be stable during a long period of time, be heavy eno ugh to support itself but at the same time not weigh too much to facilitate handling, be available at a low cost, and have good physical, chemical and biological properties. Nursery crops can be grown in almost any potting medium that provides physical sup port, adequate water, oxygen, essential mineral

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14 elements, and is nontoxic to plants. If the growth medium possesses the ideal characteristics for plant growth, the management required by the nurseryman will be minimized and plant production will be of high quality. Another advantage is that the use of less fertilizer and water usage will reduce the potential for groundwater contamination and for nutrient runoff from the greenhouse. Growth Media Physical Properties Physical properties are the most importan t parameters related to plant performance in potting media (Chen et al., 1988). A growth media is composed of solid, liquid and gaseous components. The solid components usually constitute between 33 50% of the media volume. The second portion is liquid, wh ich consists of water and dissolved nutrients and organic materials. The third portion is the gaseous material that includes oxygen and carbon dioxide, which constitutes 60 80% of the container medium volume. Oxygen is very important for root growth in t he media. An oxygen concentration of at least 12% should be maintained for roots not to suffer any damage or reduce growth (Bilderback, 1982). Potting mixes must be formulated to provide a balance between solid particles and pore space. In growing media, p orosity is the amount of pore space in container media which influences water, nutrient absorption and gas exchange by the root system. Container capacity or water holding capacity is measured when a medium has been irrigated up to a saturation point that will fill the total pore space with water, then it is allowed to drain only due to gravitational pull. The small pores will retain water while large pores empty and fill with air. When all of the water has drained from the large

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15 pores, the amount of water left in the small pores is referred to as container capacity or water holding capacity (Fonteno, 1996). Pore space in the medium will be dependent on the shape, size and distribution of its media particles. Large pores will be filled with air, while small pores will be filled with water. If a potting mix contains a higher amount of large pores, it won't hold as much water as if it contains a greater amount of small pores (Greer, 1998). If a potting mix has a greater amount of small pore spaces filled with w ater the air space decreases and the chance for the plant to suffer damage due to over watering increases. According to Ingram and Henley (1991), roots growing in poorly aerated media are weaker, less succulent and more susceptible to micronutrient deficie ncies and root rot pathogens such as Pythium and Phytophtora than roots growing in well aerated media. For adequate gas exchange, aeration porosity should ideally constitute 20 35% and water retaining micro pores should comprise 20 30% of the total media v olume (Kasica, 1997). Another aspect that can affect media aeration and porosity is that the volume of the medium may decrease due to compaction, shrinkage, erosion and root penetration. All of these will cause a reduction in drainable air space and readil y available water. To reduce compaction during pot filling, no pressure should be applied to the potting mix while filling the container. Shrinkage also occurs over time due to particle degradation. Another important physical property of a growth medium i s the bulk density. Bulk density is the mass per unit volume, usually expressed in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cc). This parameter will indicate the volume of solids and pore space occupied by the growing media. A loose, porous mix will have a lower bulk density than a heavy, compact growing media. The ideal bulk density will depend on the plants

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16 handling or location at the nursery. A higher bulk density will be needed for plants grown outdoors to prevent wind from forcing them down on the floor, and a l ower bulk density will be needed for plants with more handling. To reduce bulk density according to plant needs, organic material like peat or compost is usually added. In general as bulk density increases, the total pore space decreases (Holcomb, 2000). Growth Media Chemical Properties Chemical properties of a media are also very important and deal mostly with the plants nutrition and the factors around it. First of all, a very important factor to control in growth media is the pH. Media pH is the measur e of alkalinity of a substrate, with a pH of 7 indicating neutral pH. A pH higher than 7 signifies that it is alkaline, and a pH below seven denotes acidic conditions. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14 that reflects the concentration of hy drogen ions in the media. Media components, fertilizers and irrigation water can affect media pH. The main reason for pH control is to regulate nutrient availability. A plant does not usually suffer due to pH increasing or decreasing. It is the deficiency of some nutrients that actually affects the plant. Micronutrient availability is optimal at pH 5.0 6.5. Outside this pH range, the availability of nutrients becomes difficult for the plant due to changes in the nutrient chemical properties (Ingram & Henley 1991). The plant can start showing some deficiency symptoms, and the quality of the plant is eventually lowered. Another important aspect of the medias chemical properties is the cation exchange capacity (CEC). The CEC is a measure of medias nutrient holding capacity. It is defined as the sum of exchangeable cations, or positively charged ions, that the media can adsorb per unit weight or volume. The unit of measure is milliequivalents per 100

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17 cubic centimeters (me/100cc) or grams (me/100g). A high CE C means that a media will hold nutrients even after irrigation. The use of organic matter in potting mixes will provide an increase in cation exchange capacity or the medias availability to hold nutrients. Potting mixes made mostly of sand won't have the ability to hold as much nutrients compared with one containing organic components such as peat or compost, which will have a greater ability to hold nutrients. However, if a potting mix holds too many nutrients, salts may accumulate. Some low surface area component like sand might help control salt buildup (Ingram and Henley, 1991). Important macronutrient cations that the media will hold on its exchange sites are calcium (Ca +2 ), magnesium (Mg +2 ), potassium (K + ), ammonium (NH +4 ) and sodium (Na +2 ), and micr onutrients such as iron (Fe +2 and Fe +3 ), manganese (Mn +2 ), zinc (Zn +2 ), and copper (Cu +2 ). The concentrations of all these ions in the media are restricted to a limited container volume. To prevent the accumulation of these minerals, commonly measured as s oluble salts concentration in the media solution, they should be monitored. The buildup of salts can make it difficult for the plant roots to absorb water, due to a higher or positive concentration gradient in the media. The gradient should be higher in th e plant system for it to absorb water. If the gradient in the media is higher, the plant will probably suffer from lack of water and wilt. Also, a continuous monitoring of soluble salts will help estimate the amount of nutrients in the media solution, sinc e most soluble salts are mineral elements that are essential for plant growth. At the beginning of the crop cycle, the initial soluble salts readings should be low so that sensitive plants and seedlings will not suffer any damage.

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18 Compost as a Component i n Potting Media Most ornamental plants are grown in containers. When the ornamental plants are sold, the media in the container goes along with it. Every time a new crop cycle of plants is grown in the greenhouse, it needs new container media (Klock & Fitz patrick, 1999). Compost can be used as an alternative to peat to meet this increasing demand for an organic component in growing media for the nursery industry. It can either be used as a component or as the growth media itself. Although most ornamental p lant crops may require different characteristics in their container media conditions, most growers want a container media that is consistent, reproducible, readily available, easy to work with, cost effective, and with appropriate physical and chemical pro perties (Poole et al., 1981). A summary of general recommendations for physical and chemical properties of container growth media is shown in (Table 2 1). Table 2 1. General recommendations for physical and chemical properties of container grown media for bedding plants, foliage plants, and woody ornamentals. (Fonteno, 1996; Warncke and Krauskopf, 1983; Poole et al., 1981; Dickey et al., 1978) Media Characteristic Bedding Plants 1 Foliage Plants 2 Woody Ornamentals 3 Total pore space 75 85 % NA NA Water hold ing capacity NA 20 60% 35 50% Air filled porosity 5 10% 5 30% NA pH 5.8 6.2 5.5 6.5 5.8 6.2 Soluble salts 0.75 3.49 mS/cm 0.57 1.43 mS/cm 0.5 1.00 mS/cm Nitrate 80 160 mg/kg 50 90 mg/kg NA Phosphate 6 10 mg/kg 4 NA NA Potassium 150 225 mg/kg NA NA 1 Soluble salt and all nutrient values determined using SME (saturated media extract method). 2 Soluble salt determined using 1:2 method and nitrate determined using SME. 3 Soluble salt determined using 1:2 method. 4 NA = not available.

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19 Container mixes ha ve a combination of organic materials and inorganic materials in them. Peat has traditionally been used as the organic component for most nursery media. The organic component in a mix will vary from 20 100% by volume of the mix, depending on the crop and the growing conditions (Whitcomb, 1988). There have been many plant experiments with compost as part of the potting mix where the results have been either the same as the control or even better. Most experiments have been done with biosolids and other was te composts and not many with dairy manure compost. Biosolids and municipal solid waste composts have a high variability in properties after the composting process. This variability is due mainly because the parent material influences compost quality. The refore, these composts are not as uniform as dairy manure compost. Composts made from biosolids tend to have relatively high nitrogen levels (Rynk et al., 1992). Some biosolids composts tend to have a higher salt concentration as determined by (Shiralipour et al., 1992). Thus, as the percentage of municipal solid waste compost in the substrate increases above 50%, growth of some plant species can be depressed due to high soluble salt concentrations, poor aeration, and or heavy metal toxicities. Dairy manure compost has very similar physical characteristics (water holding capacity, air space, total porosity and bulk density) as peat. Chemical characteristics of compost show that they provide some micronutrients. Because of extreme heterogeneity among compost products, it is important to identify the physical and chemical properties of compost as well as compost blending rates associated with superior bedding plant growth (Klock, 1997). There have been many successful experiments conducted using various kinds of composts in container media. For example, Wootton et al. (1981) reported that Golden

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20 Jubilee marigold, Fire Cracker zinnia, and Sugar Plum petunia growth in a sludge compost and/ or sludge compost vermiculite medium was similar to or better than g rowth in a sand peat medium. According to Klock and Fitzpatrick (1997), their work demonstrates the feasibility of using a compost product as a stand alone medium for growing Accent Red impatients if it meets the following criteria: APS (percent of air f illed porosity) of 5 to 30 percent, a WHC (water holding capacity) of 20 to 60 percent, a bulk density of 0.30 to 0.75 g/cm 3 initial pH of 6.5 to 7.0, initial soluble salts concentration of 0.50 to 0.65 dS/m, and a C:N ratio of 15 to 20.

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21 CHAPTER 3 EVALUATION OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST PROPERTIES FOR USE AS POTTING MEDIA This chapter discusses how the compost used in this study was produced and the biological, physical and chemical properties that made it a potential material in potting media The compost came from the nutrient removal and drum composting system installed at Gore's Dairy, Zephyrhills, Florida. Compost Production The system was designed to treat wastewater from two free stall barns that held about 800 cows and used a flushing system for manure removal and cleaning. It consisted of a gravity sedimentation basin, a wastewater holding tank, Agpro Extractor (Agpro Inc, Paris, Texas) mechanical screen, a tangential flow separator, a plate clarifier and thickener, and a horizontal dr um composter (Figure 3 1). The purpose of the gravity sedimentation basin was to trap most of the sand coming from the cows bedding. The wastewater holding tank served as a temporary storage before the wastewater entered the Agpro Extractor mechanical scr een. The Agpro Extractor screens solids out of the wastewater and stores them in a temporary storage area where additional water drains out of the solids. The solids were loaded into one end of the drum composter with a conveyor belt. The drum composter wa s a 3 m diameter by 12.2 m long cylinder. It was continuously turned at about 11 revolutions/hour, and it had about a 5 degree angle to facilitate movement of solids from the inlet to the outlet. There were two interior baffles

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22 with four 1.2 m diameter hol es, and it had an air blower which forced air through four horizontal ducts on the inside of the drum. Temperature inside the drum composter sometimes exceeded 65 C. The volume of manure in the drum was approximately 67 cubic meters with a solids retenti on time of at least three days (Nordstedt & Sowerby, 2000). Dairy Farm Wastewater Figure 3 1. Flow diagram of the nutrient removal and composting system at Gores Dairy, Zephyrhills, Florida. (Nordsted t & Sowerby, 2000) Gravity Sedimentation Basin Holding Tank Mechanical Screen Liquids Tangential Flow Separator Solids Plate Clarifier Wastewater Storage Pond Slurry De Watering System Temporary Solids Storage Drum Composter Compost Storage and Curing Sand Recovered Sand for Bedding

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23 Biological Properties Introduction Germination tests with compost extract and direct compost seed tests were performed to evaluate any phytotoxicity that the compost could cause. Biological properties of compost can be measured in many ways, and each one addresses a different characteristic that makes compost either safe or unsafe for plants. Two compost extract germination tests were performed. The first test was performed to calculate germination index, and the second test was performe d to compare germination results over time between the compost extract and deionized water. The first test for calculating the germination index was a compost extract modified biological maturity test by Zucconi et al. (1981a). The methodology for this pro cedure is based on seed inhibition caused by toxic environmental conditions usually associated with immature compost. It yields percent germination, which is an average of the seeds germinated in the sample divided by the average of the seeds germinated in the control. It also gives percent root length in the same way. When these two numbers are multiplied together, it gives the Germination Index. The idea of this germination index is to obtain a parameter that can account for both low toxicity, which aff ects root growth, and heavy toxicity, which affects germination (Zucconi et al., 1981a). % Germination = Average number of seeds germinated in the sample Average number of seeds germinated in the control % Root Length = Average of root length in the sample Average of root length in the control Germination Index = (% Germination % Root Length)/100

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24 For the second test the same procedure was used, except root length was not measured only percentage of germination was recorded at 24, 48 and 72 hours from two different packets of watercress seeds. In addition to the compost extract procedures a bioassay test was also performed to provide more evidence of compost maturity using peat as a control. Warman (1999) conclude d that between three different types of germination tests performed on composts the commonly used compost extract germination test was not sensitive enough to detect differences between mature and immature composts. Direct seed tests were the most sensitiv e. With this in mind, both germination tests with compost extract and direct seed germination in compost procedures were performed on the media. Materials and Methods A sample of compost was collected in April 2001 from the nutrient removal and composting system at Gore's Dairy. The sample was taken from a pile that had recently been taken out of the digester. Three germination tests were performed on the compost: 1. Compost extract germination test (A) was performed using a modified procedure performed by Zu cconi et al. (1981a), which used a 4:1 mix (water: media) by weight (Figure 3 2). Mixes were placed in Nalgene 50 ml centrifuge tubes and allowed to stand for 15 minutes so that water could soak the compost. They were then centrifuged for 30 min at 5000 rp m. The extract was filtered through a Whatman # 113 wet strengthened filter paper. Ten ml of the filtered extract was used to wet the germination paper, which had been placed in a 9.5 x 1.5 cm petri dish. Twenty five watercress seeds ( Lepidium sativum ) wer e placed per dish and replicated six times. Each replication had a control that contained

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25 deionized water. Dishes were placed in an incubator at 27 C for four days (Figure 3 3). The lids of the petri dishes were left on to prevent evaporation of the extra ct. Percent germination and percent root length were measured after four days and the germination index was calculated. A statistical analysis was also performed on the germination results using SAS, assigning a number one to each germinated seed. The me ans were separated using Duncans multiple range test with a p=0.05 (SAS, 1999). 2. Compost extract germination test (B) this test followed the same procedure as the previous test except that ten watercress ( Lepidium sativum ) seeds were placed per petri dish and replicated six times. Germination results were recorded at 24, 48 and 72 hours using two different seed packets I and II. 3. The bioassay procedure was performed by filling 9.5 x 1.5 cm petri dishes with compost and Canadian Peat Moss (Figure 3 4). Ther e were six replications for compost and peat with twenty five radish ( Raphanus sativus ) seeds per dish. All of them were moistened to saturation with deionized water. Lids were used to prevent moisture from evaporating. All petri dishes were placed in an i ncubator at 27 C. Germination was recorded and analyzed statistically using SAS, and means were separated using Duncans multiple range test with a p=0.05 (SAS, 1999). Figure 3 2. Germination of watercress seeds comparing compost extract and deionized water.

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26 Figure 3 3. Incubator used for germination tests. Figure 3 4. Bioassay or direct seed germination method comparing peat and compost. Results and Discussion In the compost extract test (A) the germination index was calculated at 103 % ( Appendix A). A germination index of 40% or less would denote phytotoxic potential (Lemus, 1998). The germination index was high due to a higher root length for the compost than in the control germination test. The compost extract germination tests (A) vers us deionized water mean separation analysis showed that the means from seeds germinated in deionized water and the means from seeds germinated in compost extract were not significantly different. Germination percentages from the compost extract test

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27 (B) co mpared to the control are both shown below in Figures 3 5 and 3 6 (Appendix A). Mean comparison of direct seed germination test results between compost and peat used as the control showed no significant differences (Appendix A). Biological tests of the com post in these tests did not show that the compost would cause any potential damage to plants. The compost seemed to be completely mature after being digested at an average temperature of 55 C for 3 days. That is when the samples were taken for the tests. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 24 48 72 Time (hrs) Germination (%) Compost extract Control Figure 3 5. Percent germination versus time in compost extract germination test (B) for watercress seed packet I. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 24 48 72 Time (hrs) Germination (%) Compost extract Control Figure 3 6. Percent germination versus time in compost extract germination test (B) for watercress seed packet II.

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28 Physical and Chemical Properties Introduction Physical properties were determined using a procedure by Beeson (1995) called Substrate Aeration Test to measure total porosity, container capacity, air space, and bulk density. Chemical properties of the compost were determined by A & L Southern Agricultural Laboratories, Pompano Beach, Florida. They conducted a State Manure Test M 2 and a soil container media S 7 Test Method using a modified Morgan extractant with sodium ac etate and DTPA (Wolf, 1982). These results were used in evaluating the properties of the compost for use in potting mixes for the experimental plant trials. Materials and Methods A sample of compost was collected in April 2001 from the nutrient removal an d composting system at Gore's dairy. The sample was taken out of the piles that had recently been taken out of the digester. The compost was screened with a 1.3 cm screen to remove larger particles and to have a uniform product. All samples and material us ed in subsequent experiments was also screened. For measuring physical properties the "Substrate Aeration Test" procedure by Beeson (1995) was used. A & L Southern Agricultural Laboratories determined the chemical properties of the compost, first with a S tate Manure Test that included moisture, solids, total N, P, P 2 O 5 K, K 2 O, S, Mg, Ca, Na, Al, B, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn. Compost was then analyzed as a container media using an S 7 test that used a Morgan extractant with sodium acetate and DTPA (Wolf, 1982) for container media that included soil pH, soluble salts, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B and S.

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29 Substrate Aeration Test The procedure by Beeson (1995) required building a device out of a 15.2 cm long x 7.5 cm diameter polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe with a cap on the bottom and a coupler on top. Four 5 mm holes were drilled in the cap. The total volume of the pipe was determined, and it was filled with moist substrate and packed three times by dropping it from ten centimeters. The pipe was then placed in an 18.9 liter container filled with water to the top of the coupler. After three hours the pipe was removed and allowed to drain for 5 minutes, the coupler was removed, and a cloth was tied to the top. It was then submerged for 10 more minutes, and then it was lifted out of the water. The holes were covered, and it was placed on a pan elevated at the bottom with a piece of pipe. It was allowed to drain for 10 minutes. The drained volume was carefully measured with a graduated cylinder. The pipe was then emp tied on a paper bag to weigh the sample and obtain the wet weight. The sample was placed in an oven at 105 C for 48 hours and weighed to obtain dry weight. Media volume in this case was 680 ml, which was determined by measuring the volume of the capped p ipe without the coupler. It was then possible to calculate total porosity, container capacity, moisture content, air space and bulk density according to the equations by Fonteno (1996). Results The physical properties results (Table 3 1) on average wer e within the range values recommended by Yeager (1995) for evaluating container mixes except for moisture content. This means that the compost by itself could meet the physical properties ranges specified for the growth of container media nursery stock. Th e chemical

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30 properties results (Table 3 2) were compared with range values that were standards used by Woods End Research Laboratory (2001) to evaluate compost for use in container mixes. The nitrogen range value (Table 3 1) was not available, because they measure N as TKN and not as total N. Most of the values were within the ranges, except for K, Mg and Ca, which were higher than the range, and Zn was below the normal range. Table 3 1. Results from evaluating physical parameters of dairy manure compost. Sample Number Total Porosity (%) Container Capacity (%) Air Space (%) Bulk Density (gr/cc) Moisture Content (%) 1 82.0 44.4 37.6 0.22 66.9 2 79.3 53.6 25.7 0.37 59.4 3 77.0 54.2 22.8 0.39 58.4 4 77.4 53.9 23.5 0.37 59.3 Average 78.9 51.5 27.4 0.34 61 .0 Range Values 1 50 85 45 65 10 30 0.19 0.70 70 80 1 Range values are recommended physical characteristic values from Yeager (1995). Although K, Mg and Ca were higher than the recommended range, they did not seem to affect the tissue analysis re sults. In the chemical test S 7 performed on the compost (Table 3 3) the soluble salts were within the normal range. While a high salts content from K, Mg and Ca seemed to appear in the complete digestion test, it was not as apparent in the extractant or container media test. Macronutrient analysis showed a slightly lower N value and a slightly higher P value, but K was higher than the range in this test as well as in the previous total digestion test. K concentrations were probably higher due to the com posts parent material.

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31 Table 3 2. Complete digestion macronutrient chemical analysis for dairy manure compost. Replication Moisture (%) Solids (%) N (%) P (%) K (%) Mg (%) Ca (%) 1 42.4 57.6 2 0.92 0.19 0.25 0.14 0.64 2 31.4 68.6 0.85 0.20 0.27 0.15 0.69 3 42.8 57.1 0.85 0.18 0.23 0.13 0.65 4 43.8 56.2 0.89 0.18 0.25 0.13 0.62 Average 40.1 59.9 0.88 0.19 0.25 0.14 0.65 Range Values 1 NA NA NA 0.04 0.25 0.04 0.1 0.005 0.05 0.025 0.5 1 Range values esta blished by Woods End Research Laboratory (2001). 2 Wet basis results. Table 3 2 continued. Replication Na (%) Cu (ppm) Fe (ppm) Mn (ppm) Zn (ppm) 1 0.07 50.0 1430.0 41.0 55.0 2 0.08 52.0 1754.0 47.0 58.0 3 0.07 49.0 1349.0 39.0 51.0 4 0.07 46.0 1661.0 40.00 51.0 Average 0.07 49.2 1548.5 41.8 53.8 Range Values 1 < 1/2 K < 350 < 12,000 < 1,000 100 2,800 1 Range Values from Woods End Research Laboratory (2001). The micronutrient analysis (Table 3 4) showed that only Cu had a lo wer value compared with the range. Although copper is an important micronutrient, it can also be toxic if present at higher levels in the plant. Compost can provide container media with micronutrients.

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32 Table 3 3. Macronutrients chemical analysis performed on the compost using extractant for evaluation as a container media. Sample Number Media pH Soluble Salts (mmhos/cm) N (ppm) P (ppm) K (ppm) Ca (ppm) Mg (ppm) S (ppm) 1 7.8 0.89 28 80 907 1720 531 22 2 7.7 0.84 18 80 5 15 560 188 20 Avg. 7.8 0.87 23 80 711 1140 359.5 21 Range Values 1 5.5 6.5 0.2 1.0 25 150 12 60 50 250 500 5000 50 500 15 200 1 Values were provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typical good values. Table 3 4. Micronutrients ch emical analysis performed on the compost using extractant for evaluation as a container media. Sample Number Fe (ppm) Mn (ppm) Zn (ppm) Cu (ppm) B (ppm) 1 2.5 6.2 6.2 0.4 1.7 2 5.7 3.3 3.9 0.8 1.1 Avg. 4.1 4.8 5.1 0.6 1.4 Range Valu es 1 2.5 25 2.5 25 2.5 25 1.2 5 0.5 2.0 1 Range values provided by Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typical good values. Discussion The analyses indicated that the compost did not contain toxic levels of nutrients that would affect plant growt h. It possessed physical properties that common commercial potting nursery mixes offer for the growth of container grown plants. Chemical analyses also showed that the compost would not replace nutrients supplied by a common fertilizer. An ideal container media should provide the plant with some nutrients, especially some micronutrients, which normal soilless media do not provide. At the same time it would not provide the plant with an excess or deficiency that could cause

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33 phytotoxicity or damage to the pla nt. K was the only element present that was higher than normal, and K is not an element that can pose a high risk to the environment. Its high concentration may have been due to the fact that the solids composted were undigested forages, and most forages c ontain high concentrations of K. According to Grant (1996) alfalfa routinely tested over 3% K on a dry basis, and NRC (1989) reported that Bermuda grass hay sun cured 15 28 days had a 2.2% K level. K is a major cation nutrient, and it is needed by plants i n greater quantities than any other nutrient, except perhaps N. Analyses of screened manure solids from a dairy research showed that K content ranged from 0.16 to 0.22% of dry matter (Van Horn et al., 1998). Excess K can promote cation deficiencies in the plants due to competition with elements like Ca and Mg, but Ca and Mg are also present in the compost and can be used as nutrients for plants. Plant trials accompanied by diagnostic leaf tissue analyses would help determine if the compost would be a good s ubstitution as container growth medium.

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34 CHAPTER 4 DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST THAT CAN BE USED AS A PEAT SUBSTITUTE IN CONTAINER GROWTH MEDIA Introduction After determining that the dairy manure compost had a high potential for use in the nursery industry, the next step was a plant trial experiment. A common lightweight potting mix that contained peat, vermiculite and perlite was used, and compost was substituted for peat. The substitution was made in increasing percentages from 0 to 60% by volume to determine whether an organi c mix of peat and compost would be a good container mix. The addition of compost was not to supply a nutrient amendment in the growth media. Rather, the compost was intended to be used in the same manner as peat in a mix. To provide an accurate evaluation of the plants and media reactions to the different treatments, there were several parameters measured on the plants and on the media. Physical and chemical properties of the media were determined, diagnostic leaf tissue analyses were performed, and plant y ield and characteristics were measured and compared between treatments. Materials and Methods A sample of compost was obtained in April 2001 from the nutrient removal and drum composting system at Gores Dairy. The sample was taken from a pile that had rec ently been taken out of the digester. The compost was screened with a 1.3 cm screen

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35 to remove larger particles and to have a uniform product. Canadian sphagnum peat moss was used for the treatments. The following treatments were mixed by volume: 1) 60 % peat : 0%compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite. 2) 50%peat: 10%compost: 10% perlite: 30%vermiculite. 3) 40% peat: 20% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite. 4) 30% peat: 30% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite. 5) 20% peat: 40% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite. 6) 10% peat: 50% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite. 7) 0% peat: 60% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite. To get a homogeneous mix the treatments were mixed with a small concrete mixer. All components used in the treatments were based on a common mix cal led Fafard Lightweight mix (Fafard, 2001). The first treatment contained no compost; it was used as a control mix for comparison with the other six treatments. The seventh treatment had no peat and the highest amount of compost (60%). Perlite and Vermicul ite were both used as an inorganic amendment to the mix. They both provide air space, and vermiculite also provides some cation exchange capacity to the mix. At the beginning of the experiment samples from each of the treatment mixes were sent to A & L So uthern Agricultural Laboratories where they performed an S 7 container media test with a Morgan extractant, sodium acetate and DTPA. This was the same procedure as the container media analysis performed on the compost in chapter 3 (Wolf, 1982). The conta iner media test provided pH, soluble salts, available N, P, K, Mg, Ca, S, Z, Mn, Fe, Cu and B. A physical properties test was also performed on the media used in the seven treatments. It was done in the same way as the procedure in Chapter 3

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36 (Beeson, 1995) The substrate aeration test was used to determine total porosity, container capacity, moisture content, air space and bulk density. Salvia Indigo Spires ( Salvia farinacea ) plugs were transplanted in ten centimeter pots containing the potting mixes desc ribed above. The pots were placed in a completely randomized design with 7 treatments, 5 plants per treatment, and 4 replications for a total of 140 plants. The variables measured at the end of the experiment were: 1) Plant Size (average of height and diam eter) 2) Flowering (number of flower spikes) 3) Shoot dry weight, and 4) pH and soluble salts (SS) of the media. SS and pH were measured using the PourThru method three times during the duration of the experiment (procedure explanation below). Plant Size w as calculated as the average of height and width. Height was measured from the surface of the media to the highest tip of the plant. Width was measured as an average from two measurements, east west and north south. If the plant was tilted to one side at t he time of measurement, it was straightened and both measurements were taken with the plant in the same position. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse on the University of Florida campus using drip irrigation, beginning in May 2001. After the firs t week all pots were irrigated three times a day at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. for 1 min, which was slightly less than 100 ml per irrigation. Irrigation water came from the Gainesville municipal water supply. Pots were fertilized three days after planting by top dressing with 5 grams of a slow release fertilizer 14N 6.2P 11.6K Osmocote (14N 14P 2 O 5 14K 2 O) (The Scotts Company Marysville, Ohio). A plant tissue analysis was performed 31 days after planting (procedure explanation below). Plants were gro wn for 38 days after transplanting until they were at their approximate market size. Shoots were cut at the

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37 surface of the media, dried at 70 C for 48 hrs, and then weighed to obtain shoot or plant dry weight. Pour Thru Method The PourThru method was do ne according to Cavins et al. (2000). Samples of potting media leachates were taken the second, fourth and final week after transplanting. Samples of 5 pots from each one of the seven treatments were taken randomly for a total of 35 pots. All plants were i rrigated at least one hour before samples were taken so that all of them contained the same amount of moisture. A plastic saucer or plate was placed under the pots for leachate collection. About 80 ml of deionized water was then poured on the surface of th e pot to get a leachate sample. The leachates were placed in Fisher brand 20 ml scintillation vials and taken to the laboratory where they were tested for pH and soluble salts (SS). The SS measurement was performed as quickly as possible before any reactio ns occurred that could affect the readings. Results were analyzed statistically with SAS, and means were separated with Duncans multiple range test with a p = 0.05 (SAS, 1999). Plant Tissue Analysis A plant tissue analysis was also performed 31 days aft er planting according to Mills and Jones (1996). Fifty mature leaves from new growth were sampled per treatment. Leaves were dried at 70 C for 48 hrs and were weighed to obtain dry weight. Tissue was then ground with a Wiley Mill (Thomas Scientific, Swede sboro New Jersey) and stored in plastic sealed bags. There were 3 (50 leaves) samples taken from each one of the 7 treatments for a total of 21 samples. A sample of 150 mature leaves (50 leaves per/sample) was needed per treatment. Since there were 20 plan ts (4 reps x 5 plants) per

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38 treatment 8 mature leaves were taken from each plant. With 8 leaves per plant there were 160 leaves sampled per treatment (20 plts/treatment x 8 leaves/plant). Since it was only necessary to get 150, the samples were divided into three parts. One part had 53 mature leaves and the other two had 54 mature leaves, instead of the 50 required by Mills and Jones (1996). All samples were sent to the Analytical Research Laboratory, Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Fl orida. The samples were subjected to chemical analysis for TKN, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, and Fe. All results were analyzed statistically with SAS, and means were separated with Duncans multiple range test with a p = 0.05 (SAS, 1999). Results The comparis on between physical properties results from the seven treatments (Table 4 1) showed that there were no significant differences in total porosity between them. Total porosity is the percentage of the container media volume, which is not occupied by solid me dia particles. Also, air space did not show any significant differences between treatments. Air space is the percent volume of media or media component that is filled with air after the media has achieved container capacity or its maximum water holding cap acity. The air space required for adequate gas exchange should constitute at least 15%, but ideally it should be 20 35% of the media volume depending on the plants (Kasica, 1997). All of the treatments had an air space higher than 25%. In terms of air spac e and total porosity, there were no differences between compost and peat in the media. Container capacity, moisture content and bulk density, did prove to have highly significant differences between them. Container capacity, also called water holding

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39 capa city, decreased with increased addition of compost to the treatments. This may have been due to the fact that peat has the ability to absorb a greater amount of moisture than the compost substitute (Figure 4 1). Container capacity is the percent volume of the media that is filled with water after an irrigated media has drained. Water retained by the media is likely to be in smaller pores or absorbed by the material itself, so not all of the actual water held by soilless media, as in the case of peat, will b e available to the plant. According to Fonteno (1996), peat has about a 25% volume of water that is unavailable water or water that the plant cannot use at a matric tension of 1.5 Mpa. The usual matric tension or negative pressure measured in dry media is going to be between 10 to 30 kpa. Table 4 1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. Treatment Number Compost (%) Total Porosity (%) Container Capacity (%) Air Space (%) Moisture Content (%) Bulk Density (g/cc) 1 0 2 78.6 47.5 ab 1 31.1 81.5ab 0.106c 2 10 79.8 51.3a 28.5 82.7a 0.106c 3 20 78.7 46.9a 31.8 77.3bc 0.140b 4 30 76.7 48.1ab 28.6 77.5bc 0.140b 5 40 80.6 46.9ab 33.6 75.7c 0.153ab 6 50 75.8 46.2b 29.6 74.5cd 0.156ab 7 60 78.9 41.2c 37.7 70.4d 0.170a Range Values 3 5 0 85 45 65 10 30 70 80 0.19 0.70 Significance 4 ns 0.0072 ns 0.0028 0.003 1 Duncan's mean separation alpha p = 0.05 2 All values are means from three replicates. 3 Range values are recommended physical characteristics (Yeager, 1995) 4 ns = not signifi cant p > 0.05 Moisture content decreased with the addition of compost to the media (Figure 4 2). The decrease is probably due to the same reason that peat absorbs a lot more moisture than compost.

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40 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percentage of Compost in the Media Container Capacity (%) Figure 4 1. Container capac ity differences between the seven media treatments. 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percentage of Compost in the Media Moisture Content (%) Figure 4 2. Moisture content differences between the seven media treatments. Bulk density increased with increasing amount of compost in the media. The reason was probably bec ause the compost contained a small amount of sand left over from the cows bedding, thus providing increased weight to the media (Figure 4 3). Media bulk density is the weight per unit volume that includes solid particles and pore spaces. Although peat mos s has a relatively low dry bulk density, once saturated, the bulk density may increase considerably. Bulk density in the nursery industry is very important and depends on how much the pots will be handled. If plants will require a lot of handling, then the bulk density should be low. On the other hand a high bulk density may

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41 be required to keep nursery crops upright in windy conditions when grown outdoors. Bulk density values for all treatments in this case were very low, because the mix used was a common l ightweight mix used in the nursery industry. 0.08 0.09 0.10 0.11 0.12 0.13 0.14 0.15 0.16 0.17 0.18 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percentage of Compost in the Media Bulk Density (g/cc) Figure 4 3. Bulk density differences between the seven media treatments. The pH measurements from the leachate samples showed significant differences between treatments (Table 4 2). The pH increased with the addition of compost to the media. The pH for all treatments decreased with time. This was more pronounced on the higher peat mixes (Figure 4 4). Compost base mixes will have a higher pH at the initial stages of growth due to the fact that dairy manure compost and most composts have a near neutral pH. Nurserymen that have problems with low pH from the use of acidic fertilizers could have an advantage using compost instead of peat. Conversely, growers that use compost in their conta iner mix and irrigate with water containing high pH levels will have to be aware that the media they are using has a near neutral pH. If they add more carbonates (main cause of water alkalinity) with irrigation water, then the media pH will increase. This may cause some micronutrient deficiencies in the plants. The desirable pH range for the production of most container grown ornamental plants is 5.5 6.5 (Ingram and Henley, 1991). The main reason for this range is that the pH should be

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42 slightly acid for mic ronutrient availability, but not so low as to limit macronutrient availability to the plant. Table 4 2. Soluble salts (SS) and pH monitoring using the Pour Thru procedure on the media treatments. Second week Third week Fourth we ek Treatment (#) Compost (%) pH SS 4 pH SS pH SS 1 0 2 6.7b 1 0.446 6.3b 0.438 5.7bc 0.674 2 10 6.7b 0.434 6.3b 0.488 5.4c 0.744 3 20 6.2b 0.438 6.6ab 0.428 5.8abc 0.510 4 30 6.9ab 0.452 6.6ab 0.442 5.9abc 0.474b 5 40 7.1a 0.422 6.7a 0.432 6.1ab 0.526 6 50 7.1a 0.38 6.7a 0.40 6 5.9abc 0.590 7 60 7.2a 0.428 6.8a 0.400 6.3a 0.430 Range Values 3 5.5 6.5 1.0 2.6 5.5 6.5 1.0 2.6 5.5 6.5 1.0 2.6 Significance 0.0051 5 ns 0.062 ns 0.041 ns 1 Duncan's Mean Separation p= 0.05 2 All values are means from five replicates 3 Range values from Cavins et al. (2000) Pour Thru Method. 4 Soluble salts values in dS/m. 5 ns = not significant p > 0.05 Soluble salts readings did not show any significant differences between the treatment media (Table 4 2). There is a perception among growe rs that composts contain high soluble salts levels. In this case the soluble salts levels were not high and they were even lower than the values established by Cavins et al. (2000). A slow release fertilizer was used in the experiment. These fertilizers ar e resin coated fertilizers that provide a constant release rate of nutrients over time, a normally recommended electrical conductivity and nutrient level measured might be lower compared with a liquid fertilization program.

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43 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percentage of Compost in the Media pH Second Wk Fourth Wk Fifth Wk Fig ure 4 4. pH behavior for each of the media treatments compared with percentages of compost in the media. Initial chemical analyses performed on the media treatments (Table 4 3) showed that pH increased with increasing percentage of compost, and peat predom inant mixes had a very low pH when compared with the recommended range. High compost treatments had a pH close to neutral. Macronutrient analyses showed that N concentration was lower than the normal range on all seven treatments (Table 4 3). P values tend ed to increase with the addition of compost in the media. However it was only about 20 ppm higher than the normal range on the 60 % compost treatment. K concentration increased with increasing percentage of dairy manure compost in the media. The K concentr ation in the compost was probably higher than normal because of high K content from the composts parent material, which is mostly forage material. Ca and Mg concentrations seemed to increase with increasing percentage of compost in the media. But while Mg did remained inside the recommended range values, Ca was lower than the recommended range on all treatments. S concentration for all treatments was in the normal recommended range and did not seem to change with increasing compost in the media (Table 4 3)

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44 Micronutrient analysis of the media showed that the addition of compost to the media provided them with sufficient range levels except for Cu. It was clear that the control and predominant peat mixes had low concentrations of micronutrients compared with the treatments with higher percentages of compost (Table 4 4). Table 4 3. Initial pH, SS and macronutrient chemical analysis of the seven media treatments. Treatment (#) Percent Compost in the Media Media pH Soluble Salts (mmhos/cm) N (ppm) P (ppm ) K (ppm) Ca (ppm) Mg (ppm) S (ppm) 1 0 4.7 0.02 15 5 62 90 122 18 2 10 4.8 0.11 14 15 161 190 158 24 3 20 5.2 0.23 16 23 223 260 182 26 4 30 5.8 0.34 14 41 354 360 194 24 5 40 6.4 0.35 15 48 292 250 127 31 6 50 6.9 0.53 14 52 461 480 211 20 7 60 7.7 0.64 16 80 314 290 143 21 Range Values 1 5.5 6.5 0.2 1.0 25 150 12 60 50 250 500 5000 50 500 15 200 1 Values were provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typical good values. Table 4 4. Initial micronutrient analysis from the seven media treatments. Treatment (#) Percent Compost in the Media Fe (ppm) Mn (ppm) Zn (ppm) Cu (ppm) B (ppm) 1 0 3.3 1.2 0.4 0.1 0.1 2 10 3.7 1.6 1.3 0.4 0.1 3 20 3.7 1.9 2.0 0.6 0.3 4 30 4.5 2.6 2.9 0.9 0.3 5 40 5.1 2.2 2.7 0.8 3.5 6 50 4.7 2.7 3.0 0.8 0.6 7 60 5.3 2.2 2.7 0.8 0.6 Range Values 1 2.5 25 2.5 25 2.5 25 1.2 5 0.5 2.0 1 Values are provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typical good values.

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45 Diagnostic leaf tissue analysis was performed to evaluate if the compost would provide deficiencies or toxicities that could have prevented the plant from achieving normal growth. Except for Ca and Mn all of the elements in the plants tissue did not show any significant differences bet ween treatments that contained a higher percentage of compost and treatments that contained less compost (Table 4 5). Mg concentrations on all treatments were above the high sufficiency range. Mn concentration showed differences between treatments, but the y were not due to the increasing percentage of compost in the mix (Figure 4 5). The 20 and 30% compost treatments had the highest concentrations of Mn, while both the control and 60% compost content mixes had lower Mn concentrations. Ca concentration showe d significant differences between treatments. It increased with increasing percentage of compost in the media (Figure 4 6). Table 4 5. Diagnostic leaf tissue chemical analysis. Treatment Number Percent compost TKN (%) P (%) K (%) Ca (%) Mg (%) 1 0 1 1.40 0.31 4.54 1.39b 3 0.97 2 10 1.26 0.31 4.42 1.44ab 1.01 3 20 1.27 0.31 4.44 1.50ab 1.06 4 30 1.33 0.34 4.48 1.57a 1.05 5 40 1.30 0.32 4.27 1.55a 0.99 6 50 1.31 0.33 4.16 1.55a 1.03 7 60 1.265 0.31 4.12 1.56a 0.99 Suffici ency range 2 NA 0.30 1.24 2.90 5.86 1.00 2.50 0.25 0.86 Significance 4 ns ns ns 0.0575 ns 1 All values are means from three replicates. 2 Sufficiency ranges from Mills and Jones (1996). 3 Duncan's Mean Separation p = 0.05. 4 ns = not significant p>0.05

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46 Table 4 5 continued. Treatment Number Percent compost Fe (mg/L) Mn (mg/L) Cu (mg/L) Zn (mg/L) 1 0 1 202.73 83.83c 3 4.34 38.62 2 10 149.73 131.7b 3.94 44.16 3 20 281.67 177.27a 4.2 55.88 4 30 235.43 180.53a 4.58 58.97 5 40 203.41 141.50b 4 .20 51.69 6 50 188.93 134.10b 3.80 53.27 7 60 123.9 110.53bc 3.77 43.03 Sufficiency range 2 60 300 30 284 7 35 25 115 Significance 4 ns 0.0016 ns ns 1 All values are means from three replicates. 2 Sufficiency ranges from Mills and Jones (1996). 3 Duncan 's Mean Separation p = 0.05. 4 ns = not significant p> 0.05 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percentage of Compost in the Media (%) Mn Concentration (ppm) Figure 4 5. Mn concentration from diagnostic leaf tissue analysis 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.55 1.60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percentage of Compost in the Media (%) Ca Concentration (%) Figure 4 6. Ca concentration from diagnostic leaf tissue analysis

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47 The plant yield parameters did not show significant differences except for dry weights measured and plant size (Table 4 6). Dry weights mean separation showed that the 10, 20, 30 and 40% compost containing mixes were all the same and had the highest yields (Fi gure 4 7). However, there were no differences between the control and the mix that had the highest amount of compost. According to the statistical analysis the mean dry weights between the 0% compost treatment and the 60% compost treatment will not be sta tistically different 95% of the time. Plant Size between the 60% compost and 0% compost treatments was significantly different. Table 4 6. Final salvia yield parameters measured for comparison between the seven media treatments. Treatment (#) Percent Comp ost Fresh weight (g) Dry weight (g) Percent Dry Matter (%) Plant Height (cm) Plant Width (cm) Plant Size (cm) Flower Spikes (#) 1 0 2 21.6ab 1 5.2abc 24.0 50.0 21.9 36.0ab 1.5 2 10 23.9ab 5.9a 24.4 49.4 22.9 36.1ab 1.0 3 20 24.7a 6.1a 24.6 53.5 23.1 38.3a 1.2 4 30 24.2ab 6.0a 24.6 49.8 22.7 36.3ab 1.3 5 40 21.4ab 5.4ab 25.1 47.2 22.4 34.8abc 1.2 6 50 20.6b 4.9bc 23.9 46.0 21.4 33.7bc 1.4 7 60 17.2c 4.4c 25.9 43.5 20.2 31.8c 1.6 Significance 0.0002 0.001 3 ns ns ns 0.076 ns 1 Duncan's mean se paration alpha p = 0.05 2 All values are means from 20 replicates. 3 ns = not significant p> 0.10 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percentage of Compost in the Media Average Dry Weight (g) Figure 4 7. Average shoot dry weight compared with percentage of compost in the growth media for salvia plants.

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48 Discussion The purpose of using this compost in the nursery industry would be to provide an organic amendment or a stand alone potting media. It would not be intended to provide nutrients to plants. The intention would be to substitute the compost for peat in most gr owing mixes. Organic amendments in most mixes are included to provide a growing media with improvement in physical properties, such as increased water holding capacity, aeration, and decreased wet weight. A good media should drain rapidly after irrigation, and it should ideally contain at least 15% or more air space after draining, ideally, 20 35% (Kasica, 1997). Oxygen stress conditions are likely to develop at values lower than 10% (Cabrera, 2001). At the same time, a good media should contain at least 30 % available water. All of these characteristics were achieved in this experiment. Chemical analyses of the experimental media showed that the presence of compost did not provide toxic levels of nutrients. Rather the compost provided sufficient quantities of some micronutrients. In fact the compost amended potting media resulted in higher Ca concentration in leaf tissue for the growth of salvia plants. The Ca concentration increased until the 30% compost mix and then remained stable at approximately 1.5% Ca (Figure 4 6). The dairy manure compost provided what was needed in a container media. Characteristics like good water holding or container capacity, good aeration and drainage, total porosity, air space, lightweight (low bulk density), and good fertility Best growth index of salvia occurred with the 40% peat: 20% compost: 30% vermiculite: 10% perlite (Table 4 6). However it was not significantly different from all of the other treatments except for the 60% compost mix. This mix had superior plant height, width, and plant size. It also provided ideal leaf tissue chemical analysis and physical properties.

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49 Although a mix with a higher amount of peat yielded a better plant size, the control was not significantly different from the mix containing the most comp ost. They both showed that they were not statistically different for most physical properties except for container capacity. Lower container capacity provided by compost mixes can be suitable for an outdoor production with small containers. In the case of chemical properties compost did provide an increase in micronutrient concentration. Using a mix with both peat and compost seemed to have produced the best results. Combining both peat properties and compost properties in a mix will probably yield a superi or container growth media for use in nursery stock, but using compost alone should not be any different than using peat in terms of plant dry weight.

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50 CHAPTER 5 DAIRY MANURE COMPOST AS A COMPONENT IN CONTAINER GROWN MEDIA Introduction The previous experiment verified that dairy manure compost could be used as a growth media in container nursery mixes without causing any potential damage to plants. The next step was to evaluate the compost with several other types of container growth media and also as a completely stand alone media. This was accomplished by comparing common commercial peat based nursery mixes with mixes containing compost in place of pea t. According to Fonteno (1996), most soilless media used in the United States are derivatives of two groups established by university research. One group was from the University of California (UC), which used various combinations of peat, sand, and peat al one. The other group is from Cornell University, which uses various combinations of peat, perlite and vermiculite. Seven mixes were used for compost evaluations (Fonteno, 1996). Mirror treatments were setup. The first and second mixes were from a Peat lit e Mix A that contains 50% peat and 50% vermiculite compared with 50% compost and 50% vermiculite. The third and fourth mixes were based on one from the University of California Mix E that contained 100% peat moss, and it was compared with 100% compost. The fifth and sixth mixes were based in a common mix that woody ornamental nurseries use around the Tampa, Florida, area that contained 70% peat, 20% bark and 10% sand. It was compared with 70% compost, 20% bark and 10% sand. The seventh

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51 mix was also from the Cornell group, but it was the one that yielded the best results in the previous experiment. It contained 40% peat moss, 20% compost, 30% vermiculite and 10% perlite. The evaluation procedure was the same as in the previous experiment. Materials and Meth ods A sample of compost was obtained in July 2001 from the nutrient removal and drum composting system at Gore's Dairy. The sample was taken from a pile that had recently taken out of the digester. The compost was screened with a 1.3 cm screen to remove l arger particles and to produce a uniform product. Canadian sphagnum peat moss was used for the treatments. The following treatments were mixed by volume: 1. 50 % peat: 50% vermiculite (PV). 2. 50% compost: 50%vermiculite (CV). 3. 100% peat (P). 4. 100% compost (C) 5. 70% peat: 20% bark: 10% sand (PBS). 6. 70% compost: 20% bark: 10% sand (CBS). 7. 40% peat: 20% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite (PCVPr). To get a homogeneous mix the treatments were mixed with a small concrete mixer. Samples from each of the treatment mixes were sent to A & L Southern Agricultural Laboratories where they performed an S 7 container media test with a Morgan extractant with sodium acetate and DTPA. The same chemical analyses were performed on the compost as in chapters 3 and 4 (Wolf, 19 82). The chemical analyses provided pH, soluble salts (SS), available N, P, K, Mg, Ca, S, Z, Mn, Fe, Cu and B. A physical properties test was also performed on the seven treatment media. It was

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52 performed in the same way as the procedures in chapters 3 and 4 according to Beeson (1995). Total porosity, container capacity, moisture content, air space and bulk density were determined. Salvia ( Salvia farinacea ) plugs were transplanted into 10 cm pots containing the potting mix treatments described above. The po ts were placed in a completely randomized design with 7 treatments, 5 plants per treatment, and 4 replications for a total of 140 plants. The variables measured at the end of the experiment were 1) Plant size (average of height and diameter), 2) Flowering (number of flower spikes) 3) Shoot dry weight and 4) pH and soluble salts (SS) of the media using the PourThru method. SS and pH measurements were made three times during the duration of the experiment according to Cavins et al. (2000). Plant size was cal culated as the average of height and width. Height was measured from the bottom surface of the media to the highest tip of the plant. Width was an average of two measurements east west and north south. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse on the U niversity of Florida campus using drip irrigation, beginning in July 2001. After the first week all pots were irrigated three times a day at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. for 1 min, which was slightly less than 100 ml per irrigation. Irrigation water came from the Gainesville municipal water supply. Pots were fertilized three days after planting by top dressing with 5 grams of a slow release fertilizer 14N 6.2P 11.6K Osmocote (14N 14P 2 O 5 14K 2 O) (The Scotts Company Marysville, Ohio). Plants were grown for 35 days after transplanting until they were at their approximate market size. Shoots were cut at the surface of the media and dried at 70 C for 48 hrs, then weighed to obtain shoot or plant dry weight.

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53 Results Physical properties evaluation of the m edia showed significant differences between treatments. Treatment comparisons (Table 5 1) were made between mirror treatments, since all treatments were different in physical properties. Table 5 1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatmen ts. Media 4 Total Porosity (%) Container Capacity (%) Air Space (%) Moisture Content (%) Bulk Density (g/cc) PV (50:50) 3 75.0bc 2 53.0b 22.0abc 82.5b 0.11f CV (50:50) 73.2c 47.2c 26.0a 65.7d 0.25d P (100) 78.8a 58.9a 19.9bc 85.7a 0.1 0f C (100) 77.9ab 53.9b 24.0ab 59.0e 0.37b PBS (70:20:10) 68.3d 49.4c 18.9c 60.3e 0.33c CBS (70:20:10) 67.6d 43.6d 24.0ab 45.3f 0.53a PCVPr (40:20:30:10) 73.6c 54.5b 19.1bc 76.6c 0.17e Range Values 1 50 85 45 65 10 30 70 80 0.19 0.70 Significance 0.00 02 0.0001 0.0215 0.0001 0.0001 1 Range values are recommended physical characteristics (Yeager, 1995). 2 Duncan's mean separation alpha p = 0.05 3 All values are means from three replicates 4 P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark;S=Sand;Pr=perlite Th ere were no significant differences between the total porosity of mirror treatments, which means that there were no differences between compost or peat based media (Figure 5 1a). Container capacity did show significant differences between mirror treatments It was less when using compost instead of peat in the mixes (Figure 5 1b). Air space comparison between treatments showed that there was an increase of air space in the mixes that contained compost (Figure 5 1c).

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54 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Total Porosity (%) a 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Container Capacity (%) b 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Air Space (%) c Figure 5 1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. a) total porosity, b) container capacity, c) air space Moisture content showed significant differences between mirror treatments. It was lower in the compost mixes by about 18 20% (Figure 5 2a). Compost did not seem to absorb as much moisture as peat. Bulk density was also different between mirror

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55 treatments. It was higher in compost mixes compared with peat mixes, which tend to have a very low bulk density (Figure 5 2b). When comparing bulk densities the peat based mixes had values lower than the normal ideal range. Ideal bulk density of a potting mix will depend on anticipated handling of plants in the nursery. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Moisture Content (%) a 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.60 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Bulk density (g/cc) b Figure 5 2. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. a) moisture content, b) bulk density. Soluble Salts monitoring during the experiment showed no significant differences between the compost mixes and the peat mixes (Table 5 2). The first soluble salts reading was the only reading in which values were in the normal range. The reason was that most

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56 slow release fertilizers take a while to start releasing nutrients. For the plants to not suffer from lack of n utrients, especially at the beginning stages of growth, each pot was injected with 10 ml of a 500 ppm solution of 15 30 15 as a starter fertilizer with a higher P content for root development. Table 5 2. Soluble Salts (SS) and pH monitoring using the Pour Thru method on the media treatments. Second week Third week Fourth week Media 4 pH SS pH SS pH SS PV(50:50) 3 4.7c 2 1.12 4.5c 0.38 4.3c 0.63a CV(50:50) 7.0a 1.41 6.3a 0.41 6.3a 0.45a P(100) 3.3d 1.73 3.3d 0.57 3.4d 0.61a C(100) 6.9a 1.67 6.6a 0.52 6.2 a 0.78a PBS(70:20:10) 3.5d 1.45 3.4d 0.50 3.4d 0.65a CBS(70:20:10) 6.6a 1.39 6.5a 0.43 6.1a 0.53a PCVPr(40:20:30:10) 6.1b 1.22 5.3b 0.53 5.1b 0.74a Range Values 1 5.5 6.5 1.0 2.6 5.5 6.5 1.0 2.6 5.5 6.5 1.0 2.6 Significance 0.0001 5 ns 0.0001 ns 0.0001 0.557 1 Range values from Cavins et al. (2000) PourThru method 2 Duncan's Mean Separation = 0.05 3 All values are means from five replicates 4 P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark;S=Sand;Pr=perlite 5 ns = not significant p > 0.05 However, pH mon itoring did show significant differences between the mirror treatments. Overall the pH values from compost mixes were better than pH values from the peat mixes. During the first weeks, the pH in compost mixes was near a neutral value. Later, the pH from co mpost mixes fell into the normal range, while the peat mixes provided a very acid or low pH. In the compost alone and peat alone mixes the differences in pH were obvious (Figure 5 3). Compost started at a neutral pH and tended to go to the recommended valu es from the beginning, while peat produced a very acid pH

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57 in the media from the beginning. That is why most peat mixes have to be limed to prevent any nutrient deficiencies that can cause plant damage. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Second week Third week Fourth week Sampling Dates pH Peat Compost Figure 5 3. Differences i n pH between mixes containing 100% compost vs. 100% peat. Initial macronutrient chemical analyses performed on the media showed the same results as previous analyses, i.e., compost provided the mixes with an increase in K, Ca and Mg content. Due to the pre sence of these nutrients in the compost, the soluble salts levels were higher, but they were not out of the recommended range. Additionally, P was increased by 20 ppm more than the high value range on all treatments that contained compost (Table 5 3). Obvi ously, the addition of compost to the media did provide the mix with macronutrients that a normal peat based mix would not provide. Micronutrient analysis showed that Mn, Zn and B concentrations reached their recommended range value only in the mixes cont aining compost. Fe and Cu concentrations seemed to stay the same when using either peat or compost in the mixes (Table 5 4). In both micronutrient and macronutrient analyses, compost seemed to have provided the media with nutrients for plant growth.

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58 Table 5 3. Initial pH, Soluble Salts (SS) and macronutrient chemical analysis from the seven media treatments. Media 2 Soil pH Soluble Salts (mmhos/cm) N (ppm) P (ppm) K (ppm) Ca (ppm) Mg (ppm) S (ppm) PV(50:50) 5.1 0.01 28 5 128 1 40 191 20 CV(50:50) 7.6 0.43 200 80 429 910 393 26 P(100) 4.5 0.01 29 8 14 120 67 24 C(100) 7.8 0.89 28 80 907 1720 531 22 PBS(70:20:10) 4.5 0.01 27 8 19 120 31 29 CBS(70:20:10) 7.3 0.74 25 80 509 960 284 31 PCVPr(40:20:30:10) 5.5 0.19 27 78 288 570 289 23 Range Values 1 5.5 6.5 0.2 1.0 25 150 12 60 50 250 500 5000 50 500 15 200 1 Range values were provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typical good values. 2 P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark;S=Sand;Pr=perlite Table 5 4. Initial micronutrient analysis from the seven media treatments. Media 2 Fe (ppm) Mn (ppm) Zn (ppm) Cu (ppm) B (ppm) PV(50:50) 2.4 0.9 0.5 0.2 0.1 CV(50:50) 2.9 3.5 4.9 0.5 0.8 P(100) 2.9 0.7 0.5 0.1 0.1 C(100) 2.5 6.2 6.2 0. 4 1.7 PBS(70:20:10) 2.4 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.2 CBS(70:20:10) 3 3.9 5.6 0.6 1.3 PCVPr(40:20:30:10) 2.4 2.5 2.7 0.5 0.3 Range Values 1 2.5 25 2.5 25 2.5 25 1.2 5 0.5 2.0 1 Range values were provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typica l good values. 2 P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark;S=Sand;Pr=perlite Plant yield parameters measured on salvia showed significant differences between treatments (Table 5 5). Dry weight results showed that the treatment that yielded the best re sult in the previous experiment was also the best in this one (PCVPr), followed by the

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59 three compost mixes (CV, C and CBS). The lowest dry weight value was the 100% peat mix (Figure 5 4). Comparing dry weights between mirror treatments, the mix that contai ned compost had a higher dry weight than the mixes containing peat. Table 5 5. Final salvia yield parameters measured for comparison between the seven media treatments. Media 3 Fresh weight (g) Dry weight (g) Percent Dry Matter (%) Plant Height (cm) Plant Width (cm) Plant Size (cm) Flower Spikes (Number) PV(50:50) 2 40.86bc 1 8.65bc 21.26c 89.2a 32.6a 60.9a 3.9ab CV(50:50) 41.93b 9.75b 23.28ab 77.9b 33.1a 55.5bc 4.9a P(100) 29.82d 7.49d 25.14ab 75.9b 29.7b 52.8c 3.5b C(100) 40.55bc 9.51 b 23.44ab 80.5b 34.5a 57.5ab 4.7ab PBS(70:20:10) 32.24d 7.75cd 24.13ab 77.9b 30.5b 54.2bc 4.5ab CBS(70:20:10) 37.21c 8.91b 24.06ab 78.0b 32.7a 55.3bc 3.6b PCVPr(40:20:30:10) 47.89a 11.01a 22.96bc 89.7a 33.0a 61.3a 5.1a Significance 0.0001 0.0001 0.0128 0.016 0.0042 0.0017 0.048 1 Duncan's mean separation alpha p = 0.05 2 All values are means from 20 replicates. 3 P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark;S=Sand;Pr=perlite 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Dry Weight (g) Figure 5 4. Final plant dry weight measured from s alvia.

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60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Plant Height (cm) a 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Plant Width (cm) b 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr Treatment Number Plant Size (cm) c Figure 5 5. Final plant yield parameters measured from salvia. a) plant height, b) plant width, c) plant size.

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61 There were two treatments that had the tallest plan ts, and those were the peat: vermiculite (PV) and the treatment that had peat: compost: vermiculite: perlite (PCVPr). The latter was the treatment with best results from the previous experiment. Except for these two mixes, all others had the same height (F igure 5 5a). Plant width showed that compost mixes provided a wider plant compared with the mirror treatment, except on the PV and CV treatments, which were the same. The treatment with the 100% compost had the widest plant (Figure 5 5b). Peat based mixes yielded taller plants while compost based mixes yielded wider plants. Plant size showed no significant differences between the treatment with 100% compost (C), peat: vermiculite (PV) and the peat: compost: vermiculite: perlite (PCVPr) (Figure 5 5c). An imp ortant finding was that the mean separation of plant size from the compost stand alone mix was not different from the highest dry weight yielding mix, the PCVPr. Although flower spike differences were significant between treatments, the mean separation dif ferences between mirror treatments showed that the means were the same. This means that neither compost nor peat affected the number of flower spikes on the plants. Discussion According to the physical properties tests, the total porosity was not affected when using compost instead of peat. On the other hand container capacity did show differences when using compost instead of peat. It decreased in the mixes that contained compost. When creating potting mixes with compost instead of peat, the container capa city or water holding capacity of the media will be reduced by about 10% compared with what a normal peat mix provides. Air space determinations showed that the compost provided the potting mixes with an increased air space. Greater air space means that th e

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62 mix will provide better root development and drainage. Peat based mixes had greater moisture content values than compost mixes. Peat has a greater ability to absorb moisture. Bulk density values on compost mixes were higher than on peat mixes. The pH di fferences between peat mixes and compost mixes were very significant. Peat mixes have to be limed to correct the acid pH. Compost mixes had a neutral pH on the first sampling date. However, by the second time the sampling was done, the pH had decreased and reached the recommended range. Soluble salts analyses did not reveal any significant differences between compost and peat. Based on the container media chemical analyses, compost based mixes provided the media with added K, Ca and Mg. As shown in chapter 4, compost provided the plant with an increased amount of Ca in leaf tissue analysis. As explained in Chapter 3, K levels were high in the compost due to its parent material. Micronutrient concentrations reached their ideal range values when compost was pr esent in the mixes, except for Cu. Neither compost nor peat mixes provided sufficient range values for Cu. Plant growth parameters showed again that the mix with highest plant dry weight was the same mix as from the previous experiment in Chapter 4 (PCVPr ). It can be inferred that compost and peat produced comparable plant growth results. However, a potting mix with both compost and peat produced highest plant dry weight. Plant height was greater with mixes containing peat, but plant width was greater with mixes containing compost. However, plant size for the 100% compost (C), peat: vermiculite (PV) and the peat: compost: vermiculite: perlite (PCVPr) mixes were not significantly different. The 100% compost mix proved to be a good growing mix. The dry weight and plant size were not significantly different from the highest yielding mix.

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63 CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Summary A series of tests were performed on dairy manure compost produced at a nutrient removal and drum composting system to evaluate its use as a growth medium in the nursery industry. The first objective was to evaluate the composts physical, chemical and biological properties and prove that it had potential for use as growth medium in the nursery industry. Biological properties evaluated on the compost showed that it did not have substances that would cause plant damag e. In the compost extract test the germination index was calculated at 103 %. Germination tests were significant, and mean separation did not show any significant differences between germination with compost extract versus deionized water and compost versu s peat as a direct seed germination media. The compost seemed to be very mature after being digested at an average temperature of 55 C for 3 days. Results of physical properties tests on the compost were compared with common range values recommended for container mixes. Results showed that averaged physical properties values were made within the recommended ranges and that compost had physical properties, which made it suitable for use in common nursery mixes. The chemical properties of compost revealed that the compost did not contain any toxic levels of heavy metals or nutrients that would cause plant damage. Complete digestion analysis showed that most of the values were within the recommended ranges,

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64 except for K, Mg and Ca. They were higher than the recommended ranges, and Zn was below the normal range. Chemical tests with a Morgan extract demonstrated a K concentration higher than the range, but soluble salts were within the normal range. The micronutrient analysis showed that compost would provide t he plant with micronutrients, except Cu, which had a lower value compared with the normal range. The second objective of the study was to evaluate the compost as a substitute for peat, a common organic material used in container mixes. An experiment was p erformed to compare plant growth and behavior between using peat or an increasing amount of compost substituted for peat in the mix. Several plant growth parameters were measured, along with a diagnostic leaf tissue analysis and physical and chemical tests performed on the potting mixes to determine if compost had any effect on plant growth. Compost and peat mixes had similar total porosity and air space, but they differed in container capacity, moisture content and bulk density. Peat seemed to have higher container capacity and moisture content but a lower bulk density than compost. Container capacity decreased with the increased addition of compost to the potting mix. Moisture content also decreased with the addition of compost to the medium. The compost d id not absorb as much water as peat. Bulk density increased with increasing amount of compost in the medium. Chemical properties evaluation showed that pH increased with the addition of compost to the medium. Compost provided the medium with a higher buffe r capacity than what peat provided to potting mixes. Soluble salts readings did not show any significant differences between the treatment mediums. The macronutrient analysis revealed a higher K concentration in mixes with compost. Micronutrient analysis s howed that mixes containing compost provided micronutrient levels in the sufficiency range,

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65 except for Cu. Diagnostic leaf tissue analysis was performed to evaluate if the compost would cause deficiencies or toxicities to the plant. Only Ca and Mn showed s ignificant differences in the tissue analyses. Mn differences were not due to addition of compost. Ca concentration increased with increasing addition of compost to the mix. Plant yield parameters did not show significant differences except for dry weights Dry weights mean separation for the 10, 20, 30 and 40% compost containing mixes showed that they were all the same and had the highest yields. The mean dry weights between the 0% compost treatment (control) and the 60% compost treatment were not signific antly different. The final objective was to evaluate compost in different container mixes, which were commonly used used in the nursery industry. Plant yield parameters, and also physical and chemical parameters, were evaluated on the mixes for comparison Physical properties tests indicated that total porosity was not affected when using compost instead of peat, container capacity was reduced by about 10%, air space in compost containing mixes increased by about 5%, moisture content was higher in peat mix es and bulk density was higher in compost mixes. Chemical properties tests revealed that pH was low in peat mixes and almost neutral in compost mixes, soluble salts were not significantly different between compost and peat, and compost based mixes provided the medium with added K, Ca and Mg. Micronutrient concentrations reached their ideal range values when compost was present in the mixes, except for Cu. Plant parameters which were measured indicated that the mix with highest plant dry weight was the same high yield mix from the previous experiment. The 100% compost mix had the same plant size as the highest yielding mix, which was the mix with 40% peat, 20% compost, 30% vermiculite and

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66 10% perlite. The dairy manure compost proved to be a good substitute fo r peat in most mixes, and it was a good stand alone medium. The 100% compost parameters measured in the experiment were 78% porosity, 54% container capacity, 24% air space, 59% moisture content, 0.37 g/cc, pH range of 6.9 6.2. Conclusions After various e xperiments conducted on the compost, dairy manure compost was found to be mature, and it did not contain high amounts of nutrients that could cause toxicity to plants. Compost physical properties values were within the ranges recommended for container medi a. Plant experiments revealed that compost could be substituted for peat, and it could also be used as a stand alone medium in the nursery industry. Use of compost resulted in higher pH (neutral), about a 6% decrease in container capacity, and about an 11% decrease in moisture content when compost was added to container media. Compost had adequate total porosity and provided increased air space compared with peat. Plant dry weight results were not significantly different between the highest compost mix and the highest peat mix. Tissue analyses revealed no toxicities or deficiencies with the addition of compost to the mix. Compost as a stand alone medium performed well in plant yields and for physical and chemical properties. Plant growth parameters showed th at a mix with peat and compost provided a higher dry weight plant. Compost alone resulted in the same plant size as the mix with compost and peat. Compost showed a good comparison to peat, and it would be a good medium or amendment to use for nursery stock production.

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67 APPENDIX A GERMINATION TEST CALCULATIONS Compost Extract Germination Test (A) Germination Root Length (cm) Replication Compost Extract Deionized water Compost Extract Deionized water 1 4 3 4.9 3.2 2 3 4 2 3.5 3 1 5 0.1 1.4 4 1 2 1 1.1 5 3 2 2 1.2 6 4 3 4.4 1.4 Average 2.7 3.2 2.4 2.0 % germination and % shoot length 84.2 122.0 Germination Index 102.77 Compost Extract Germination Test (B) Packet 1 Packet 2 Germination recorded Ge rmination recorded Replication 24 hrs 48 hrs 72 hrs 24 hrs 48 hrs 72 hrs 1 0 7 8 0 7 8 2 1 7 9 1 7 9 3 0 4 9 0 4 9 4 1 8 8 1 8 8 5 0 6 7 0 6 7 6 0 6 8 0 6 8 Average 0.3 6.3 8.2 0.3 6.3 8.2 Control 0 5 9 0 5 9 Bioassay Test (peat vers us compost) Germination Replication Direct Compost Direct Peat 1 18 16 2 2 7 3 18 8 4 19 13 5 3 10 6 17 15 Average 12.8 11.5

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68 Peat vs. Compost Germination Compost Pea t Compost Peat Compost Peat REP # Germ REP # Germ REP # Germ REP # Germ REP # Germ REP # Germ 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 5 1 3 5 1 5 9 0 5 9 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 3 6 1 3 6 1 5 10 0 5 10 1 1 3 1 1 3 1 3 7 1 3 7 1 5 11 0 5 11 0 1 4 1 1 4 1 3 8 1 3 8 1 5 12 0 5 12 0 1 5 1 1 5 1 3 9 1 3 9 0 5 13 0 5 13 0 1 6 1 1 6 1 3 10 1 3 10 0 5 14 0 5 14 0 1 7 1 1 7 1 3 11 1 3 11 0 5 15 0 5 15 0 1 8 1 1 8 1 3 12 1 3 12 0 5 16 0 5 16 0 1 9 1 1 9 1 3 13 1 3 13 0 5 17 0 5 17 0 1 10 1 1 10 1 3 14 1 3 14 0 5 18 0 5 18 0 1 11 1 1 11 1 3 15 1 3 15 0 5 19 0 5 19 0 1 12 1 1 12 1 3 16 1 3 16 0 5 20 0 5 20 0 1 13 1 1 13 1 3 17 1 3 17 0 5 21 0 5 21 0 1 14 1 1 14 1 3 18 1 3 18 0 5 22 0 5 22 0 1 15 1 1 15 1 3 19 0 3 19 0 5 23 0 5 23 0 1 16 1 1 16 1 3 20 0 3 20 0 5 24 0 5 24 0 1 17 1 1 17 0 3 21 0 3 21 0 5 25 0 5 25 0 1 18 1 1 18 0 3 22 0 3 22 0 6 1 1 6 1 1 1 19 0 1 19 0 3 23 0 3 23 0 6 2 1 6 2 1 1 20 0 1 20 0 3 24 0 3 24 0 6 3 1 6 3 1 1 21 0 1 21 0 3 25 0 3 25 0 6 4 1 6 4 1 1 22 0 1 22 0 4 1 1 4 1 1 6 5 1 6 5 1 1 23 0 1 23 0 4 2 1 4 2 1 6 6 1 6 6 1 1 24 0 1 24 0 4 3 1 4 3 1 6 7 1 6 7 1 1 25 0 1 25 0 4 4 1 4 4 1 6 8 1 6 8 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 4 5 1 4 5 1 6 9 1 6 9 1 2 2 1 2 2 1 4 6 1 4 6 1 6 10 1 6 10 1 2 3 0 2 3 1 4 7 1 4 7 1 6 11 1 6 11 1 2 4 0 2 4 1 4 8 1 4 8 1 6 12 1 6 12 1 2 5 0 2 5 1 4 9 1 4 9 1 6 13 1 6 13 1 2 6 0 2 6 1 4 10 1 4 10 1 6 14 1 6 14 1 2 7 0 2 7 1 4 11 1 4 11 1 6 15 1 6 15 1 2 8 0 2 8 0 4 12 1 4 12 1 6 16 1 6 16 0 2 9 0 2 9 0 4 13 1 4 13 1 6 17 1 6 17 0 2 10 0 2 10 0 4 14 1 4 14 0 6 18 0 6 18 0 2 11 0 2 11 0 4 15 1 4 15 0 6 19 0 6 19 0 2 12 0 2 12 0 4 16 1 4 16 0 6 20 0 6 20 0 2 13 0 2 13 0 4 17 1 4 17 0 6 21 0 6 21 0 2 14 0 2 14 0 4 18 1 4 18 0 6 22 0 6 22 0 2 15 0 2 15 0 4 19 1 4 19 0 6 23 0 6 23 0 2 16 0 2 16 0 4 20 0 4 20 0 6 24 0 6 24 0 2 17 0 2 17 0 4 21 0 4 21 0 6 25 0 6 25 0 2 18 0 2 18 0 4 22 0 4 22 0 2 19 0 2 19 0 4 23 0 4 23 0 2 20 0 2 20 0 4 24 0 4 24 0 2 21 0 2 21 0 4 25 0 4 25 0 2 22 0 2 22 0 5 1 1 5 1 1 2 23 0 2 23 0 5 2 1 5 2 1 2 24 0 2 24 0 5 3 1 5 3 1 2 25 0 2 25 0 5 4 0 5 4 1 3 1 1 3 1 1 5 5 0 5 5 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 5 6 0 5 6 1 3 3 1 3 3 1 5 7 0 5 7 1 3 4 1 3 4 1 5 8 0 5 8 1

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69 APPENDIX B PLANT TRIAL EXPERIMENT #1 DATA Experimental Design for Experiment #1 Treatments 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 111 121 131 141 151 161 171 2 112 122 132 142 152 162 172 3 113 123 133 143 153 163 173 4 114 124 134 144 154 164 17 4 REP#1 5 115 125 135 145 155 165 175 1 211 221 231 241 251 261 271 2 212 222 232 242 252 262 272 3 213 223 233 243 253 263 273 4 214 224 234 244 254 264 274 REP#2 5 215 225 235 245 255 265 275 1 311 321 33 1 341 351 361 371 2 312 322 332 342 352 362 372 3 313 323 333 343 353 363 373 4 314 324 334 344 354 364 374 REP#3 5 315 325 335 345 355 365 375 1 411 421 431 441 451 461 471 2 412 422 432 442 452 462 472 3 413 423 433 443 45 3 463 473 4 414 424 434 444 454 464 474 REP#4 5 415 425 435 445 455 465 475 7 Treatments (%): Peat C.M. Perlite Verm. 1 60 0 10 30 2 50 10 10 30 3 40 20 10 30 4 30 30 10 30 5 20 40 10 30 6 10 50 10 30 CRD Model: 7 0 60 10 30 Degrees of freedom MS F Treatments (t 1) 6 SS T /df MS T /MS E Error (n. t) 133 SS E /df Total (n. 1) 139 F > F 0.05 t 1 n. t F > 2.10 with 95% confidence

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70 Experiment #1 Physical Properties Test First Rep Treatment #: Drained Volume (ml) Bag Weight (g) Wet Weight (g) Dry Weight (g) Total Porosity (%) Container Capacity (%) Moisture Content (%) Air Space (%) Bulk Density (g/cc) 1 190.5 12.4 397.3 75.7 75.3 47.3 80.9 28.0 0.11 2 190.5 12.4 417.5 54.3 81.4 53.4 87.0 28.0 0.08 3 180.3 12.4 419.0 92.5 74.5 48.0 77.9 26.5 0.14 4 190.0 12.4 410.6 101.7 73.4 45.4 75.2 27.9 0.15 5 220.4 12.4 419.3 106.1 78.5 46.1 74.7 32.4 0.16 6 200.3 12.3 403.1 115.2 71.8 42.3 71.4 29.5 0.17 7 280 .0 12.3 373.0 115.8 79.0 37.8 69.0 41.2 0.17 Second Rep 1 206.0 12.5 422.7 73.3 81.7 51.4 82.7 30.3 0.11 2 195.0 12.6 432.7 81.9 80.3 51.6 81.1 28.7 0.12 3 267.0 12.5 412.3 100.2 85.2 45.9 75.7 39.3 0.15 4 184.0 12.4 441.4 92.0 78.4 51.4 79.2 27.1 0.14 5 204.0 12.5 435.2 101.6 79.1 49.1 76.7 30.0 0.15 6 170.0 12.4 437.6 88.6 76.3 51.3 79.7 25.0 0.13 7 234.0 12.6 428.7 118.4 80.0 45.6 72.4 34.4 0.17 8 255.5 12.6 451.0 149.1 82.0 44.4 66.9 37.6 0.22 Third Rep 1 238.0 12.6 368.0 70.8 78.7 43.7 80.8 35.0 0.10 2 196.0 12.5 416.5 83.9 77.7 48.9 79.9 28.8 0.12 3 202.0 12.6 407.1 88.0 76.6 46.9 78.4 29.7 0.13 4 210.0 12.6 413.8 91.1 78.3 47.5 78.0 30.9 0.13 5 262.0 12.6 409.9 100.0 84.1 45.6 75.6 38.5 0.15 6 234. 0 12.7 422.1 117.1 79.3 44.9 72.3 34.4 0.17 7 255.0 12.5 391.4 117.6 77.8 40.3 69.9 37.5 0.17

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71 Experiment #1 pH and SS measurements May 21, 2001 June 1, 2001 June 14, 2001 Treatment # pH SS pH SS pH SS 423 6.2 0.40 6.7 0.44 4.5 0.71 233 6.6 0.40 6.8 0.44 5.4 0.68 245 7.0 0.43 6.6 0.41 6.2 0.48 211 6.5 0.49 6.4 0.5 5.4 0.59 235 6.8 0.44 6.4 0.44 5.5 0.41 154 7.0 0.42 6.9 0.42 6.3 0.63 431 6.8 0.42 6.6 0.47 5.6 0.56 454 6.9 0.41 6.6 0.52 6.2 0.36 124 6.9 0.38 6.3 0.42 6.1 0.78 1 75 7.2 0.42 6.9 0.38 6.6 0.48 213 6.2 0.56 5.6 0.42 5.6 0.82 361 6.8 0.51 6.9 0.28 5.9 0.56 445 6.8 0.52 6.8 0.42 6 0.44 331 6.4 0.56 6.2 0.49 6 0.46 342 6.9 0.38 6.7 0.39 5.6 0.51 464 7.2 0.28 6.8 0.44 5.3 0.8 122 6.2 0.66 5.8 0.62 5.2 0.74 462 7. 0 0.38 6.6 0.42 5.7 0.64 113 7.0 0.38 6.6 0.43 5.8 0.58 354 7.2 0.37 6.9 0.4 6.1 0.58 274 7.3 0.42 6.7 0.4 6.2 0.48 411 6.8 0.46 6.8 0.33 6.2 0.42 333 7.0 0.37 7 0.3 6.5 0.44 443 7.1 0.44 6.3 0.56 5.9 0.43 173 7.1 0.52 6.6 0.58 6.2 0.27 473 7.1 0.4 5 6.7 0.36 6.2 0.6 221 7.1 0.35 6 0.58 5.5 1 271 7.3 0.33 6.8 0.28 6.5 0.32 111 7.0 0.34 6.1 0.51 5.5 0.96 255 7.2 0.45 7.2 0.42 6.1 0.73 441 7.0 0.49 6.9 0.43 6 0.51 453 7.3 0.46 6.6 0.4 6.1 0.33 265 7.4 0.34 6.7 0.4 6.5 0.43 223 7.1 0.38 6.7 0.38 6.1 0.49 463 7.3 0.39 6.9 0.49 6.2 0.52

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72 Leaf Tissue Samples Number # Bag Weight (g) Leaf Tissue Fresh Weight w/bag (g) 8 Leaves Fresh Weight (g) Leaf Tissue Dry Weight w/bag (g) Leaf Tissue Dry Weight (g) Percent Dry Matter (%) Number # Bag We ight (g) Leaf Tissue Fresh Weight w/bag (g) 8 Leaves Fresh Weight (g) Leaf Tissue Dry Weight w/bag (g) Leaf Tissue Dry Weight (g) Percent Dry Matter (%) 1 1 1 3.16 6.95 3.79 4.22 1.06 27.97 3 1 1 3.18 4.63 1.45 3.57 0.39 2 6.90 1 1 2 3.15 4.82 1.67 3.70 0.55 32.93 3 1 2 3.18 4.76 1.58 3.67 0.49 31.01 1 1 3 3.18 4.83 1.65 3.80 0.62 37.58 3 1 3 3.13 4.50 1.37 3.63 0.50 36.50 1 1 4 3.19 4.15 0.96 3.57 0.38 39.58 3 1 4 3.16 5.15 1.99 3.78 0.62 31.16 1 1 5 3.19 5.43 2.24 4 .00 0.81 36.16 3 1 5 3.18 4.61 1.43 3.50 0.32 22.38 1 2 1 3.18 4.60 1.42 3.67 0.49 34.51 3 2 1 3.19 5.36 2.17 3.75 0.56 25.81 1 2 2 3.18 5.35 2.17 3.91 0.73 33.64 3 2 2 3.21 4.98 1.77 3.73 0.52 29.38 1 2 3 3.20 5.40 2.20 3.88 0.68 30.91 3 2 3 3.21 4 .04 0.83 3.54 0.33 39.76 1 2 4 3.20 5.30 2.10 3.90 0.70 33.33 3 2 4 3.23 5.15 1.92 3.82 0.59 30.73 1 2 5 3.18 4.24 1.06 3.45 0.27 25.47 3 2 5 3.24 4.42 1.18 3.57 0.33 27.97 1 3 1 3.21 4.51 1.30 3.66 0.45 34.62 3 3 1 3.19 4.64 1.45 3.70 0.51 35.17 1 3 2 3.19 5.19 2.00 3.73 0.54 27.00 3 3 2 3.20 6.53 3.33 4.15 0.95 28.53 1 3 3 3.18 5.56 2.38 3.84 0.66 27.73 3 3 3 3.16 4.33 1.17 3.49 0.33 28.21 1 3 4 3.20 4.44 1.24 3.50 0.30 24.19 3 3 4 3.17 5.06 1.89 3.81 0.64 33.86 1 3 5 3.16 5.03 1.87 3.66 0.50 26.74 3 3 5 3.18 5.38 2.20 3.74 0.56 25.45 1 4 1 3.19 4.63 1.44 3.74 0.55 38.19 3 4 1 3.18 4.94 1.76 3.74 0.56 31.82 1 4 2 3.18 4.93 1.75 3.68 0.50 28.57 3 4 2 3.18 4.87 1.69 3.66 0.48 28.40 1 4 3 3.21 5.30 2.09 3.81 0.60 28.71 3 4 3 3.16 4.25 1.09 3.37 0.21 19.27 1 4 4 3.20 5.20 2.00 3.93 0.73 36.50 3 4 4 3.17 4.75 1.58 3.78 0.61 38.61 1 4 5 3.21 5.94 2.73 4.04 0.83 30.40 3 4 5 3.19 4.58 1.39 3.66 0.47 33.81 1 5 1 3.16 4.34 1.18 3.60 0.44 37.29 3 5 1 3.20 4.21 1.01 3.48 0.28 27.72 1 5 2 3.17 5.81 2.64 4.04 0.87 32.95 3 5 2 3.20 4.16 0.96 3.58 0.38 39.58 1 5 3 3.19 4.55 1.36 3.67 0.48 35.29 3 5 3 3.18 4.44 1.26 3.56 0.38 30.16 1 5 4 3.18 4.46 1.28 3.57 0.39 30.47 3 5 4 3.18 4.86 1.68 3.80 0.62 36.90 1 5 5 3.20 4.95 1.75 3.71 0.51 29.14 3 5 5 3.16 4.97 1.81 3.73 0.57 31.49 1 6 1 3.20 5.70 2.50 3.84 0.64 25.60 3 6 1 3.18 5.23 2.05 3.78 0.60 29.27 1 6 2 3.20 4.88 1.68 3.73 0.53 31.55 3 6 2 3.18 4.41 1.23 3.53 0.35 28.46 1 6 3 3.19 4.58 1.39 3.65 0.46 33.09 3 6 3 3.15 4.96 1.81 3.76 0. 61 33.70 1 6 4 3.18 4.17 0.99 3.48 0.30 30.30 3 6 4 3.17 4.55 1.38 3.52 0.35 25.36 1 6 5 3.18 4.19 1.01 3.51 0.33 32.67 3 6 5 3.16 3.97 0.81 3.46 0.30 37.04 1 7 1 3.18 4.91 1.73 3.63 0.45 26.01 3 7 1 3.19 4.41 1.22 3.51 0.32 26.23 1 7 2 3.17 4.70 1. 53 3.70 0.53 34.64 3 7 2 3.18 4.32 1.14 3.57 0.39 34.21 1 7 3 3.17 4.45 1.28 3.59 0.42 32.81 3 7 3 3.19 4.17 0.98 3.58 0.39 39.80 1 7 4 3.17 4.18 1.01 3.50 0.33 32.67 3 7 4 3.19 4.29 1.10 3.57 0.38 34.55 1 7 5 3.19 4.91 1.72 3.73 0.54 31.40 3 7 5 3. 17 4.40 1.23 3.52 0.35 28.46 2 1 1 3.19 4.85 1.66 3.69 0.50 30.12 4 1 1 3.17 4.22 1.05 3.53 0.36 34.29 2 1 2 3.18 4.70 1.52 3.62 0.44 28.95 4 1 2 3.19 6.12 2.93 4.05 0.86 29.35 2 1 3 3.19 5.76 2.57 3.97 0.78 30.35 4 1 3 3.19 4.68 1.49 3.79 0.60 40.27 2 1 4 3.20 4.77 1.57 3.66 0.46 29.30 4 1 4 3.22 4.67 1.45 3.63 0.41 28.28 2 1 5 3.19 4.72 1.53 3.68 0.49 32.03 4 1 5 3.20 4.60 1.40 3.58 0.38 27.14 2 2 1 3.17 5.14 1.97 3.73 0.56 28.43 4 2 1 3.20 4.98 1.78 3.77 0.57 32.02 2 2 2 3.15 4.58 1.43 3.51 0.36 25.17 4 2 2 3.17 4.28 1.11 3.50 0.33 29.73 2 2 3 3.16 5.08 1.92 3.71 0.55 28.65 4 2 3 3.14 5.32 2.18 4.05 0.91 41.74 2 2 4 3.16 5.21 2.05 3.75 0.59 28.78 4 2 4 3.17 4.99 1.82 3.74 0.57 31.32 2 2 5 3.19 4.68 1.49 3.67 0.48 32.21 4 2 5 3.19 4.19 1.00 3.50 0.31 31.00 2 3 1 3.16 4.88 1.72 3.70 0.54 31.40 4 3 1 3.18 5.18 2.00 3.88 0.70 35.00 2 3 2 3.17 4.31 1.14 3.66 0.49 42.98 4 3 2 3.20 4.76 1.56 3.68 0.48 30.77 2 3 3 3.14 5.54 2.40 3.90 0.76 31.67 4 3 3 3.18 4.29 1.11 3.60 0.42 37.84 2 3 4 3.13 4.58 1.45 3.55 0.42 28.97 4 3 4 3.19 4.49 1.30 3.54 0.35 26.92 2 3 5 3.15 4.99 1.84 3.64 0.49 26.63 4 3 5 3.20 4.75 1.55 3.61 0.41 26.45 2 4 1 3.17 3.86 0.69 3.33 0.16 23.19 4 4 1 3.21 4.63 1.42 3.58 0.37 26.06 2 4 2 3.15 4.21 1.06 3.45 0.30 28. 30 4 4 2 3.23 5.61 2.38 3.98 0.75 31.51 2 4 3 3.16 4.58 1.42 3.67 0.51 35.92 4 4 3 3.20 4.31 1.11 3.60 0.40 36.04 2 4 4 3.17 5.64 2.47 3.93 0.76 30.77 4 4 4 3.24 4.27 1.03 3.65 0.41 39.81 2 4 5 3.19 4.02 0.83 3.63 0.44 53.01 4 4 5 3.20 4.62 1.42 3.6 9 0.49 34.51 2 5 1 3.18 4.47 1.29 3.55 0.37 28.68 4 5 1 3.21 5.44 2.23 3.96 0.75 33.63 2 5 2 3.17 4.25 1.08 3.64 0.47 43.52 4 5 2 3.23 5.26 2.03 3.90 0.67 33.00 2 5 3 3.14 4.71 1.57 3.67 0.53 33.76 4 5 3 3.24 3.93 0.69 3.44 0.20 28.99 2 5 4 3.16 4.7 0 1.54 3.55 0.39 25.32 4 5 4 3.22 4.10 0.88 3.53 0.31 35.23 2 5 5 3.16 4.07 0.91 3.52 0.36 39.56 4 5 5 3.20 5.31 2.11 3.94 0.74 35.07 2 6 1 3.17 4.79 1.62 3.69 0.52 32.10 4 6 1 3.18 4.73 1.55 3.65 0.47 30.32 2 6 2 3.19 4.71 1.52 3.67 0.48 31.58 4 6 2 3.21 4.41 1.20 3.55 0.34 28.33 2 6 3 3.15 4.90 1.75 3.70 0.55 31.43 4 6 3 3.21 5.13 1.92 3.76 0.55 28.65 2 6 4 3.17 4.32 1.15 3.54 0.37 32.17 4 6 4 3.24 4.38 1.14 3.57 0.33 28.95 2 6 5 3.16 4.60 1.44 3.56 0.40 27.78 4 6 5 3.24 5.69 2.45 3.96 0.72 2 9.39 2 7 1 3.21 4.82 1.61 3.76 0.55 34.16 4 7 1 3.20 5.78 2.58 3.95 0.75 29.07 2 7 2 3.21 4.08 0.87 3.42 0.21 24.14 4 7 2 3.22 4.20 0.98 3.55 0.33 33.67 2 7 3 3.19 4.58 1.39 3.67 0.48 34.53 4 7 3 3.22 4.42 1.20 3.61 0.39 32.50 2 7 4 3.19 4.34 1.15 3 .58 0.39 33.91 4 7 4 3.22 5.94 2.72 4.15 0.93 34.19 2 7 5 3.19 4.40 1.21 3.58 0.39 32.23 4 7 5 3.22 4.25 1.03 3.50 0.28 27.18

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73 Experiment #1 Plant Yields Numb er # Bag Weig ht (g) Whole Plant Fresh Weight w/bag (g) Whole Plant Fresh Weight w/out Leaf Tissue(g) 8 Leaves Fresh Weight (g) Whole Plant Fresh Weight (g) Whole Plant Dry Weight w/bag (g) Whole Plant Dry Weight w/out Leaf Tissue (g) Leaf Tissue Dry Weight (g) Whole Plant Dry Weight (g) Percent Dry Matter (%) 1 1 1 7.30 32.22 24.92 3.79 28.71 1 3.45 6.15 1.06 7.21 25.11 1 1 2 7.28 30.32 23.04 1.67 24.71 11.83 4.55 0.55 5.10 20.64 1 1 3 7.30 22.78 15.48 1.65 17.13 10.98 3.68 0.62 4.30 25.10 1 1 4 7.28 22.79 15.51 0.96 16.47 10.95 3.67 0.38 4.05 24.59 1 1 5 7.31 36.00 28.69 2.24 30.93 13.85 6.5 4 0.81 7.35 23.76 1 2 1 7.34 29.42 22.08 1.42 23.50 13.00 5.66 0.49 6.15 26.17 1 2 2 7.29 40.60 33.31 2.17 35.48 14.70 7.41 0.73 8.14 22.94 1 2 3 7.38 19.59 12.21 2.20 14.41 9.59 2.21 0.68 2.89 20.06 1 2 4 7.34 31.46 24.12 2.10 26.22 13.36 6.02 0.70 6. 72 25.63 1 2 5 7.26 24.40 17.14 1.06 18.20 11.28 4.02 0.27 4.29 23.57 1 3 1 7.35 38.40 31.05 1.30 32.35 14.93 7.58 0.45 8.03 24.82 1 3 2 7.34 24.28 16.94 2.00 18.94 12.48 5.14 0.54 5.68 29.99 1 3 3 7.43 43.46 36.03 2.38 38.41 15.63 8.20 0.66 8.86 23.07 1 3 4 7.40 29.93 22.53 1.24 23.77 13.20 5.80 0.30 6.10 25.66 1 3 5 7.36 27.52 20.16 1.87 22.03 11.43 4.07 0.50 4.57 20.74 1 4 1 7.35 28.32 20.97 1.44 22.41 12.18 4.83 0.55 5.38 24.01 1 4 2 7.42 36.40 28.98 1.75 30.73 14.69 7.27 0.50 7.77 25.28 1 4 3 7.37 31.20 23.83 2.09 25.92 13.40 6.03 0.60 6.63 25.58 1 4 4 7.37 32.49 25.12 2.00 27.12 13.21 5.84 0.73 6.57 24.23 1 4 5 7.38 25.30 17.92 2.73 20.65 11.05 3.67 0.83 4.50 21.79 1 5 1 7.38 27.93 20.55 1.18 21.73 12.50 5.12 0.44 5.56 25.59 1 5 2 7.38 24. 53 17.15 2.64 19.79 11.19 3.81 0.87 4.68 23.65 1 5 3 7.43 30.19 22.76 1.36 24.12 13.38 5.95 0.48 6.43 26.66 1 5 4 7.38 30.40 23.02 1.28 24.30 12.30 4.92 0.39 5.31 21.85 1 5 5 7.40 25.01 17.61 1.75 19.36 11.37 3.97 0.51 4.48 23.14 1 6 1 7.40 27.36 19.96 2.50 22.46 11.70 4.30 0.64 4.94 21.99 1 6 2 7.39 30.88 23.49 1.68 25.17 12.50 5.11 0.53 5.64 22.41 1 6 3 7.42 24.88 17.46 1.39 18.85 11.49 4.07 0.46 4.53 24.03 1 6 4 7.40 22.95 15.55 0.99 16.54 12.09 4.69 0.30 4.99 30.17 1 6 5 7.40 26.06 18.66 1.01 19 .67 12.08 4.68 0.33 5.01 25.47 1 7 1 7.43 24.94 17.51 1.73 19.24 11.44 4.01 0.45 4.46 23.18 1 7 2 7.40 22.02 14.62 1.53 16.15 10.87 3.47 0.53 4.00 24.77 1 7 3 7.40 22.45 15.05 1.28 16.33 11.35 3.95 0.42 4.37 26.76 1 7 4 7.40 17.72 10.32 1.01 11.33 10.1 4 2.74 0.33 3.07 27.10 1 7 5 7.42 24.30 16.88 1.72 18.60 11.10 3.68 0.54 4.22 22.69 2 1 1 7.47 32.08 24.61 1.66 26.27 12.94 5.47 0.50 5.97 22.73 2 1 2 7.37 19.89 12.52 1.52 14.04 9.91 2.54 0.44 2.98 21.23 2 1 3 7.47 32.13 24.66 2.57 27.23 13.00 5.53 0. 78 6.31 23.17 2 1 4 7.43 19.15 11.72 1.57 13.29 9.78 2.35 0.46 2.81 21.14 2 1 5 7.45 23.34 15.89 1.53 17.42 11.02 3.57 0.49 4.06 23.31 2 2 1 7.37 33.40 26.03 1.97 28.00 13.66 6.29 0.56 6.85 24.46 2 2 2 7.32 34.68 27.36 1.43 28.79 13.12 5.80 0.36 6.16 2 1.40 2 2 3 7.30 25.30 18.00 1.92 19.92 11.44 4.14 0.55 4.69 23.54 2 2 4 7.33 29.43 22.10 2.05 24.15 13.10 5.77 0.59 6.36 26.34 2 2 5 7.30 34.54 27.24 1.49 28.73 14.68 7.38 0.48 7.86 27.36 2 3 1 7.32 26.20 18.88 1.72 20.60 11.80 4.48 0.54 5.02 24.37 2 3 2 7.34 19.55 12.21 1.14 13.35 10.02 2.68 0.49 3.17 23.75 2 3 3 7.42 34.54 27.12 2.40 29.52 13.86 6.44 0.76 7.20 24.39 2 3 4 7.35 27.33 19.98 1.45 21.43 12.61 5.26 0.42 5.68 26.50 2 3 5 7.34 30.42 23.08 1.84 24.92 12.80 5.46 0.49 5.95 23.88 2 4 1 7.40 21.70 14.30 0.69 14.99 10.45 3.05 0.16 3.21 21.41 2 4 2 7.33 30.79 23.46 1.06 24.52 13.15 5.82 0.30 6.12 24.96 2 4 3 7.27 18.88 11.61 1.42 13.03 9.47 2.20 0.51 2.71 20.80 2 4 4 7.30 35.35 28.05 2.47 30.52 13.90 6.60 0.76 7.36 24.12 2 4 5 7.32 30.74 23 .42 0.83 24.25 12.77 5.45 0.44 5.89 24.29 2 5 1 7.32 30.39 23.07 1.29 24.36 12.88 5.56 0.37 5.93 24.34 2 5 2 7.36 28.95 21.59 1.08 22.67 13.08 5.72 0.47 6.19 27.30 2 5 3 7.34 23.15 15.81 1.57 17.38 11.66 4.32 0.53 4.85 27.91 2 5 4 7.36 24.25 16.89 1.54 18.43 11.10 3.74 0.39 4.13 22.41 2 5 5 7.42 25.80 18.38 0.91 19.29 11.55 4.13 0.36 4.49 23.28 2 6 1 7.36 26.43 19.07 1.62 20.69 11.85 4.49 0.52 5.01 24.21 2 6 2 7.37 27.39 20.02 1.52 21.54 12.32 4.95 0.48 5.43 25.21 2 6 3 7.39 23.73 16.34 1.75 18.09 1 1.33 3.94 0.55 4.49 24.82 2 6 4 7.40 24.07 16.67 1.15 17.82 10.77 3.37 0.37 3.74 20.99 2 6 5 7.40 23.83 16.43 1.44 17.87 11.79 4.39 0.40 4.79 26.80 2 7 1 7.40 23.65 16.25 1.61 17.86 11.24 3.84 0.55 4.39 24.58 2 7 2 7.42 25.15 17.73 0.87 18.60 11.04 3.6 2 0.21 3.83 20.59 2 7 3 7.40 27.65 20.25 1.39 21.64 12.04 4.64 0.48 5.12 23.66 2 7 4 7.35 24.81 17.46 1.15 18.61 12.34 4.99 0.39 5.38 28.91 2 7 5 7.42 22.60 15.18 1.21 16.39 11.30 3.88 0.39 4.27 26.05 3 1 1 7.45 28.64 21.19 1.45 22.64 12.23 4.78 0.39 5 .17 22.84 3 1 2 7.38 27.50 20.12 1.58 21.70 12.77 5.39 0.49 5.88 27.10 3 1 3 7.38 30.69 23.31 1.37 24.68 12.43 5.05 0.50 5.55 22.49

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74 3 1 4 7.38 32.47 25.09 1.99 27.08 13.73 6.35 0.62 6.97 25.74 3 1 5 7.36 24.33 16.97 1.43 18.40 11.90 4.54 0.32 4.86 26.4 1 3 2 1 7.37 30.90 23.53 2.17 25.70 12.72 5.35 0.56 5.91 23.00 3 2 2 7.36 27.31 19.95 1.77 21.72 12.05 4.69 0.52 5.21 23.99 3 2 3 7.38 19.05 11.67 0.83 12.50 10.03 2.65 0.33 2.98 23.84 3 2 4 7.38 27.82 20.44 1.92 22.36 13.02 5.64 0.59 6.23 27.86 3 2 5 7.36 30.16 22.80 1.18 23.98 12.74 5.38 0.33 5.71 23.81 3 3 1 7.35 28.03 20.68 1.45 22.13 12.60 5.25 0.51 5.76 26.03 3 3 2 7.34 27.76 20.42 3.33 23.75 11.53 4.19 0.95 5.14 21.64 3 3 3 7.30 19.42 12.12 1.17 13.29 9.90 2.60 0.33 2.93 22.05 3 3 4 7.34 26. 31 18.97 1.89 20.86 11.54 4.20 0.64 4.84 23.20 3 3 5 7.40 33.23 25.83 2.20 28.03 13.38 5.98 0.56 6.54 23.33 3 4 1 7.34 39.78 32.44 1.76 34.20 14.63 7.29 0.56 7.85 22.95 3 4 2 7.32 31.50 24.18 1.69 25.87 14.03 6.71 0.48 7.19 27.79 3 4 3 7.37 24.41 17.04 1.09 18.13 11.04 3.67 0.21 3.88 21.40 3 4 4 7.34 25.80 18.46 1.58 20.04 12.57 5.23 0.61 5.84 29.14 3 4 5 7.37 30.70 23.33 1.39 24.72 13.49 6.12 0.47 6.59 26.66 3 5 1 7.40 21.93 14.53 1.01 15.54 10.74 3.34 0.28 3.62 23.29 3 5 2 7.30 33.53 26.23 0.96 27 .19 13.90 6.60 0.38 6.98 25.67 3 5 3 7.34 25.21 17.87 1.26 19.13 11.90 4.56 0.38 4.94 25.82 3 5 4 7.34 26.25 18.91 1.68 20.59 12.15 4.81 0.62 5.43 26.37 3 5 5 7.24 18.55 11.31 1.81 13.12 9.81 2.57 0.57 3.14 23.93 3 6 1 7.35 30.62 23.27 2.05 25.32 12.15 4.80 0.60 5.40 21.33 3 6 2 7.32 21.89 14.57 1.23 15.80 10.73 3.41 0.35 3.76 23.80 3 6 3 7.34 28.47 21.13 1.81 22.94 11.95 4.61 0.61 5.22 22.76 3 6 4 7.34 22.87 15.53 1.38 16.91 10.05 2.71 0.35 3.06 18.10 3 6 5 7.31 25.32 18.01 0.81 18.82 11.82 4.51 0. 30 4.81 25.56 3 7 1 7.34 18.18 10.84 1.22 12.06 10.37 3.03 0.32 3.35 27.78 3 7 2 7.10 30.60 23.50 1.14 24.64 13.12 6.02 0.39 6.41 26.01 3 7 3 7.12 18.22 11.10 0.98 12.08 10.56 3.44 0.39 3.83 31.71 3 7 4 7.10 20.63 13.53 1.10 14.63 10.51 3.41 0.38 3.79 25.91 3 7 5 7.12 23.10 15.98 1.23 17.21 11.19 4.07 0.35 4.42 25.68 4 1 1 7.10 18.98 11.88 1.05 12.93 9.81 2.71 0.36 3.07 23.74 4 1 2 7.10 27.67 20.57 2.93 23.50 12.04 4.94 0.86 5.80 24.68 4 1 3 7.10 30.32 23.22 1.49 24.71 12.90 5.80 0.60 6.40 25.90 4 1 4 7.10 31.18 24.08 1.45 25.53 12.67 5.57 0.41 5.98 23.42 4 1 5 7.10 20.92 13.82 1.40 15.22 10.93 3.83 0.38 4.21 27.66 4 2 1 7.10 41.24 34.14 1.78 35.92 15.60 8.50 0.57 9.07 25.25 4 2 2 7.10 18.20 11.10 1.11 12.21 9.80 2.70 0.33 3.03 24.82 4 2 3 7.14 34.90 27.76 2.18 29.94 14.05 6.91 0.91 7.82 26.12 4 2 4 7.20 29.02 21.82 1.82 23.64 12.68 5.48 0.57 6.05 25.59 4 2 5 7.20 29.48 22.28 1.00 23.28 12.05 4.85 0.31 5.16 22.16 4 3 1 7.10 41.37 34.27 2.00 36.27 16.55 9.45 0.70 10.15 27.98 4 3 2 7.20 36.41 2 9.21 1.56 30.77 13.91 6.71 0.48 7.19 23.37 4 3 3 7.20 36.07 28.87 1.11 29.98 14.82 7.62 0.42 8.04 26.82 4 3 4 7.20 32.63 25.43 1.30 26.73 13.75 6.55 0.35 6.90 25.81 4 3 5 7.20 22.60 15.40 1.55 16.95 11.10 3.90 0.41 4.31 25.43 4 4 1 7.30 28.96 21.66 1.4 2 23.08 12.50 5.20 0.37 5.57 24.13 4 4 2 7.10 30.20 23.10 2.38 25.48 13.07 5.97 0.75 6.72 26.37 4 4 3 7.17 29.57 22.40 1.11 23.51 12.95 5.78 0.40 6.18 26.29 4 4 4 7.20 31.03 23.83 1.03 24.86 13.40 6.20 0.41 6.61 26.59 4 4 5 7.10 35.04 27.94 1.42 29.36 13.74 6.64 0.49 7.13 24.28 4 5 1 7.12 27.93 20.81 2.23 23.04 12.20 5.08 0.75 5.83 25.30 4 5 2 7.10 33.15 26.05 2.03 28.08 13.37 6.27 0.67 6.94 24.72 4 5 3 7.10 31.28 24.18 0.69 24.87 13.28 6.18 0.20 6.38 25.65 4 5 4 7.10 22.16 15.06 0.88 15.94 10.95 3. 85 0.31 4.16 26.10 4 5 5 7.10 34.17 27.07 2.11 29.18 14.55 7.45 0.74 8.19 28.07 4 6 1 7.10 32.23 25.13 1.55 26.68 12.44 5.34 0.47 5.81 21.78 4 6 2 7.00 31.27 24.27 1.20 25.47 13.38 6.38 0.34 6.72 26.38 4 6 3 7.10 27.50 20.40 1.92 22.32 11.81 4.71 0.55 5.26 23.57 4 6 4 7.10 26.60 19.50 1.14 20.64 11.90 4.80 0.33 5.13 24.85 4 6 5 7.10 23.92 16.82 2.45 19.27 11.00 3.90 0.72 4.62 23.98 4 7 1 7.10 24.47 17.37 2.58 19.95 11.50 4.40 0.75 5.15 25.81 4 7 2 7.10 20.86 13.76 0.98 14.74 11.16 4.06 0.33 4.39 29. 78 4 7 3 7.00 22.72 15.72 1.20 16.92 10.96 3.96 0.39 4.35 25.71 4 7 4 7.10 21.24 14.14 2.72 16.86 9.78 2.68 0.93 3.61 21.41 4 7 5 7.10 26.18 19.08 1.03 20.11 12.75 5.65 0.28 5.93 29.49

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75 Experiment #1 Diagnostic Leaf Tissue Analysis Trt Rep TKN (mg /L) P (mg/L) K (mg/L) Ca (mg/L) Mg (mg/L) Zn (mg/L) Mn (mg/L) Cu (mg/L) Fe (mg/L) 1 1 14150 3151 43860 13560 9640 45.21 83.4 6.32 277.4 1 2 13400 2906 44100 14060 9660 32.71 77.3 3.26 166.1 1 3 14400 3344 48120 14050 9650 37.93 90.8 3.44 164.7 2 1 1185 0 2928 44820 13930 9240 38.3 124.4 3.75 86 2 2 13200 3227 46100 13760 9880 41.37 117.2 4.19 125.4 2 3 12650 3024 41800 15630 11130 52.8 153.5 3.89 237.8 3 1 12550 3178 42130 15150 11020 65.6 201.3 4.35 396 3 2 12700 3191 45500 15070 10300 53 165.8 4.6 208.8 3 3 12900 3047 45640 14880 10530 49.05 164.7 3.87 240.2 4 1 13200 3385 43560 14470 9300 46.01 149 4.61 126.4 4 2 13800 3755 46570 16330 11310 71.4 208.6 4.94 341.7 4 3 12750 3150 44270 16420 10890 59.5 184 4.19 238.2 5 1 12650 3371 41720 15510 9 880 47.78 138.7 3.77 112.3 5 2 12700 3093 44530 16000 10170 56.5 149.6 3.64 197.1 5 3 13700 3262 41910 14890 9550 50.8 136.2 4.12 133.1 6 1 13400 3210 42720 14090 9370 39.89 109.5 3.28 117.4 6 2 12600 3113 41440 15790 10190 48.23 126.5 3.54 143.1 6 3 13300 3503 40700 16710 11290 71.7 166.3 4.57 306.3 7 1 11850 3036 39350 15600 9820 40.34 110.6 3.12 121.7 7 2 12750 3190 43080 15300 9650 44.04 107.5 3.42 104.9 7 3 13350 3134 41140 15890 10180 44.71 113.5 4.78 145.1 Plant Measurements Number (#) Pla nt Height (cm) Plant Width (cm) Plant Size (cm) Plant Height (in) Plant Width (in) Plant Size (in) Number of Flowers 1 1 1 48.3 22.9 35.6 19 9 14.0 2 1 1 2 45.7 24.1 34.9 18 9.5 13.8 3 1 1 3 40.6 21.6 31.1 16 8.5 12.3 0 1 1 4 55.9 21.6 38.7 22 8.5 15.3 3 1 1 5 48.3 21.6 34.9 19 8.5 13.8 0 1 2 1 55.9 24.1 40.0 22 9.5 15.8 0 1 2 2 45.7 22.9 34.3 18 9 13.5 1 1 2 3 30.5 17.8 24.1 12 7 9.5 1 1 2 4 63.5 25.4 44.5 25 10 17.5 3 1 2 5 63.5 21.6 42.5 25 8.5 16.8 0 1 3 1 57.2 24.1 40.6 22.5 9.5 16. 0 2 1 3 2 66.0 25.4 45.7 26 10 18.0 2 1 3 3 53.3 30.5 41.9 21 12 16.5 0 1 3 4 66.0 26.7 46.4 26 10.5 18.3 2 1 3 5 35.6 19.1 27.3 14 7.5 10.8 0 1 4 1 40.6 20.3 30.5 16 8 12.0 2 1 4 2 58.4 30.5 44.5 23 12 17.5 4 1 4 3 50.8 24.1 37.5 20 9.5 14.8 2 1 4 4 54.6 21.6 38.1 21.5 8.5 15.0 0 1 4 5 50.8 20.3 35.6 20 8 14.0 1 1 5 1 61.0 21.6 41.3 24 8.5 16.3 2 1 5 2 48.3 16.5 32.4 19 6.5 12.8 2 1 5 3 55.9 25.4 40.6 22 10 16.0 1 1 5 4 45.7 21.6 33.7 18 8.5 13.3 2 1 5 5 40.6 21.6 31.1 16 8.5 12.3 1 1 6 1 43 .2 22.9 33.0 17 9 13.0 0 1 6 2 41.9 22.9 32.4 16.5 9 12.8 1

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76 1 6 3 38.1 20.3 29.2 15 8 11.5 0 1 6 4 50.8 22.9 36.8 20 9 14.5 3 1 6 5 30.5 22.9 26.7 12 9 10.5 1 1 7 1 58.4 19.1 38.7 23 7.5 15.3 1 1 7 2 35.6 17.8 26.7 14 7 10.5 1 1 7 3 45.7 21.6 33.7 1 8 8.5 13.3 0 1 7 4 53.3 15.2 34.3 21 6 13.5 2 1 7 5 43.2 21.6 32.4 17 8.5 12.8 2 2 1 1 45.7 22.9 34.3 18 9 13.5 3 2 1 2 27.9 21.6 24.8 11 8.5 9.8 2 2 1 3 58.4 22.9 40.6 23 9 16.0 0 2 1 4 43.2 17.8 30.5 17 7 12.0 2 2 1 5 38.1 22.9 30.5 15 9 12.0 2 2 2 1 59.7 24.1 41.9 23.5 9.5 16.5 1 2 2 2 63.5 21.6 42.5 25 8.5 16.8 2 2 2 3 30.5 24.1 27.3 12 9.5 10.8 2 2 2 4 40.6 21.6 31.1 16 8.5 12.3 2 2 2 5 45.7 26.7 36.2 18 10.5 14.3 0 2 3 1 45.7 22.9 34.3 18 9 13.5 0 2 3 2 49.5 20.3 34.9 19.5 8 13.8 1 2 3 3 48.3 21.6 34.9 19 8.5 13.8 0 2 3 4 62.2 22.9 42.5 24.5 9 16.8 0 2 3 5 55.9 24.1 40.0 22 9.5 15.8 3 2 4 1 43.2 17.8 30.5 17 7 12.0 1 2 4 2 53.3 26.7 40.0 21 10.5 15.8 0 2 4 3 30.5 16.5 23.5 12 6.5 9.3 1 2 4 4 55.9 26.7 41.3 22 10.5 16.3 0 2 4 5 45. 7 21.6 33.7 18 8.5 13.3 3 2 5 1 33.0 24.1 28.6 13 9.5 11.3 2 2 5 2 61.0 21.6 41.3 24 8.5 16.3 0 2 5 3 50.8 25.4 38.1 20 10 15.0 2 2 5 4 35.6 20.3 27.9 14 8 11.0 3 2 5 5 58.4 22.9 40.6 23 9 16.0 0 2 6 1 53.3 22.9 38.1 21 9 15.0 5 2 6 2 53.3 21.0 37.1 21 8.25 14.6 2 2 6 3 35.6 20.3 27.9 14 8 11.0 0 2 6 4 48.3 19.1 33.7 19 7.5 13.3 4 2 6 5 54.6 21.6 38.1 21.5 8.5 15.0 1 2 7 1 33.0 16.5 24.8 13 6.5 9.8 3 2 7 2 30.5 20.3 25.4 12 8 10.0 0 2 7 3 49.5 19.1 34.3 19.5 7.5 13.5 0 2 7 4 40.6 20.3 30.5 16 8 12.0 2 2 7 5 45.7 20.3 33.0 18 8 13.0 0 3 1 1 58.4 21.6 40.0 23 8.5 15.8 1 3 1 2 64.8 21.6 43.2 25.5 8.5 17.0 1 3 1 3 48.3 24.1 36.2 19 9.5 14.3 0 3 1 4 58.4 21.6 40.0 23 8.5 15.8 1 3 1 5 61.0 20.3 40.6 24 8 16.0 0 3 2 1 38.1 22.9 30.5 15 9 12.0 1 3 2 2 48.3 22.2 35.2 19 8.75 13.9 0 3 2 3 53.3 16.5 34.9 21 6.5 13.8 0 3 2 4 57.2 22.9 40.0 22.5 9 15.8 1 3 2 5 61.0 25.4 43.2 24 10 17.0 0 3 3 1 61.0 21.6 41.3 24 8.5 16.3 3 3 3 2 53.3 20.3 36.8 21 8 14.5 2 3 3 3 43.2 19.1 31.1 17 7.5 12.3 1 3 3 4 50.8 20.3 35.6 20 8 14.0 0 3 3 5 61.0 26.7 43.8 24 10.5 17.3 0 3 4 1 63.5 21.6 42.5 25 8.5 16.8 1 3 4 2 66.0 22.9 44.5 26 9 17.5 2 3 4 3 27.9 25.4 26.7 11 10 10.5 1 3 4 4 45.7 19.1 32.4 18 7.5 12.8 2 3 4 5 55.9 27.9 41.9 22 11 16.5 0 3 5 1 33.0 19 .1 26.0 13 7.5 10.3 0 3 5 2 43.2 22.9 33.0 17 9 13.0 1 3 5 3 40.6 21.6 31.1 16 8.5 12.3 1 3 5 4 45.7 22.9 34.3 18 9 13.5 0 3 5 5 35.6 17.8 26.7 14 7 10.5 2 3 6 1 44.5 25.4 34.9 17.5 10 13.8 0 3 6 2 55.9 20.3 38.1 22 8 15.0 2 3 6 3 40.6 17.8 29.2 16 7 11.5 0 3 6 4 27.9 25.4 26.7 11 10 10.5 2 3 6 5 63.5 22.9 43.2 25 9 17.0 1 3 7 1 33.0 20.3 26.7 13 8 10.5 3 3 7 2 45.7 21.6 33.7 18 8.5 13.3 1

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77 3 7 3 55.9 26.7 41.3 22 10.5 16.3 2 3 7 4 53.3 19.1 36.2 21 7.5 14.3 2 3 7 5 27.9 24.1 26.0 11 9.5 10.3 2 4 1 1 50.8 21.6 36.2 20 8.5 14.3 0 4 1 2 61.0 22.9 41.9 24 9 16.5 5 4 1 3 43.8 22.9 33.3 17.25 9 13.1 2 4 1 4 48.3 22.9 35.6 19 9 14.0 0 4 1 5 53.3 19.1 36.2 21 7.5 14.3 3 4 2 1 52.1 27.9 40.0 20.5 11 15.8 0 4 2 2 33.0 19.1 26.0 13 7.5 10.3 4 4 2 3 61.0 22.9 41.9 24 9 16.5 0 4 2 4 50.8 25.4 38.1 20 10 15.0 2 4 2 5 33.0 22.9 27.9 13 9 11.0 0 4 3 1 58.4 29.2 43.8 23 11.5 17.3 0 4 3 2 48.3 22.9 35.6 19 9 14.0 2 4 3 3 61.0 25.4 43.2 24 10 17.0 2 4 3 4 61.0 21.6 41.3 24 8.5 16.3 2 4 3 5 33.0 16.5 24.8 13 6.5 9.8 3 4 4 1 33.0 22.9 27.9 13 9 11.0 0 4 4 2 62.2 19.1 40.6 24.5 7.5 16.0 3 4 4 3 58.4 21.6 40.0 23 8.5 15.8 3 4 4 4 45.7 25.4 35.6 18 10 14.0 0 4 4 5 53.3 22.9 38.1 21 9 15.0 0 4 5 1 45.7 22.9 34.3 18 9 13.5 0 4 5 2 58.4 22.9 40.6 23 9 16.0 2 4 5 3 53.3 25.4 39.4 21 10 15.5 2 4 5 4 45.7 25.4 35.6 18 10 14.0 2 4 5 5 53.3 26.7 40.0 21 10.5 15.8 0 4 6 1 58.4 20.3 39.4 23 8 15.5 1 4 6 2 33.0 22.9 27.9 13 9 11.0 2 4 6 3 35.6 16.5 26.0 14 6.5 10.3 2 4 6 4 52.1 19.1 35.6 20.5 7.5 14.0 0 4 6 5 58.4 21.6 40.0 23 8.5 15.8 1 4 7 1 45.1 17.8 31.4 17.75 7 12.4 2 4 7 2 33.0 20.3 26.7 13 8 10.5 1 4 7 3 35.6 21.6 28.6 14 8.5 11.3 0 4 7 4 48.3 19.7 34.0 19 7.75 13.4 7 4 7 5 55.9 20.3 38.1 22 8 15.0 2

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78 APPENDIX C PLANT TRIAL EXPERIMENT #2 DATA Physical Properties Test Experiment #2 First Rep Treatment #: Drained Volume (ml) Bag Weight (g) Wet Weight (g) Dry Weight (g) Total Porosity (%) Container Capacity (%) Moisture Content (%) A ir Space (%) Bulk Density (g/cc) 1 135.0 7.1 466.6 82.1 76.4 56.5 82.4 19.9 0.12 2 170.0 7.2 487.9 168.3 72.0 47.0 65.5 25.0 0.25 3 135.0 7.2 468.4 65.8 79.1 59.2 86.0 19.9 0.10 4 175.0 7.1 613.5 249.3 79.3 53.6 59.4 25.7 0.37 5 140.0 7.0 573.6 235.9 70.3 49.7 58.9 20.6 0.35 6 175.0 7.2 628.9 338.5 68.4 42.7 46.2 25.7 0.50 7 135.0 7.1 488.7 107.9 75.9 56.0 77.9 19.9 0.16 Second Rep 1 175.0 7.1 405.5 73.6 74.5 48.8 81.9 25.7 0.11 2 220.0 7.1 459.0 149.0 77.9 45.6 67.5 32.4 0.22 3 140.0 7.1 472.0 68.7 79.9 59.3 85.4 20.6 0.10 4 155.0 7.1 631.2 262.4 77.0 54.2 58.4 22.8 0.39 5 140.0 7.1 541.7 212.8 69.0 48.4 60.7 20.6 0.31 6 155.0 7.1 680.8 387.8 65.9 43.1 43.0 22.8 0.57 7 140.0 7.1 476.9 114.7 73.9 53.3 76.0 20.6 0.17 Third Rep 1 138.0 7.2 438.4 73.7 73.9 53.6 83.2 20.3 0.11 2 140.0 7.2 521.7 187.5 69.7 49.1 64.1 20.6 0.28 3 130.0 7.1 462.5 66.6 77.3 58.2 85.6 19.1 0.10 4 160.0 7.1 618.4 251.8 77.4 53.9 59.3 23.5 0.37 5 105.0 7.2 558.1 216.7 65.6 50.2 61.2 15.4 0.32 6 160.0 7.2 652.9 346.7 68.6 45.0 46.9 23.5 0.51 7 115.0 7.2 486.0 117.1 71.2 54.3 75.9 16.9 0.17

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79 pH and SS Monitoring Experiment #2 A B C Treatment # pH SS pH SS pH SS 111 5.0 0.95 5.12 0.24 4.7 0.82 113 4.4 1.44 4.55 0.37 4.1 0 .5 122 7.1 1.15 6.36 0.4 6.2 0.3 124 7.0 1.50 6.38 0.36 6.3 0.57 154 3.4 1.20 3.35 0.55 3.5 0.82 173 5.1 1.10 5.26 0.68 4.8 0.98 175 5.8 1.41 5.22 0.38 5 0.78 211 5.1 1.15 4.7 0.58 4.4 0.64 213 5.1 0.99 4.19 0.32 4.2 0.5 221 6.9 1.90 6.3 0.48 6.2 0 .41 223 7.1 1.00 6.4 0.42 6.5 0.64 233 3.5 1.30 3.3 0.64 3.4 0.6 235 3.4 1.46 3.6 0.61 3.4 0.52 245 6.9 1.39 6.7 0.46 6.3 0.41 255 3.5 1.23 3.4 0.46 3.4 0.6 265 6.5 1.45 6.6 0.26 6.1 0.72 271 6.2 1.15 5.1 0.67 4.8 0.88 274 6.6 1.30 5.5 0.62 5.2 0.6 2 331 3.1 1.45 3.3 0.52 3.4 0.6 333 3.2 3.00 3.2 0.6 3.2 0.7 342 6.9 1.65 6.8 0.52 6.1 0.68 354 3.7 1.95 3.4 0.39 3.3 0.59 361 6.7 1.25 6.4 0.36 5.9 0.35 411 4.1 1.05 3.9 0.4 4 0.7 423 6.9 1.50 6.2 0.39 6.1 0.35 431 3.3 1.45 3.2 0.5 3.4 0.65 441 7 .0 1.91 6.4 0.4 6.4 0.57 443 6.8 2.05 6.5 0.56 6.2 0.64 445 7.1 1.35 6.5 0.66 6 1.6 453 3.3 1.35 3.5 0.44 3.4 0.62 454 3.4 1.54 3.2 0.68 3.4 0.61 462 6.8 1.31 6.5 0.44 6.3 0.56 463 6.6 1.30 6.4 0.59 6 0.46 464 6.5 1.65 6.4 0.48 6.3 0.56 473 6.6 1.1 6 5.5 0.32 5.8 0.46 JULY 25 2 Aug 10 Aug

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80 Plant Yield Results Experiment #2 Number # Bag Weight (g) Whole Plant Fresh Weight w/bag (g) Whole Plant Fresh Weight (g) Whole Plant Dry Weight w/bag (g) Whole Plant Dry Weight (g) Percent Dry Matter (%) 1 1 1 7.30 49.10 41.80 14.20 7.47 17.87 1 1 2 7.30 40.90 33.60 15.60 8.87 26.40 1 1 3 7.30 52.00 44.70 7.10 0.37 0.83 1 1 4 7.30 42.50 35.20 13.50 6.77 19.23 1 1 5 7.30 55.50 48.20 17.50 10.77 22.34 1 2 1 7.30 58.30 51.00 19.10 12.37 24.25 1 2 2 7.30 43.90 36.60 14.90 8.17 22.32 1 2 3 7.30 61.00 53.70 18.30 11.57 21.55 1 2 4 7.30 58.00 50.70 19.00 12.27 24.20 1 2 5 7.30 54.50 47.20 17.40 10.67 22.61 1 3 1 7.30 40.60 33.30 15.00 8.27 24.83 1 3 2 7.30 37.30 30.00 13.10 6.37 21.23 1 3 3 7.30 41.70 34.40 15.80 9.07 26.37 1 3 4 7.30 43.50 36.20 15.10 8.37 23.12 1 3 5 7.30 33.40 26.10 12.10 5.37 20.57 1 4 1 7.30 53.90 46.60 18.00 11.27 24.18 1 4 2 7.30 46.30 39.00 15.60 8.87 22.74 1 4 3 7.30 45.00 37.70 15.70 8.97 23.79 1 4 4 7.30 45.20 37 .90 16.00 9.27 24.46 1 4 5 7.30 39.70 32.40 13.40 6.67 20.59 1 5 1 7.30 50.10 42.80 15.50 8.77 20.49 1 5 2 7.30 36.20 28.90 13.40 6.67 23.08 1 5 3 7.30 48.60 41.30 16.80 10.07 24.38 1 5 4 7.30 42.00 34.70 15.20 8.47 24.41 1 5 5 7.30 26.90 19.60 11.70 4.97 25.36 1 6 1 7.30 40.10 32.80 15.00 8.27 25.21 1 6 2 7.30 34.50 27.20 15.80 9.07 33.35 1 6 3 7.30 42.20 34.90 14.20 7.47 21.40 1 6 4 7.30 40.60 33.30 15.00 8.27 24.83 1 6 5 7.30 49.00 41.70 17.30 10.57 25.35 1 7 1 7.30 46.40 39.10 15.50 8.77 22. 43 1 7 2 7.30 58.20 50.90 17.70 10.97 21.55 1 7 3 7.30 45.30 38.00 15.10 8.37 22.03 1 7 4 7.30 47.10 39.80 16.80 10.07 25.30 1 7 5 7.30 57.90 50.60 17.80 11.07 21.88 2 1 1 7.30 48.70 41.40 16.00 9.27 22.39 2 1 2 7.30 51.50 44.20 16.40 9.67 21.88 2 1 3 7.30 53.10 45.80 17.00 10.27 22.42 2 1 4 7.30 44.10 36.80 15.80 9.07 24.65 2 1 5 7.30 47.50 40.20 14.60 7.87 19.58 2 2 1 7.30 44.90 37.60 15.00 8.27 21.99 2 2 2 7.30 53.10 45.80 17.70 10.97 23.95 2 2 3 7.30 47.00 39.70 16.60 9.87 24.86 2 2 4 7.30 43.70 36.40 15.70 8.97 24.64 2 2 5 7.30 45.70 38.40 16.10 9.37 24.40 2 3 1 7.30 45.60 38.30 16.40 9.67 25.25 2 3 2 7.30 26.40 19.10 11.70 4.97 26.02 2 3 3 7.30 33.40 26.10 13.00 6.27 24.02 2 3 4 7.30 38.00 30.70 15.50 8.77 28.57 2 3 5 7.30 35.30 28.0 0 14.00 7.27 25.96 2 4 1 7.30 46.70 39.40 16.10 9.37 23.78 2 4 2 7.30 41.90 34.60 14.70 7.97 23.03 2 4 3 7.30 60.00 52.70 19.60 12.87 24.42 2 4 4 7.30 51.30 44.00 17.20 10.47 23.80 2 4 5 7.30 44.30 37.00 15.80 9.07 24.51 2 5 1 7.30 44.80 37.50 16.30 9.57 25.52 2 5 2 7.30 45.80 38.50 16.00 9.27 24.08 2 5 3 7.30 37.90 30.60 14.00 7.27 23.76 2 5 4 7.30 39.10 31.80 14.70 7.97 25.06 2 5 5 7.30 43.20 35.90 16.20 9.47 26.38 2 6 1 7.30 49.40 42.10 15.70 8.97 21.31 2 6 2 7.30 42.70 35.40 15.00 8.27 23.36 2 6 3 7.30 39.10 31.80 15.00 8.27 26.01 2 6 4 7.30 57.90 50.60 19.20 12.47 24.64 2 6 5 7.30 32.00 24.70 12.60 5.87 23.77 2 7 1 7.30 55.05 47.75 16.80 10.07 21.09 2 7 2 7.30 58.90 51.60 19.10 12.37 23.97 2 7 3 7.30 54.62 47.32 18.60 11.87 25.08 2 7 4 7.30 53.70 46.40 17.80 11.07 23.86 2 7 5 7.30 58.30 51.00 17.70 10.97 21.51

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81 3 1 1 7.30 44.20 36.90 14.90 8.17 22.14 3 1 2 7.30 44.70 37.40 15.40 8.67 23.18 3 1 3 7.30 42.50 35.20 14.40 7.67 21.79 3 1 4 7.30 46.70 39.40 15.50 8.77 22.26 3 1 5 7.30 5 9.40 52.10 19.40 12.67 24.32 3 2 1 7.30 49.00 41.70 16.10 9.37 22.47 3 2 2 7.30 45.10 37.80 16.10 9.37 24.79 3 2 3 7.30 51.00 43.70 17.10 10.37 23.73 3 2 4 7.30 52.20 44.90 15.80 9.07 20.20 3 2 5 7.30 43.10 35.80 14.60 7.87 21.98 3 3 1 7.30 37.10 29. 80 14.20 7.47 25.07 3 3 2 7.30 38.10 30.80 14.60 7.87 25.55 3 3 3 7.30 30.40 23.10 12.40 5.67 24.55 3 3 4 7.30 35.60 28.30 13.70 6.97 24.63 3 3 5 7.30 41.20 33.90 15.30 8.57 25.28 3 4 1 7.30 41.00 33.70 16.30 9.57 28.40 3 4 2 7.30 47.80 40.50 16.30 9 .57 23.63 3 4 3 7.30 44.00 36.70 15.90 9.17 24.99 3 4 4 7.30 50.00 42.70 16.30 9.57 22.41 3 4 5 7.30 43.10 35.80 14.40 7.67 21.42 3 5 1 7.30 39.20 31.90 14.90 8.17 25.61 3 5 2 7.30 29.27 21.97 12.90 6.17 28.08 3 5 3 7.30 34.10 26.80 13.30 6.57 24.51 3 5 4 7.30 39.90 32.60 15.20 8.47 25.98 3 5 5 7.30 36.50 29.20 13.80 7.07 24.21 3 6 1 7.30 46.20 38.90 17.10 10.37 26.66 3 6 2 7.30 48.20 40.90 16.70 9.97 24.38 3 6 3 7.30 49.80 42.50 15.90 9.17 21.58 3 6 4 7.30 48.10 40.80 15.40 8.67 21.25 3 6 5 7. 30 43.20 35.90 14.30 7.57 21.09 3 7 1 7.00 52.8 45.80 17.80 11.07 24.17 3 7 2 7.00 50 43.00 17.10 10.37 24.12 3 7 3 7.00 56.2 49.20 17.30 10.57 21.48 3 7 4 7.00 51.4 44.40 17.20 10.47 23.58 3 7 5 7.00 56.10 49.10 17.10 10.37 21.12 4 1 1 7.00 44.40 37 .40 15.50 8.77 23.45 4 1 2 7.00 47.80 40.80 14.70 7.97 19.53 4 1 3 7.00 49.00 42.00 18.00 11.27 26.83 4 1 4 7.00 47.00 40.00 15.60 8.87 22.18 4 1 5 7.00 51.00 44.00 16.40 9.67 21.98 4 2 1 7.00 53.70 46.70 18.10 11.37 24.35 4 2 2 7.00 45.60 38.60 15.6 0 8.87 22.98 4 2 3 7.00 40.30 33.30 15.70 8.97 26.94 4 2 4 7.00 46.10 39.10 15.70 8.97 22.94 4 2 5 7.00 46.90 39.90 14.90 8.17 20.48 4 3 1 7.00 32.00 25.00 15.00 8.27 33.08 4 3 2 7.00 40.00 33.00 13.40 6.67 20.21 4 3 3 7.00 38.30 31.30 13.80 7.07 22. 59 4 3 4 7.00 40.80 33.80 17.70 10.97 32.46 4 3 5 7.00 32.10 25.10 12.60 5.87 23.39 4 4 1 7.00 52.20 45.20 15.80 9.07 20.07 4 4 2 7.00 42.60 35.60 14.50 7.77 21.83 4 4 3 7.00 56.30 49.30 18.20 11.47 23.27 4 4 4 7.00 54.10 47.10 18.30 11.57 24.56 4 4 5 7.00 50.00 43.00 16.60 9.87 22.95 4 5 1 7.00 38.10 31.10 13.00 6.27 20.16 4 5 2 7.00 38.20 31.20 14.10 7.37 23.62 4 5 3 7.00 36.50 29.50 13.70 6.97 23.63 4 5 4 7.00 38.60 31.60 13.40 6.67 21.11 4 5 5 7.00 44.30 37.30 15.40 8.67 23.24 4 6 1 7.00 44 .30 37.30 15.30 8.57 22.98 4 6 2 7.00 42.00 35.00 15.10 8.37 23.91 4 6 3 7.00 39.20 32.20 13.80 7.07 21.96 4 6 4 7.00 57.10 50.10 19.30 12.57 25.09 4 6 5 7.00 43.10 36.10 15.10 8.37 23.19 4 7 1 7.00 65.00 58.00 21.10 14.37 24.78 4 7 2 7.00 50.00 43.0 0 15.80 9.07 21.09 4 7 3 7.00 53.80 46.80 16.60 9.87 21.09 4 7 4 7.00 63.42 56.42 21.00 14.27 25.29 4 7 5 7.00 66.60 59.60 20.90 14.17 23.78

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82 Plant Measurements Experiment #2 Number (#) Plant Height (cm) Plant Width (cm) Plant Size (cm) Plant Height (in) Plant Width (in) Plant size (in) Flower Spikes (#) 1 1 1 94.0 34.3 64.14 37 13.5 25.3 3 1 1 2 73.7 38.1 55.88 29 15 22.0 4 1 1 3 106.7 33.0 69.85 42 13 27.5 4 1 1 4 104.1 31.8 67.95 41 12.5 26.8 1 1 1 5 110.5 31.8 71.12 43.5 12.5 28.0 5 1 2 1 76.2 34.3 55.25 30 13.5 21.8 7 1 2 2 91.4 34.3 62.87 36 13.5 24.8 3 1 2 3 95.3 34.3 64.77 37.5 13.5 25.5 7 1 2 4 78.7 34.3 56.52 31 13.5 22.3 9 1 2 5 94.0 31.8 62.87 37 12.5 24.8 6 1 3 1 83.8 27.9 55.88 33 11 22.0 4 1 3 2 88.9 29.2 59.06 35 11 .5 23.3 3 1 3 3 88.9 31.8 60.33 35 12.5 23.8 2 1 3 4 76.2 33.0 54.61 30 13 21.5 3 1 3 5 73.7 29.2 51.44 29 11.5 20.3 2 1 4 1 74.9 36.8 55.88 29.5 14.5 22.0 9 1 4 2 68.6 38.1 53.34 27 15 21.0 4 1 4 3 61.0 31.8 46.36 24 12.5 18.3 3 1 4 4 78.7 31.8 55. 25 31 12.5 21.8 5 1 4 5 58.4 35.6 46.99 23 14 18.5 5 1 5 1 86.4 30.5 58.42 34 12 23.0 5 1 5 2 73.7 26.7 50.17 29 10.5 19.8 5 1 5 3 76.2 30.5 53.34 30 12 21.0 13 1 5 4 68.6 33.0 50.80 27 13 20.0 4 1 5 5 63.5 26.7 45.09 25 10.5 17.8 1 1 6 1 96.5 30.5 63.50 38 12 25.0 3 1 6 2 76.2 31.8 53.98 30 12.5 21.3 4 1 6 3 71.1 34.3 52.71 28 13.5 20.8 7 1 6 4 99.1 31.8 65.41 39 12.5 25.8 1 1 6 5 81.3 36.8 59.06 32 14.5 23.3 6 1 7 1 82.6 30.5 56.52 32.5 12 22.3 5 1 7 2 91.4 33.0 62.23 36 13 24.5 7 1 7 3 95.3 31.8 63.50 37.5 12.5 25.0 2 1 7 4 99.1 31.8 65.41 39 12.5 25.8 5 1 7 5 86.4 34.3 60.33 34 13.5 23.8 3 2 1 1 69.9 35.6 52.71 27.5 14 20.8 4 2 1 2 68.6 31.8 50.17 27 12.5 19.8 5 2 1 3 101.6 34.3 67.95 40 13.5 26.8 4 2 1 4 99.1 26.7 62.87 39 10.5 24.8 4 2 1 5 96.5 35.6 66.04 38 14 26.0 3 2 2 1 74.9 29.2 52.07 29.5 11.5 20.5 4 2 2 2 69.9 36.8 53.34 27.5 14.5 21.0 9 2 2 3 96.5 33.0 64.77 38 13 25.5 3 2 2 4 66.0 31.8 48.90 26 12.5 19.3 2 2 2 5 76.2 33.0 54.61 30 13 21.5 4 2 3 1 91.4 30.5 60.96 36 12 24.0 5 2 3 2 68.6 24.1 46.36 27 9.5 18.3 2 2 3 3 71.1 30.5 50.80 28 12 20.0 4 2 3 4 71.1 30.5 50.80 28 12 20.0 5 2 3 5 58.4 30.5 44.45 23 12 17.5 3 2 4 1 96.5 34.3 65.41 38 13.5 25.8 3 2 4 2 109.2 34.3 71.76 43 13.5 28.3 3 2 4 3 81.3 35.6 58.42 32 14 23.0 6 2 4 4 90.2 36.8 63.50 35.5 14.5 25.0 7 2 4 5 91.4 31.8 61.60 36 12.5 24.3 4 2 5 1 83.8 34.3 59.06 33 13.5 23.3 6 2 5 2 83.8 31.8 57.79 33 12.5 22.8 5 2 5 3 87.6 31.8 59.69 34.5 12.5 23.5 3 2 5 4 71.1 30.5 50.80 28 12 20.0 5 2 5 5 83.8 30.5 57.15 33 12 22.5 3 2 6 1 80.0 31.8 55.88 31.5 12.5 22.0 3 2 6 2 66.0 35.6 50.80 26 14 20.0 2 2 6 3 68.6 26.7 47.63 27 10.5 18.8 2 2 6 4 63.5 40.6 52.07 25 16 20.5 5 2 6 5 43.2 35.6 39.37 17 14 15.5 0 2 7 1 91.4 33.0 62.23 36 13 24.5 3 2 7 2 101.6 3 1.8 66.68 40 12.5 26.3 5 2 7 3 78.7 31.8 55.25 31 12.5 21.8 7 2 7 4 71.1 38.1 54.61 28 15 21.5 7 2 7 5 73.7 38.1 55.88 29 15 22.0 6

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83 3 1 1 81.3 22.9 52.07 32 9 20.5 4 3 1 2 83.8 35.6 59.69 33 14 23.5 4 3 1 3 91.4 31.8 61.60 36 12.5 24.3 2 3 1 4 83.8 31.8 57.79 33 12.5 22.8 3 3 1 5 111.8 31.8 71.76 44 12.5 28.3 3 3 2 1 88.9 31.8 60.33 35 12.5 23.8 4 3 2 2 78.7 36.8 57.79 31 14.5 22.8 6 3 2 3 71.1 26.7 48.90 28 10.5 19.3 4 3 2 4 81.3 34.3 57.79 32 13.5 22.8 5 3 2 5 86.4 29.2 57.79 34 11.5 22.8 3 3 3 1 99.1 29.2 64.14 39 11.5 25.3 2 3 3 2 91.4 34.3 62.87 36 13.5 24.8 3 3 3 3 43.2 27.9 35.56 17 11 14.0 1 3 3 4 78.7 29.2 53.98 31 11.5 21.3 3 3 3 5 63.5 33.0 48.26 25 13 19.0 6 3 4 1 100.3 35.6 67.95 39.5 14 26.8 4 3 4 2 88.9 33.0 60.96 35 13 24. 0 3 3 4 3 94.0 30.5 62.23 37 12 24.5 4 3 4 4 63.5 35.6 49.53 25 14 19.5 7 3 4 5 71.1 34.3 52.71 28 13.5 20.8 5 3 5 1 68.6 36.8 52.71 27 14.5 20.8 4 3 5 2 71.1 31.8 51.44 28 12.5 20.3 4 3 5 3 71.1 33.0 52.07 28 13 20.5 3 3 5 4 99.1 33.0 66.04 39 13 2 6.0 3 3 5 5 85.1 26.7 55.88 33.5 10.5 22.0 3 3 6 1 63.5 33.0 48.26 25 13 19.0 4 3 6 2 111.8 35.6 73.66 44 14 29.0 2 3 6 3 83.8 33.0 58.42 33 13 23.0 4 3 6 4 61.0 34.3 47.63 24 13.5 18.8 6 3 6 5 66.0 30.5 48.26 26 12 19.0 4 3 7 1 88.9 30.5 59.69 35 1 2 23.5 7 3 7 2 101.6 33.0 67.31 40 13 26.5 4 3 7 3 96.5 35.6 66.04 38 14 26.0 3 3 7 4 91.4 30.5 60.96 36 12 24.0 6 3 7 5 106.7 30.5 68.58 42 12 27.0 4 4 1 1 91.4 30.5 60.96 36 12 24.0 4 4 1 2 66.0 34.3 50.17 26 13.5 19.8 7 4 1 3 72.4 35.6 53.98 28.5 14 21.3 6 4 1 4 81.3 31.8 56.52 32 12.5 22.3 4 4 1 5 96.5 34.3 65.41 38 13.5 25.8 4 4 2 1 63.5 35.6 49.53 25 14 19.5 7 4 2 2 73.7 30.5 52.07 29 12 20.5 4 4 2 3 50.8 38.1 44.45 20 15 17.5 3 4 2 4 66.0 31.8 48.90 26 12.5 19.3 5 4 2 5 78.7 34.3 56.52 31 13.5 22.3 4 4 3 1 55.9 31.8 43.82 22 12.5 17.3 9 4 3 2 94.0 17.8 55.88 37 7 22.0 2 4 3 3 63.5 30.5 46.99 25 12 18.5 3 4 3 4 71.1 34.3 52.71 28 13.5 20.8 5 4 3 5 86.4 29.2 57.79 34 11.5 22.8 3 4 4 1 76.2 36.8 56.52 30 14.5 22.3 4 4 4 2 66.0 31.8 4 8.90 26 12.5 19.3 4 4 4 3 81.3 38.1 59.69 32 15 23.5 3 4 4 4 69.9 31.8 50.80 27.5 12.5 20.0 7 4 4 5 88.9 35.6 62.23 35 14 24.5 3 4 5 1 81.3 29.2 55.25 32 11.5 21.8 4 4 5 2 71.1 31.8 51.44 28 12.5 20.3 2 4 5 3 91.4 20.3 55.88 36 8 22.0 4 4 5 4 68.6 2 9.2 48.90 27 11.5 19.3 5 4 5 5 71.1 33.0 52.07 28 13 20.5 7 4 6 1 91.4 29.2 60.33 36 11.5 23.8 3 4 6 2 71.1 30.5 50.80 28 12 20.0 4 4 6 3 92.7 33.0 62.87 36.5 13 24.8 2 4 6 4 81.3 31.8 56.52 32 12.5 22.3 7 4 6 5 91.4 27.9 59.69 36 11 23.5 3 4 7 1 86 .4 34.3 60.33 34 13.5 23.8 4 4 7 2 86.4 34.3 60.33 34 13.5 23.8 3 4 7 3 101.6 35.6 68.58 40 14 27.0 7 4 7 4 76.2 36.8 56.52 30 14.5 22.3 10 4 7 5 86.4 24.1 55.25 34 9.5 21.8 4

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84 LIST OF REFERENCES ASAE. 1995. Manure production and characteristics. In ASAE Standards. American Society of Agricultural Engineers, St. Joseph, MI. pp. 546 548. Beeson, R.C., Jr. 1995. The root of the problem: four steps to determine proper substrat e aeration. Ornamental Outlook 4(6):12. Bilderback, T.E. 1982. Container soils and soilless media. In Nursery Crops Production Manual. North Carolina State University, Agricultural Extension Service, Raleigh, NC. Brinton, W.F. 2000. How compost matu rity affects plant and root performance in container grown media. J. Biodynamics. Retrieved May 15, 2001 from http://www.woodsend.org/rootcomp.pdf Cabrera, C.I. 2001. Fundamentals of container media management, part 1 physical properties. FS812. Retrieved May 20, 2001 from http://rcewebserver.rutgers.edu/pubs/pdfs/fs812.pdf California Compost Quality Council (CCQC). 2001. Compost maturity index. Retrieved May 20, 2001 from http://www.ccqc.org/Documents/MatIndex.pdf Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association. 2001. Retrieved July 10, 2001 from http://www.peatmoss.com/ Cavins, T.J., B.E. Whipker, W.C. Fonteno, B. Harden, I. McCall and J.L. Gibson. 2000. Monitoring and managing pH and EC using the PourThru extraction method. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Servi ce. Horticulture Information Leaflet 590. Retrieved Oct 2, 2001 from http://www2.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/project/hortsublab/pdf/PourThru_Master_HI L.pdf Che n, Y., Y. Inbar and Y. Hadar. 1988. Composted agricultural wastes as potting media for ornamental plants. Soil Science 145:298 303. Composting Council. 2000. Field Guide to Compost Use. Retrieved May 5, 2001 from http://compostingcouncil.org/FGCU.html#toc Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1993. Markets for compost. Retrieved May 6, 2001 from http://www.epa.gov/epaos wer/general/swpubs/bok04.pdf

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85 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1998. An analysis of composting as an environmental remediation technology. EPA 530 R 98 008. Retrieved July 25, 2001 from http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non hw/compost/ Fafard. 2001. Soilless mixes. Fafard, Inc., Agawam, MA. Retrieved August 1, 2001 from http://www.fafard.com/html/g soilmix.html FASS (Florida Agr icultural Statistics Service). 2001a. Foliage, floriculture and cut greens. Retrieved August 1, 2001 from http://www.nass.usda.gov/fl/rtoc0ho.htm FASS (Florida Agricultural Statistics Service). 2 001b. Livestock. Retrieved August 1, 2001 from http://www.nass.usda.gov/fl/ FDACS. 1994. Composting guidelines. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, FL. Fitzpatrick, G. 1985. Container production of tropical trees using sewage effluent, incinerator ash and sludge compost. J. Env. Hort. 3(3):123 135. Fonteno, W.C. 1996. Growing media: types and physical/chemical properties. In D.W. Reed (ed) Water, Media, and Nutri tion of Greenhouse Crops. Ball Publications, Batavia, IL. pp. 93 122. Goh, K.M. 1979. Evaluation of potting media for commercial nursery production of container grown plants: 5. Patterns of release of nitrogen fertilizers in different media. New Zeal and J. of Agric. Res. 22:163 172. Grant, R. 1996. Feeding dairy cows to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium excretion into the environment. Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska Linc oln. G96 1306 A. Retrieved Oct 2, 2001 from http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/dairy/g1306.htm Greer, L. 1998. Organic potting mixes. Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas. Retrieved November 10, 2000 from http://www.attra.org/attra pub/potmix.html Holcomb, E.J. 2000. Growing media. Penn State College of Agriculture Sciences. Retrieved May 5, 2001 from http://hortweb.cas.psu.edu/courses/hort450/GrowingmixFA00.HTML Ingram, D.L., and R.W. Henley. 1991. Growth media for container grown ornamental plants. Bulletin 241. Florida Cooperative Exten sion Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville.

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86 Jimenez, E.I., and V.P. Garcia. 1989. Evaluation of city refuse compost maturity: a review. Biol. Wastes 27:115 142. Jones, J.B., and H.A. Mills. 1996. Pl ant Analysis Handbook II. Micromacro Publishing, Athens, Georgia. Kashmanian, R.M., and R.F. Rynk. 1995. Agricultural composting in the United States. Compost Science and Utilization 3:84 88. Kasica, A.F. 1997. Something to grown on. Cornell Coopera tive Extension, Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Retrieved July 25, 2001 from http://www.cals.cornell.edu/dept/flori/gro won/media/porosity.html Klock, K.A. 1997. Growth of salt sensitive bedding plants in media amended with composted urban waste. Compost Science and Utilization 5(3):55 59. Klock, K.A. 1999a. Bedding plant growth in greenhouse waste and biosolids co mpost. HortTechnology 9(2):210 213. Klock, K.A. 1999b. Growth of impatients Accent Orange in two compost products. Compost Science and Utilization 7(1):58 62. Klock, K.A., and G.E. Fitzpatrick. 1999. Management of urban waste compost amendments in ornamental production systems in Florida. Proc. Soil Sci. Soc. of Florida 59: 22 24. Klock, K.A., and G.E. Fitzpatrick. 1997. Growth of impatients Accent Red in three compost products. Compost Science and Utilization 5(4):26 30. Lemus, G.R. 1998 Evaluation of dairy manure compost maturity. M.S. Thesis. University of Florida, Gainesville. 44 p. National Research Council (NRC). 1989. Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. pp. 90 91. Nelson, P.V. 1 991. Root media. In Greenhouse Operation and Management. 4 th Ed., Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. pp. 171 208. Nordstedt, R.A., and M.E. Sowerby. 2000. Nutrient removal from dairy farm wastewater and drum composting of dairy manure solids. Pr oc. Eur. Ag. Eng. Conference 2000, Warwick, United Kingdom. CD ROM, Paper No. 00 AP 039. Poole, R.T., C.A. Conover and J.N. Joiner. 1981. Soils and potting mixtures. In J. N. Joiner (ed.) Foliage Plant Production. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. pp. 179 202.

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87 Rynk, R., M. van de Kamp, G.G. Willson, M.E. Singley, T.L. Richard, J.J. Kolega, F.R. Gouin, L. Laliberty, Jr., D. Kay, D.W. Murphy, H.A.J. Hoitink and W.F. Brinton. 1992. On Farm Composting Handbook. Northeast Regional Agric. Eng. Serv., Ithaca, NY. Shiralipour, A., and D.B. McConnell. 1991. Influence of yard trash composting on weed tree seed germination. Volume 2, Proc. Env. Sound Agric. Conf., April 16 18, Orlando, FL. Shiralipour, A., D.B. McConnell and W.H. Smith. 1992. Uses a nd benefits of MSW compost: a review and an assessment. Biomass and Bioenergy 3:267 279. Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) Institute. 1999. Version 8.01. SAS Institute, Cary N.C. Toussoun, T.A., and L.A. Patrick. 1963. Effect of phytotoxic substa nces from decomposing plant residues on root rot of bean. Phytopathology 53:265 270. United States Composting Council. 2000. Field guide to compost use. Retrieved July 25, 2001 from http://composti ngcouncil.org/FGCU.html University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). 2001. The Florida Dairy Industry. Retrieved August 1, 2001 from http://www.animal.u fl.edu/dairy/dairyindustry.htm Van Horn, H.H., G.L. Newton, R.A. Nordstedt, E.C. French, G. Kidder, D.A. Graetz and C.F. Chambliss. 1998. Dairy manure management: strategies for recycling nutrients to recover fertilizer value and avoid environmental poll ution. Circular 1016. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville. Warman, P.R. 1999. Evaluation of seed germination and growth tests for assessing compost maturity. Compost Sci ence and Utilization 7(3):33 37. Whitcomb, C.E. 1988. Growth media. In Plant Production in Containers. Lacerbark Publishing, Stillwater, OK. pp. 171 240. Wolf, B. 1982. An improved universal extracting solution and its use for diagnosing soil ferti lity. Commun. in Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 13(12):1005 1033. Woods End Research Laboratory. 2001. Solvita quality seal of approval. Retrieved Oct 2, 2001 from http://www.woodsend.org/seal_3 3.pdf Woo tton, R.D., F.R. Gouin and F.C. Stark. 1981. Composted, digested sludge as a medium for growing flowering annuals. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 106:46 49.

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88 Yeager, T.H. 1995. Container substrate physical properties. The Woody Ornamentalist 20(1). Zuccon i, F., M. Forte and A. Monaco. 1981b. Biological evaluation of compost maturity. Biocycle, July August. pp. 27 29. Zucconi, F., A. Pera and M. Forte. 1981a. Evaluating toxicity of immature compost. BioCycle 22(2):54 57.

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89 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Rafael Garcia Prendes was born in Nov. 15, 1977, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, was raised in a rural environment until the age of 9, and received his high school diploma at the Evelyn Rogers Bilingual School in Guatemala City in 1995. He attended the prestigious Escuela Agricola Panamericana in Honduras and later graduated with a B plus as Agronomo in December 1998. He continued further at the University of Florida School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, obtaining the Bachelor of Science degree, and is currently pursuing the degree of Master of Science in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. His work experience includes fieldwork in rubber plantation research and civilian helicopter maintenance.


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Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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EVALUATION OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST AS A PEAT SUBSTITUTE IN
POTTING MEDIA FOR CONTAINER GROWN PLANTS

















By

RAFAEL GARCIA-PRENDES


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2001




























Copyright 2001

by

Rafael Garcia-Prendes



























To my Mother and Father














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This thesis work would not have been completed without the help of several

people whom I wish to thank. First, I thank my advisor Dr. Roger A. Nordstedt for all his

help and support. He was always there when I needed any advice or to solve any

problem. I would also like to give my special thanks to Dr. Dorota Z. Haman for her

support, interest, knowledge and problem solving advice. I am grateful to Dr. James E.

Barrett, who was there from the beginning to assist me with technical issues and help me

get off to a good start. Thanks to all my supervisory committee, whose comments and

edits contributed substantially to my research and to this document. I would like to thank

Claudia Larsen from the Environmental Horticulture Department for her helpful

suggestions and for allowing me to do part of my research in her laboratory. I also would

like to thank Veronica Campbell for her advice and support. Special thanks go to Dr.

Kimberly Klock-Moore from the Fort Lauderdale Research and Edcuation Center for

responding to my emails so quickly whenever I needed any information for my research.

Special thanks go to my friends who were always ready to help me go through the rough

times. Finally, I would like to thank three very special people in my life without them,

this would have never been possible my Mother, Father and Sister, to whom I dedicate

this.















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S .............................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ...................................................... .......... ....... ....... vii

LIST OF FIGU RES .................. .............................. ... .... .............. ... viii

A B STR A C T ............................................................... ..... ...... ........ x

CHAPTERS

1 IN TR OD U CTION .................. ............................ .. ........................... ..

Background and Justification...................................... 1
P problem .................................................. 3
O bj ectiv es .................................................................................... 5

2 LITERA TURE REVIEW ........................................................... .............6

C om post .................. ................................... ................... ........ ........ 6
The C om posting Process........................................................... ............... 6
M marketing C om post ........................................................... ... .............. 8
C om post vs. Peat.................................................... .............. 9
Com post M aturity and Stability..................................... ........................... 11
Growth Media for Container Grown Plants...................................................... 13
Growth Media Physical Properties ...................................................... 14
Growth M edia Chem ical Properties................................................................. 16
Compost as a Component in Potting Media ............................................... 18

3 EVALUATION OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST PROPERTIES FOR USE AS
POTTING M EDIA ......................... ............ ............ ..... ... .. 21

C om post Production .................. ........................... ..... ... ... .......... 21
B biological P roperties.......................................... .. ............... ...... ................ .. 23
Introduction................... ... ............................... 23
M materials and M ethods................... .................................. .......................... 24
R results and D discussion ......................................................... .............. 26
Physical and C hem ical Properties.............................. ............... ... ................. 28
In tro du ctio n ............................................................................................ 2 8
Materials and Methods........................................................ 28









Substrate A eration T est ........... ................. .................................. .............. 29
R results ........................................................................................... 29
Discussion........................................ .............. 32

4 DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST THAT CAN
BE USED AS A PEAT SUBSTITUTE IN CONTAINER GROWTH MEDIA ......34

Introduction.............................. ..................... 34
M materials and M ethods........................................................... ......................... 34
Pour Thru M ethod ............. .. ..... ...... .................. ....... .. 37
P lant T issue A naly sis .. ................ ........................ .. ............... ...... ................ 37
Results ........... .... ... ............ ...... ..................... .............. 38
D iscu ssion ............................................ 4 8

5 DAIRY MANURE COMPOST AS A COMPONENT IN CONTAINER GROWN
M E D IA ...................................... ......................................................5 0

Introduction.............................. ..................... 50
M materials and M ethods.................................................................... .............. 51
R e su lts .................................................................................... 5 3
D iscu ssio n ...................................................... ............... 6 1

6 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.................................................................63

S u m m a ry .................................................................................................... 6 3
Conclusions ......................................... 66

APPENDICES

A. GERMINATION TEST CALCULATIONS ..............................67

B. PLANT TRIAL EXPERIMENT #1 DATA ................................... ............... 69

C. PLANT TRIAL EXPERIMENT #2 DATA ................................... ............... 78

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ..................................................................... ....................84

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................. .............. 89















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

2-1. General recommendations for physical and chemical properties of container grown
media for bedding plants, foliage plants, and woody ornamentals.................. .......... 18

3-1. Results from evaluating physical parameters of dairy manure compost.............................30

3-2. Complete digestion macronutrient chemical analysis for dairy manure compost .................31

3-3. Macronutrients chemical analysis performed on the compost using extractant for
evaluation as a container m edia. ........................................... ........................................32

3-4. Micronutrients chemical analysis performed on the compost using extractant for
evaluation as a container m edia. ........................................... ........................................32

4-1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments............................ .............39

4-2. Soluble salts (SS) and pH monitoring using the Pour Thru procedure on the media
treatm en ts......................................................... ................ 4 2

4-3. Initial pH, SS and macronutrient chemical analysis of the seven media treatments ...............44

4-4. Initial micronutrient analysis from the seven media treatments............................................44

4-5. Diagnostic leaf tissue chemical analysis. ........................................ ........................ 45

4-6. Final salvia yield parameters measured for comparison between the seven media
tre atm en ts......................................................... ................ 4 7

5-1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. .............................................53

5-2. Soluble Salts (SS) and pH monitoring using the PourThru method on the media
tre atm en ts......................................................... ................ 5 6

5-3. Initial pH, Soluble Salts (SS) and macronutrient chemical analysis from the seven
m edia treatm ents .................................... ................................. .......... 58

5-4. Initial micronutrient analysis from the seven media treatments...........................................58

5-5. Final salvia yield parameters measured for comparison between the seven media
tre atm en ts......................................................... ................ 5 9















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure Page

3-1. Flow diagram of the nutrient removal and composting system at Gore's Dairy,
Zephyrhills, Florida. (Nordstedt & Sowerby, 2000) ....................................................22

3-2. Germination of watercress seeds comparing compost extract and deionized water..............25

3-3. Incubator used for germ nation tests. ............................................................................ 26

3-4. Bioassay or direct seed germination method comparing peat and compost..........................26

3-5. Percent germination versus time in compost extract germination test (B) for
watercress seed packet I. ............................................................ 27

3-6. Percent germination versus time in compost extract germination test (B) for
w atercress seed packet II ...................... .................... ................... .. ...... 27

4-1. Container capacity differences between the seven media treatments................................40

4-2. Moisture content differences between the seven media treatments................... ................40

4-3. Bulk density differences between the seven media treatments.........................................41

4-4. pH behavior for each of the media treatments compared with percentages of compost
in th e m ed ia ........................................................................... 4 3

4-5. Mn concentration from diagnostic leaf tissue analysis............................... ...............46

4-6. Ca concentration from diagnostic leaf tissue analysis .................................. ...............46

4-7. Average shoot dry weight compared with percentage of compost in the growth media
for salvia plants....................................................... ................... ... ....... ....... 47

5-1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. a) total porosity, b)
container capacity, c) air space .............................................................. .....................54

5-2. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. a) moisture content, b)
bulk den sity ........................................................... ................ 5 5

5-3. Differences in pH between mixes containing 100% compost vs. 100% peat.....................57

5-4. Final plant dry weight measured from salvia ............................................ ............... 59









5-5. Final plant yield parameters measured from salvia. a) plant height, b) plant width, c)
p lan t size. ............................................................................. 6 0














Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
Of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

EVALUATION OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST AS A PEAT SUBSTITUTE IN
POTTING MEDIA FOR CONTAINER GROWN PLANTS

By

Rafael Garcia-Prendes

December 2001

Chairman: Dr. Roger A. Nordstedt
Major Department: Agricultural and Biological Engineering

This study was conducted to determine if excess manure from dairy farms could

be used in potting media for plant nurseries. The number of dairy farms in Florida has

decreased, but the number of animals per dairy farm has increased. This usually leads to

a larger amount of manure in a smaller land area. Composting organic wastes is an

effective way to process manure. It transforms raw manure into a stable material that can

be suitable for use as a growth media in the nursery industry. The compost, either as a

stand-alone medium or as a component in potting mixes, was evaluated in a series of

experiments during the study.

The first objective was to determine the physical, chemical and biological

properties of screened dairy manure solids that had been composted. Biological

properties showed no phytotoxicity or damage in germination tests compared with the

control. Total porosity, container capacity, air space, moisture content and bulk density

showed good values when compared with ideal ranges. Chemical properties tests showed









that compost did not contain excess soluble salts levels nor excess nutrient levels, which

are both a primary concern for growers when dealing with compost.

The second objective was to evaluate how much peat could be substituted for

compost in a potting mix without causing any significant differences in plant growth.

Results showed that the mixes, which produced higher plant dry weights, were mixes

from the 0% compost to the 40% compost substitutions. The 60% compost mix produced

the same plant dry weight as the mix used as a control (60% peat). There were no

significant differences in the mixes for total porosity and air space. Bulk density

increased with the amount of compost in the mix. Container capacity and moisture

content decreased with increasing compost in the mix. Analysis of chemical properties

showed that compost provided micronutrients in the sufficiency range. Diagnostic leaf

tissue analysis did not revealed any deficiencies or toxicities to plants with the addition of

compost.

The third objective was to compare common nursery mixes that contained peat

with mixes that had compost instead of peat. Physical properties tests revealed that all

mixes were within the recommended range values, but compost provided more air space

and bulk density but less container capacity and moisture content. Total porosity

remained the same. Chemical properties tests showed that compost provided sufficient

chemical elements compared with the peat mixes. The pH in peat-based mixes was too

low for plant growth. Plant growth parameters showed dry weights were higher in

compost mixes, and plant size was similar to those in peat mixes.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


Background and Justification

Florida dairy farms have decreased in number but have increased in size.

According to the Florida Agricultural Statistics Service (FASS, 200 Ib), as of January

2001, cow numbers in the state of Florida were at 155,000 milk cows plus 40,000

replacement cows on 225 dairy farms. This represents an average fresh manure

production of 11,700 tons per day and 4.3 million tons per year (ASAE, 1995). The

average herd size in the state is one of the nation's largest, about 688 milk cows per dairy

farm (UF/IFAS, 2001). This can create an environmental problem, since there are a

larger number of animals maintained on a smaller acreage of land. The concentration of

waste and nutrients tends to be much higher compared with having more dairy farms with

a smaller number of animals per farm. Nutrient losses from these large herds can be an

environmental threat to groundwater and surface runoff. High water table and sandy soils

in Florida are very susceptible to environmental problems. Therefore, to comply with

nutrient budget requirements being set by environmental agencies, dairy farms are trying

to create unique and sophisticated waste treatment systems. Such a nutrient removal and

drum composting system was installed at a commercial dairy farm near Zephyrhills,

Florida. The system's main purpose was to remove nutrients from a land-limited dairy

farm located in an area of increasing urbanization within the Hillsborough River

watershed. The system removed coarse manure solids by mechanical screening and then









digested them in a horizontal drum composer. The end product from the drum composer

was a compost material suitable for use as a potting media material in the plant nursery

industry. The term "dairy manure compost" in this thesis refers to compost produced in

conditions similar to those in the nutrient removal and drum composting system installed

at Gore's Dairy, Zephyrhills, Florida. Similar systems with similar conditions can

produce similar dairy manure compost, but they may have to be evaluated as well.

Differences between compost products depend heavily on parent material.

Composting is a very effective way to turn fresh manure solids into a product that

has a high potential for use as a growth medium in the nursery industry. The main

purpose is to replace peat, which is the predominant organic matter component in

growing media and possesses properties similar to those of dairy manure compost. There

is a potential market for this product in Florida's wholesale nursery industry. The nursery

industry in Florida according to FASS (2001a) leads the nation in gross wholesale sales

of potted foliage for indoor use and foliage hanging baskets with sales of $393.9 million

during the year 2000. Potted foliage sales accounted for $366.9 million of the same year's

total, while the sales of foliage hanging baskets totaled almost $26.9 million. Every time

a foliage plant is sold, the medium is sold with it. This means that for every new plant

grown, you need to replace the medium.

If dairy manure compost can be proven effective for use in container grown

media, then dairy farmers can sell this product. This will provide them with an incentive

to deal with their environmental nutrient removal problems. Before this can happen, it

must be demonstrated that the drum composer can produce compost suitable for use in

nursery container mixes or as a stand-alone medium. The compost should meet the









physical, chemical and biological properties standards that the nursery industry demands.

According to Goh (1979), two major factors determine the successful production of

container grown plants in commercial nurseries: the choice of the medium, particularly

its physical properties, and the supply of plant nutrients. Although ornamental crops have

different requirements for their growing conditions, most growers want a growing

substrate that is consistent, reproducible, readily available, easy to work with, cost

effective, and with appropriate physical and chemical properties (Poole et al., 1981).

There would be two major benefits from replacing peat with composted cow manure:

environmental benefits from reduction of peat mining, and export of nutrients from dairy

farms to reduce problems of excess nutrients in ground and surface waters.


Problem

The main problem to deal with is the strict nutrient budget requirements that dairy

farms have to face. The high nutrient concentrations from diary farms, especially when a

large number of animals are involved, can cause an environmental impact upon the area

around it. The dairy industry cannot stop production, but pollution also has to be

controlled to maintain a safe environment. If dairy farms are not required to control their

manure then they will cause odors and contamination of groundwater and natural

waterways through seepage and surface runoff, respectively. High nitrate levels in

groundwater that is used for drinking water can cause blue baby disease or

methemaglobinemia. Also, high levels of P lead to eutrophication, which is the high

proliferation of algae that consumes dissolved oxygen from the water, killing flora and

fauna of rivers and lakes. So removing solids from the effluent and composting them will

help reduce all these environmental problems. Removing solids from the effluent will









reduce the anaerobic activity in the storage lagoon and reduce odors. Odors associated

with aerobic composting from the manure are minimal, not only because it is an aerobic

process but also because it takes place inside the drum composer. Also, by separating

solids from the liquid manure, agitation of the manure is not usually necessary for

emptying of the storage pond or structure. This minimizes the odor at the farmstead at the

time of field application. Composting the solids can be very effective in a nutrient

removal and composting system like the one installed near Zephyrhills, Florida.

It must be proven that the composted solids have a high potential for use in

potting media for the nursery industry. Composted materials have been used successfully

to grow a wide spectrum of nursery crops, from flowering annuals (Wootton et al., 1981)

to container grown tropical trees (Fitzpatrick, 1985). Compost maturity has to be

evaluated to rule out any potential damage that plants may suffer due to any toxic

compounds. According to FDACS (1994), compost maturity can be regarded as the

degree to which the material is free of phytotoxic substances that can cause delayed or

reduced seed germination, plant injury or death. The material has to have ideal growing

properties for it to be used as a growing media and not just rely on the fact that it is not

phytotoxic. Nelson (1991) stated that media components in plant production are not as

important as the medium properties like total porosity, water holding capacity, cation

exchange capacity, pH and soluble salt concentrations. Also, Klock (1999a) states that,

before recommending the use of any compost amended substrate for the growth of

bedding plants, identifying substrate physical and chemical properties associated with

superior bedding plant growth is important. Therefore, actual plant experiment trials









should also be performed to ensure the effectiveness of composts in ornamental crop

production.


Objectives

The goal of this study was to verify that dairy manure compost could be used as a

growth medium in container grown plants. There were three objectives to follow during

the study:

1. Evaluate dairy manure compost properties to assess its suitability for the

growth of plants in container media.

2. Determine the percentage of compost that can be substituted for peat in a

typical nursery container mix.

3. Evaluate its effectiveness as a component and by itself as a growing

substrate for nursery plants.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW


Compost

There are many definitions of compost. For the purpose of this research thesis the

U.S. Composting Council (2000) gives a very appropriate definition of compost, which is

"Compost is the product resulting from the controlled biological decomposition of

organic matter that has been sanitized through the generation of heat and stabilized to the

point that it is beneficial to plant growth. It bears little physical resemblance to the raw

material from which it has originated. It is an organic matter resource that has the unique

ability to improve the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of soils or

growing media, and it contains plant nutrients but is typically not characterized as a

fertilizer".


The Composting Process

The composting process is a waste management method used primarily to

stabilize organic wastes. The stabilized end product can be used as a rich amendment for

soil applications, such as in agricultural fields, landscape industry or nursery industry in

potting mixes (EPA, 1998). Compost can improve the physical, chemical and biological

properties of a soil or of a growing medium. Physical properties of soil improve mainly

due to the high organic matter content of composts. It enhances soil structure, thereby

increasing porosity, water holding capacity, and infiltration. Composts improve chemical

properties by providing cation exchange capacity, and they are also a source of









micronutrients. They improve biological properties by creating a diverse microbiological

environment that can suppress plant diseases and nematodes. To achieve all of these

benefits there are several factors that have to be taken into account. Factors, which affect

the composting process, include aeration, parent material, temperature, particle size, pH

and moisture (Rynk et. al 1992). All of these factors play a role in the natural

decomposition and degradation of the raw organic materials. If these factors are optimal,

the composting process is greatly accelerated. In this study, the solids used for

composting were solids separated from the effluent of a dairy manure nutrient removal

system installed at a commercial dairy. The solids were placed in a horizontal drum

composer for the composting process to take place (Nordstedt & Sowerby, 2000).

A good composting process should have three basic phases. The first is an

increase in temperature phase in which mesophilic microorganisms carry out the initial

decomposition, breaking down the soluble and readily degradable compounds. During the

second phase, mesophilic microorganisms tend to fade away due to higher decomposition

temperatures (55 C or higher), so thermophilic microorganisms take over the

decomposition process. This high temperature stage accelerates the breakdown of

proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates like cellulose and hemicellulose from plant

cells. Most of the plant pathogens, weed seeds and nematodes are destroyed during the

high temperature stage. After most of the degradation has taken place the temperature

starts decreasing. Mesophilic microorganisms reemerge in the process and take over the

last stage, which is the maturing or curing stage of compost. With all these

microorganisms proliferating in different stages of the composting process, the resulting

end stable product called "compost" is a material high in microorganism diversity.









The solids that come out as a stable product "compost" should have several

characteristics for it to be a material worthy of use as a growing media. It should have a

dark brown to black color, earthy odor, and pH close to neutral (pH 6-8), should not be

phytotoxic (mature), and should have a soluble salts concentration of less than 2.5

mmhos/cm.


Marketing Compost

Compost quality and uniformity are the two most important characteristics that

should be taken into consideration when producing compost. The compost quality should

be evaluated for the consumer or target market. Compost quality includes a number of

parameters like organic matter content, water holding capacity, bulk density, particle size,

nutrient content, level of contaminants, C: N ratio, phytotoxicity, weed seeds, soluble

salts, pH, color and odor (EPA, 1993). Although there isn't a universally accepted

standard procedure on testing composts, there are many tests that can be performed to

determine the efficacy of compost. One way to have a good impact on the compost

market is to inform the consumer of the exact use that the compost is intended to provide,

either as a potting mix, field application or mulch. Growers will then be able to look for

compost products that will meet physical, chemical and biological parameters for the

crop that they are growing, either on a field or in a greenhouse. For the consumer to

acknowledge the use of compost and purchase it, it is important that the benefits are equal

or better than a product already on the market. In other words, for compost to be cost

effective for the consumer, it should be equally effective to the control media, and it

should also be readily available and competitively priced (Klock & Fitzpatrick, 1999).

Given enough information on the product and its benefits, customers can know what they









are dealing with and use it appropriately. In the nursery industry growers are always

trying to find different alternatives for their potting mixes. This is where compost can be

an alternative either as a component or as a stand-alone substitute in potting mixes.


Compost vs. Peat

Both compost and peat will have the same function in a container-grown media,

and that will be to provide organic matter to that media. Compost can be used as a less

expensive substitute for peat and other organic components in potting mixes. Peat has a

lot of benefits that composts can also provide to a plant, like absorbing and retaining

water, and be free of weed seeds, diseases and pests. For a compost to be free of weed

seeds, diseases, and pests and also be a stable material comparable to peat, the

composting process has to be carried out properly to provide good quality compost.

There are several types of peat sold in the U.S. market: 1) sphagnum peat moss 2)

hypnaceous peat moss, 3) reed and sedge peat, and 4) humus peat or muck. Sphagnum

peat moss is the most suitable for use in the nursery industry, because it improves

drainage, aeration, water holding capacity, and cation exchange capacity. It has two

disadvantages: 1) it has a low pH and usually requires lime when used in potting media,

and 2) it is difficult to wet so warm water or a wetting agent must be used to get it wet

and ready for crop production. Hypnaceous peat moss decomposes more quickly but can

still be used in potting media. The decomposition can reduce air space. Reed and sedge

peat and humus or muck peat are not recommended for container media because they

decompose too quickly, interfering with the physical properties of the media. The largest

source of sphagnum peat moss used in the U.S. comes from Canada. Canadian sphagnum

peat moss is derived from the slow decomposition of sphagnum moss, which accumulates









in Canada's bogs or peat lands. To harvest peat, harvesters clear bogs of vegetation and

then dig shallow ditches to lower the water table, when the peat dries, the equipment

necessary to harvest the peat can operate on the field. Once a bog is ditched, harvesting

begins with harrows coming into the field to loosen the top peat moss, which then dries in

the sun for two to three hours before being vacuumed into large harvesters. It is then

transported from the field to the plant where it is screened, graded and baled for storage

or shipment (Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association, 2001). This process obviously

takes a lot of heavy machinery and labor, which in turn means higher prices for the

material. Also, when harvesting all of these bogs, this land cannot be used for water

collection and filtration, and natural habitats for flora and fauna diversity are being

eliminated or restricted. Another problem is that peat bogs are a large source of oxygen

production for the atmosphere. Peat harvesting in most European countries has been

banned due to the impact it has on the ecosystems. Peat bogs take centuries to regenerate

once they have been harvested. On the other hand, compost production has increased

tremendously in recent years, and it is now being viewed as an excellent alternative for

dealing with raw wastes. In the United States, more farms are composting than

municipalities, commercial/institutional establishments and other private sector groups

combined (Kashmanian & Rynk, 1995).

Compost as a potting media component has some advantages over peat. Compost

has a higher pH (neutral), while peat moss is very acidic. Potting mixes using peat will

usually have to be limed to raise the pH to the proper level for most plants. Peat moss is

very low in plant nutrients, while compost provides the plant with micronutrients and

microorganism diversity in the growing media. Compost can also provide natural









protection against diseases of the seedlings and roots of plants due to beneficial

organisms that live in well-made compost (Greer, 1998). Compost is less expensive than

peat. If a large potting media company has access to a source of good quality compost,

they can reduce their costs with the correct use of compost in their mixes. Additionally,

peat has been traditionally used as the organic component in horticultural substrates. The

demand for and use of peat is much greater than its natural production rate. Therefore,

peat is not going to be a quickly renewable source in the short term because it is

accumulated over long periods of time (Klock & Fitzpatrick, 1999). From an

environmental standpoint the use of compost in potting mixes instead of peat is not only

reducing peat harvesting, which in some places are natural habitats for animals and

plants, but also contributing to the elimination of some organic wastes such as dairy

manure.


Compost Maturity and Stability

Compost maturity and stability are two very important parameters that can be

measured to assure the quality of compost, thereby preventing not only plant damage but

also storage and marketing problems. Maturity and stability are two terms that are

sometimes used interchangeably when referring to composts. Stability refers to the stage

of decomposition of the organic matter in the compost, and maturity means the level of

completeness of composting (California Compost Quality Council, 2001). Plant growth

problems can be caused by incorrect usage or by immaturity of composts. Many factors

in immature composts can affect plant growth. That is why plant studies can help

determine if the composts are suitable for plant growth. Immature composts may have

high C:N ratios, high soluble salt concentrations, high concentrations of organic acids and









other phytotoxic compounds, high microbial activity, and/or high respiration rates

(Jimenez & Garcia, 1989).

Compost can be used in several ways: 1) as a container-growing medium, 2) as a

component of a growth media, 3) as mulch or top dress, or 4) as a field soil amendment.

The use of compost in a container-growing medium is one that requires the best quality

compost. Maturity and stability should be determined to avoid plant growth problems or

mortality. A key trait of immature compost is that it consumes oxygen, so it will be more

likely to have a negative effect on the oxygen supply to the roots (Brinton, 2000).

Maturity should be assessed by measurement of two or more biological or chemical

properties of the composted product. Germination index is a good indication of

phytotoxins in the compost. Zucconi et al. (1981a) demonstrated reduced cress (Lepidium

sativum L.) seed germination index in the presence of phytotoxins produced during early

stages of the composting process. According to Zucconi et al. (1981b) phytotoxicity

during the composting process appeared to be strictly associated with the initial stage of

decomposition. It was a transient condition that was possibly connected to the presence of

readily metabolizable material. Production of phytotoxins ceases and phytotoxins

themselves are inactivated in the succeeding decomposition stages. Phytotoxins can

sometimes be identified as volatile organic acids like benzoic acid, phenylacetic acid, 3-

phenyl propionic acid and 4-phenyl-butyric acid (Toussoun and Patrick, 1963). In

properly controlled composting systems, the stage characterized by a strong toxicity is

completed well before the end of the thermophilic phase. The horizontal drum composer,

which produced the compost for this study, was a controlled-composting environment

during the entire composting process. Poorly aerated compost can have a long lasting









toxicity due to the unstabilized end product. The drum composer provided a

continuously turning environment, giving the material a high temperature and continuous

aeration. This provided a great advantage over other composting methods. The

temperature inside the drum composer measured an average of 55C. According to

Shiralipour & McConnell (1991), a period of time longer than 48 h at 55C and longer

than 24 h at 65 C was required to inhibit the germination of beggarweed seeds without

the presence of compost extract. In the presence of the compost extract, beggarweed

germination was inhibited within 48 h at 550C and 18 h at 650C. Beggarweed is a heat-

resistant seed. At all temperatures tested, the addition of compost extract significantly

reduced seed germination. During the composting period both high temperatures and

phytotoxins will produce an inhibitory effect on weed tree seeds. Rigid control of

compost maturity will lead to a wider use of compost in the nursery industry.

Commercial compost companies must monitor and manage their product to consistently

produce a product that can be successfully used by container growers (Klock &

Fitzpatrick, 1999).


Growth Media for Container Grown Plants

A very important part of nursery crop production is understanding the ideal

characteristics that a growth medium should have to have successful crop production.

Ideal characteristics of a growth medium are that it be free of weed seeds and diseases, be

stable during a long period of time, be heavy enough to support itself but at the same time

not weigh too much to facilitate handling, be available at a low cost, and have good

physical, chemical and biological properties. Nursery crops can be grown in almost any

potting medium that provides physical support, adequate water, oxygen, essential mineral









elements, and is nontoxic to plants. If the growth medium possesses the ideal

characteristics for plant growth, the management required by the nurseryman will be

minimized and plant production will be of high quality. Another advantage is that the use

of less fertilizer and water usage will reduce the potential for groundwater contamination

and for nutrient runoff from the greenhouse.


Growth Media Physical Properties

Physical properties are the most important parameters related to plant

performance in potting media (Chen et al., 1988). A growth media is composed of solid,

liquid and gaseous components. The solid components usually constitute between 33-

50% of the media volume. The second portion is liquid, which consists of water and

dissolved nutrients and organic materials. The third portion is the gaseous material that

includes oxygen and carbon dioxide, which constitutes 60 80% of the container

medium volume. Oxygen is very important for root growth in the media. An oxygen

concentration of at least 12% should be maintained for roots not to suffer any damage or

reduce growth (Bilderback, 1982).

Potting mixes must be formulated to provide a balance between solid particles and

pore space. In growing media, porosity is the amount of pore space in container media

which influences water, nutrient absorption and gas exchange by the root system.

Container capacity or water holding capacity is measured when a medium has been

irrigated up to a saturation point that will fill the total pore space with water, then it is

allowed to drain only due to gravitational pull. The small pores will retain water while

large pores empty and fill with air. When all of the water has drained from the large









pores, the amount of water left in the small pores is referred to as container capacity or

water holding capacity (Fonteno, 1996).

Pore space in the medium will be dependent on the shape, size and distribution of

its media particles. Large pores will be filled with air, while small pores will be filled

with water. If a potting mix contains a higher amount of large pores, it won't hold as

much water as if it contains a greater amount of small pores (Greer, 1998). If a potting

mix has a greater amount of small pore spaces filled with water the air space decreases

and the chance for the plant to suffer damage due to over watering increases. According

to Ingram and Henley (1991), roots growing in poorly aerated media are weaker, less

succulent and more susceptible to micronutrient deficiencies and root rot pathogens such

as Pythium and Phytophtora than roots growing in well-aerated media. For adequate gas

exchange, aeration porosity should ideally constitute 20-35% and water-retaining micro

pores should comprise 20-30% of the total media volume (Kasica, 1997). Another aspect

that can affect media aeration and porosity is that the volume of the medium may

decrease due to compaction, shrinkage, erosion and root penetration. All of these will

cause a reduction in drainable air space and readily available water. To reduce

compaction during pot filling, no pressure should be applied to the potting mix while

filling the container. Shrinkage also occurs over time due to particle degradation.

Another important physical property of a growth medium is the bulk density.

Bulk density is the mass per unit volume, usually expressed in grams per cubic

centimeter (g/cc). This parameter will indicate the volume of solids and pore space

occupied by the growing media. A loose, porous mix will have a lower bulk density than

a heavy, compact growing media. The ideal bulk density will depend on the plant's









handling or location at the nursery. A higher bulk density will be needed for plants grown

outdoors to prevent wind from forcing them down on the floor, and a lower bulk density

will be needed for plants with more handling. To reduce bulk density according to plant

needs, organic material like peat or compost is usually added. In general as bulk density

increases, the total pore space decreases (Holcomb, 2000).


Growth Media Chemical Properties

Chemical properties of a media are also very important and deal mostly with the

plant's nutrition and the factors around it. First of all, a very important factor to control in

growth media is the pH. Media pH is the measure of alkalinity of a substrate, with a pH

of 7 indicating neutral pH. A pH higher than 7 signifies that it is alkaline, and a pH below

seven denotes acidic conditions. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14 that

reflects the concentration of hydrogen ions in the media. Media components, fertilizers

and irrigation water can affect media pH. The main reason for pH control is to regulate

nutrient availability. A plant does not usually suffer due to pH increasing or decreasing. It

is the deficiency of some nutrients that actually affects the plant. Micronutrient

availability is optimal at pH 5.0-6.5. Outside this pH range, the availability of nutrients

becomes difficult for the plant due to changes in the nutrient chemical properties (Ingram

& Henley, 1991). The plant can start showing some deficiency symptoms, and the quality

of the plant is eventually lowered.

Another important aspect of the media's chemical properties is the cation

exchange capacity (CEC). The CEC is a measure of media's nutrient holding capacity. It

is defined as the sum of exchangeable cations, or positively charged ions, that the media

can adsorb per unit weight or volume. The unit of measure is milliequivalents per 100









cubic centimeters (me/100cc) or grams (me/100g). A high CEC means that a media will

hold nutrients even after irrigation. The use of organic matter in potting mixes will

provide an increase in cation exchange capacity or the media's availability to hold

nutrients. Potting mixes made mostly of sand won't have the ability to hold as much

nutrients compared with one containing organic components such as peat or compost,

which will have a greater ability to hold nutrients. However, if a potting mix holds too

many nutrients, salts may accumulate. Some low surface area component like sand might

help control salt buildup (Ingram and Henley, 1991). Important macronutrient cations

that the media will hold on its exchange sites are calcium (Ca+2), magnesium (Mg+2),

potassium (K+), ammonium (NHW4) and sodium (Na+2), and micronutrients such as iron

(Fe+2 and Fe+3), manganese (Mn+2), zinc (Zn+2), and copper (Cu+2). The concentrations of

all these ions in the media are restricted to a limited container volume. To prevent the

accumulation of these minerals, commonly measured as soluble salts concentration in the

media solution, they should be monitored. The buildup of salts can make it difficult for

the plant roots to absorb water, due to a higher or positive concentration gradient in the

media. The gradient should be higher in the plant system for it to absorb water. If the

gradient in the media is higher, the plant will probably suffer from lack of water and wilt.

Also, a continuous monitoring of soluble salts will help estimate the amount of nutrients

in the media solution, since most soluble salts are mineral elements that are essential for

plant growth. At the beginning of the crop cycle, the initial soluble salts readings should

be low so that sensitive plants and seedlings will not suffer any damage.









Compost as a Component in Potting Media

Most ornamental plants are grown in containers. When the ornamental plants are

sold, the media in the container goes along with it. Every time a new crop cycle of plants

is grown in the greenhouse, it needs new container media (Klock & Fitzpatrick, 1999).

Compost can be used as an alternative to peat to meet this increasing demand for an

organic component in growing media for the nursery industry. It can either be used as a

component or as the growth media itself.

Although most ornamental plant crops may require different characteristics in

their container media conditions, most growers want a container media that is consistent,

reproducible, readily available, easy to work with, cost effective, and with appropriate

physical and chemical properties (Poole et al., 1981). A summary of general

recommendations for physical and chemical properties of container growth media is

shown in (Table 2-1).




Table 2-1. General recommendations for physical and chemical properties of container
grown media for bedding plants, foliage plants, and woody ornamentals.
(Fonteno, 1996; Warcke and Krauskopf, 1983; Poole et al., 1981; Dickey et al., 1978)


Media Characteristic Bedding Plants1 Foliage Plants2 Woody Ornamentals3
Total pore space 75-85 % NA NA
Water holding capacity NA 20-60% 35-50%
Air filled porosity 5-10% 5-30% NA
pH 5.8-6.2 5.5-6.5 5.8-6.2
Soluble salts 0.75-3.49 mS/cm 0.57-1.43 mS/cm 0.5-1.00 mS/cm
Nitrate 80-160 mg/kg 50-90 mg/kg NA
Phosphate 6-10 mg/kg 4NA NA
Potassium 150-225 mg/kg NA NA
SSoluble salt and all nutrient values determined using SME (saturated media extract method).
2 Soluble salt determined using 1:2 method and nitrate determined using SME.
3 Soluble salt determined using 1:2 method.
4 NA = not available.









Container mixes have a combination of organic materials and inorganic materials

in them. Peat has traditionally been used as the organic component for most nursery

media. The organic component in a mix will vary from 20 100% by volume of the mix,

depending on the crop and the growing conditions (Whitcomb, 1988). There have been

many plant experiments with compost as part of the potting mix where the results have

been either the same as the control or even better. Most experiments have been done with

biosolids and other waste composts and not many with dairy manure compost. Biosolids

and municipal solid waste composts have a high variability in properties after the

composting process. This variability is due mainly because the parent material influences

compost quality. Therefore, these composts are not as uniform as dairy manure compost.

Composts made from biosolids tend to have relatively high nitrogen levels (Rynk et al.,

1992). Some biosolids composts tend to have a higher salt concentration as determined

by (Shiralipour et al., 1992). Thus, as the percentage of municipal solid waste compost in

the substrate increases above 50%, growth of some plant species can be depressed due to

high soluble salt concentrations, poor aeration, and or heavy metal toxicities. Dairy

manure compost has very similar physical characteristics (water holding capacity, air

space, total porosity and bulk density) as peat. Chemical characteristics of compost show

that they provide some micronutrients. Because of extreme heterogeneity among compost

products, it is important to identify the physical and chemical properties of compost as

well as compost blending rates associated with superior bedding plant growth (Klock,

1997).

There have been many successful experiments conducted using various kinds of

composts in container media. For example, Wootton et al. (1981) reported that 'Golden






20


Jubilee' marigold, 'Fire Cracker' zinnia, and 'Sugar Plum' petunia growth in a sludge

compost and/ or sludge compost-vermiculite medium was similar to or better than growth

in a sand-peat medium. According to Klock and Fitzpatrick (1997), their work

demonstrates the feasibility of using a compost product as a stand alone medium for

growing 'Accent Red' impatients if it meets the following criteria: APS (percent of air

filled porosity) of 5 to 30 percent, a WHC (water holding capacity) of 20 to 60 percent, a

bulk density of 0.30 to 0.75 g/cm3, initial pH of 6.5 to 7.0, initial soluble salts

concentration of 0.50 to 0.65 dS/m, and a C:N ratio of 15 to 20.














CHAPTER 3
EVALUATION OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST PROPERTIES FOR USE AS
POTTING MEDIA



This chapter discusses how the compost used in this study was produced and the

biological, physical and chemical properties that made it a potential material in potting

media. The compost came from the nutrient removal and drum composting system

installed at Gore's Dairy, Zephyrhills, Florida.


Compost Production

The system was designed to treat wastewater from two free stall barns that held

about 800 cows and used a flushing system for manure removal and cleaning. It consisted

of a gravity sedimentation basin, a wastewater holding tank, Agpro Extractor (Agpro Inc,

Paris, Texas) mechanical screen, a tangential flow separator, a plate clarifier and

thickener, and a horizontal drum composer (Figure 3-1). The purpose of the gravity

sedimentation basin was to trap most of the sand coming from the cow's bedding. The

wastewater holding tank served as a temporary storage before the wastewater entered the

Agpro Extractor mechanical screen. The Agpro Extractor screens solids out of the

wastewater and stores them in a temporary storage area where additional water drains out

of the solids. The solids were loaded into one end of the drum composer with a conveyor

belt. The drum composer was a 3 m diameter by 12.2 m long cylinder. It was

continuously turned at about 11 revolutions/hour, and it had about a 5-degree angle to

facilitate movement of solids from the inlet to the outlet. There were two interior baffles









with four 1.2 m diameter holes, and it had an air blower which forced air through four

horizontal ducts on the inside of the drum. Temperature inside the drum composer

sometimes exceeded 65 o C. The volume of manure in the drum was approximately 67

cubic meters with a solids retention time of at least three days (Nordstedt & Sowerby,

2000).

Dairy Farm Wastewater



Gravity Recovered
Sedimentation Basin I Sand for
Bedding


Holding Tank
Sand


Liquids Mechanical Screen Solids



Tangential Flow Temporary Solids
Separator ------ Storage



Plate Clarifier Drum Composter



Wastewater Slurry Compost
Storage
Pond

De-Watering System



Figure 3-1. Flow diagram of the nutrient removal and composting system at Gore's
Dairy, Zephyrhills, Florida. (Nordstedt & Sowerby, 2000)









Biological Properties


Introduction

Germination tests with compost extract and direct compost seed tests were

performed to evaluate any phytotoxicity that the compost could cause. Biological

properties of compost can be measured in many ways, and each one addresses a different

characteristic that makes compost either safe or unsafe for plants. Two compost extract

germination tests were performed. The first test was performed to calculate germination

index, and the second test was performed to compare germination results over time

between the compost extract and deionized water. The first test for calculating the

germination index was a compost extract modified biological maturity test by Zucconi et

al. (1981a). The methodology for this procedure is based on seed inhibition caused by

toxic environmental conditions usually associated with immature compost. It yields

percent germination, which is an average of the seeds germinated in the sample divided

by the average of the seeds germinated in the control. It also gives percent root length in

the same way. When these two numbers are multiplied together, it gives the

"Germination Index". The idea of this germination index is to obtain a parameter that can

account for both low toxicity, which affects root growth, and heavy toxicity, which

affects germination (Zucconi et al., 1981a).

% Germination = Average number of seeds germinated in the sample
Average number of seeds germinated in the control

% Root Length = Average of root length in the sample
Average of root length in the control

Germination Index = (% Germination % Root Length)/100









For the second test the same procedure was used, except root length was not

measured only percentage of germination was recorded at 24, 48 and 72 hours from two

different packets of watercress seeds.

In addition to the compost extract procedures a bioassayy test" was also

performed to provide more evidence of compost maturity using peat as a control.

Warman (1999) concluded that between three different types of germination tests

performed on composts the commonly used compost extract germination test was not

sensitive enough to detect differences between mature and immature composts. Direct

seed tests were the most sensitive. With this in mind, both germination tests with compost

extract and direct seed germination in compost procedures were performed on the media.


Materials and Methods

A sample of compost was collected in April 2001 from the nutrient removal and

composting system at Gore's Dairy. The sample was taken from a pile that had recently

been taken out of the digester. Three germination tests were performed on the compost:

1. Compost extract germination test (A) was performed using a modified

procedure performed by Zucconi et al. (1981a), which used a 4:1 mix (water:

media) by weight (Figure 3-2). Mixes were placed in Nalgene 50 ml centrifuge

tubes and allowed to stand for 15 minutes so that water could soak the compost.

They were then centrifuged for 30 min at 5000 rpm. The extract was filtered

through a Whatman # 113 wet strengthened filter paper. Ten ml of the filtered

extract was used to wet the germination paper, which had been placed in a 9.5 x

1.5 cm petri dish. Twenty-five watercress seeds (Lepidium sativum) were placed

per dish and replicated six times. Each replication had a control that contained









deionized water. Dishes were placed in an incubator at 27 C for four days (Figure

3-3). The lids of the petri dishes were left on to prevent evaporation of the extract.

Percent germination and percent root length were measured after four days and

the germination index was calculated. A statistical analysis was also performed on

the germination results using SAS, assigning a number "one" to each germinated

seed. The means were separated using Duncan's multiple range test with a p=0.05

(SAS, 1999).

2. Compost extract germination test (B) this test followed the same procedure as

the previous test except that ten watercress (Lepidium sativum) seeds were placed

per petri dish and replicated six times. Germination results were recorded at 24,

48 and 72 hours using two different seed packets I and II.

3. The bioassay procedure was performed by filling 9.5 x 1.5 cm petri dishes with

compost and Canadian Peat Moss (Figure 3-4). There were six replications for

compost and peat with twenty-five radish (Raphanus sativus) seeds per dish. All

of them were moistened to saturation with deionized water. Lids were used to

prevent moisture from evaporating. All petri dishes were placed in an incubator at

27 C. Germination was recorded and analyzed statistically using SAS, and means

were separated using Duncan's multiple range test with a p=0.05 (SAS, 1999).










Figure 3-2. Germination of watercress seeds comparing compost extract and deionized
water.
























Figure 3-3. Incubator used for germination tests.














Figure 3-4. Bioassay or direct seed germination method comparing peat and compost.



Results and Discussion

In the compost extract test (A) the germination index was calculated at 103 %

(Appendix A). A germination index of 40% or less would denote phytotoxic potential

(Lemus, 1998). The germination index was high due to a higher root length for the

compost than in the control germination test. The compost extract germination tests (A)

versus deionized water mean separation analysis showed that the means from seeds

germinated in deionized water and the means from seeds germinated in compost extract

were not significantly different. Germination percentages from the compost extract test












(B) compared to the control are both shown below in Figures 3-5 and 3-6 (Appendix A).


Mean comparison of direct seed germination test results between compost and peat used


as the control showed no significant differences (Appendix A). Biological tests of the


compost in these tests did not show that the compost would cause any potential damage


to plants. The compost seemed to be completely mature after being digested at an average


temperature of 55 C for 3 days. That is when the samples were taken for the tests.


100
90
80
70
S60
50
50
40
30
S-I- Compost extract
20 / Control
10
0
24 48 72
Time (hrs)



Figure 3-5. Percent germination versus time in compost extract germination test (B) for
watercress seed packet I.


90

80

70

60o

I 50

. 40*
J 30

20

10


24 48 72
Time (hrs)

Figure 3-6. Percent germination versus time in compost extract germination test (B) for
watercress seed packet II.


I Compost extract
U Control









Physical and Chemical Properties

Introduction

Physical properties were determined using a procedure by Beeson (1995) called

"Substrate Aeration Test" to measure total porosity, container capacity, air space, and

bulk density. Chemical properties of the compost were determined by A & L Southern

Agricultural Laboratories, Pompano Beach, Florida. They conducted a "State Manure

Test M-2" and a soil container media "S-7 Test Method" using a modified Morgan

extractant with sodium acetate and DTPA (Wolf, 1982). These results were used in

evaluating the properties of the compost for use in potting mixes for the experimental

plant trials.


Materials and Methods

A sample of compost was collected in April 2001 from the nutrient removal and

composting system at Gore's dairy. The sample was taken out of the piles that had

recently been taken out of the digester. The compost was screened with a 1.3 cm screen

to remove larger particles and to have a uniform product. All samples and material used

in subsequent experiments was also screened. For measuring physical properties the

"Substrate Aeration Test" procedure by Beeson (1995) was used. A & L Southern

Agricultural Laboratories determined the chemical properties of the compost, first with a

"State Manure Test" that included moisture, solids, total N, P, P205, K, K20, S, Mg, Ca,

Na, Al, B, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn. Compost was then analyzed as a container media using an

"S-7 test" that used a Morgan extractant with sodium acetate and DTPA (Wolf, 1982) for

container media that included soil pH, soluble salts, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B

and S.









Substrate Aeration Test

The procedure by Beeson (1995) required building a device out of a 15.2 cm long

x 7.5 cm diameter polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe with a cap on the bottom and a coupler

on top. Four 5 mm holes were drilled in the cap. The total volume of the pipe was

determined, and it was filled with moist substrate and packed three times by dropping it

from ten centimeters. The pipe was then placed in an 18.9-liter container filled with water

to the top of the coupler. After three hours the pipe was removed and allowed to drain for

5 minutes, the coupler was removed, and a cloth was tied to the top. It was then

submerged for 10 more minutes, and then it was lifted out of the water. The holes were

covered, and it was placed on a pan elevated at the bottom with a piece of pipe. It was

allowed to drain for 10 minutes. The drained volume was carefully measured with a

graduated cylinder. The pipe was then emptied on a paper bag to weigh the sample and

obtain the wet weight. The sample was placed in an oven at 105 oC for 48 hours and

weighed to obtain dry weight.

Media volume in this case was 680 ml, which was determined by measuring the

volume of the capped pipe without the coupler. It was then possible to calculate total

porosity, container capacity, moisture content, air space and bulk density according to the

equations by Fonteno (1996).


Results

The physical properties results (Table 3-1) on average were within the range

values recommended by Yeager (1995) for evaluating container mixes except for

moisture content. This means that the compost by itself could meet the physical

properties ranges specified for the growth of container media nursery stock. The chemical









properties results (Table 3-2) were compared with range values that were standards used

by Woods End Research Laboratory (2001) to evaluate compost for use in container

mixes. The nitrogen range value (Table 3-1) was not available, because they measure N

as TKN and not as total N. Most of the values were within the ranges, except for K, Mg

and Ca, which were higher than the range, and Zn was below the normal range.




Table 3-1. Results from evaluating physical parameters of dairy manure compost.

Total Container Bulk Moisture
Sample ri Capacit Air Space Content
Number Porosity Capacity ) Density Content
(%) (%) (gr/cc) (%)
1 82.0 44.4 37.6 0.22 66.9
2 79.3 53.6 25.7 0.37 59.4
3 77.0 54.2 22.8 0.39 58.4
4 77.4 53.9 23.5 0.37 59.3
Average 78.9 51.5 27.4 0.34 61.0
Range Values1 50-85 45-65 10-30 0.19-0.70 70-80

'Range values are recommended physical characteristic values from Yeager (1995).


Although K, Mg and Ca were higher than the recommended range, they did not

seem to affect the tissue analysis results. In the chemical test "S-7" performed on the

compost (Table 3-3) the soluble salts were within the normal range. While a high salts

content from K, Mg and Ca seemed to appear in the complete digestion test, it was not as

apparent in the extractant or container media test. Macronutrient analysis showed a

slightly lower N value and a slightly higher P value, but K was higher than the range in

this test as well as in the previous total digestion test. K concentrations were probably

higher due to the compost's parent material.









Table 3-2. Complete digestion macronutrient chemical analysis for dairy manure
compost.



R n Moisture Solids N P K Mg Ca
Repcation (%) (/o) (/o) (/o) (%) (o) (%)


1 42.4 57.6 20.92 0.19 0.25 0.14 0.64
2 31.4 68.6 0.85 0.20 0.27 0.15 0.69
3 42.8 57.1 0.85 0.18 0.23 0.13 0.65
4 43.8 56.2 0.89 0.18 0.25 0.13 0.62
Average 40.1 59.9 0.88 0.19 0.25 0.14 0.65
Range 0.04- 0.005- 0.025-
Values1 NA NA NA 0.25 0.04-0.1 0.05 0.
Values 0.25 0.05 0.5
'Range values established by Woods End Research Laboratory (2001).
2Wet basis results.

Table 3-2 continued.

Na Cu Fe Mn Zn
Replication
Replication (%) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm)

1 0.07 50.0 1430.0 41.0 55.0
2 0.08 52.0 1754.0 47.0 58.0
3 0.07 49.0 1349.0 39.0 51.0
4 0.07 46.0 1661.0 40.00 51.0
Average 0.07 49.2 1548.5 41.8 53.8
Range 100-
Values < 1/2 K <350 < 12,000 < 1,000 00
Values 2,800
'Range Values from Woods End Research Laboratory (2001).


The micronutrient analysis (Table 3-4) showed that only Cu had a lower value

compared with the range. Although copper is an important micronutrient, it can also be

toxic if present at higher levels in the plant. Compost can provide container media with


micronutrients.









Table 3-3. Macronutrients chemical analysis performed on the compost using extractant
for evaluation as a container media.

Soluble
Sample Media soluble N P K Ca Mg S
Salts
Number pH (mmhos/cm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm)

1 7.8 0.89 28 80 907 1720 531 22
2 7.7 0.84 18 80 515 560 188 20
Avg. 7.8 0.87 23 80 711 1140 359.5 21
Range 5.5- 15-
Range 5.5- 0.2-1.0 25-150 12-60 50-250 500-5000 50-500 15-
Values 6.5 200
'Values were provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typical good values.



Table 3-4. Micronutrients chemical analysis performed on the compost using extractant
for evaluation as a container media.


Sample Fe Mn Zn Cu B
Number (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm)

1 2.5 6.2 6.2 0.4 1.7
2 5.7 3.3 3.9 0.8 1.1
Avg. 4.1 4.8 5.1 0.6 1.4
Range 2.5-25 2.5-25 2.5-25 1.2-5 0.5-2.0
Values
'Range values provided by Southern Agricultural Laboratories as
typical good values.


Discussion

The analyses indicated that the compost did not contain toxic levels of nutrients

that would affect plant growth. It possessed physical properties that common commercial

potting nursery mixes offer for the growth of container grown plants. Chemical analyses

also showed that the compost would not replace nutrients supplied by a common

fertilizer. An ideal container media should provide the plant with some nutrients,

especially some micronutrients, which normal soilless media do not provide. At the same

time it would not provide the plant with an excess or deficiency that could cause









phytotoxicity or damage to the plant. K was the only element present that was higher than

normal, and K is not an element that can pose a high risk to the environment. Its high

concentration may have been due to the fact that the solids composted were undigested

forages, and most forages contain high concentrations of K. According to Grant (1996)

alfalfa routinely tested over 3% K on a dry basis, and NRC (1989) reported that Bermuda

grass hay sun cured 15-28 days had a 2.2% K level. K is a major cation nutrient, and it is

needed by plants in greater quantities than any other nutrient, except perhaps N. Analyses

of screened manure solids from a dairy research showed that K content ranged from 0.16

to 0.22% of dry matter (Van Horn et al., 1998). Excess K can promote cation deficiencies

in the plants due to competition with elements like Ca and Mg, but Ca and Mg are also

present in the compost and can be used as nutrients for plants. Plant trials accompanied

by diagnostic leaf tissue analyses would help determine if the compost would be a good

substitution as container growth medium.














CHAPTER 4
DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF DAIRY MANURE COMPOST THAT CAN BE
USED AS A PEAT SUBSTITUTE IN CONTAINER GROWTH MEDIA


Introduction

After determining that the dairy manure compost had a high potential for use in

the nursery industry, the next step was a plant trial experiment. A common lightweight

potting mix that contained peat, vermiculite and perlite was used, and compost was

substituted for peat. The substitution was made in increasing percentages from 0 to 60%

by volume to determine whether an organic mix of peat and compost would be a good

container mix. The addition of compost was not to supply a nutrient amendment in the

growth media. Rather, the compost was intended to be used in the same manner as peat in

a mix. To provide an accurate evaluation of the plants and media reactions to the different

treatments, there were several parameters measured on the plants and on the media.

Physical and chemical properties of the media were determined, diagnostic leaf tissue

analyses were performed, and plant yield and characteristics were measured and

compared between treatments.


Materials and Methods

A sample of compost was obtained in April 2001 from the nutrient removal and

drum composting system at Gore's Dairy. The sample was taken from a pile that had

recently been taken out of the digester. The compost was screened with a 1.3 cm screen









to remove larger particles and to have a uniform product. Canadian sphagnum peat moss

was used for the treatments. The following treatments were mixed by volume:

1) 60 % peat: 0%compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite.

2) 50%peat: 10%compost: 10% perlite: 30%vermiculite.

3) 40% peat: 20% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite.

4) 30% peat: 30% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite.

5) 20% peat: 40% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite.

6) 10% peat: 50% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite.

7) 0% peat: 60% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite.

To get a homogeneous mix the treatments were mixed with a small concrete

mixer. All components used in the treatments were based on a common mix called

Fafard Lightweight mix (Fafard, 2001). The first treatment contained no compost; it

was used as a control mix for comparison with the other six treatments. The seventh

treatment had no peat and the highest amount of compost (60%). Perlite and Vermiculite

were both used as an inorganic amendment to the mix. They both provide air space, and

vermiculite also provides some cation exchange capacity to the mix.

At the beginning of the experiment samples from each of the treatment mixes

were sent to A & L Southern Agricultural Laboratories where they performed an "S-7"

container media test with a Morgan extractant, sodium acetate and DTPA. This was the

same procedure as the container media analysis performed on the compost in chapter 3

(Wolf, 1982). The container media test provided pH, soluble salts, available N, P, K, Mg,

Ca, S, Z, Mn, Fe, Cu and B. A physical properties test was also performed on the media

used in the seven treatments. It was done in the same way as the procedure in Chapter 3









(Beeson, 1995). The substrate aeration test was used to determine total porosity,

container capacity, moisture content, air space and bulk density. Salvia 'Indigo Spires'

(Salviafarinacea) plugs were transplanted in ten-centimeter pots containing the potting

mixes described above. The pots were placed in a completely randomized design with 7

treatments, 5 plants per treatment, and 4 replications for a total of 140 plants. The

variables measured at the end of the experiment were: 1) Plant Size (average of height

and diameter) 2) Flowering (number of flower spikes) 3) Shoot dry weight, and 4) pH

and soluble salts (SS) of the media. SS and pH were measured using the PourThru

method three times during the duration of the experiment (procedure explanation below).

Plant Size was calculated as the average of height and width. Height was measured from

the surface of the media to the highest tip of the plant. Width was measured as an average

from two measurements, east-west and north-south. If the plant was tilted to one side at

the time of measurement, it was straightened and both measurements were taken with the

plant in the same position.

The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse on the University of Florida

campus using drip irrigation, beginning in May 2001. After the first week all pots were

irrigated three times a day at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. for 1 min, which was

slightly less than 100 ml per irrigation. Irrigation water came from the Gainesville

municipal water supply. Pots were fertilized three days after planting by top dressing with

5 grams of a slow release fertilizer 14N-6.2P-11.6K Osmocote (14N-14P205-14K20)

(The Scotts Company Marysville, Ohio). A plant tissue analysis was performed 31 days

after planting (procedure explanation below). Plants were grown for 38 days after

transplanting until they were at their approximate market size. Shoots were cut at the









surface of the media, dried at 70 oC for 48 hrs, and then weighed to obtain shoot or plant

dry weight.

Pour Thru Method

The PourThru method was done according to Cavins et al. (2000). Samples of

potting media leachates were taken the second, fourth and final week after transplanting.

Samples of 5 pots from each one of the seven treatments were taken randomly for a total

of 35 pots. All plants were irrigated at least one hour before samples were taken so that

all of them contained the same amount of moisture. A plastic saucer or plate was placed

under the pots for leachate collection. About 80 ml of deionized water was then poured

on the surface of the pot to get a leachate sample. The leachates were placed in Fisher

brand 20 ml scintillation vials and taken to the laboratory where they were tested for pH

and soluble salts (SS). The SS measurement was performed as quickly as possible before

any reactions occurred that could affect the readings. Results were analyzed statistically

with SAS, and means were separated with Duncan's multiple range test with a p = 0.05

(SAS, 1999).


Plant Tissue Analysis

A plant tissue analysis was also performed 31 days after planting according to

Mills and Jones (1996). Fifty mature leaves from new growth were sampled per

treatment. Leaves were dried at 70 oC for 48 hrs and were weighed to obtain dry weight.

Tissue was then ground with a Wiley Mill (Thomas Scientific, Swedesboro New Jersey)

and stored in plastic sealed bags. There were 3 (50 leaves) samples taken from each one

of the 7 treatments for a total of 21 samples. A sample of 150 mature leaves (50 leaves

per/sample) was needed per treatment. Since there were 20 plants (4 reps x 5 plants) per









treatment 8 mature leaves were taken from each plant. With 8 leaves per plant there were

160 leaves sampled per treatment (20 pits/treatment x 8 leaves/plant). Since it was only

necessary to get 150, the samples were divided into three parts. One part had 53 mature

leaves and the other two had 54 mature leaves, instead of the 50 required by Mills and

Jones (1996). All samples were sent to the Analytical Research Laboratory, Soil and

Water Science Department at the University of Florida. The samples were subjected to

chemical analysis for TKN, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, and Fe. All results were analyzed

statistically with SAS, and means were separated with Duncan's multiple range test with

a p = 0.05 (SAS, 1999).


Results

The comparison between physical properties results from the seven treatments

(Table 4-1) showed that there were no significant differences in total porosity between

them. Total porosity is the percentage of the container media volume, which is not

occupied by solid media particles. Also, air space did not show any significant

differences between treatments. Air space is the percent volume of media or media

component that is filled with air after the media has achieved container capacity or its

maximum water holding capacity. The air space required for adequate gas exchange

should constitute at least 15%, but ideally it should be 20-35% of the media volume

depending on the plants (Kasica, 1997). All of the treatments had an air space higher than

25%. In terms of air space and total porosity, there were no differences between compost

and peat in the media.

Container capacity, moisture content and bulk density, did prove to have highly

significant differences between them. Container capacity, also called water-holding









capacity, decreased with increased addition of compost to the treatments. This may have

been due to the fact that peat has the ability to absorb a greater amount of moisture than

the compost substitute (Figure 4-1). Container capacity is the percent volume of the

media that is filled with water after an irrigated media has drained. Water retained by the

media is likely to be in smaller pores or absorbed by the material itself, so not all of the

actual water held by soilless media, as in the case of peat, will be available to the plant.

According to Fonteno (1996), peat has about a 25% volume of water that is unavailable

water or water that the plant cannot use at a matric tension of 1.5 Mpa. The usual matric

tension or negative pressure measured in dry media is going to be between 10 to 30 kpa.




Table 4-1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments.


Treatment Compost Total Container Air Space Moisture Bulk
Number (%) Porosity (%) Capacity (%) (%) Content Density
(%) (g/cc)
1 0 578.6 47.5ab1 31.1 81.5ab 0.106c
2 10 79.8 51.3a 28.5 82.7a 0.106c
3 20 78.7 46.9a 31.8 77.3bc 0.140b
4 30 76.7 48.lab 28.6 77.5bc 0.140b
5 40 80.6 46.9ab 33.6 75.7c 0.153ab
6 50 75.8 46.2b 29.6 74.5cd 0.156ab
7 60 78.9 41.2c 37.7 70.4d 0.170a
Range Values3 50-85 45-65 10-30 70-80 0.19-0.70
Significance 4ns 0.0072 ns 0.0028 0.003
1Duncan's mean separation alpha p = 0.05
2 All values are means from three replicates.
3 Range values are recommended physical characteristics (Yeager, 1995)
4 ns = not significant p > 0.05


Moisture content decreased with the addition of compost to the media (Figure 4-

2). The decrease is probably due to the same reason that peat absorbs a lot more moisture

than compost.








40




5252

48
46 .
44
.5 42
40
S38

0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Percentage of Compost in the Media



Figure 4-1. Container capacity differences between the seven media treatments.






82
80o
78

74
72.
70
68.

0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Percentage of Compost in the Media



Figure 4-2. Moisture content differences between the seven media treatments.




Bulk density increased with increasing amount of compost in the media. The


reason was probably because the compost contained a small amount of sand left over


from the cows' bedding, thus providing increased weight to the media (Figure 4-3).


Media bulk density is the weight per unit volume that includes solid particles and pore


spaces. Although peat moss has a relatively low dry bulk density, once saturated, the bulk


density may increase considerably. Bulk density in the nursery industry is very important


and depends on how much the pots will be handled. If plants will require a lot of


handling, then the bulk density should be low. On the other hand a high bulk density may











be required to keep nursery crops upright in windy conditions when grown outdoors.

Bulk density values for all treatments in this case were very low, because the mix used

was a common lightweight mix used in the nursery industry.


018



0 14
0 13
0 12
S0 11
0 10
0 09
0 08
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Percentage of Compost in the Media


Figure 4-3. Bulk density differences between the seven media treatments.




The pH measurements from the leachate samples showed significant differences


between treatments (Table 4-2). The pH increased with the addition of compost to the

media. The pH for all treatments decreased with time. This was more pronounced on the

higher peat mixes (Figure 4-4). Compost base mixes will have a higher pH at the initial

stages of growth due to the fact that dairy manure compost and most composts have a

near neutral pH. Nurserymen that have problems with low pH from the use of acidic


fertilizers could have an advantage using compost instead of peat. Conversely, growers

that use compost in their container mix and irrigate with water containing high pH levels

will have to be aware that the media they are using has a near neutral pH. If they add


more carbonates (main cause of water alkalinity) with irrigation water, then the media pH

will increase. This may cause some micronutrient deficiencies in the plants. The desirable

pH range for the production of most container-grown ornamental plants is 5.5-6.5

(Ingram and Henley, 1991). The main reason for this range is that the pH should be









slightly acid for micronutrient availability, but not so low as to limit macronutrient

availability to the plant.




Table 4-2. Soluble salts (SS) and pH monitoring using the Pour Thru procedure on the
media treatments.

Treatment Compost Second week Third week Fourth week
(#) (%) pH SS4 pH SS pH SS
1 0 26.7b1 0.446 6.3b 0.438 5.7bc 0.674
2 10 6.7b 0.434 6.3b 0.488 5.4c 0.744
3 20 6.2b 0.438 6.6ab 0.428 5.8abc 0.510
4 30 6.9ab 0.452 6.6ab 0.442 5.9abc 0.474b
5 40 7.1a 0.422 6.7a 0.432 6.lab 0.526
6 50 7.1a 0.38 6.7a 0.406 5.9abc 0.590
7 60 7.2a 0.428 6.8a 0.400 6.3a 0.430
Range Values3 5.5-6.5 1.0-2.6 5.5-6.5 1.0-2.6 5.5-6.5 1.0-2.6
Significance 0.0051 'ns 0.062 ns 0.041 ns
1 Duncan's Mean Separation p= 0.05
2 All values are means from five replicates
3 Range values from Cavins et al. (2000) Pour Thru Method.
4 Soluble salts values in dS/m.
5 ns = not significant p > 0.05


Soluble salts readings did not show any significant differences between the

treatment media (Table 4-2). There is a perception among growers that composts contain

high soluble salts levels. In this case the soluble salts levels were not high and they were

even lower than the values established by Cavins et al. (2000). A slow release fertilizer

was used in the experiment. These fertilizers are resin-coated fertilizers that provide a

constant release rate of nutrients over time, a normally recommended electrical

conductivity and nutrient level measured might be lower compared with a liquid

fertilization program.











S --Second Wk
-&-Fourth Wk
70 ----FifthWk

65

60



50
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Percentage of Compost in the Media


Figure 4-4. pH behavior for each of the media treatments compared with percentages of
compost in the media.




Initial chemical analyses performed on the media treatments (Table 4-3) showed

that pH increased with increasing percentage of compost, and peat predominant mixes

had a very low pH when compared with the recommended range. High compost

treatments had a pH close to neutral. Macronutrient analyses showed that N concentration

was lower than the normal range on all seven treatments (Table 4-3). P values tended to

increase with the addition of compost in the media. However it was only about 20 ppm

higher than the normal range on the 60 % compost treatment. K concentration increased

with increasing percentage of dairy manure compost in the media. The K concentration in

the compost was probably higher than normal because of high K content from the

compost's parent material, which is mostly forage material. Ca and Mg concentrations

seemed to increase with increasing percentage of compost in the media. But while Mg

did remained inside the recommended range values, Ca was lower than the recommended

range on all treatments. S concentration for all treatments was in the normal

recommended range and did not seem to change with increasing compost in the media

(Table 4-3).









Micronutrient analysis of the media showed that the addition of compost to the

media provided them with sufficient range levels except for Cu. It was clear that the

control and predominant peat mixes had low concentrations of micronutrients compared

with the treatments with higher percentages of compost (Table 4-4).




Table 4-3. Initial pH, SS and macronutrient chemical analysis of the seven media
treatments.

Percent Soluble
Treatment Compost Media Salts N P K Ca Mg S
(#) in the pH (mmhos/cm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm)
Media
1 0 4.7 0.02 15 5 62 90 122 18
2 10 4.8 0.11 14 15 161 190 158 24
3 20 5.2 0.23 16 23 223 260 182 26
4 30 5.8 0.34 14 41 354 360 194 24
5 40 6.4 0.35 15 48 292 250 127 31
6 50 6.9 0.53 14 52 461 480 211 20
7 60 7.7 0.64 16 80 314 290 143 21
Range Values1 5.5-6.5 0.2-1.0 25-150 12-60 50-250 500-5000 50-500 15-200
1 Values were provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typical good values.


Table 4-4. Initial micronutrient analysis from the seven media treatments.

Percent
Treatment Compost Fe Mn Zn Cu B
(#) in the (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm)
Media
1 0 3.3 1.2 0.4 0.1 0.1
2 10 3.7 1.6 1.3 0.4 0.1
3 20 3.7 1.9 2.0 0.6 0.3
4 30 4.5 2.6 2.9 0.9 0.3
5 40 5.1 2.2 2.7 0.8 3.5
6 50 4.7 2.7 3.0 0.8 0.6
7 60 5.3 2.2 2.7 0.8 0.6
Range Values1 2.5-25 2.5-25 2.5-25 1.2-5 0.5-2.0


Values are provided
typical good values.


by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as









Diagnostic leaf tissue analysis was performed to evaluate if the compost would

provide deficiencies or toxicities that could have prevented the plant from achieving

normal growth. Except for Ca and Mn all of the elements in the plant's tissue did not

show any significant differences between treatments that contained a higher percentage

of compost and treatments that contained less compost (Table 4-5). Mg concentrations on

all treatments were above the high sufficiency range. Mn concentration showed

differences between treatments, but they were not due to the increasing percentage of

compost in the mix (Figure 4-5). The 20 and 30% compost treatments had the highest

concentrations of Mn, while both the control and 60% compost content mixes had lower

Mn concentrations. Ca concentration showed significant differences between treatments.

It increased with increasing percentage of compost in the media (Figure 4-6).


Treatment P
Number co
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Sufficiency r<
Significance
All values are
2 Sufficiency rai
3 Duncan's Mea
4 ns = not signif


Table 4-5. Diagnostic leaf tissue chemical analysis.

percent TKN P K Ca
mpost (%) (%) (%) (%)
0 11.40 0.31 4.54 1.39b3
10 1.26 0.31 4.42 1.44ab
20 1.27 0.31 4.44 1.50ab
30 1.33 0.34 4.48 1.57a
40 1.30 0.32 4.27 1.55a
50 1.31 0.33 4.16 1.55a
60 1.265 0.31 4.12 1.56a
range2 NA 0.30-1.24 2.90-5.86 1.00-2.50
4ns ns ns 0.0575


means from three replicates.
nges from Mills and Jones (1996).
n Separation p = 0.05.
icant p>0.05


Mg
(%)
0.97
1.01
1.06
1.05
0.99
1.03
0.99
0.25-0.86
ns












Table 4-5 continued.

Treatment Percent Fe Mn Cu Zn
Number compost (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L)

1 0 1202.73 83.83c3 4.34 38.62
2 10 149.73 131.7b 3.94 44.16
3 20 281.67 177.27a 4.2 55.88
4 30 235.43 180.53a 4.58 58.97
5 40 203.41 141.50b 4.20 51.69
6 50 188.93 134.10b 3.80 53.27
7 60 123.9 110.53bc 3.77 43.03
Sufficiency range2 60-300 30-284 7-35 25-115
Significance 4ns 0.0016 ns ns
All values are means from three replicates.
2 Sufficiency ranges from Mills and Jones (1996).
3 Duncan's Mean Separation p = 0.05.
4 ns = not significant p> 0.05


180
160

S140

120
0
so
U 100
S80


0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Percentage of Compost in the Media (%)


Figure 4-5. Mn concentration from diagnostic leaf tissue analysis


1 55

1 50

1 45

1 40

135
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Percentage of Compost in the Media (%)


Figure 4-6. Ca concentration from diagnostic leaf tissue analysis









The plant yield parameters did not show significant differences except for dry

weights measured and plant size (Table 4-6). Dry weights mean separation showed that

the 10, 20, 30 and 40% compost containing mixes were all the same and had the highest

yields (Figure 4-7). However, there were no differences between the control and the mix

that had the highest amount of compost. According to the statistical analysis the mean

dry weights between the 0% compost treatment and the 60% compost treatment will not

be statistically different 95% of the time. Plant Size between the 60% compost and 0%

compost treatments was significantly different.


Table 4-6. Final salvia yield parameters measured for comparison between the seven
media treatments.


Treatment Percent Fresh Dry Percent Plant Plant Plant Flower
(#) Compost weight weight Dry Height Width Size Spikes
(g) (g) Matter (%) (cm) (cm) (cm) (#)
1 0 221.6ab1 5.2abc 24.0 50.0 21.9 36.0ab 1.5
2 10 23.9ab 5.9a 24.4 49.4 22.9 36.lab 1.0
3 20 24.7a 6.1a 24.6 53.5 23.1 38.3a 1.2
4 30 24.2ab 6.0a 24.6 49.8 22.7 36.3ab 1.3
5 40 21.4ab 5.4ab 25.1 47.2 22.4 34.8abc 1.2
6 50 20.6b 4.9bc 23.9 46.0 21.4 33.7bc 1.4
7 60 17.2c 4.4c 25.9 43.5 20.2 31.8c 1.6
Significance 0.0002 0.001 3ns ns ns 0.076 ns


1 Duncan's mean separation alpha p = 0.05
2All values are means from 20 replicates.
3 ns = not significant p> 0.10

65
."60
--55
50-
Q 45-
U 40
S35
30


0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Percentage of Compost in the Media

Figure 4-7. Average shoot dry weight compared with percentage of compost in the
growth media for salvia plants.


--a-









Discussion

The purpose of using this compost in the nursery industry would be to provide an

organic amendment or a stand-alone potting media. It would not be intended to provide

nutrients to plants. The intention would be to substitute the compost for peat in most

growing mixes. Organic amendments in most mixes are included to provide a growing

media with improvement in physical properties, such as increased water-holding

capacity, aeration, and decreased wet weight. A good media should drain rapidly after

irrigation, and it should ideally contain at least 15% or more air space after draining,

ideally, 20-35% (Kasica, 1997). Oxygen stress conditions are likely to develop at values

lower than 10% (Cabrera, 2001). At the same time, a good media should contain at least

30% available water. All of these characteristics were achieved in this experiment.

Chemical analyses of the experimental media showed that the presence of

compost did not provide toxic levels of nutrients. Rather the compost provided sufficient

quantities of some micronutrients. In fact the compost amended potting media resulted in

higher Ca concentration in leaf tissue for the growth of salvia plants. The Ca

concentration increased until the 30% compost mix and then remained stable at

approximately 1.5% Ca (Figure 4-6).

The dairy manure compost provided what was needed in a container media.

Characteristics like good water-holding or container capacity, good aeration and

drainage, total porosity, air space, lightweight (low bulk density), and good fertility. Best

growth index of salvia occurred with the 40% peat: 20% compost: 30% vermiculite: 10%

perlite (Table 4-6). However it was not significantly different from all of the other

treatments except for the 60% compost mix. This mix had superior plant height, width,

and plant size. It also provided ideal leaf tissue chemical analysis and physical properties.









Although a mix with a higher amount of peat yielded a better plant size, the control was

not significantly different from the mix containing the most compost. They both showed

that they were not statistically different for most physical properties except for container

capacity. Lower container capacity provided by compost mixes can be suitable for an

outdoor production with small containers. In the case of chemical properties compost did

provide an increase in micronutrient concentration. Using a mix with both peat and

compost seemed to have produced the best results. Combining both peat properties and

compost properties in a mix will probably yield a superior container growth media for use

in nursery stock, but using compost alone should not be any different than using peat in

terms of plant dry weight.














CHAPTER 5
DAIRY MANURE COMPOST AS A COMPONENT IN CONTAINER GROWN
MEDIA


Introduction

The previous experiment verified that dairy manure compost could be used as a

growth media in container nursery mixes without causing any potential damage to plants.

The next step was to evaluate the compost with several other types of container

growth media and also as a completely stand-alone media. This was accomplished by

comparing common commercial peat based nursery mixes with mixes containing

compost in place of peat. According to Fonteno (1996), most soilless media used in the

United States are derivatives of two groups established by university research. One group

was from the University of California (UC), which used various combinations of peat,

sand, and peat alone. The other group is from Corell University, which uses various

combinations of peat, perlite and vermiculite.

Seven mixes were used for compost evaluations (Fonteno, 1996). Mirror

treatments were setup. The first and second mixes were from a Peat-lite Mix A that

contains 50% peat and 50% vermiculite compared with 50% compost and 50%

vermiculite. The third and fourth mixes were based on one from the University of

California Mix E that contained 100% peat moss, and it was compared with 100%

compost. The fifth and sixth mixes were based in a common mix that woody ornamental

nurseries use around the Tampa, Florida, area that contained 70% peat, 20% bark and

10% sand. It was compared with 70% compost, 20% bark and 10% sand. The seventh









mix was also from the Comell group, but it was the one that yielded the best results in the

previous experiment. It contained 40% peat moss, 20% compost, 30% vermiculite and

10% perlite. The evaluation procedure was the same as in the previous experiment.


Materials and Methods

A sample of compost was obtained in July 2001 from the nutrient removal and

drum composting system at Gore's Dairy. The sample was taken from a pile that had

recently taken out of the digester. The compost was screened with a 1.3 cm screen to

remove larger particles and to produce a uniform product. Canadian sphagnum peat moss

was used for the treatments. The following treatments were mixed by volume:

1. 50 % peat: 50% vermiculite (PV).

2. 50% compost: 50%vermiculite (CV).

3. 100% peat (P).

4. 100% compost (C).

5. 70% peat: 20% bark: 10% sand (PBS).

6. 70% compost: 20% bark: 10% sand (CBS).

7. 40% peat: 20% compost: 10% perlite: 30% vermiculite (PCVPr).

To get a homogeneous mix the treatments were mixed with a small concrete

mixer. Samples from each of the treatment mixes were sent to A & L Southern

Agricultural Laboratories where they performed an "S-7" container media test with a

Morgan extractant with sodium acetate and DTPA. The same chemical analyses were

performed on the compost as in chapters 3 and 4 (Wolf, 1982). The chemical analyses

provided pH, soluble salts (SS), available N, P, K, Mg, Ca, S, Z, Mn, Fe, Cu and B. A

physical properties test was also performed on the seven treatment media. It was









performed in the same way as the procedures in chapters 3 and 4 according to Beeson

(1995). Total porosity, container capacity, moisture content, air space and bulk density

were determined.

Salvia (Salviafarinacea) plugs were transplanted into 10 cm pots containing the

potting mix treatments described above. The pots were placed in a completely

randomized design with 7 treatments, 5 plants per treatment, and 4 replications for a total

of 140 plants. The variables measured at the end of the experiment were 1) Plant size

(average of height and diameter), 2) Flowering (number of flower spikes) 3) Shoot dry

weight and 4) pH and soluble salts (SS) of the media using the PourThru method. SS and

pH measurements were made three times during the duration of the experiment according

to Cavins et al. (2000). Plant size was calculated as the average of height and width.

Height was measured from the bottom surface of the media to the highest tip of the plant.

Width was an average of two measurements east-west and north-south.

The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse on the University of Florida

campus using drip irrigation, beginning in July 2001. After the first week all pots were

irrigated three times a day at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. for 1 min, which was

slightly less than 100 ml per irrigation. Irrigation water came from the Gainesville

municipal water supply. Pots were fertilized three days after planting by top dressing with

5 grams of a slow release fertilizer 14N-6.2P-11.6K Osmocote (14N-14P205-14K20)

(The Scotts Company Marysville, Ohio). Plants were grown for 35 days after

transplanting until they were at their approximate market size. Shoots were cut at the

surface of the media and dried at 70 oC for 48 hrs, then weighed to obtain shoot or plant

dry weight.









Results

Physical properties evaluation of the media showed significant differences

between treatments. Treatment comparisons (Table 5-1) were made between mirror

treatments, since all treatments were different in physical properties.




Table 5-1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments.

Total Container Air Moisture Bulk
Media4 Porosity Capacity Space Content Density
(%) (%0) (%) (%) (g/cc)
PV (50:50) 375.0bc2 53.0b 22.0abc 82.5b 0.11f
CV (50:50) 73.2c 47.2c 26.0a 65.7d 0.25d
P (100) 78.8a 58.9a 19.9bc 85.7a 0.10f
C (100) 77.9ab 53.9b 24.0ab 59.0e 0.37b
PBS (70:20:10) 68.3d 49.4c 18.9c 60.3e 0.33c
CBS (70:20:10) 67.6d 43.6d 24.0ab 45.3f 0.53a
PCVPr (40:20:30:10) 73.6c 54.5b 19.1bc 76.6c 0.17e
0.19-
Range Values1 50-85 45-65 10-30 70-80 0.19
0.70
Significance 0.0002 0.0001 0.0215 0.0001 0.0001
1 Range values are recommended physical characteristics (Yeager, 1995).
2 Duncan's mean separation alpha p = 0.05
3All values are means from three replicates
4P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark; S=Sand;Pr=perlite


There were no significant differences between the total porosity of mirror

treatments, which means that there were no differences between compost or peat based

media (Figure 5-la). Container capacity did show significant differences between mirror

treatments. It was less when using compost instead of peat in the mixes (Figure 5- Ib). Air

space comparison between treatments showed that there was an increase of air space in

the mixes that contained compost (Figure 5-1c).


























Treatment Number


b
50














30


O 2


0





PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr
Treatment Number



Figure 5-1. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. a) total porosity,
b) container capacity, c) air space




Moisture content showed significant differences between mirror treatments. It was


lower in the compost mixes by about 18-20% (Figure 5-2a). Compost did not seem to


absorb as much moisture as peat. Bulk density was also different between mirror







55



treatments. It was higher in compost mixes compared with peat mixes, which tend to


have a very low bulk density (Figure 5-2b). When comparing bulk densities the peat


based mixes had values lower than the normal ideal range. Ideal bulk density of a potting


mix will depend on anticipated handling of plants in the nursery.


Treatment Number


060

050

040

S030

020

010

000


PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr
Treatment Number


Figure 5-2. Initial physical properties from the seven media treatments. a) moisture
content, b) bulk density.




Soluble Salts monitoring during the experiment showed no significant differences


between the compost mixes and the peat mixes (Table 5-2). The first soluble salts reading


was the only reading in which values were in the normal range. The reason was that most









slow release fertilizers take a while to start releasing nutrients. For the plants to not suffer

from lack of nutrients, especially at the beginning stages of growth, each pot was injected

with 10 ml of a 500-ppm solution of 15-30-15 as a starter fertilizer with a higher P

content for root development.




Table 5-2. Soluble Salts (SS) and pH monitoring using the PourThru method on the
media treatments.

Media4 Second week Third week Fourth week
pH SS pH SS pH SS
PV(50:50) 34.7c2 1.12 4.5c 0.38 4.3c 0.63a
CV(50:50) 7.0a 1.41 6.3a 0.41 6.3a 0.45a
P(100) 3.3d 1.73 3.3d 0.57 3.4d 0.61a
C(100) 6.9a 1.67 6.6a 0.52 6.2a 0.78a
PBS(70:20:10) 3.5d 1.45 3.4d 0.50 3.4d 0.65a
CBS(70:20:10) 6.6a 1.39 6.5a 0.43 6.1a 0.53a
PCVPr(40:20:30:10) 6.1b 1.22 5.3b 0.53 5.1b 0.74a
Range Values1 5.5-6.5 1.0-2.6 5.5-6.5 1.0-2.6 5.5-6.5 1.0-2.6
Significance 0.0001 5ns 0.0001 ns 0.0001 0.557
1 Range values from Cavins et al. (2000) PourThru method
2 Duncan's Mean Separation = 0.05
3All values are means from five replicates
4P=peat; V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark;S=Sand;Pr=perlite
5 ns = not significant p > 0.05


However, pH monitoring did show significant differences between the mirror

treatments. Overall the pH values from compost mixes were better than pH values from

the peat mixes. During the first weeks, the pH in compost mixes was near a neutral value.

Later, the pH from compost mixes fell into the normal range, while the peat mixes

provided a very acid or low pH. In the compost-alone and peat-alone mixes the

differences in pH were obvious (Figure 5-3). Compost started at a neutral pH and tended

to go to the recommended values from the beginning, while peat produced a very acid pH







57


in the media from the beginning. That is why most peat mixes have to be limed to prevent


any nutrient deficiencies that can cause plant damage.


8.

6.
5 -
=4
C.
2 Peat
1 Compost
0
Second week Third week Fourth week
Sampling Dates



Figure 5-3. Differences in pH between mixes containing 100% compost vs. 100% peat.




Initial macronutrient chemical analyses performed on the media showed the same

results as previous analyses, i.e., compost provided the mixes with an increase in K, Ca

and Mg content. Due to the presence of these nutrients in the compost, the soluble salts


levels were higher, but they were not out of the recommended range. Additionally, P was

increased by 20 ppm more than the high value range on all treatments that contained


compost (Table 5-3). Obviously, the addition of compost to the media did provide the

mix with macronutrients that a normal peat based mix would not provide.

Micronutrient analysis showed that Mn, Zn and B concentrations reached their


recommended range value only in the mixes containing compost. Fe and Cu

concentrations seemed to stay the same when using either peat or compost in the mixes


(Table 5-4). In both micronutrient and macronutrient analyses, compost seemed to have

provided the media with nutrients for plant growth.









Table 5-3. Initial pH, Soluble Salts (SS) and macronutrient chemical analysis from the
seven media treatments.

Soluble
2 Soil uble N P K Mg S
Media2 Soil Salts Ca (ppm)
pH (mmhos/cm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm)

PV(50:50) 5.1 0.01 28 5 128 140 191 20
CV(50:50) 7.6 0.43 200 80 429 910 393 26
P(100) 4.5 0.01 29 8 14 120 67 24
C(100) 7.8 0.89 28 80 907 1720 531 22
PBS(70:20:10) 4.5 0.01 27 8 19 120 31 29
CBS(70:20:10) 7.3 0.74 25 80 509 960 284 31
PCVPr(40:20:30:10) 5.5 0.19 27 78 288 570 289 23

Range Values1 5.5- 0.2-1.0 25-150 12-60 50-250 500-5000 50-500 15-200
6.5
SRange values were provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as typical good values.
2P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark; S=Sand;Pr=perlite


Table 5-4. Initial micronutrient analysis from the seven media treatments.


Media Fe Mn Zn Cu B
(ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm)

PV(50:50) 2.4 0.9 0.5 0.2 0.1
CV(50:50) 2.9 3.5 4.9 0.5 0.8
P(100) 2.9 0.7 0.5 0.1 0.1
C(100) 2.5 6.2 6.2 0.4 1.7
PBS(70:20:10) 2.4 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.2
CBS(70:20:10) 3 3.9 5.6 0.6 1.3
PCVPr(40:20:30:10) 2.4 2.5 2.7 0.5 0.3

Range Values1 2.5-25 2.5-25 2.5-25 1.2-5 0.5-2.0

Range values were provided by A&L Southern Agricultural Laboratories as
typical good values.
2 P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark; S=Sand;Pr=perlite


Plant yield parameters measured on salvia showed significant differences between

treatments (Table 5-5). Dry weight results showed that the treatment that yielded the best

result in the previous experiment was also the best in this one (PCVPr), followed by the









three compost mixes (CV, C and CBS). The lowest dry weight value was the 100% peat

mix (Figure 5-4). Comparing dry weights between mirror treatments, the mix that

contained compost had a higher dry weight than the mixes containing peat.




Table 5-5. Final salvia yield parameters measured for comparison between the seven
media treatments.


Fresh Dry Percent Plant Plant Plant Flower
Media3 weight weight Dry Height Width Size Spikes
(g) (g) Matter (cm) (cm) (cm) (Number)
(/o)
PV(50:50) 240.86bc1 8.65bc 21.26c 89.2a 32.6a 60.9a 3.9ab
CV(50:50) 41.93b 9.75b 23.28ab 77.9b 33.1a 55.5bc 4.9a
P(100) 29.82d 7.49d 25.14ab 75.9b 29.7b 52.8c 3.5b
C(100) 40.55bc 9.51b 23.44ab 80.5b 34.5a 57.5ab 4.7ab
PBS(70:20:10) 32.24d 7.75cd 24.13ab 77.9b 30.5b 54.2bc 4.5ab
CBS(70:20:10) 37.21c 8.91b 24.06ab 78.0b 32.7a 55.3bc 3.6b
PCVPr(40:20:30:10) 47.89a 11.01a 22.96bc 89.7a 33.0a 61.3a 5.1a
Significance 0.0001 0.0001 0.0128 0.016 0.0042 0.0017 0.048
1 Duncan's mean separation alpha p = 0.05
2All values are means from 20 replicates.
3 P=peat;V=vermiculite;C=compost;B=bark;S=Sand;Pr=perlite


PV CV P C PBS CBS
Treatment Number


PCVPr


Figure 5-4. Final plant dry weight measured from salvia.









60





100

90 a

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10


PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr

Treatment Number






40

35 b

30

25

~20

15







PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr

Treatment Number






70


60 C


50

40


30

20


10



PV CV P C PBS CBS PCVPr

Treatment Number





Figure 5-5. Final plant yield parameters measured from salvia. a) plant height, b) plant

width, c) plant size.









There were two treatments that had the tallest plants, and those were the peat:

vermiculite (PV) and the treatment that had peat: compost: vermiculite: perlite (PCVPr).

The latter was the treatment with best results from the previous experiment. Except for

these two mixes, all others had the same height (Figure 5-5a). Plant width showed that

compost mixes provided a wider plant compared with the mirror treatment, except on the

PV and CV treatments, which were the same. The treatment with the 100% compost had

the widest plant (Figure 5-5b). Peat based mixes yielded taller plants while compost

based mixes yielded wider plants. Plant size showed no significant differences between

the treatment with 100% compost (C), peat: vermiculite (PV) and the peat: compost:

vermiculite: perlite (PCVPr) (Figure 5-5c). An important finding was that the mean

separation of plant size from the compost stand-alone mix was not different from the

highest dry weight yielding mix, the PCVPr. Although flower spike differences were

significant between treatments, the mean separation differences between mirror

treatments showed that the means were the same. This means that neither compost nor

peat affected the number of flower spikes on the plants.


Discussion

According to the physical properties tests, the total porosity was not affected

when using compost instead of peat. On the other hand container capacity did show

differences when using compost instead of peat. It decreased in the mixes that contained

compost. When creating potting mixes with compost instead of peat, the container

capacity or water holding capacity of the media will be reduced by about 10% compared

with what a normal peat mix provides. Air space determinations showed that the compost

provided the potting mixes with an increased air space. Greater air space means that the









mix will provide better root development and drainage. Peat based mixes had greater

moisture content values than compost mixes. Peat has a greater ability to absorb

moisture. Bulk density values on compost mixes were higher than on peat mixes.

The pH differences between peat mixes and compost mixes were very significant.

Peat mixes have to be limed to correct the acid pH. Compost mixes had a neutral pH on

the first sampling date. However, by the second time the sampling was done, the pH had

decreased and reached the recommended range. Soluble salts analyses did not reveal any

significant differences between compost and peat. Based on the container media chemical

analyses, compost based mixes provided the media with added K, Ca and Mg. As shown

in chapter 4, compost provided the plant with an increased amount of Ca in leaf tissue

analysis. As explained in Chapter 3, K levels were high in the compost due to its parent

material. Micronutrient concentrations reached their ideal range values when compost

was present in the mixes, except for Cu. Neither compost nor peat mixes provided

sufficient range values for Cu.

Plant growth parameters showed again that the mix with highest plant dry weight

was the same mix as from the previous experiment in Chapter 4 (PCVPr). It can be

inferred that compost and peat produced comparable plant growth results. However, a

potting mix with both compost and peat produced highest plant dry weight. Plant height

was greater with mixes containing peat, but plant width was greater with mixes

containing compost. However, plant size for the 100% compost (C), peat: vermiculite

(PV) and the peat: compost: vermiculite: perlite (PCVPr) mixes were not significantly

different. The 100% compost mix proved to be a good growing mix. The dry weight and

plant size were not significantly different from the highest yielding mix.














CHAPTER 6
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


Summary

A series of tests were performed on dairy manure compost produced at a nutrient

removal and drum composting system to evaluate its use as a growth medium in the

nursery industry. The first objective was to evaluate the compost's physical, chemical and

biological properties and prove that it had potential for use as growth medium in the

nursery industry. Biological properties evaluated on the compost showed that it did not

have substances that would cause plant damage. In the compost extract test the

germination index was calculated at 103 %. Germination tests were significant, and mean

separation did not show any significant differences between germination with compost

extract versus deionized water and compost versus peat as a direct seed germination

media. The compost seemed to be very mature after being digested at an average

temperature of 55 C for 3 days.

Results of physical properties tests on the compost were compared with common

range values recommended for container mixes. Results showed that averaged physical

properties values were made within the recommended ranges and that compost had

physical properties, which made it suitable for use in common nursery mixes.

The chemical properties of compost revealed that the compost did not contain any

toxic levels of heavy metals or nutrients that would cause plant damage. Complete

digestion analysis showed that most of the values were within the recommended ranges,









except for K, Mg and Ca. They were higher than the recommended ranges, and Zn was

below the normal range. Chemical tests with a Morgan extract demonstrated a K

concentration higher than the range, but soluble salts were within the normal range. The

micronutrient analysis showed that compost would provide the plant with micronutrients,

except Cu, which had a lower value compared with the normal range.

The second objective of the study was to evaluate the compost as a substitute for

peat, a common organic material used in container mixes. An experiment was performed

to compare plant growth and behavior between using peat or an increasing amount of

compost substituted for peat in the mix. Several plant growth parameters were measured,

along with a diagnostic leaf tissue analysis and physical and chemical tests performed on

the potting mixes to determine if compost had any effect on plant growth. Compost and

peat mixes had similar total porosity and air space, but they differed in container

capacity, moisture content and bulk density. Peat seemed to have higher container

capacity and moisture content but a lower bulk density than compost. Container capacity

decreased with the increased addition of compost to the potting mix. Moisture content

also decreased with the addition of compost to the medium. The compost did not absorb

as much water as peat. Bulk density increased with increasing amount of compost in the

medium. Chemical properties evaluation showed that pH increased with the addition of

compost to the medium. Compost provided the medium with a higher buffer capacity

than what peat provided to potting mixes. Soluble salts readings did not show any

significant differences between the treatment mediums. The macronutrient analysis

revealed a higher K concentration in mixes with compost. Micronutrient analysis showed

that mixes containing compost provided micronutrient levels in the sufficiency range,









except for Cu. Diagnostic leaf tissue analysis was performed to evaluate if the compost

would cause deficiencies or toxicities to the plant. Only Ca and Mn showed significant

differences in the tissue analyses. Mn differences were not due to addition of compost. Ca

concentration increased with increasing addition of compost to the mix. Plant yield

parameters did not show significant differences except for dry weights. Dry weights

mean separation for the 10, 20, 30 and 40% compost containing mixes showed that they

were all the same and had the highest yields. The mean dry weights between the 0%

compost treatment (control) and the 60% compost treatment were not significantly

different.

The final objective was to evaluate compost in different container mixes, which

were commonly used used in the nursery industry. Plant yield parameters, and also

physical and chemical parameters, were evaluated on the mixes for comparison Physical

properties tests indicated that total porosity was not affected when using compost instead

of peat, container capacity was reduced by about 10%, air space in compost containing

mixes increased by about 5%, moisture content was higher in peat mixes and bulk density

was higher in compost mixes. Chemical properties tests revealed that pH was low in peat

mixes and almost neutral in compost mixes, soluble salts were not significantly different

between compost and peat, and compost based mixes provided the medium with added

K, Ca and Mg. Micronutrient concentrations reached their ideal range values when

compost was present in the mixes, except for Cu. Plant parameters which were measured

indicated that the mix with highest plant dry weight was the same high yield mix from the

previous experiment. The 100% compost mix had the same plant size as the highest

yielding mix, which was the mix with 40% peat, 20% compost, 30% vermiculite and









10% perlite. The dairy manure compost proved to be a good substitute for peat in most

mixes, and it was a good stand-alone medium. The 100% compost parameters measured

in the experiment were 78% porosity, 54% container capacity, 24% air space, 59%

moisture content, 0.37 g/cc, pH range of 6.9 6.2.


Conclusions

After various experiments conducted on the compost, dairy manure compost was

found to be mature, and it did not contain high amounts of nutrients that could cause

toxicity to plants. Compost physical properties values were within the ranges

recommended for container media. Plant experiments revealed that compost could be

substituted for peat, and it could also be used as a stand-alone medium in the nursery

industry. Use of compost resulted in higher pH (neutral), about a 6% decrease in

container capacity, and about an 11% decrease in moisture content when compost was

added to container media. Compost had adequate total porosity and provided increased

air space compared with peat. Plant dry weight results were not significantly different

between the highest compost mix and the highest peat mix. Tissue analyses revealed no

toxicities or deficiencies with the addition of compost to the mix. Compost as a stand-

alone medium performed well in plant yields and for physical and chemical properties.

Plant growth parameters showed that a mix with peat and compost provided a higher dry

weight plant. Compost alone resulted in the same plant size as the mix with compost and

peat. Compost showed a good comparison to peat, and it would be a good medium or

amendment to use for nursery stock production.

















APPENDIX A
GERMINATION TEST CALCULATIONS

Compost Extract Germination Test (A)
Germination Root Length (cm)
Replication Compost Deionized Compost Deionized
Extract water Extract water
1 4 3 4.9 3.2
2 3 4 2 3.5
3 1 5 0.1 1.4
4 1 2 1 1.1
5 3 2 2 1.2
6 4 3 4.4 1.4
Average 2.7 3.2 2.4 2.0

Yo germinatio 84.2 122.0
and % shoot
length
Germination 10277
Index


Compost Extract Germination Test (B)
Packet 1 Packet 2
Re n Germination recorded Germination recorded
24 hrs 48 hrs 72 hrs 24 hrs 48 hrs 72 hrs
1 0 7 8 0 7 8
2 1 7 9 1 7 9
3 0 4 9 0 4 9
4 1 8 8 1 8 8
5 0 6 7 0 6 7
6 0 6 8 0 6 8
Average 0.3 6.3 8.2 0.3 6.3 8.2
Control 0 5 9 0 5 9


3ioassay Test (peat versus compost)
Germination
Replication Direct
Compost Direct Peat
1 18 16
2 2 7
3 18 8
4 19 13
5 3 10
6 17 15
Average 12.8 11.5








68






Peat vs. Compost Germination


Compost
REP # Germ
1 1 1
1 2 1
1 3 1
1 4 1
1 5 1
1 6 1
1 7 1
1 8 1
1 9 1
1 10 1
1 11 1
1 12 1
1 13 1
1 14 1
1 15 1
1 16 1
1 17 1
1 18 1
1 19 0
1 20 0
1 21 0
1 22 0
1 23 0
1 24 0
1 25 0
2 1 1
22 1
2 3 0
2 4 0
2 5 0
2 6 0
2 7 0
2 8 0
2 9 0
2 10 0
2 11 0
2 12 0
2 13 0
2 14 0
2 15 0
2 16 0
2 17 0
2 18 0
2 19 0
2 20 0
2 21 0
2 22 0
2 23 0
2 24 0
2 25 0
3 1 1
3 2 1
3 3 1
3 4 1


Peat
REP # Germ
1 1 1
1 2 1
1 3 1
1 4 1
1 5 1
1 6 1
1 7 1
1 8 1
1 9 1
1 10 1
1 11 1
1 12 1
1 13 1
1 14 1
1 15 1
1 16 1
1 17 0
1 18 0
1 19 0
1 20 0
1 21 0
1 22 0
1 23 0
1 24 0
1 25 0
2 1 1
2 2 1
2 3 1
2 4 1
2 5 1
2 6 1
2 7 1
2 8 0
2 9 0
2 10 0
2 11 0
2 12 0
2 13 0
2 14 0
2 15 0
2 16 0
2 17 0
2 18 0
2 19 0
2 20 0
2 21 0
2 22 0
2 23 0
2 24 0
2 25 0
3 1 1
3 2 1
3 3 1
3 4 1


Compost
REP # Germ
3 5 1
3 6 1
3 7 1
3 8 1
3 9 1
3 10 1
3 11 1
3 12 1
3 13 1
3 14 1
3 15 1
3 16 1
3 17 1
3 18 1
3 19 0
3 20 0
3 21 0
3 22 0
3 23 0
3 24 0
3 25 0
4 1 1
4 2 1
4 3 1
44 1
4 5 1
4 6 1
4 7 1
4 8 1
4 9 1
4 10 1
4 11 1
4 12 1
4 13 1
4 14 1
4 15 1
4 16 1
4 17 1
4 18 1
4 19 1
4 20 0
4 21 0
4 22 0
4 23 0
4 24 0
4 25 0
5 1 1
5 2 1
5 3 1
5 4 0
5 5 0
5 6 0
5 7 0
5 8 0


Peat
REP # Germ
3 5 1
3 6 1
3 7 1
3 8 1
3 9 0
3 10 0
3 11 0
3 12 0
3 13 0
3 14 0
3 15 0
3 16 0
3 17 0
3 18 0
3 19 0
3 20 0
3 21 0
3 22 0
3 23 0
3 24 0
3 25 0
4 1 1
4 2 1
4 3 1
4 4 1
4 5 1
4 6 1
4 7 1
4 8 1
4 9 1
4 10 1
4 11 1
4 12 1
4 13 1
4 14 0
4 15 0
4 16 0
4 17 0
4 18 0
4 19 0
4 20 0
4 21 0
4 22 0
4 23 0
4 24 0
4 25 0
5 1 1
5 2 1
5 3 1
5 4 1
5 5 1
5 6 1
5 7 1
5 8 1


Com post
REP # Germ
5 9 0
5 10 0
5 11 0
5 12 0
5 13 0
5 14 0
5 15 0
5 16 0
5 17 0
5 18 0
5 19 0
5 20 0
5 21 0
5 22 0
5 23 0
5 24 0
5 25 0
6 1 1
6 2 1
6 3 1
6 4 1
6 5 1
6 6 1
6 7 1
6 8 1
6 9 1
6 10 1
6 11 1
6 12 1
6 13 1
6 14 1
6 15 1
6 16 1
6 17 1
6 18 0
6 19 0
6 20 0
6 21 0
6 22 0
6 23 0
6 24 0
6 25 0


Peat
REP # Germ
5 9 1
5 10 1
5 11 0
5 12 0
5 13 0
5 14 0
5 15 0
5 16 0
5 17 0
5 18 0
5 19 0
5 20 0
5 21 0
5 22 0
5 23 0
5 24 0
5 25 0
6 1 1
6 2 1
6 3 1
6 4 1
6 5 1
6 6 1
6 7 1
6 8 1
6 9 1
6 10 1
6 11 1
6 12 1
6 13 1
6 14 1
6 15 1
6 16 0
6 17 0
6 18 0
6 19 0
6 20 0
6 21 0
6 22 0
6 23 0
6 24 0
6 25 0
















APPENDIX B
PLANT TRIAL EXPERIMENT #1 DATA

Experimental Design for Experiment #1

Treatments
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 111 121 131 141 151 161 171
S2 112 122 132 142 152 162 172
3 113 123 133 143 153 163 173
4 114 124 134 144 154 164 174
5 115 125 135 145 155 165 175

1 211 221 231 241 251 261 271
; 2 212 222 232 242 252 262 272
m
'a 3 213 223 233 243 253 263 273
S4 214 224 234 244 254 264 274
5 215 225 235 245 255 265 275

1 311 321 331 341 351 361 371
X 2 312 322 332 342 352 362 372
m
'a 3 313 323 333 343 353 363 373
S4 314 324 334 344 354 364 374
5 315 325 335 345 355 365 375

1 411 421 431 441 451 461 471
X 2 412 422 432 442 452 462 472
m
'a 3 413 423 433 443 453 463 473
P 4 414 424 434 444 454 464 474
5 415 425 435 445 455 465 475


CRD Model:


Degrees of freedom


7 Treatments (%):
Peat C.M. Perlite Verm.
1 60 0 10 30
2 50 10 10 30
3 40 20 10 30
4 30 30 10 30
5 20 40 10 30
6 10 50 10 30
7 0 60 10 30


Treatments
Error
Total


(t-1) 6
(n.-t) 133
(n.-1) 139


F > Fo.os, t-1 n.-t
F > 2.10 with 95%
confidence


MS
SST/df
SSE/df


F
MST/MSE













Experiment #1 Physical Properties Test


First Rep

Treatment Drained Wet Dry Total Container Moisture Air Bulk
9: Volume Bag Weight Weight Porosity Capacity Content Space Density
(ml) Weight (g) (g) (g) (%) (%) (%) (%) (glcc)
1 190.5 12.4 397.3 75.7 75.3 47.3 80.9 28.0 0.11
2 190.5 12.4 417.5 54.3 81.4 53.4 87.0 28.0 0.08
3 180.3 12.4 419.0 92.5 74.5 48.0 77.9 26.5 0.14
4 190.0 12.4 410.6 101.7 73.4 45.4 75.2 27.9 0.15
5 220.4 12.4 419.3 106.1 78.5 46.1 74.7 32.4 0.16
6 200.3 12.3 403.1 115.2 71.8 42.3 71.4 29.5 0.17
7 280.0 12.3 373.0 115.8 79.0 37.8 69.0 41.2 0.17


Second Rep
1 206.0 12.5 422.7 73.3 81.7 51.4 82.7 30.3 0.11
2 195.0 12.6 432.7 81.9 80.3 51.6 81.1 28.7 0.12
3 267.0 12.5 412.3 100.2 85.2 45.9 75.7 39.3 0.15
4 184.0 12.4 441.4 92.0 78.4 51.4 79.2 27.1 0.14
5 204.0 12.5 435.2 101.6 79.1 49.1 76.7 30.0 0.15
6 170.0 12.4 437.6 88.6 76.3 51.3 79.7 25.0 0.13
7 234.0 12.6 428.7 118.4 80.0 45.6 72.4 34.4 0.17
8 255.5 12.6 451.0 149.1 82.0 44.4 66.9 37.6 0.22


Third Rep
1 238.0 12.6 368.0 70.8 78.7 43.7 80.8 35.0 0.10
2 196.0 12.5 416.5 83.9 77.7 48.9 79.9 28.8 0.12
3 202.0 12.6 407.1 88.0 76.6 46.9 78.4 29.7 0.13
4 210.0 12.6 413.8 91.1 78.3 47.5 78.0 30.9 0.13
5 262.0 12.6 409.9 100.0 84.1 45.6 75.6 38.5 0.15
6 234.0 12.7 422.1 117.1 79.3 44.9 72.3 34.4 0.17
7 255.0 12.5 391.4 117.6 77.8 40.3 69.9 37.5 0.17








71



Experiment #1 pH and SS measurements


May 21, 2001 June 1, 2001 June 14, 2001
Treatment # pH SS pH SS pH SS
423 6.2 0.40 6.7 0.44 4.5 0.71
233 6.6 0.40 6.8 0.44 5.4 0.68
245 7.0 0.43 6.6 0.41 6.2 0.48
211 6.5 0.49 6.4 0.5 5.4 0.59
235 6.8 0.44 6.4 0.44 5.5 0.41
154 7.0 0.42 6.9 0.42 6.3 0.63
431 6.8 0.42 6.6 0.47 5.6 0.56
454 6.9 0.41 6.6 0.52 6.2 0.36
124 6.9 0.38 6.3 0.42 6.1 0.78
175 7.2 0.42 6.9 0.38 6.6 0.48
213 6.2 0.56 5.6 0.42 5.6 0.82
361 6.8 0.51 6.9 0.28 5.9 0.56
445 6.8 0.52 6.8 0.42 6 0.44
331 6.4 0.56 6.2 0.49 6 0.46
342 6.9 0.38 6.7 0.39 5.6 0.51
464 7.2 0.28 6.8 0.44 5.3 0.8
122 6.2 0.66 5.8 0.62 5.2 0.74
462 7.0 0.38 6.6 0.42 5.7 0.64
113 7.0 0.38 6.6 0.43 5.8 0.58
354 7.2 0.37 6.9 0.4 6.1 0.58
274 7.3 0.42 6.7 0.4 6.2 0.48
411 6.8 0.46 6.8 0.33 6.2 0.42
333 7.0 0.37 7 0.3 6.5 0.44
443 7.1 0.44 6.3 0.56 5.9 0.43
173 7.1 0.52 6.6 0.58 6.2 0.27
473 7.1 0.45 6.7 0.36 6.2 0.6
221 7.1 0.35 6 0.58 5.5 1
271 7.3 0.33 6.8 0.28 6.5 0.32
111 7.0 0.34 6.1 0.51 5.5 0.96
255 7.2 0.45 7.2 0.42 6.1 0.73
441 7.0 0.49 6.9 0.43 6 0.51
453 7.3 0.46 6.6 0.4 6.1 0.33
265 7.4 0.34 6.7 0.4 6.5 0.43
223 7.1 0.38 6.7 0.38 6.1 0.49
463 7.3 0.39 6.9 0.49 6.2 0.52















Leaf Tissue Samples


Leaf Leaf Leaf
8 Leaves
r Bag Tissue Fresh Tissue Tissue
SWeight Fresh Dry Dry Percent
# Weight
(g) Weight Weight Weight Dry Matter
w/bag (gg) w/bag (g) (g) ()
1 1 316 695 379 422 106 2797
1 1 315 482 167 370 055 3293
1 1 318 483 165 380 062 3758
1 1 319 415 096 357 038 3958
1 1 319 543 224 400 081 3616
1 2 318 460 142 367 049 3451
1 2 318 535 217 391 073 3364
1 2 320 540 220 388 068 3091
1 2 320 530 210 390 070 3333
1 2 318 424 106 345 027 2547
1 3 321 451 130 366 045 3462
1 3 319 519 200 373 054 2700
1 3 318 556 238 384 066 2773
1 3 320 444 124 350 030 2419
1 3 316 503 187 366 050 2674
1 4 319 463 144 374 055 3819
1 4 318 493 175 368 050 2857
1 4 321 530 209 381 060 2871
1 4 320 520 200 393 073 3650
1 4 321 594 273 404 083 3040
1 5 316 434 118 360 044 3729
1 5 317 581 264 404 087 3295
1 5 319 455 136 367 048 3529
1 5 318 446 128 357 039 3047
1 5 320 495 175 371 051 2914
1 6 320 570 250 384 064 2560
1 6 320 488 168 373 053 3155
1 6 319 458 139 365 046 3309
1 6 318 417 099 348 030 3030
1 6 318 419 101 351 033 3267
1 7 318 491 173 363 045 2601
1 7 317 470 153 370 053 3464
1 7 317 445 128 359 042 3281
1 7 317 418 101 350 033 3267
1 7 319 491 172 373 054 3140
2 1 319 485 166 369 050 3012
2 1 318 470 152 362 044 2895
2 1 319 576 257 397 078 3035
2 1 320 477 157 366 046 2930
2 1 319 472 153 368 049 3203
2 2 317 514 197 373 056 2843
22 315 458 143 351 036 2517
2 2 316 508 192 371 055 2865
2 2 316 521 205 375 059 2878
2 2 319 468 149 367 048 3221
2 3 316 488 172 370 054 3140
2 3 317 431 114 366 049 4298
2 3 314 554 240 390 076 3167
2 3 313 458 145 355 042 2897
2 3 315 499 184 364 049 2663
2 4 317 386 069 333 016 2319
2 4 315 421 106 345 030 2830
2 4 316 458 142 367 051 3592
2 4 317 564 247 393 076 3077
2 4 319 402 083 363 044 5301
2 5 318 447 129 355 037 2868
2 5 317 425 108 364 047 4352
2 5 314 471 157 367 053 3376
2 5 316 470 154 355 039 2532
2 5 316 407 091 352 036 3956
2 6 317 479 162 369 052 3210
2 6 319 471 152 367 048 3158
2 6 315 490 175 370 055 3143
2 6 317 432 1 15 354 037 3217
2 6 316 460 144 356 040 2778
2 7 321 482 161 376 055 3416
2 7 321 408 087 342 021 2414
2 7 319 458 139 367 048 3453
2 7 319 434 115 358 039 3391
2 7 319 440 121 358 039 3223


Leaf Leaf Leaf
8 Leaves
Bag Tissue Fres Tissue Tissue
Number Fresh
S Weight Fresh Weght Dry Dry Percent
(g) Weight Weight Weight Dry Matter
w/bag (g) w/bag (g) (g) (%)
S1 318 463 145 357 039 2690
S1 318 476 158 367 049 3101
S1 313 450 137 363 050 3650
S1 316 515 199 378 062 3116
S1 318 461 143 350 032 2238
S2 319 536 217 375 056 2581
S2 321 498 177 373 052 2938
S2 321 404 083 354 033 3976
S2 323 515 192 382 059 3073
S2 324 442 118 357 033 2797
S3 319 464 145 370 051 3517
3 320 653 333 415 095 2853
S3 316 433 117 349 033 2821
S3 317 506 189 381 064 3386
S3 318 538 220 374 056 2545
S4 318 494 176 374 056 3182
S4 318 487 169 366 048 2840
S4 316 425 109 337 021 1927
S4 317 475 158 378 061 3861
S4 319 458 139 366 047 3381
S5 320 421 101 348 028 2772
5 320 416 096 358 038 3958
S5 318 444 126 356 038 3016
S5 318 486 168 380 062 3690
S5 316 497 181 373 057 3149
S6 318 523 205 378 060 2927
S6 318 441 123 353 035 2846
S6 315 496 181 376 061 3370
S6 317 455 138 352 035 2536
S6 316 397 081 346 030 3704
S7 319 441 122 351 032 2623
S7 318 432 114 357 039 3421
S7 319 417 098 358 039 3980
S7 319 429 110 357 038 3455
S7 317 440 123 352 035 2846
4 1 317 422 105 353 036 3429
4 1 319 612 293 405 086 2935
4 1 319 468 149 379 060 4027
4 1 322 467 145 363 041 2828
4 1 320 460 140 358 038 2714
4 2 320 498 178 377 057 3202
4 2 317 428 111 350 033 2973
4 2 314 532 218 405 091 4174
4 2 317 499 182 374 057 3132
4 2 319 419 100 350 031 3100
4 3 318 518 200 388 070 3500
4 3 320 476 156 368 048 3077
4 3 318 429 111 360 042 3784
4 3 319 449 130 354 035 2692
4 3 320 475 155 361 041 2645
4 4 321 463 142 358 037 2606
4 4 323 561 238 398 075 3151
4 4 320 431 111 360 040 3604
4 4 324 427 103 365 041 3981
4 4 320 462 142 369 049 3451
4 5 321 544 223 396 075 3363
4 5 323 526 203 390 067 3300
4 5 324 393 069 344 020 2899
4 5 322 410 088 353 031 3523
4 5 320 531 211 394 074 3507
4 6 318 473 155 365 047 3032
4 6 321 441 120 355 034 2833
4 6 321 513 192 376 055 2865
4 6 324 438 114 357 033 2895
4 6 324 569 245 396 072 2939
4 7 320 578 258 395 075 2907
4 7 322 420 098 355 033 3367
4 7 322 442 120 361 039 3250
4 7 322 594 272 415 093 3419
4 7 322 425 103 350 028 2718















Experiment #1 Plant Yields
Numb Bag Whole Whole Plant 8 Leaves Whole Plant Whole Whole Plant Leaf Whole Percent
er # Weig Plant Fresh Fresh Fresh Fresh Plant Dry Dry Weight Tissue Plant Dry Dry
ht (g) Weight Weight w/out Weight Weight (g) Weight w/out Leaf Dry Weight (g) Matter
w/bag (g) Leaf (g) w/bag (g) Tissue (g) Weight (g) (%)
Tissue(g)
1 1 1 730 3222 2492 379 2871 1345 615 106 721 2511
1 1 2 728 3032 2304 167 2471 1183 455 055 510 2064
1 1 3 730 2278 1548 165 1713 1098 368 062 430 2510
1 1 4 728 2279 1551 096 1647 1095 367 038 405 2459
1 1 5 731 3600 2869 224 3093 1385 654 081 735 2376
1 2 1 734 2942 2208 142 2350 1300 566 049 615 2617
1 2 2 729 4060 3331 217 3548 1470 741 073 814 2294
1 2 3 738 1959 1221 220 1441 959 221 068 289 2006
1 2 4 734 3146 2412 210 2622 1336 602 070 672 2563
1 2 5 726 2440 1714 106 1820 1128 402 027 429 2357
1 3 1 735 3840 3105 130 3235 1493 758 045 803 2482
1 3 2 734 2428 1694 200 1894 1248 514 054 568 2999
1 3 3 743 4346 3603 238 3841 1563 820 066 886 2307
1 3 4 740 2993 2253 124 2377 1320 580 030 610 2566
1 3 5 736 2752 2016 187 2203 1143 407 050 457 2074
1 4 1 735 2832 2097 144 2241 1218 483 055 538 2401
1 4 2 742 3640 2898 175 3073 1469 727 050 777 2528
1 4 3 737 3120 2383 209 2592 1340 603 060 663 2558
1 4 4 737 3249 2512 200 2712 1321 584 073 657 2423
1 4 5 738 2530 1792 273 2065 1105 367 083 450 2179
1 5 1 738 2793 2055 118 2173 1250 512 044 556 2559
1 5 2 738 2453 1715 264 1979 1119 381 087 468 2365
1 5 3 743 3019 2276 136 2412 1338 595 048 643 2666
1 5 4 738 3040 2302 128 2430 1230 492 039 531 2185
1 5 5 740 2501 1761 175 1936 1137 397 051 448 2314
1 6 1 740 2736 1996 250 2246 1170 430 064 494 21 99
1 6 2 739 3088 2349 168 2517 1250 511 053 564 2241
1 6 3 742 2488 1746 139 1885 1149 407 046 453 2403
1 6 4 740 2295 1555 099 1654 1209 469 030 499 3017
1 6 5 740 2606 1866 101 1967 1208 468 033 501 2547
1 7 1 743 2494 1751 173 1924 1144 401 045 446 2318
1 7 2 740 2202 1462 153 1615 1087 347 053 400 2477
1 7 3 740 2245 1505 128 1633 1135 395 042 437 2676
1 7 4 740 1772 1032 101 1133 1014 274 033 307 2710
1 7 5 742 2430 1688 172 1860 1110 368 054 422 2269
2 1 1 747 3208 2461 166 2627 1294 547 050 597 2273
2 1 2 737 1989 1252 152 1404 991 254 044 298 2123
2 1 3 747 3213 2466 257 2723 1300 553 078 631 2317
2 1 4 743 1915 1172 157 1329 978 235 046 281 2114
2 1 5 745 2334 1589 153 1742 1102 357 049 406 2331
2 2 1 737 3340 2603 197 2800 1366 629 056 685 2446
2 2 2 732 3468 2736 143 2879 1312 580 036 616 2140
2 2 3 730 2530 1800 192 1992 1144 414 055 469 2354
2 2 4 733 2943 2210 205 2415 1310 577 059 636 2634
2 2 5 730 3454 2724 149 2873 1468 738 048 786 2736
2 3 1 732 2620 1888 172 2060 1180 448 054 502 2437
2 3 2 734 1955 1221 114 1335 1002 268 049 317 2375
2 3 3 742 3454 2712 240 2952 1386 644 076 720 2439
2 3 4 735 2733 1998 145 2143 1261 526 042 568 2650
2 3 5 734 3042 2308 184 2492 1280 546 049 595 2388
2 4 1 740 2170 1430 069 1499 1045 305 016 321 2141
2 4 2 733 3079 2346 106 2452 1315 582 030 612 2496
2 4 3 727 1888 1161 142 1303 947 220 051 271 2080
2 4 4 730 3535 2805 247 3052 1390 660 076 736 2412
2 4 5 732 3074 2342 083 2425 1277 545 044 589 2429
2 5 1 732 3039 2307 129 2436 1288 556 037 593 2434
2 5 2 736 2895 2159 108 2267 1308 572 047 619 2730
2 5 3 734 2315 1581 157 1738 1166 432 053 485 2791
2 5 4 736 2425 1689 154 1843 1110 374 039 413 2241
2 5 5 742 2580 1838 091 1929 1155 413 036 449 2328
2 6 1 736 2643 1907 162 2069 1185 449 052 501 2421
2 6 2 737 2739 2002 152 2154 1232 495 048 543 2521
2 6 3 739 2373 1634 175 1809 1133 394 055 449 2482
2 6 4 740 2407 1667 115 1782 1077 337 037 374 2099
2 6 5 740 2383 1643 144 1787 1179 439 040 479 2680
2 7 1 740 2365 1625 161 1786 1124 384 055 439 2458
2 7 2 742 2515 1773 087 1860 1104 362 021 383 2059
2 7 3 740 2765 2025 139 2164 1204 464 048 512 2366
2 7 4 735 2481 1746 115 1861 1234 499 039 538 2891
2 7 5 742 2260 1518 121 1639 1130 388 039 427 2605
3 1 1 745 2864 2119 145 2264 1223 478 039 517 2284
3 1 2 738 2750 2012 158 2170 1277 539 049 588 2710
3 1 3 738 3069 2331 137 2468 1243 505 050 555 2249















3 1 4 738 3247 2509 199 2708 1373 635 062 697 2574
3 1 5 736 2433 1697 143 1840 1190 454 032 486 2641
3 2 1 737 3090 2353 217 2570 1272 535 056 591 2300
3 2 2 736 2731 1995 177 2172 1205 469 052 521 2399
3 2 3 738 1905 1167 083 1250 1003 265 033 298 2384
3 2 4 738 2782 2044 192 2236 1302 564 059 623 2786
3 2 5 736 3016 2280 118 2398 1274 538 033 571 2381
3 3 1 735 2803 2068 145 2213 1260 525 051 576 2603
3 3 2 734 2776 2042 333 2375 1153 419 095 514 2164
3 3 3 730 1942 1212 117 1329 990 260 033 293 2205
3 3 4 734 2631 1897 189 2086 1154 420 064 484 2320
3 3 5 740 3323 2583 220 2803 1338 598 056 654 2333
3 4 1 734 3978 3244 176 3420 1463 729 056 785 2295
3 4 2 732 3150 2418 169 2587 1403 671 048 719 2779
3 4 3 737 2441 1704 109 1813 1104 367 021 388 2140
3 4 4 734 2580 1846 158 2004 1257 523 061 584 2914
3 4 5 737 3070 2333 139 2472 1349 612 047 659 2666
3 5 1 740 2193 1453 101 1554 1074 334 028 362 2329
3 5 2 730 3353 2623 096 2719 1390 660 038 698 2567
3 5 3 734 2521 1787 126 1913 1190 456 038 494 2582
3 5 4 734 2625 1891 168 2059 1215 481 062 543 2637
3 5 5 724 1855 1131 181 1312 981 257 057 314 2393
3 6 1 735 3062 2327 205 2532 1215 480 060 540 2133
3 6 2 732 2189 1457 123 1580 1073 341 035 376 2380
3 6 3 734 2847 2113 181 2294 1195 461 061 522 2276
3 6 4 734 2287 1553 138 1691 1005 271 035 306 1810
3 6 5 731 2532 1801 081 1882 1182 451 030 481 2556
3 7 1 734 1818 1084 122 1206 1037 303 032 335 2778
3 7 2 710 3060 2350 114 2464 1312 602 039 641 2601
3 7 3 712 1822 1110 098 1208 1056 344 039 383 3171
3 7 4 710 2063 1353 110 1463 1051 341 038 379 2591
3 7 5 712 2310 1598 123 1721 1119 407 035 442 2568
4 1 1 710 1898 1188 105 1293 981 271 036 307 2374
4 1 2 710 2767 2057 293 2350 1204 494 086 580 2468
4 1 3 710 3032 2322 149 2471 1290 580 060 640 2590
4 1 4 710 3118 2408 145 2553 1267 557 041 598 2342
4 1 5 710 2092 1382 140 1522 1093 383 038 421 2766
4 2 1 710 4124 3414 178 3592 1560 850 057 907 2525
4 2 2 710 1820 1110 111 1221 980 270 033 303 2482
4 2 3 714 3490 2776 218 2994 1405 691 091 782 2612
4 2 4 720 2902 2182 182 2364 1268 548 057 605 2559
4 2 5 720 2948 2228 100 2328 1205 485 031 516 2216
4 3 1 710 4137 3427 200 3627 1655 945 070 1015 2798
4 3 2 720 3641 2921 156 3077 1391 671 048 719 2337
4 3 3 720 3607 2887 111 2998 1482 762 042 804 2682
4 3 4 720 3263 2543 130 2673 1375 655 035 690 2581
4 3 5 720 2260 1540 155 1695 1110 390 041 431 2543
4 4 1 730 2896 2166 142 2308 1250 520 037 557 2413
4 4 2 710 3020 2310 238 2548 1307 597 075 672 2637
4 4 3 717 2957 2240 111 2351 1295 578 040 618 2629
4 4 4 720 3103 2383 103 2486 1340 620 041 661 2659
4 4 5 710 3504 2794 142 2936 1374 664 049 713 2428
4 5 1 712 2793 2081 223 2304 1220 508 075 583 2530
4 5 2 710 3315 2605 203 2808 1337 627 067 694 2472
4 5 3 710 3128 2418 069 2487 1328 618 020 638 2565
4 5 4 710 2216 1506 088 1594 1095 385 031 416 2610
4 5 5 710 3417 2707 211 2918 1455 745 074 819 2807
4 6 1 710 3223 2513 155 2668 1244 534 047 581 2178
4 6 2 700 3127 2427 120 2547 1338 638 034 672 2638
4 6 3 710 2750 2040 192 2232 1181 471 055 526 2357
4 6 4 710 2660 1950 114 2064 1190 480 033 513 2485
4 6 5 710 2392 1682 245 1927 1100 390 072 462 2398
4 7 1 710 2447 1737 258 1995 1150 440 075 515 2581
4 7 2 710 2086 1376 098 1474 1116 406 033 439 2978
4 7 3 700 2272 1572 120 1692 1096 396 039 435 2571
4 7 4 710 2124 1414 272 1686 978 268 093 361 2141
4 7 5 710 2618 1908 103 2011 1275 565 028 593 2949















Experiment #1 Diagnostic Leaf Tissue Analysis

TKN P K Ca Mg Zn Mn Cu Fe
Trt Rep (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L)
1 1 14150 3151 43860 13560 9640 45.21 83.4 6.32 277.4
1 2 13400 2906 44100 14060 9660 32.71 77.3 3.26 166.1
1 3 14400 3344 48120 14050 9650 37.93 90.8 3.44 164.7
2 1 11850 2928 44820 13930 9240 38.3 124.4 3.75 86
2 2 13200 3227 46100 13760 9880 41.37 117.2 4.19 125.4
2 3 12650 3024 41800 15630 11130 52.8 153.5 3.89 237.8
3 1 12550 3178 42130 15150 11020 65.6 201.3 4.35 396
3 2 12700 3191 45500 15070 10300 53 165.8 4.6 208.8
3 3 12900 3047 45640 14880 10530 49.05 164.7 3.87 240.2
4 1 13200 3385 43560 14470 9300 46.01 149 4.61 126.4
4 2 13800 3755 46570 16330 11310 71.4 208.6 4.94 341.7
4 3 12750 3150 44270 16420 10890 59.5 184 4.19 238.2
5 1 12650 3371 41720 15510 9880 47.78 138.7 3.77 112.3
5 2 12700 3093 44530 16000 10170 56.5 149.6 3.64 197.1
5 3 13700 3262 41910 14890 9550 50.8 136.2 4.12 133.1
6 1 13400 3210 42720 14090 9370 39.89 109.5 3.28 117.4
6 2 12600 3113 41440 15790 10190 48.23 126.5 3.54 143.1
6 3 13300 3503 40700 16710 11290 71.7 166.3 4.57 306.3
7 1 11850 3036 39350 15600 9820 40.34 110.6 3.12 121.7
7 2 12750 3190 43080 15300 9650 44.04 107.5 3.42 104.9
7 3 13350 3134 41140 15890 10180 44.71 113.5 4.78 145.1




Plant Measurements
Number of
Number Plant Height Plant Width Plant Size Plant Height Plant Width Plant Size Nuber of
(#) (cm) (cm) (cm) (in) (in) (in) Flowers
1 1 1 483 229 356 19 9 140 2
1 1 2 457 241 349 18 95 138 3
1 1 406 21 6 31 1 16 85 123 0
1 1 ~ 559 216 387 22 85 153 3
1 1 483 21 6 349 19 85 138 0
1 2 1 559 241 400 22 95 158 0
1 2 457 229 343 18 9 135 1
1 2 305 178 241 12 7 95 1
1 2 635 254 445 25 10 175 3
1 2 635 21 6 425 25 85 168 0
1 3 1 572 241 406 225 95 160 2
1 3 660 254 457 26 10 180 2
1 3 533 305 41 9 21 12 165 0
1 3 660 267 464 26 105 183 2
1 3 356 191 273 14 75 108 0
1 4 1 406 203 305 16 8 120 2
1 4 584 305 445 23 12 175 4
1 4 ; 508 241 375 20 95 148 2
1 4 546 216 381 215 85 150 0
1 4 508 203 356 20 8 140 1
1 5 1 610 21 6 41 3 24 85 163 2
1 5 483 165 324 19 65 128 2
1 5 559 254 406 22 10 160 1
1 5 457 21 6 337 18 85 133 2
1 5 406 21 6 311 16 85 123 1
1 6 1 432 229 330 17 9 130 0
1 6 41 9 229 324 165 9 128 1













1 6 381 203 292 15 8 115 0
1 6 508 229 368 20 9 145 3
1 6 305 229 267 12 9 105 1
1 7 1 584 191 387 23 75 153 1
1 7 356 178 267 14 7 105 1
1 7 457 21 6 337 18 85 133 0
1 7 533 152 343 21 6 135 2
1 7 432 21 6 324 17 85 128 2
2 1 1 457 229 343 18 9 135 3
2 1 279 21 6 248 11 85 98 2
2 1 584 229 406 23 9 160 0
2 1 432 178 305 17 7 120 2
2 1 381 229 305 15 9 120 2
2 2 1 597 241 41 9 235 95 165 1
2 2 635 21 6 425 25 85 168 2
2 2 305 241 273 12 95 108 2
2 2 406 21 6 31 1 16 85 123 2
2 2 457 267 362 18 105 143 0
2 3 1 457 229 343 18 9 135 0
2 3 495 203 349 195 8 138 1
2 3 483 21 6 349 19 85 138 0
2 3 622 229 425 245 9 168 0
2 3 E 559 241 400 22 95 158 3
2 4 1 432 178 305 17 7 120 1
2 4 2 533 267 400 21 105 158 0
2 4 305 165 235 12 65 93 1
2 4 559 267 41 3 22 105 163 0
2 4 E 457 21 6 337 18 85 133 3
2 5 1 330 241 286 13 95 113 2
2 5 61 0 21 6 41 3 24 85 163 0
2 5 508 254 381 20 10 150 2
2 5 356 203 279 14 8 110 3
2 5 E 584 229 406 23 9 160 0
2 6 1 533 229 381 21 9 150 5
2 6 533 21 0 371 21 825 146 2
2 6 356 203 279 14 8 110 0
2 6 483 191 337 19 75 133 4
2 6 E 546 216 381 215 85 150 1
2 7 1 330 165 248 13 65 98 3
2 7 2 305 203 254 12 8 100 0
2 7 495 191 343 195 75 135 0
2 7 406 203 305 16 8 120 2
2 7 E 457 203 330 18 8 130 0
3 1 1 584 21 6 400 23 85 158 1
3 1 648 21 6 432 255 85 170 1
3 1 483 241 362 19 95 143 0
3 1 4 584 216 400 23 85 158 1
3 1 E 610 203 406 24 8 160 0
3 2 1 381 229 305 15 9 120 1
3 2 483 222 352 19 875 139 0
3 2 533 165 349 21 65 138 0
3 2 572 229 400 225 9 158 1
3 2 E 61 0 254 432 24 10 170 0
3 3 1 61 0 21 6 41 3 24 85 163 3
3 3 533 203 368 21 8 145 2
3 3 432 191 31 1 17 75 123 1
3 3 508 203 356 20 8 140 0
3 3 E 61 0 267 438 24 105 173 0
3 4 1 635 216 425 25 85 168 1
3 4 660 229 445 26 9 175 2
3 4 279 254 267 11 10 105 1
3 4 457 191 324 18 75 128 2
3 4 E 559 279 41 9 22 11 165 0
3 5 1 330 191 260 13 75 103 0
3 5 432 229 330 17 9 130 1
3 5 406 216 31 1 16 85 123 1
3 5 457 229 343 18 9 135 0
3 5 E 356 178 267 14 7 105 2
3 6 1 445 254 349 175 10 138 0
3 6 559 203 381 22 8 150 2
3 6 406 178 292 16 7 115 0
3 6 279 254 267 11 10 105 2
3 6 E 635 229 432 25 9 170 1
3 7 1 330 203 267 13 8 105 3
3 7 / 457 21 6 337 18 85 133 1













3 7 559 267 41 3 22 105 163 2
3 7 533 191 362 21 75 143 2
3 7 279 241 260 11 95 103 2
4 1 1 508 21 6 362 20 85 143 0
4 1 61 0 229 41 9 24 9 165 5
4 1 438 229 333 1725 9 131 2
4 1 483 229 356 19 9 140 0
4 1 533 19 1 362 21 75 143 3
4 2 1 521 279 400 205 11 158 0
4 2 330 191 260 13 75 103 4
4 2 61 0 229 41 9 24 9 165 0
4 2 508 254 38 1 20 10 150 2
4 2 330 229 279 13 9 110 0
4 3 1 584 292 438 23 115 173 0
4 3 483 229 356 19 9 140 2
4 3 61 0 254 432 24 10 170 2
4 3 61 0 21 6 41 3 24 85 163 2
4 3 330 165 248 13 65 98 3
4 4 1 330 229 279 13 9 110 0
4 4 622 191 406 245 75 160 3
4 4 584 21 6 400 23 85 158 3
4 4 457 254 356 18 10 140 0
4 4 533 229 38 1 21 9 150 0
4 5 1 457 229 343 18 9 135 0
4 5 584 229 406 23 9 160 2
4 5 ; 533 254 394 21 10 155 2
4 5 457 254 356 18 10 140 2
4 5 533 267 400 21 105 158 0
4 6 1 584 203 394 23 8 155 1
4 6 330 229 279 13 9 110 2
4 6 356 165 260 14 65 103 2
4 6 521 19 1 356 205 75 140 0
4 6 584 216 400 23 85 158 1
4 7 1 451 178 314 1775 7 124 2
4 7 330 203 267 13 8 105 1
4 7 356 21 6 286 14 85 113 0
4 7 483 197 340 19 775 134 7
4 7 559 203 381 22 8 150 2





















APPENDIX C

PLANT TRIAL EXPERIMENT #2 DATA





Physical Properties Test Experiment #2


First Rep

Drained Bag Wet Total Container Air Bulk
Treatment#: Volume Weight Weight DryWeight Porosity Capacity Moisture Space Density
(ml) (g) (g) (g) (%) (%) Content (%) (%) (glcc)
1 135 0 71 4666 82 1 76 4 56 5 82 4 199 012
2 170 0 72 4879 1683 72 0 47 0 65 5 25 0 025
3 135 0 72 4684 65 8 79 1 59 2 86 0 199 010
4 1750 71 6135 2493 793 536 594 257 037
5 1400 70 5736 2359 703 497 589 206 035
6 1750 72 6289 3385 684 427 462 257 050
7 1350 71 4887 1079 759 560 779 199 016


Second Rep
1 175 0 71 4055 73 6 745 48 8 81 9 25 7 011
2 220 0 71 4590 1490 77 9 45 6 67 5 32 4 022
3 140 0 71 4720 68 7 79 9 59 3 85 4 20 6 010
4 1550 71 631 2 2624 770 542 584 228 039
5 1400 71 5417 2128 690 484 607 206 031
6 1550 71 6808 3878 659 43 1 430 228 057
7 140 0 71 4769 1147 73 9 53 3 76 0 20 6 017


Third Rep
1 1380 72 4384 737 739 536 832 203 011
2 140 0 72 521 7 1875 69 7 49 1 64 1 20 6 028
3 130 0 71 4625 66 6 77 3 58 2 85 6 191 010
4 160 0 71 6184 251 8 77 4 53 9 59 3 23 5 037
5 1050 72 5581 2167 656 502 61 2 154 032
6 1600 72 6529 3467 686 450 469 235 051
7 1150 72 4860 1171 712 543 759 169 017










pH and SS Monitoring Experiment #2
A B C
Treatment # pH SS pH SS pH SS
111 5.0 0.95 5.12 0.24 4.7 0.82
113 4.4 1.44 4.55 0.37 4.1 0.5
122 7.1 1.15 6.36 0.4 6.2 0.3
124 7.0 1.50 6.38 0.36 6.3 0.57
154 3.4 1.20 3.35 0.55 3.5 0.82
173 5.1 1.10 5.26 0.68 4.8 0.98
175 5.8 1.41 5.22 0.38 5 0.78
211 5.1 1.15 4.7 0.58 4.4 0.64
213 5.1 0.99 4.19 0.32 4.2 0.5
221 6.9 1.90 6.3 0.48 6.2 0.41
223 7.1 1.00 6.4 0.42 6.5 0.64
233 3.5 1.30 3.3 0.64 3.4 0.6
235 3.4 1.46 3.6 0.61 3.4 0.52
245 6.9 1.39 6.7 0.46 6.3 0.41
255 3.5 1.23 3.4 0.46 3.4 0.6
265 6.5 1.45 6.6 0.26 6.1 0.72
271 6.2 1.15 5.1 0.67 4.8 0.88
274 6.6 1.30 5.5 0.62 5.2 0.62
331 3.1 1.45 3.3 0.52 3.4 0.6
333 3.2 3.00 3.2 0.6 3.2 0.7
342 6.9 1.65 6.8 0.52 6.1 0.68
354 3.7 1.95 3.4 0.39 3.3 0.59
361 6.7 1.25 6.4 0.36 5.9 0.35
411 4.1 1.05 3.9 0.4 4 0.7
423 6.9 1.50 6.2 0.39 6.1 0.35
431 3.3 1.45 3.2 0.5 3.4 0.65
441 7.0 1.91 6.4 0.4 6.4 0.57
443 6.8 2.05 6.5 0.56 6.2 0.64
445 7.1 1.35 6.5 0.66 6 1.6
453 3.3 1.35 3.5 0.44 3.4 0.62
454 3.4 1.54 3.2 0.68 3.4 0.61
462 6.8 1.31 6.5 0.44 6.3 0.56
463 6.6 1.30 6.4 0.59 6 0.46
464 6.5 1.65 6.4 0.48 6.3 0.56
473 6.6 1.16 5.5 0.32 5.8 0.46
JULY 25 2-Aug 10-Aug








80




Plant Yield Results Experiment #2

Number Bag Weight Whole Plant Fresh Whole Plant Fresh Whole Plant Dry Whole Plant Dry Percent Dry
# (g) Weight w/bag (g) Weight (g) Weight w/bag (g) Weight (g) Matter (%)
1 1 1 730 4910 4180 1420 747 1787
1 1 2 730 4090 3360 1560 887 2640
1 1 3 730 5200 4470 710 037 083
1 1 4 730 4250 3520 1350 677 1923
1 1 5 730 5550 4820 1750 1077 2234
1 2 1 730 5830 5100 1910 1237 2425
1 2 2 730 4390 3660 1490 817 2232
1 2 3 730 6100 5370 1830 1157 2155
1 2 4 730 5800 5070 1900 1227 2420
1 2 5 730 5450 4720 1740 1067 2261
1 3 1 730 4060 3330 1500 827 2483
1 3 2 730 3730 3000 1310 637 2123
1 3 3 730 4170 3440 1580 907 2637
1 3 4 730 4350 3620 1510 837 2312
1 3 5 730 3340 2610 1210 537 2057
1 4 1 730 5390 4660 1800 1127 2418
1 4 2 730 4630 3900 1560 887 2274
1 4 3 730 4500 3770 1570 897 2379
1 4 4 730 4520 3790 1600 927 2446
1 4 5 730 3970 3240 1340 667 2059
1 5 1 730 5010 4280 1550 877 2049
1 5 2 730 3620 2890 1340 667 2308
1 5 3 730 4860 41 30 1680 1007 2438
1 5 4 730 4200 3470 1520 847 2441
1 5 5 730 2690 1960 1170 497 2536
1 6 1 730 4010 3280 1500 827 2521
1 6 2 730 3450 2720 1580 907 3335
1 6 3 730 4220 3490 1420 747 2140
1 6 4 730 4060 3330 1500 827 2483
1 6 5 730 4900 41 70 1730 1057 2535
1 7 1 730 4640 3910 1550 877 2243
1 7 2 730 5820 5090 1770 1097 2155
1 7 3 730 4530 3800 1510 837 2203
1 7 4 730 4710 3980 1680 1007 2530
1 7 5 730 5790 5060 1780 1107 2188
2 1 1 730 4870 41 40 1600 927 2239
2 1 2 730 5150 4420 1640 967 2188
2 1 3 730 5310 4580 1700 1027 2242
2 1 4 730 4410 3680 1580 907 2465
2 1 5 730 4750 4020 1460 787 1958
2 2 1 730 4490 3760 1500 827 2199
2 2 2 730 5310 4580 1770 1097 2395
2 2 3 730 4700 3970 1660 987 2486
2 2 4 730 4370 3640 1570 897 2464
2 2 5 730 4570 3840 1610 937 2440
2 3 1 730 4560 3830 1640 967 2525
2 3 2 730 2640 1910 1170 497 2602
2 3 3 730 3340 2610 1300 627 2402
2 3 4 730 3800 3070 1550 877 2857
2 3 5 730 3530 2800 1400 727 2596
2 4 1 730 4670 3940 1610 937 2378
2 4 2 730 41 90 3460 1470 797 2303
2 4 3 730 6000 5270 1960 1287 2442
2 4 4 730 5130 4400 1720 1047 2380
2 4 5 730 4430 3700 1580 907 2451
2 5 1 730 4480 3750 1630 957 2552
2 5 2 730 4580 3850 1600 927 2408
2 5 3 730 3790 3060 1400 727 2376
2 5 4 730 3910 3180 1470 797 2506
2 5 5 730 4320 3590 1620 947 2638
2 6 1 730 4940 4210 1570 897 2131
2 6 2 730 4270 3540 1500 827 2336
2 6 3 730 3910 3180 1500 827 2601
2 6 4 730 5790 5060 1920 1247 2464
2 6 5 730 3200 2470 1260 587 2377
2 7 1 730 5505 4775 1680 1007 2109
2 7 2 730 5890 51 60 1910 1237 2397
2 7 3 730 5462 4732 1860 1187 2508
2 7 4 730 5370 4640 1780 1107 2386
2 7 5 730 5830 5100 1770 1097 2151













3 1 1 730 4420 3690 1490 817 2214
3 1 2 730 4470 3740 1540 867 2318
3 1 3 730 4250 3520 1440 767 21 79
3 1 4 730 4670 3940 1550 877 2226
3 1 5 730 5940 5210 1940 1267 2432
3 2 1 730 4900 41 70 1610 937 22 47
3 2 2 730 4510 3780 1610 937 2479
3 2 3 7 30 51 00 43 70 1710 10 37 23 73
3 2 4 730 5220 4490 1580 907 2020
3 2 5 730 4310 3580 1460 787 2198
3 3 1 730 3710 29 80 1420 747 25 07
3 3 2 730 3810 3080 1460 787 2555
3 3 3 730 30 40 2310 1240 567 2455
3 3 4 730 3560 2830 1370 697 2463
3 3 5 730 41 20 3390 1530 857 2528
3 4 1 730 41 00 33 70 1630 957 28 40
3 4 2 730 4780 4050 1630 957 2363
3 4 3 730 4400 36 70 1590 917 2499
3 4 4 730 5000 4270 1630 957 2241
3 4 5 730 4310 3580 1440 767 21 42
3 5 1 730 3920 31 90 1490 817 2561
3 5 2 730 2927 21 97 1290 617 2808
3 5 3 730 3410 2680 1330 657 2451
3 5 4 730 3990 3260 1520 847 2598
3 5 5 730 3650 2920 1380 707 2421
3 6 1 730 46 20 38 90 1710 1037 26 66
3 6 2 730 4820 4090 1670 997 2438
3 6 3 7 30 49 80 42 50 15 90 917 21 58
3 6 4 730 4810 4080 1540 8 67 21 25
3 6 5 730 4320 3590 1430 757 21 09
3 7 1 700 528 4580 1780 1107 2417
3 7 2 700 50 4300 1710 1037 2412
3 7 3 7 00 562 49 20 17 30 10 57 21 48
3 7 4 700 51 4 4440 1720 1047 2358
3 7 5 7 00 5610 4910 1710 10 37 21 12
4 1 1 700 4440 3740 1550 877 2345
4 1 2 700 47 80 40 80 1470 797 1953
4 1 3 700 4900 4200 1800 1127 2683
4 1 4 700 4700 4000 1560 887 2218
4 1 5 700 51 00 4400 1640 967 21 98
4 2 1 700 5370 4670 1810 1137 2435
4 2 2 700 45 60 38 60 1560 887 22 98
4 2 3 700 4030 3330 1570 897 2694
4 2 4 700 4610 3910 1570 897 2294
4 2 5 700 4690 3990 1490 817 2048
4 3 1 700 3200 2500 1500 827 3308
4 3 2 7 00 40 00 33 00 13 40 667 2021
4 3 3 700 3830 31 30 1380 7 07 2259
4 3 4 700 4080 3380 1770 1097 3246
4 3 5 700 3210 2510 1260 587 2339
4 4 1 700 5220 4520 1580 907 2007
4 4 2 700 4260 3560 1450 777 2183
4 4 3 700 5630 4930 1820 11 47 2327
4 4 4 700 5410 4710 1830 1157 2456
4 4 5 700 5000 4300 1660 987 2295
4 5 1 700 3810 31 10 1300 627 2016
4 5 2 700 3820 31 20 1410 7 37 2362
4 5 3 700 36 50 29 50 1370 697 23 63
4 5 4 700 3860 31 60 1340 667 21 11
4 5 5 700 4430 3730 1540 867 2324
4 6 1 700 4430 3730 1530 857 2298
4 6 2 700 4200 3500 1510 8 37 2391
4 6 3 700 3920 3220 1380 7 07 21 96
4 6 4 700 5710 5010 1930 1257 25 09
4 6 5 700 4310 3610 1510 837 2319
4 7 1 700 6500 5800 21 10 1437 2478
4 7 2 700 5000 43 00 1580 907 2109
4 7 3 700 5380 4680 1660 9 87 21 09
4 7 4 700 6342 56 42 21 00 1427 25 29
4 7 5 700 6660 59 60 20 90 1417 2378









82




Plant Measurements Experiment #2
Flower
Number Plant Height Plant Width Plant Size Plant Height Plant Width Plant size Flowe
(#) (cm) (cm) (cm) (in) (in) (in) Spikes
1 1 1 940 343 6414 37 135 25 3 3
1 1 2 73 7 38 1 5588 29 15 22 0 4
1 1 3 1067 330 6985 42 13 275 4
1 1 4 1041 31 8 6795 41 125 26 8 1
1 1 5 1105 31 8 71 12 43 5 125 28 0 5
1 2 1 76 2 343 5525 30 135 21 8 7
1 2 2 91 4 343 6287 36 135 248 3
1 2 3 953 343 6477 375 135 255 7
1 2 4 787 343 5652 31 135 223 9
1 2 5 940 31 8 6287 37 125 248 6
1 3 1 83 8 27 9 5588 33 11 22 0 4
1 3 2 88 9 29 2 5906 35 115 23 3 3
1 3 3 889 318 6033 35 125 238 2
1 3 4 76 2 33 0 5461 30 13 21 5 3
1 3 5 737 292 51 44 29 11 5 203 2
1 4 1 749 368 5588 295 145 220 9
1 4 2 68 6 38 1 5334 27 15 21 0 4
1 4 3 61 0 31 8 4636 24 125 183 3
1 4 4 78 7 31 8 55 25 31 125 21 8 5
1 4 5 58 4 35 6 4699 23 14 185 5
1 5 1 86 4 30 5 5842 34 12 23 0 5
1 5 2 737 267 5017 29 105 198 5
1 5 3 76 2 30 5 5334 30 12 21 0 13
1 5 4 68 6 33 0 5080 27 13 20 0 4
1 5 5 635 26 7 4509 25 105 178 1
1 6 1 96 5 30 5 6350 38 12 25 0 3
1 6 2 762 31 8 5398 30 125 21 3 4
1 6 3 71 1 343 5271 28 135 208 7
1 6 4 991 318 6541 39 125 258 1
1 6 5 81 3 36 8 5906 32 145 233 6
1 7 1 82 6 30 5 56 52 32 5 12 22 3 5
1 7 2 91 4 33 0 6223 36 13 245 7
1 7 3 953 31 8 6350 375 125 250 2
1 7 4 99 1 31 8 6541 39 125 25 8 5
1 7 5 864 343 6033 34 135 238 3
2 1 1 69 9 35 6 52 71 27 5 14 20 8 4
2 1 2 686 31 8 5017 27 125 198 5
2 1 3 101 6 343 6795 40 135 26 8 4
2 1 4 99 1 267 6287 39 105 248 4
2 1 5 96 5 35 6 6604 38 14 26 0 3
2 2 1 749 29 2 52 07 29 5 11 5 20 5 4
2 2 2 699 36 8 5334 275 145 21 0 9
2 2 3 96 5 33 0 6477 38 13 25 5 3
2 2 4 660 31 8 4890 26 125 193 2
2 2 5 76 2 33 0 5461 30 13 21 5 4
2 3 1 91 4 30 5 60 96 36 12 24 0 5
2 3 2 686 24 1 4636 27 95 183 2
2 3 3 71 1 30 5 50 80 28 12 20 0 4
2 3 4 71 1 30 5 5080 28 12 20 0 5
2 3 5 58 4 30 5 4445 23 12 175 3
2 4 1 965 343 6541 38 135 258 3
2 4 2 1092 343 71 76 43 135 28 3 3
2 4 3 81 3 35 6 58 42 32 14 23 0 6
2 4 4 902 368 6350 355 145 250 7
2 4 5 91 4 31 8 61 60 36 125 243 4
2 5 1 838 343 5906 33 135 233 6
2 5 2 838 31 8 5779 33 125 228 5
2 5 3 876 31 8 5969 345 125 235 3
2 5 4 71 1 30 5 50 80 28 12 20 0 5
2 5 5 83 8 30 5 57 15 33 12 22 5 3
2 6 1 800 31 8 5588 31 5 125 220 3
2 6 2 66 0 35 6 5080 26 14 20 0 2
2 6 3 686 26 7 4763 27 105 188 2
2 6 4 63 5 40 6 5207 25 16 20 5 5
2 6 5 432 35 6 3937 17 14 155 0
2 7 1 91 4 33 0 62 23 36 13 24 5 3
2 7 2 101 6 31 8 6668 40 12 5 263 5
2 7 3 787 31 8 5525 31 125 21 8 7
2 7 4 71 1 38 1 5461 28 15 21 5 7
2 7 5 73 7 38 1 5588 29 15 22 0 6













3 1 1 81 3 22 9 5207 32 9 20 5 4
3 1 2 83 8 35 6 5969 33 14 23 5 4
3 1 3 91 4 31 8 61 60 36 125 243 2
3 1 4 838 31 8 5779 33 125 22 8 3
3 1 5 111 8 31 8 71 76 44 12 5 28 3 3
3 2 1 889 31 8 6033 35 125 238 4
3 2 2 787 368 5779 31 145 22 8 6
3 2 3 71 1 26 7 48 90 28 105 193 4
3 2 4 81 3 343 5779 32 135 228 5
3 2 5 864 29 2 5779 34 11 5 228 3
3 3 1 991 292 6414 39 115 253 2
3 3 2 91 4 343 6287 36 135 248 3
3 3 3 43 2 27 9 3556 17 11 140 1
3 3 4 787 292 5398 31 11 5 21 3 3
3 3 5 635 33 0 4826 25 13 190 6
3 4 1 1003 35 6 6795 39 5 14 26 8 4
3 4 2 88 9 33 0 6096 35 13 240 3
3 4 3 94 0 30 5 62 23 37 12 24 5 4
3 4 4 635 35 6 4953 25 14 195 7
3 4 5 71 1 343 5271 28 135 208 5
3 5 1 68 6 36 8 52 71 27 145 20 8 4
3 5 2 71 1 31 8 51 44 28 125 20 3 4
3 5 3 71 1 33 0 52 07 28 13 20 5 3
3 5 4 99 1 33 0 6604 39 13 26 0 3
3 5 5 85 1 267 5588 335 105 220 3
3 6 1 635 330 4826 25 13 19 0 4
3 6 2 1118 35 6 7366 44 14 290 2
3 6 3 83 8 33 0 5842 33 13 23 0 4
3 6 4 61 0 343 47 63 24 135 188 6
3 6 5 66 0 30 5 4826 26 12 190 4
3 7 1 88 9 30 5 5969 35 12 23 5 7
3 7 2 101 6 33 0 6731 40 13 26 5 4
3 7 3 96 5 35 6 6604 38 14 26 0 3
3 7 4 91 4 30 5 6096 36 12 24 0 6
3 7 5 1067 30 5 6858 42 12 27 0 4
4 1 1 91 4 30 5 6096 36 12 24 0 4
4 1 2 66 0 343 5017 26 135 198 7
4 1 3 724 356 5398 285 14 21 3 6
4 1 4 81 3 31 8 5652 32 125 223 4
4 1 5 96 5 343 6541 38 13 5 25 8 4
4 2 1 635 356 4953 25 14 195 7
4 2 2 73 7 30 5 5207 29 12 20 5 4
4 2 3 508 381 4445 20 15 175 3
4 2 4 660 31 8 4890 26 125 193 5
4 2 5 787 343 5652 31 135 22 3 4
4 3 1 559 31 8 4382 22 125 173 9
4 3 2 940 17 8 55 88 37 7 22 0 2
4 3 3 635 30 5 4699 25 12 185 3
4 3 4 71 1 343 5271 28 135 208 5
4 3 5 864 292 5779 34 11 5 22 8 3
4 4 1 762 368 5652 30 145 223 4
4 4 2 660 31 8 4890 26 125 193 4
4 4 3 81 3 38 1 5969 32 15 23 5 3
4 4 4 699 31 8 5080 275 125 200 7
4 4 5 88 9 35 6 6223 35 14 24 5 3
4 5 1 81 3 292 5525 32 11 5 21 8 4
4 5 2 71 1 31 8 51 44 28 125 20 3 2
4 5 3 91 4 20 3 55 88 36 8 22 0 4
4 5 4 68 6 29 2 48 90 27 11 5 193 5
4 5 5 71 1 33 0 5207 28 13 20 5 7
4 6 1 91 4 292 6033 36 11 5 238 3
4 6 2 71 1 30 5 5080 28 12 20 0 4
4 6 3 927 330 6287 365 13 248 2
4 6 4 81 3 31 8 56 52 32 125 22 3 7
4 6 5 91 4 27 9 5969 36 11 23 5 3
4 7 1 86 4 343 60 33 34 135 23 8 4
4 7 2 864 343 6033 34 135 238 3
4 7 3 1016 356 6858 40 14 270 7
4 7 4 762 368 5652 30 145 223 10
4 7 5 864 241 5525 34 9 5 218 4















LIST OF REFERENCES


ASAE. 1995. Manure production and characteristics. In ASAE Standards. American
Society of Agricultural Engineers, St. Joseph, MI. pp. 546-548.

Beeson, R.C., Jr. 1995. The root of the problem: four steps to determine proper substrate
aeration. Ornamental Outlook 4(6): 12.

Bilderback, T.E. 1982. Container soils and soilless media. In Nursery Crops Production
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


Rafael Garcia-Prendes was born in Nov. 15, 1977, in Guatemala City, Guatemala,

was raised in a rural environment until the age of 9, and received his high school diploma

at the Evelyn Rogers Bilingual School in Guatemala City in 1995. He attended the

prestigious Escuela Agricola Panamericana in Honduras and later graduated with a B-

plus as "Agronomo" in December 1998. He continued further at the University of

Florida School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, obtaining the Bachelor of Science

degree, and is currently pursuing the degree of Master of Science in the College of

Agricultural and Life Sciences. His work experience includes fieldwork in rubber

plantation research and civilian helicopter maintenance.