Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vermicompost from pig manure grows healthy hibiscus

14.12.2009
VC provides organic, economical replacement for conventional nutrients

Vermicomposting, the practice of using earthworms to turn waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer, can be an economical, organic waste management practice.

During vermicomposting, earthworms and microorganisms stabilize organic waste in an aerobic, moist environment. The resulting product, called vermicompost (VC), or worm castings, provides commercial and amateur growers an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional substrate additives for producing many varieties of container-grown plants.

A research team recently experimented with pine bark amended with vermicompost derived from pig manure to see if this organic alternative can produce healthy hibiscus.

Michelle S. McGinnis, lead researcher, explained that the purpose of the study (published in HortScience) was to determine if conventional nursery crop inputs could be replaced by commercially available vermicompost for hibiscus production. VC is currently marketed as a pine bark amendment to progressive nursery crop producers. Reported benefits include greater plant growth and flower production, improved water use efficiency, and sufficient levels of some plant-available nutrients.

The scientists grew hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Luna Blush' L.) in containers containing pine bark amended with sand, dolomitic limestone and micronutrient package (PBS), or pine bark amended with 20% VC. Plants were topdressed with one of three controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs): only nitrogen; nitrogen and potassium; or nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). The PBS + NPK treatment, which was supplied with conventional nursery crop nutrient inputs, served as the control treatment to represent the industry standard.

Plants were harvested at 35 and 56 days after potting. Total plant nutrient contents of phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and boron were equivalent or greater by hibiscus-grown pine bark amended with vermicomposted pig manure (20% by volume) compared with plants grown with conventional nursery crop nutrient inputs. All three 20VC treatments averaged 58% and 40% greater plant dry weight than PBS + NPK, respectively, and 93% more flowers than PBS + NPK at 56 days after potting.

The research also established that the vermicompost treatment did not supply potassium equivalent to conventional CRFs; the authors recommend the addition of fertilizer potassium (K) to VC at a 20% amendment rate.

All treatments used equivalent volumes of water. "The drawback of greater effluent nutrient content when using a VC amended substrate could be offset by implementing best management practices, such as the reduction of leaching fraction and/or containment or capture of the effluent", noted McGinnis.

The study suggests that dolomitic lime, sulfated micronutrients, and phosphorous can be eliminated as substrate additives for hibiscus production.

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/44/6/1698

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application.

Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://ashs.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New insight into why Pierce's disease is so deadly to grapevines
11.06.2018 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Where are Europe’s last primary forests?
29.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>