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J.C. Díaz-Pérez, J. Silvoy, S.C. Phatak, D.S. Pitchay, R. Morse
Tomato transplants were grown in an organic peat-based substrate (Garden Safe® Organic Potting Mix) amended with six rates of either compost (0% to 50%, by weight) or chicken manure (0% to 40%, by weight).
The results showed that plant dry weight was minimally affected by compost rates, suggesting that compost provided only a minimal amount of nutrients to the plants. However, since transplants produced with compost-amended substrate were of similar quality compared to those produced exclusively with the substrate, it suggests that compost may be used to partially replace peat-based substrates used for transplant production. Shoot, root and plant dry weight increased with increasing rates of chicken manure (applied prior to seeding) reaching a maximum at 10%-20% (by weight) and then declined at 40% rate. Thus, chicken manure mixed with the substrate appeared to provide enough nutrients to tomato transplants.
© 2012, Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC)