Suitability of swine lagoon compost as transplant media for basil and tomato
Sphagnum peat is the main component of most transplant media for vegetable and herb transplant production. There is an ongoing search for peat substitutes owing to the high price of quality peat, and scarcity in countries without peatmoss resources. Composted swine lagoon sludge (SLS) may provide a nutrient rich alternative to peatmoss in a transplant media while dispersing the concentrated nutrients of a waste product in a cost effective, environmentally conscientious manner. SLS was composted in an in-vessel compost reactor with peanut hulls (15:85 (v/v)) producing a transplant media (SLC). A greenhouse study was conducted with two species (Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal' (basil) and Lycopersicon esculentum 'Charger F1' (tomato)) grown in SLC, an organic potting mix (OM), and a control media. Thirty days after sowing, tomato transplants produced in SLC media were significantly taller and greater in dry weight than those produced in either the OM or control media. At 50 days after sowing, the basil transplants produced in the SLC had greater dry weight than those produced in the OM or control media. Basil transplants produced in SLC were also taller than those produced in OM, yet similar to those produced in the control media.
Noah, A.C., Herring, P.L. and Kraus, H.T. (2019). Suitability of swine lagoon compost as transplant media for basil and tomato. Acta Hortic. 1266, 375-380
substrate, swine waste, peat substitute, herb, vegetable