THE EFFECT OF RUMINANT AND MSW COMPOSTS ON ASPARAGUS GROWTH AND SOIL FERTILITY
Asparagus grown organically (no chemical fertilizers or pesticides) is not a common practice, however, there is a great demand for this product worldwide. Composting of source-separated municipal solid waste (MSW) has been legislated in Nova Scotia for over 10 years, so there is an abundant supply of material for horticultural use. Yet, few studies evaluate composts as the sole nutrient source for asparagus. A seven-year field experiment, ending in 2009, has evaluated the effects of two rates of ruminant or MSW compost on soil fertility, yield and fern elemental analysis of asparagus (KB-3 Viking) grown in a Gibraltar sandy loam soil in Nova Scotia. The experiment was organized as a Latin square design with four replications. Compost applications, following each years harvest, were based upon their total N content; the high rate assumed 25% availability of compost N and the low rate assumed 50% availability of compost N. Annually, fern samples were taken in September and soil was sampled in April or September and analyzed using the Mehlich-3 extract. No additional fertilizers or pesticides were applied. Yields (kg fresh wt/plot) averaged 0.56, 0.97, 0.89, 1.24 (low rate) and 0.79, 1.24, 1.16, 1.53 (high rate) for 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively. Yields, soil fertility, spear and tissue analysis were all evaluated and compared among treatments; the levels of extractable soil elements were most affected by treatments.
Warman, P.R. and Margarit, S.X. (2012). THE EFFECT OF RUMINANT AND MSW COMPOSTS ON ASPARAGUS GROWTH AND SOIL FERTILITY. Acta Hortic. 950, 73-79
Asparagus officinalis L., fern and spear nutrient content, soil nutrients, yield