Received: 28 November 2007 Revised: 25 September 2008 Accepted: 29 September 2008 Published online in Wiley Interscience: 11 December 2008
(www.interscience.wiley.com) DOI 10.1002/jsfa.3456
Are compost teas an effective nutrient
amendment in the cultivation of strawberries?
Soil and plant tissue effects
Jennifer C Hargreaves,a M Sina Adla and Philip R Warmanb,c
to support or refute this claim. Compost tea infusions made with municipal solid waste compost and ruminant compost were
used as amendments for strawberry cultivation and their efficacy was compared to municipal solid waste (MSW) compost,
ruminant compost, and fertilizer amendments. A variety of parameters were examined including the nutrient, micronutrient
and metal concentrations of soil and leaf tissue, pH, total soil carbon and nitrogen, and mineralized nitrogen.
RESULTS: Compost tea treatments provided similar amounts of most macro- and micronutrients compared to MSW compost,
ruminant compost, and fertilizer treatments and subsequently to strawberry plants. The MSW compost added significantly
greater amounts of Ca, Na, and S to soil with increased plant uptake while the ruminant compost treatment plots had
significantly greater available soil P. The compost and fertilizer treatments also provided greater amounts of K to soil compared
to the compost tea treatments.
CONCLUSIONS: In a 2 year study, non-aerated compost teas were effective nutrient amendments for strawberries compared to