Earth-Kind Vegetable Production in the Home Garden Using Mushroom and City Compost Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • A field study was conducted in 2010 and 2011 to determine the suitability of Earth-Kind production principles for home vegetable gardening. Earth-Kind production encourages water and energy conservation, and reduction of fertilizer and pesticide use. Seven vegetable cultivars [Sweet Banana and bell pepper (Capsicum annuum); Celebrity and Juliet tomato (Solanum lycopersicum); Spacemaster cucumber (Cucumis sativus); Ichiban eggplant (Solanum melongena); Spineless Beauty zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)] were grown in mushroom compost (MC) or city compost (CC). Both composts were incorporated preplant into the soil with shredded wood mulch placed over them. In each year, nitrogen (N) fertilizer (15.5N0P0K from calcium nitrate) was applied preplant to CC plots to bring initial soil fertility levels similar to MC plots. No additional fertilizer was applied during the growing season. Drip irrigation was supplemented weekly. One application each of neem oil and pyrethrin (organic insecticides) and chlorothalonil (synthetic fungicide) was applied before harvest in 2010, but none was applied in 2011. Results indicated that Earth-Kind technique could be effectively implemented in a home vegetable garden. MC is better suited for Earth-Kind vegetable production than CC for some vegetables. Banana pepper, bell pepper, and zucchini had twice the yield in MC plots when compared with CC plots. No yield differences (P > 0.05) were observed between composts for tomato, eggplant, or cucumber. With proper irrigation and soil preparation practices such as addition of compost and mulch, Earth-Kind vegetable gardening techniques can be used for selected vegetable crops without additional N fertilizer or pesticides. Furthermore, Earth-Kind vegetable gardening can be successful as long as the home gardener understands that low yields may result from using this production method. However, often the home gardener is more concerned about producing vegetables using sustainable, environmentally friendly methods than maximizing yields.

published proceedings

  • HortTechnology

author list (cited authors)

  • Masabni, J. G., & Walters, S. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Masabni, Joseph G||Walters, S Alan

publication date

  • August 2014