Innovative Uses of Leaf Compost for the Modern Farmer/Grower

Final Report for FNE94-048

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1994: $5,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1994
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
Project Leader:
William Gnaizdoski
d.b.a. Echo Farms
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Project Information


Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE94-048.

For field crops I found this method of planting very successful under the conditions which I created (removing all topsoil to simulate poor or marginal land). The tomatoes and field crops grew very well. The first and second set of fruit on the tomatoes were of a large size with excellent quality and taste. However, after these sets I feel it necessary to take a leaf analysis and apply fertilizer as indicated by the analysis.

There was one additional problem, I intended to use no chemical weed control and after the second set of buds on the tomatoes the weeds began to grow with a vengeance. For this years field crops I have purchased a plastic layer and plan to cover my rows of compost with black plastic and run a drip tube under it and feed as necessary.

In the greenhouse tomato crops I found the control house was getting too much food, noted by more branch growth and branches growing out from the fruit sets. The test house zone #1 (with 10% less water and fertilizer) was somewhat better. Zone #2 was markedly better and production and fruit size were normal. I did, however, find that when I pulled up the plants after production ceased that the root zone was not developed as well as plants grown in commercial media (70% peat moss, 30% rockwool). Thus, for greenhouse tomato production I would suggest a mix of 60-70% commercial media, with the additional 30-40% consisting of compost (70% compost, 30% inert materials).


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.