Utilization of different types of solid wastes through composting is important for environmental sustainability and restoring soil quality. Although drum composting is an efficient technology, the possibility of heavy metal contamination restricts its large-scale use. In this research, a field experiment was conducted to evaluate the impact of water hyacinth drum compost (DC) and traditional vermicompost (VC) on soil quality and crop growth in an agro-ecosystem cultivated intensively with tomato and cabbage as test crops. A substantial improvement in soil health was observed with respect to nutrient availability, physical stability, and microbial diversity due to the application of drum compost and traditional vermicompost. Moreover, soil organic carbon was enriched through increased humic and fulvic acid carbon. Interestingly, heavy metal contamination was less significant in vermicompost-treated soils than in those receiving the other treatments. The use of VC and DC in combination with recommended chemical fertilization effectively stimulated crop growth, yield, product quality, and storage longevity for both tomato and cabbage.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Sep 15, 2017
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