Using urban plant debris and perlite to produce organic vegetables and herbs

R. V. Tyson, J. M. White, K. W. King, K. J. Barnes


Replicated trials were conducted at the Seminole Community College Horticultural Unit in Sanford to test the feasibility of using urban plant debris (UPD) and perlite to produce organic greenhouse vegetables. Other organic fertilizer amendments and peat were added to the treatments. Greenhouse trials with lettuce, European cucumbers, and colored bell peppers were maintained using certified organic methods. Yields of lettuce and European cucumbers were best when urban plant debris and perlite were mixed in equal amounts. Concurrent demonstrations using organic substrates were also conducted with a variety of vegetables and herbs using both organic and conventional fertilizers and alternative agricultural methods. Demonstrations with composted cow manure and perlite as substrates for layflat bags in horizontal and vertical production will be discussed. Results indicate that urban plant debris and perlite can be used as inexpensive amendments in organic and alternative vegetable and herb production.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283