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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Soil quality recovery and crop yield enhancement by combinedapplication of compost and wood to vegetables grown underplastic tunnels

Published source details

Bonanomi G., D’Ascoli R., Scotti R., Gaglione S.A., Caceres M.G., Sultana S., Scelza R., Rao M.A. & Zoina A. (2014) Soil quality recovery and crop yield enhancement by combinedapplication of compost and wood to vegetables grown underplastic tunnels. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 192, 1-7


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Crop production: Add compost to the soil Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 on two farms in the Salerno district, Italy, found higher crop yields in plots with added compost, compared to plots without added compost, in most crop cycles. Crop yield: Higher crop yields were found in plots with added compost, compared to plots without added compost, in 12 of 14 crop cycles (38–39% higher), but lower yields were found in 2 of 14 crop cycles (23–25% lower). Methods: On each of two farms, there were three plots (7 x 5 m) for each of four treatments (30 or 60 Mg organic matter/ha/year, with a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of 15:1 or 25:1) and there were three control plots (no organic matter). Organic matter was added in February 2009, February 2010, and June 2011. It was made from the composted organic fraction of municipal solid waste, and it was mixed with wood scraps to control the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Between the two farms, one pepper, three melon, four kohlrabi, and six lettuce crops (14 crop cycles) were grown in plastic tunnels. It was not clear whether these results were a direct effect of adding composted municipal waste or wood scraps.

Soil: Add compost to the soil Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 on two farms in the Salerno district, Italy, found more organic matter, and sometimes found more ammonium, but found no difference in soil organisms or pH, in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost. Adding compost had inconsistent effects on nitrate. Organic matter: More organic carbon was found in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost (5–110% more). Nutrients: More nitrate was found in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost, in 10 of 18 samples (20–125% more), but less nitrate was found in the first two samples (25–70% less). More ammonium was found in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost, on one of two farms (amounts of ammonium not reported). No difference in pH was found between soils with and without added compost (pH levels not reported). Soil organisms: No difference in microbial biomass was found between soils with and without added compost (amounts of biomass not reported). Methods: On each of two farms, there were three plots (7 x 5 m) for each of four treatments (30 or 60 Mg organic matter/ha/year, with a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of 15:1 or 25:1) and one control (no organic matter). Organic matter was added in February 2009, February 2010, and June 2011. It was made from the composted organic fraction of municipal solid waste, and it was mixed with wood scraps to control the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. It was not clear whether these results were a direct effect of adding composted municipal waste or wood scraps.