Monday, November 2, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Through improvement of soil quality, compost enhances earthworm habitat and allows for greater root spread. The objective of this study was to determine whether a correlation existed between the amount of added compost and number of roots and earthworms in an organic row crop system. Eight plots (2 reps) received 0, 22, 66, or 110 lbs of compost followed by a cover crop of rye. The plots were then row cropped in tomatoes. An 18” x 18” x 6” sample was removed from each plot. Samples were sieved to remove earthworms and roots. The greatest number of roots was extracted in the 66 lbs composted plots. Earthworm populations were comparable in plots receiving 22 or 66 lbs of compost. Higher compost levels did not significantly increase either root or earthworm quantity.