Astrid Solvåg Nesse

Research Scientist

(+47) 915 39 494

Ås O43

Visiting address
Oluf Thesens vei 43, 1433 Ås

To document


Purpose: Due to environmental concerns, efforts are made to replace the use of peat in horticultural growth media by organic wastes. Four growth media were prepared with the purpose of achieving adequate physical and chemical properties for plant production. Materials and methods: Growth media prepared from mixtures of coir (C) and paper sludge (P), respectively, with two biogas digestates from food waste (D1 and D2), were tested. These mixtures, 20% D1 or D2 + 80% C or P (v/v), were evaluated as growth media for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Results and conclusion: The growth media were all physically stable during the growing period, provided all the macronutrients and most of the micronutrients necessary for plant growth, adequate pH conditions, as well as an adequate electrical conductivity. The mixture of D2 and P produced the highest biomass compared to a mineral fertilised peat (control), with a biomass production of 76% of the control for lettuce and 54% for tomato. Causes for the biomass reduction relative to the control may be related to ammonium toxicity effects, and/or limited plant-available water. The digestates, particularly D1, seemed also to have a phytotoxic effect on the germination.