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Agronomy 2013, 3(4), 657-669; doi:10.3390/agronomy3040657

Amending Subsoil with Composted Poultry Litter-I: Effects on Soil Physical and Chemical Properties

1,*  and 1
1 Division of Plant & Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6108, USA 2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2013 / Revised: 14 September 2013 / Accepted: 29 September 2013 / Published: 21 October 2013
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During construction disturbance, topsoil is often removed and turfgrasses are established in poor soils. Our study determined the effects of amending subsoil with composted poultry litter on physical and chemical properties that affect turfgrass growth attributes. To simulate typical disturbance conditions, 20 cm of topsoil was removed from a Dormont silt loam (fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, mesic Oxyaquic Hapludalfs) and composted poultry litter was incorporated at 0.1, or 0.2, or 0.4 cm/cm-soil into the exposed subsoil to a depth of 12.7 cm before growing turf. Composted plots were compared to N-fertilized (50 × 10−4 kg m−2) and control plots. Linear increases in total water content, organic matter, pH, and basic cations were observed following compost incorporation. Composted poultry litter increased total water content by 38% and decreased soil bulk density by 42%. Compost applications increased organic matter by 5.8%–6.4%, along with an increase in pH from 6.0–7.4. The cation exchange capacity increased up to 186% in compost-incorporated plots. No differences were observed between fertilized and control plots for all soil properties except for P levels, which increased in fertilized plots. Overall, compost treatments improved soil physical and chemical properties compared to conventionally fertilized and control plots.
Keywords: amendment; improving turf medium; turfgrass; urban lawn establishment amendment; improving turf medium; turfgrass; urban lawn establishment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mandal, M.; Chandran, R.S.; Sencindiver, J.C. Amending Subsoil with Composted Poultry Litter-I: Effects on Soil Physical and Chemical Properties. Agronomy 2013, 3, 657-669.

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