Effect of vegetable, fruit and garden (VFG) waste compost on soil physical properties

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Compost and other organic amendments have been proven to improve the soil physical quality. In Flanders, vegetable, fruit and garden (VFG) wastes are collected selectively and composted. We studied the effects of the combined application of three different doses of VFG compost and cattle slurry and one treatment with only mineral N applied, during 9 years on a range of soil physical properties: aggregate stability, saturated hydraulic conductivity, bulk density, total pore volume and soil moisture retention.

The organic amendments had a significantly beneficial impact (p<0.05) on all soil physical properties, except for the soil moisture retention which was hardly influenced by any of the treatments. The combined application of VFG compost and cattle slurry resulted in the best soil physical conditions. No significant differences were found in soil physical parameters between the unfertilized plots and plots that were fertilized with mineral N.

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