Effect of vermicompost on soil and plant properties of coal spoil in the Lusatian Region (Eastern Germany)

20 September 2012

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of different wood vermicompost application rates on some soil physical and chemical properties as well as on growth parameters of a grass seed mixture (RSM 7.2.1) in tertiary sand contaminated with coal spoil. The experiment was carried out in a greenhouse over a period of 42 days. Soil was mixed with vermicompost at ratios of 0.0, 3.0, 12.5, and 25.0% and sown with the grass seed mixture. Soil samples and plant material were analyzed to determine the effect of different vermicompost application rates on the physical and chemical properties. Results revealed that the physical and chemical properties of the soil improved with increasing application rates of vermicompost. In addition, soil treated with vermicompost showed significant increases in fresh- and dry-matter yields of the grass, as well as enhanced uptake of nutrients by the grass. This indicated that treatment of contaminated soils with vermicompost may be beneficial for reclamation processes by facilitating revegetation of disturbed areas.