Dr. Katerina Jordan, University of Guelph
The objectives of this study are to determine the potential of pelleted biosolids as a fertilizer source for turfgrass systems and to assess how the addition of biosolids affects soil health over time. In addition to sod producers utilizing the application recommendations, use of pelletized biosolids will appeal to the broader sector including use in lawn care, roadway low maintenance grass areas and erosion control, to name just a few. Composted biosolids improve soil fertility and structure while providing disease suppression for root and foliar pathogens. Additions of composts and biofertilizers can help to provide a source of nutrition for antagonists of common soil pathogens, introducing a source of nutrition that can help to support beneficial microorganisms, which in turn, can reduce the incidence of disease in newly seeded turfgrass stands. Using a naturally produced product like biosolid pellets on turfgrass, would reduce the total reliance of chemical insecticides and pesticides. Although previous studies have determined the benefits of the addition of biosolids to soil health and plant growth, there are insufficient best management practices for incorporating its use as a replacement or amendment to chemical fertilizers in turf. This project will test the use of pelleted biosolids under regional conditions, examining soil health in turfgrass rootzones. The ability to reuse an existing waste product in another beneficial manner is a benefit to our environment by saving landfill space and would appeal to end-users who embrace society’s recycling trend.