Abstract

The objective of this study was to characterize compost from Ulex europaeus L. and contrast its physical and chemical characteristics with the compost Chilean Standard (NCh 2880). The trial was set up at the Pillanlelbun Experimental Centre, Chile, from December 2010 to April 2011. The test corresponded to a 2×2 factorial design in which the factors were: mixture and the composting accelerator (AC), both at two levels. The four treatments were: T1 U. europaeus (100%) without AC, T2 U. europaeus (78%) + bovine manure (22%) without AC, T3 U. europaeus (100%) with AC and T4 U. europaeus (78%) + bovine manure (22%) with AC. The organic matter content (OM%), total C (%), C:N ratio, total N (%), moisture (Hº%), particle size (TP%), toxicity (% germination of Raphanus sativus L.), pH, bulk density (DAP kg/m3), electrical conductivity (EC ds/m) and weed germination (N° of propagules) was evaluated. The main results indicate that T1 and T3 had higher %OM, total %N and C:N ratio than T2 and T4, simultaneously. T1 had a lower %C and T2 a lower pH compared to all other treatments. Other variables evaluated were not significantly different. All variables meet the NCh 2880, except toxicity in the treatment with U. europaeus without AC, and EC in all treatments. Research should be aimed at reducing the EC, in order to be eligible for certification by the NCh 2880.
Keywords: Ulex europaeus, weeds, organic matter, composting.