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Title:A comparison of soil management systems for urban agriculture
Author(s):Miernicki, Elizabeth Ann
Advisor(s):Wortman, Sam E
Contributor(s):Yannarell, Anthony; Lovell, Sarah T
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):soil management system
urban agriculture
Abstract:Soil contamination is a universal concern of urban agriculture. Reliable soil management systems are desirable in order to provide ideal growing conditions for urban crops. Due to concerns such as soil contamination, alternative soil management systems (e.g. raised-beds) are necessary to provide safe, fresh food for community members. The long-term benefits of raised-beds and similar soil management systems have not been explored in the scientific literature. Determining the agronomic and environmental benefits of soil management systems will aid in implementing design systems favorable to groups of plants requiring different environmental conditions. Crop-specific management practices will potentially allow optimal crop growing conditions to be met. Importing soil resources into a city can be expensive, however, the long-term benefits of these soil systems may outweigh this initial resource investment. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of six soil management options on crop yield, soil biological, chemical, and physical properties, as well as ecosystem services including water and nutrient retention. Soil management systems studied include direct soil + synthetic fertilizer (DSF), direct soil + organic amendments (DSO), raised-bed mixture + synthetic fertilizer (RBMF), raised-bed mixture + organic amendments (RBMO), raised-bed compost-only + synthetic fertilizer (RBCF), and raised-bed compost-only + organic amendments (RBCO). Crops grown in each treatment include kale, garlic, pepper, cilantro, and radish. Crop yield was separated by quality (marketable vs. cull) and weighed. Data is collected for soil nutrients and organic matter, soil moisture, weed emergence, soil water infiltration rate and bulk density.
Issue Date:2017-07-17
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/98411
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Miernicki
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08


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