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Abstract

The aim of the research was to assess the microbiological (number of heterotrophic bacteria, actinobacteria and moulds) and biochemical (urease and acid phosphatase activity) state of peat with the admixture of composts produced from sewage sludge. An additional aim of the research was to demonstrate the influence of those substrates on the morphological traits of scarlet sage (height, number and length of shoots, number of buds and inflorescences, greenness index (SPAD)). Composts produced from sewage sludge, wheat, maize and lupine straw were mixed with peat, where their percentage varied from 25% to 75%. The substrate which included the composts applied in the experiment had a higher number of heterotrophic bacteria and a higher acid phosphatase activity level than the control substrate (peat). The multiplication of moulds and actinobacteria was more intensive than in the peat only in the combinations with K3 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+ lupine straw 30%) and K4 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+fresh maize straw 30%) composts, whereas the highest urease activity level was observed in the soils produced from K1 (sewage sludge 50%+sawdust 20%+white straw 30%) compost. The most optimal development of plants was observed in the substrate with compost produced from wheat straw. Composts produced from municipal sewage sludge were found to be suitable for growing scarlet sage. However, their effect depends on the percentage of high peat in the substrate.
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