Compost maturity is a major factor in its use for nutrient supply without adverse effect on crop germination. Composting may be accelerated with inclusion of some microorganisms as activators. This study was conducted to determine the effect of Trichoderma asperellum and length of composting of different plant materials and cattle manure on compost maturity in Ibadan, Nigeria. Composting of two plant materials with cow dung at ratio 3:1 was done in triplicate with or without Trichoderma activation to obtain twelve heaps of four different types of composts; Panicum-based compost with Trichoderma, Tridax-based compost with Trichoderma, Panicum-based compost without Trichoderma and Tridax-based compost without Trichoderma. The process was a 2×2 factorial experiment, laid out a completely randomized design. The Trichoderma activated compost (TAC) at four weeks of composting (4WC) had 56% total N, 21% organic matter, 38% total K, 51% total P and 66.6% microbial biomass N increase over non-activated compost (NAC). Carbon to nitrogen ratio was within the ideal range (10–20) in TAC while it was greater than it in NAC. Microbial biomass and lignin contents had a 56% and 41% increase, respectively, in NAC over TAC. Trichorderma-activated compost has a potential to hasten maturation and makes the compost ready for field on or before four weeks without posing a threat to crop germination.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Plant Science