Water extracts of refuse compost of different ages (fresh, 6 weeks and 12 months old) were applied to seeds of three edible crops-Brassica chinensis (Chinese white cabbage) Daucus carota L. var. sativa (carrot) and Lycopersicon esculentum.
Severe suppression of germination and root elongation were observed with seeds treated with extracts of fresh compost, whereas the effects of 6 week old and 12-month old compost were less obvious.
Significant negative relationships between root length of the germinated seeds and the contents of heavy metals and ethylene oxide in the water extracts were found.
When comparing the three different crops, L. esculentum was the most sensitive, followed by B. chinensis and then D. carota, in terms of seed germination and root growth. Copyright © 1985 Published by Elsevier Ltd.