Digestate use in horticulture

Trials to assess performance of digestate in a range of horticultural uses. 

The Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Strategy and Action Plan identified the need to find appropriate markets for the digestate produced by AD plants.

WRAP’s earlier work researched the potential markets for digestate in a range of markets, including:  agriculture, landscape and regeneration, sports and amenity turf and soil manufacture. More recently the horticulture sector has been identified as an area for potential development and new markets.

To progress this potential new market WRAP supported a small number of projects which demonstrate both the scientific and commercial viability of using digestate in the horticultural market sector.

Four trials of the use of digestate in a range of applications in protected horticulture along with a separate literature review ‘Digestate use in protected horticulture’ were conducted.

These included:
• As an addition to wood/bark chips to create viable growing media blends
• As a liquid feed for containerised strawberry production
• In soil-less hydroponic trials
• Use of the fibre in container composts

The trials sought to assess whether digestate could be used in these applications, what the constraints were, whether business benefits exist and whether regulations regarding use needed to change.

These have shown that there is early promise for the continued investigation of the use of quality digestate in horticultural applications such as growing media or as a liquid feed for plants.

For more information please view some of the documents available on the right.