Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sherah VanLaerhoven


Biological sciences




Plant growth depends on nutrients and growth media. Within greenhouses, growers typically manage nutrient type, concentration and growth media. However many alternative media are available and the use of organic fertilizer would allow growers to market their products in more venues.

I developed an organic fertilizer and tested the plant performance of tomatoes and peppers on this fertilizer. In my first experiment, I tested tomato performance on different growth media and fertilizer concentrations. Of the three types of media tested, the greatest yield was in coconut fiber and peat moss. The addition of fertilizer increased yield, but there was no difference between the two concentrations. In my second experiment, I tested sweet pepper plant performance using different concentrations of organic fertilizer compared with inorganic fertilizer in hydroponic system. Inorganic fertilizer provided the greatest yield, regardless of the concentration of the organic fertilizer.