LIFE SUBSED – Project LIFE17 ENV/IT/000347

 Sustainable substrates for agriculture from dredged remediated marine sediments: from ports to pots”

 Since October 2018 Flora Toscana has been coordinating a project cofounded by the European Union in the LIFE programme. The other associated beneficiaries are: CREA Research Centre for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Research Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems of the National Research Council (CNR-IRET), Carbon Sink Group s.r.l.,Miguel Hernández University of Elche and the Spanish nursery Caliplant.

According to the principles of the circular economy, the SUBSED project aims at demonstrating that it is possible to convert a waste (the dredged marine sediment) into a supply (a commercial substrate) through the application of environmentally and economically sustainable practices. The sediment, previously phytoremediated in the European AGRIPORT project, was processed through three months landfarming in order to homogenize the matrix and increase the biological activity and then was mixed with different standard commercial growing media in different proportions. The trials are being carried out under greenhouse in Tuscany (Italy) and in Valencia and Murcia (Spain) on different ornamental and food crops.

First results evidenced that the phytoremediated sediment was successfully used as partial substituted of standard growing media, like peat and coconut, in the portion varying between 25-50% depending upon the species. In fact, better results have been obtained for crops adapted to a wide range of soil and humidity (lemon, olive, cherry laurel, calla lily, strawberry and basil), while some limitations have become necessary for more demanding species (protea, blueberry).

The demonstration trials are still in progress, therefore further results will be available later.

For more details see the project website: