Cyclic Irrigation Reduces Container Leachate Nitrate-nitrogen Concentration

in HortScience

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of cyclic irrigation on leachate NO3-N concentration, container leachate volume, total effluent volume, and growth of Ilex crenata Thunb. `Compacta'. In Expt. 1, container leachate volume was reduced 34% when 13 mm of water was applied in three cycles compared to continuous irrigation of 13 mm per unit time. Forty-nine percent less container leachate volume was collected from a continuous application of 8 mm than from that of 13 mm water. In Expt. 2, container leachate volume was reduced 71% when 6 mm was applied in a single application over 30 minutes compared to 13 mm applied continuously for 1 hour. Total effluent was reduced by 14% and 10% in Expts. 1 and 2, respectively, when 13-mm irrigation was applied in three cycles compared to one continuous irrigation. Container leachate NO3-N concentrations from cyclic irrigation were generally less than leachate NO3-N concentrations from continuous irrigation treatments. The percentage of applied N leached as NO3-N ranged from 46% when 13-mm irrigation was applied in three cycles to 63% when 13-mm irrigation was applied in a single cycle. Leachate NO3-N concentration was reduced as irrigation volume was reduced from 13 to 6 mm in Expt. 2. Percentage of applied N leached as NO3-N was 63%, 56%, and 47% when 13-mm irrigation was applied in one, two, and three cycles, respectively, compared to 19%, 16%, and 15% when 6-mm irrigation was applied in one, two, and three cycles, respectively. `Compacta' holly shoot and root growth were minimally affected by cyclic irrigation or irrigation volume.

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