Fertilizer Additives within or around the Gel for Fluid-drilled Cabbage and Lettuce1

in HortScience
Authors:
P. A. CostiganNational Vegetable Research Station, Wellesbourne, Warwick, United Kingdom CV35 9EF

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S. J. LocascioNational Vegetable Research Station, Wellesbourne, Warwick, United Kingdom CV35 9EF

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Abstract

Three glasshouse experiments were conducted in which “starter” N, P, and K fertilizers were incorporated either within or below gel used for fluid sowing pregerminated seed of ‘Avondefiance’ lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and ‘Derby Day’ cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Addition of nutrients to the gel at salt concentrations between 384 and 1893 mg-ion/liter inhibited emergence of the pregerminated seeds. Additions to the gel at concentrations between 9 and 21 mg-ions/liter were too low to affect the growth of the plants. Nutrient solutions applied to the base of the furrow immediately prior to fluid drilling the seeds allowed higher concentrations of salts to be used without reducing emergence. Solutions that contained factorial combinations of 0.84 g/liter N, 1.86 g/liter P, and 2.34 g/liter K applied at the rate of 0.5 ml/cm of furrow increased lettuce dry matter production by up to 44% after 20 days growth, although there was no significant effect on the growth of cabbage. The increase in lettuce growth was mainly in response to P ‘starter’ fertilizer but the largest response was achieved with the N + P + K ‘starter’ treatment.

Contributor Notes

Received for publication May 6, 1982.

The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.

On leave from the Vegetable Crops Department, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

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