EFFECT OF SOIL-APPLIED POLYMER AND NITROGEN APPLICATION ON CAULIFLOWER GROWTH

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

“Majestic” cauliflower plants were transplanted into furrows with either a polymer alone or in combination with ammonium nitrate. The polymers were banded in the furrow at planting time at 16.9, 33.7 or 67,4 kg/ha with or without a concurrent application of nitrogen at 44.9 kg/ha. The cauliflower received at least 1.2 cm water from an overhead irrigation system immediately after transplanting. Checks were both watering as plants were set in the field and water with a 12-48-8 starter fertilizer. Highest total yields were recorded when polymers were applied alone in the furrows. The addition of 44.9 kg/ha of the nitrogen generally decreased total marketable yields, head weight and plant weight. Soil samples were taken in the treatment rows after crop harvest. One of the polymer materials reduced soil pH by an average of 0.4 units and decreased the percent saturation of calcium from 90% to 70%.

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