POTASSIUM NUTRITION OF CABBAGE SEEDLINGS IN PINE BARK SUBSTRATES.

in HortScience
Authors:
Graham J. WrightDept of Environmental Hort., IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611
Dept of Hort. Science, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 3200, South Africa.

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Irwin E. SmithDept of Environmental Hort., IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611
Dept of Hort. Science, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 3200, South Africa.

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Composted pine bark is one of the most important substrates used in the seedling industry today. Previous work suggested the availability of inherent Potassium (K) in the bark. This research confirmed the availability of K and indicated that little or no K is needed for seedling production when pine bark is used as a substrate. Pre-enrichment rates ranged from 0 to 460 g.K.m-3, with a supplemental solution application of 0 to 200 mg.K.l-1. No evidence of K deficiencies or toxicities were detected. Three K sources, KCl, KNO3, and K2SO4 were used in the pre-enrichment of the bark. No differences were noted for top fresh mass, seedling height, root dry mass, root to shoot ratio and percentage moisture. Seedlings grown in treatments without and supplementary K showed tissue contents of 162.5 mg.K.kg-1. This research suggests the possibility of reducing the levels of-K applied to seedlings grown in a composted pine bark substrate.

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