Fertigation and Growth of Young `Hamlin' Orange Trees in Florida

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  • 1 Fruit Crops Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • 2 Soil Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

One-year-old `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] trees on sour orange rootstock (C. aurantium L.) were used to compare various fertigation frequencies and rates with application of granular materials. In Expt. 1, granular fertilizer was applied five times per year or liquid fertilizer was applied five, 10, or 30 times per year at 0.23 kg N/tree per year as an 8N-3.4P-6.6K formulation. In Expt. 2, an additional treatment of granular and liquid material was applied three times per year, but fertilizer rate and formulation were the same as in Expt. 1. Experiment 3 included the same application frequencies as Expt. 1, but with two rates of N (0.11 or 0.06 kg N/tree per year). Soil samples were taken from each treatment 1, 4, and 7 days after fertilization at depths of 0-15, 16-46, and 47-76 cm for nutrient analyses. Trunk diameter, shoot growth, and tree height were similar for all treatments 8 months after planting in Expts. 1 and 2, while trees in Expt. 3 had significantly less growth at the lower rate. Soil NH4-N and NO3-N concentrations for all liquid treatments within 1 week of fertilization were highest for the five times per year treatment at the 0- to 15-cm depth, but nutrient concentrations of all liquid treatments were similar at the other depths. For most dates and depths, NH4-N and NO3-N concentrations were similar for both fertilizer rates.

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