INFLUENCE OF SPRING POTTING DATE AND CONTROLLED RELEASE FERTILIZER ON CONTAINER PRODUCTION OF WOODY ORNAMENTALS

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Ornamental Horticulture Substation, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849

Two 8- to 9- month [Nutricote 20-7-10 (Type 270) and Osmocote 18-6-121 and two 12- to 14- month [Nutricote 20-7-10 (Type 360) and Osmocote 17-7-121 controlled release fertilizers were preplant incorporated into a 3:1 pine bark:peat moss medium during two potting dates (April 12 and June 6, 1991) at the rate of 1.5 kg N/m. Plant growth of two woody ornamentals, 'Green Luster' Japanese holly and 'Fashion' azalea, and monthly medium solution electrical conductivity (EC) were determined. Growth index [GI = (height + width at widest point + width perpendicular to widest point)/3] response to fertilizer treatment was species specific. Nutricote 20-7-10 (type 360) produced the largest GIs for holly, while GIs for azalea were not affected 420 days after initiation (DAI) of the test. Plants potted in April had greater GIs than those potted in June for the two plant species 420 DAI, regardless of fertilizer type. Osmocote 18-6-12 and 17-7-12 controlled release fertilizers had the greatest medium solution ECs from 90 to 180 DAI.

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