Nitrogen and Phosphorus Requirements for Rockwool-grown Cucumbers Trained with a Double-stem Method

in HortTechnology
Authors:
M.K. SchonThe Land, Epcot, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830.

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M. Peggy ComptonThe Land, Epcot, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830.

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Four experiments were conducted from 1992 to 1994 to determine the concentrations of N and P required to maximize yields of rockwool-grown cucumbers (Cucumis sativus `Vetomil') trained with a double-stem method. Concentrations of N and P in rockwool slabs were monitored throughout growth of greenhouse-grown cucumbers. The onset and duration of nutrient depletion in the slabs were related to cucumber yield. In Expt. 1, treatment-1 plants received a two-step solution containing N at 90 and 175 mg·L−1 during successive growth phases, while treatment-2 and -3 plants were grown with N at a constant 175 or 225 mg·L−1. Phosphorus was provided at 50 mg·L−1 in all treatments. Treatment 1 was excluded from Expt. 2. In Expts. 3 and 4, plants were grown with N at 225 or 275 mg·L−1 and P at 75 mg·L−1. Onset of N and P depletion (to <10 mg·L−1) in the growing slabs occurred during the early fruiting stage of cucumber, 1 to 8 days before first harvest. The duration of N and P depletion decreased, and cucumber yields increased with increasing N and P concentrations. When plants were grown with N and P at 275 and 75 mg·L1, respectively, N was depleted in the growing slabs during only one experiment and then for only 4 days, and slab P concentration remained >10 mg·L1. Therefore, under Florida conditions, when growing cucumbers in rockwool using a double-stem training technique, N and P should be provided at 275 and 75 mg·L−1, respectively, to minimize depletion of these nutrients from the growing medium.

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