Solubility and Application Rate of Controlled-release Fertilizer Affect Growth and Nutrient Uptake in Containerized Woody Landscape Plants

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Peter R. HicklentonAgriculture Canada Research Station, Kentville, N.S. B4N 1J5, Canada

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Kenneth G. CairnsAgriculture Canada Research Station, Kentville, N.S. B4N 1J5, Canada

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Nutrient release from Nutricote Type 100 (100-day N release; 16N-4.4P-8.1K), and from a 1:3 mixture of Nutricote Type 40 (40-day N release; 16N-4.4P-8.1K) and Type 100 was affected by time and temperature. The Type 40/100 mixture released nutrients more rapidly over a 5 to 35C range in laboratory studies. Seasonal growth of containerized cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri C.K. Schneid `Coral Beauty') and juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench. `Plumosa Compacta') increased with increasing application rates of either Nutricote Type 100 or a 1:3 mixture of Type 40/100 over the range 2-10 kg·m-3. Between 25 June and 27 July, cotoneaster grew more rapidly in media with Type 40/100 Nutricote, but by the end of the season (27 Sept.), fertilizer type showed no effect on plant dry weight. Shoot N was higher in cotoneaster plants grown with Type 40/100 Nutricote than with the Type 100 formulation during the first 2 months of growth, reflecting the more rapid release and uptake of N from the mixture. During the last month the situation was reversed, as nutrients from the Type 40/100 mixture were depleted. Potassium and P shoot concentrations were not affected by fertilizer type. Juniper growth and shoot concentrations of N, K, and P were not affected by fertilizer type at any time during the season. The results provided no evidence that seasonal growth could be enhanced in either cotoneaster (grows rapidly) or juniper (slower growing) by mixing rapid and more slowly releasing types of Nutricote.

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