Dynamics of Nutrient Uptake from Foliar Fertilizers in Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.)

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

The dynamics of nutrient uptake from foliar applied 15N-urea and Rb (a K analog) were quantified in red raspberries. Both N and Rb in an aqueous solution were absorbed rapidly into the leaf and transported throughout the plant. In the greenhouse, about half of the urea and a third of the Rb were absorbed within 32 hours of application. The addition of a surfactant to the foliar solution reduced uptake, while solution pH, time of application and leaf age had little effect. The lower leaf surface exhibited a faster rate of absorption than the upper surface, but the difference was not large. In the field, some foliar N appeared to have been washed off leaves and taken up by the root system; however, none of the foliar applications affected plant growth. We conclude that significant uptake of foliar applied N and K occurs in raspberry, but the absolute amount delivered through a single foliar application is small. The percentage of total plant nutrient supplied through a foliar application is reduced to < 5% over time as the plant grows, so multiple applications would be required to maintain levels significantly higher than would exist through root uptake alone.

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