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  • Author or Editor: P. A. Costigan x
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Three glasshouse experiments were conducted in which “starter” N, P, and K fertilizers were incorporated either within or below gel used for fluid sowing pregerminated seed of ‘Avondefiance’ lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and ‘Derby Day’ cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Addition of nutrients to the gel at salt concentrations between 384 and 1893 mg-ion/liter inhibited emergence of the pregerminated seeds. Additions to the gel at concentrations between 9 and 21 mg-ions/liter were too low to affect the growth of the plants. Nutrient solutions applied to the base of the furrow immediately prior to fluid drilling the seeds allowed higher concentrations of salts to be used without reducing emergence. Solutions that contained factorial combinations of 0.84 g/liter N, 1.86 g/liter P, and 2.34 g/liter K applied at the rate of 0.5 ml/cm of furrow increased lettuce dry matter production by up to 44% after 20 days growth, although there was no significant effect on the growth of cabbage. The increase in lettuce growth was mainly in response to P ‘starter’ fertilizer but the largest response was achieved with the N + P + K ‘starter’ treatment.

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