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- Author or Editor: Zhengming Qiu x
Calcium-rich vegetables in diet could minimize calcium deficiency and maximize good health and well-being. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of different levels of foliar application of CaCl2 on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) growth and calcium concentrations with the application of organic and conventional fertilizers. Pot experiments were conducted with three calcium levels (60, 120, and 180 mg·L−1 of CaCl2) of an organic fertilizer (3N–0.8P–3.5K) and commercial conventional fertilizer (15N–15P–15K). Calcium in whole oven-ashed samples of shoots was analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry. Nine lettuce cultivars including butterhead, romaine, and loose-leaf phenotype were tested. These results revealed that the calcium concentration in lettuce significantly increased as calcium levels increased from 60 to 180 mg·L−1. Elevated calcium concentrations in organic and conventional fertilizers increased the concentration of calcium in lettuce from 1.82% at 60 mg·L−1 to a mean of 2.15% at 120 and 180 mg·L−1. The concentration of calcium in the loose-leaf phenotype was 2.17%, 2.47%, and 3.80% higher than that in the butterhead and romaine phenotypes at 60, 120, and 180 mg Ca/L, respectively. Furthermore, the significant difference in calcium concentration among cultivars ranged from 1.27% to 3.05%. ‘Perilla Green’, ‘Breen lettuce’, and ‘Salinas’ had the highest calcium concentrations followed by ‘Jericho lettuce’, ‘Salad Bowl’ and ‘Crisp’, and ‘Kaiser’, whereas ‘Valmaine’ and ‘Rosa Green’ had the lowest calcium concentrations. The present study revealed that selecting fertilizers and cultivars with high calcium concentration can increase the total calcium content of lettuce.