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Irrigation volume, application, and controlled-release fertilizer II. Effect on substrate solution nutrient concentration and water efficiency in containerized plant production



Irrigation volume, application, and controlled-release fertilizer II. Effect on substrate solution nutrient concentration and water efficiency in containerized plant production



Journal of Environmental Horticulture 16(3): 182-188, Sept



Rooted cuttings of Cotoneaster dammeri Schneid 'Skogholm' and seedlings of Rudbeckia fulgida Ait. 'Goldsturm' were potted into 3.8 liter (4 qt) containers in a pine bark:sand (8:1 by vol) substrate incorporated with 3.5 g (0.12 oz) N per container provided by one of the following five controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs): Meister 21N-3.5P-11.1K (21-7-14), Osmocote 24N-2.0P-5.6K (24-4-7), Scotts 23N-2.0P-6.4K (23-4-8), Sustane 5N-0.9P-3.3K (5-2-4) or Woodace 21N-3.0P-9.5K (21-6-12). Two hundred ml (0.3 in), 400 ml (0.6 in), 800 ml (1.1 in) or 1200 ml (1.7 in) of water was applied once daily (single) or in two equal applications with a 2 hr interval between applications (cyclic). Substrate solutions were collected from containers of cotoneaster 15, 32, 45, 60, 74, 90, 105, and 119 days after initiation (DAI). Irrigation efficiency ((water applied - water leached) +- water applied) was determined on the same days. Cyclic application improved irrigation efficiency at 800 ml (1.1 in) and 1200 ml (1.7 in) apprxeq 27% compared to a single application. Irrigation efficiencies averaged over the season were 95%, 84%, 62%, and 48% for cotoneaster and 100%, 90%, 72%, and 51% for rudbeckia at 200 ml (0.3 in), 400 ml (0.6 in), 800 ml (1.1 in) and 1200 ml (1.7 in), respectively. NH4-N and NO3-N and PO4-P concentrations in substrate solution decreased with increasing irrigation volume regardless of CRF. Substrate NH4-N concentration decreased throughout the season with most CRFs below 5 mg/liter by 90 DAI. CRFs mainly affected substrate NH4-N and NO3-N concentrations when irrigated with 200 ml (0.3 in) or 400 ml (0.6 in). Substrate NH4-N, NO3-N, and PO4-P solution concentrations were similar for all CRFs at irrigation volume of 1200 ml (1.7 in). Osmocote, Scotts, and Woodace maintained relatively constant substrate solution levels of PO4-P through 60 DAI. By 90 DAI, substrate PO4-P levels were similar regardless of irrigation volume or CRF. Substrate PO4-P concentrations were never in the recommended range of 5 to 10 mg/liter when irrigated with 800 ml (1.1 in) or 1200 ml (1.7 in) regardless of CRF. Solution pH remained in the recommended range of 5.0 to 6.0 for all irrigation volumes and CRFs throughout the entire study with the exception of Sustane.

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Accession: 010885822

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