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Response of onion (Allium cepa L.) plants to fertilizers, weed competition duration, and planting times in the central Jordan Valley

Response of onion (Allium cepa L.) plants to fertilizers, weed competition duration, and planting times in the central Jordan Valley

Weed Biology and Management 6(4): 212-220

The competitive ability of onion with weeds and the effects of weeds on onion crop growth and yield were investigated in three field experiments carried out in the central Jordan Valley during the 1997-1998 growing season. Fertilizer application to the onion plants in the presence of weeds significantly lowered the onion yield and reduced the bulb diameter, compared to the unfertilized, weed-infested onion crop. Weed competition and onion yield reduction increased with an increase in the fertilizer rate. All weed-free treatments with or without fertilizer gave a significantly higher onion yield than any of the fertilized, weedy plots. The highest yield of onion was obtained from the weed-free plots with a moderate application of fertilizer. Weed competition reduced the growth, bulb yield, and size of onion in the plots established from bulbs, seedlings, and seeds when compared to the relevant weed-free controls. The effect increased with competition duration and was more pronounced in direct-seeded onion than in the other two types of planting material. However, onion grown from bulbs or seedlings gave better growth, bulb weight, and number and was more competitive than the direct-seeded onion. The results showed that the minimum number of days of weed competition needed for a significant reduction in onion growth was 42 days when propagated from bulbs or seedlings and 21 days after direct-seeding. Onion grown from bulbs tolerated weed competition better and produced a higher bulb yield than that obtained from direct-seeded or transplanted onion, irrespective of the planting dates. December was found to be the best planting time for onion that was grown from bulbs and seedlings, while November was the best planting time for direct-seeded onion, provided the plots were weed-free throughout the growing season.

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Accession: 012816676

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-6664.2006.00216.x

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