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Influence of foliar and ground fertilization on yield, fruit quality, and soil, leaf, and fruit mineral nutrients in apple



Influence of foliar and ground fertilization on yield, fruit quality, and soil, leaf, and fruit mineral nutrients in apple



Journal of Plant Nutrition 31(3): 515-525



The effectiveness of nitrogen (N)+ zinc (Zn) soil and foliar fertilizer applications on growth, yield, and quality of apple (Malus domestic Borkh 'Golden Delicious') fruit was studied in the Zanjan province, Iran. There were eight treatments 1) control (no fertilizer), 2) soil applied N, 3) soil applied Zn, 4) soil applied N+Zn, 5) foliar applied N, 6) foliar applied Zn, 7) foliar applied N+Zn and 8) combined soil and foliar applied N+Zn. The N source was urea [CO(NH2)2, 46% N] applied at 276 N tree-1 yr-1 and the Zn source was zinc sulfate (ZnSO4,7H(2)0, 23% Zn) applied at 110 g Zn tree(-1) yr(-1). The soil treatments of N and Zn, were applied every two weeks during June through August (total of 6 times/year) in a 1 m radius around the tree trunk (drip line of trees). The foliar solutions of N (10 g l(-1) urea) and Zn [8 g l(-1) zinc sulfate (ZnSO4)] were sprayed at the rate of 10 L tree(-1) every two weeks at the same times as described for soil applications. The highest yield (49 kg tree(-1)), and the heaviest fruits (202 g) were obtained in the soil and foliar combination of N+Zn treatment. The lowest yield (35 kg tree(-1)), and the smallest fruits (175 g) were recorded in the control. Nitrogen, and to a lesser extent Zn, foliar application resulted in decreasing fruit quality (caused russeting, and lower soluble solid), but increasing N leaf and fruit concentrations (2.4% DW and 563 mg kg(-1), respectively). There were significant differences among yield and leaf mineral nutrient concentration in different treatments. But there was no significant difference between fruit mineral nutrient concentration (except N). Ratio of N/calcium (Ca), potassium (K)/Ca, and [magnesium (Mg)+K]/Ca in fruits were found suitable for fruit quality prediction. Combining the zinc sulfate with urea in the foliar applications increased the concentration of Zn from 0.7 to 1.5 mg per kg of apple tissue. Leaf N concentration varied during growth season. Foliar applied nutrient can be more efficient than soil applied, but a combination of soil and foliar applications is recommended for apple tree nutrient management.

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Accession: 022835574

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DOI: 10.1080/01904160801895035


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