Nitrogen Management in Drip Irrigated Leaf Lettuce, Spinach and Green Crops
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AbstractPreliminary nitrogen (N) management experiments with spinach, leaf lettuce, romaine collard and mustard were conducted on a Casa Grande s.l. soil at the Maricopa Agricultural Center in the winter and spring of 1990-91. The purpose of this N rate experiment was to develop initial Best Management strategies for N fertilizer use for emerging high value crops grown in Arizona using subsurface drip irrigation. Three rates of urea, ammonium nitrate were applied to each cultivar to provide deficient (N1), adequate (N2) and supraoptimal real (N3) levels of N. All cultivars responded dramatically to the application of N. Fresh weight yields in the N1 and N2 treatments averaged 45 and 53% of the N3 treatment The average N3 yields recorded in these trials were 23.1, 12.8 and 21.8 tons of marketable produce per acre for greens, spinach and leaf lettuce/romaine crops, respectively. Preliminary plant tissue test results indicated that for all five crops, whole plant total N (TN) levels and midrib + petiole NO₃-N and leaf blade TN concentrations in the youngest mature leaf were responsive to differences in soil N supply and show promise as diagnostic N tissue test procedures. The midrib + petiole NO₃-N test appeared to be the best indicator of plant N status throughout the growing season for all five crops studied.
Series/Report no.Series P-93