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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 73 No. 4, p. 679-684
    Received: July 24, 1980

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Cabbage Plant Responses to Nitrogen Fertilization1

  1. N. H. Peck2



Nitrogen fertilization may affect the yield components and quality attributes of vegetables grown for processing. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of N fertilization systems on cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group) grown for kraut. The concentrations and contents of nitrate-N and total N in the plants were used to determine the availability of N and uptake of N from the soil and/or fertilizer N during the growing season.

Urea broadcast at 15 g N/m2 and worked into the soil preplant was compared to ammonium nitrate applied at a rate of 15 g N/m2 split into three 5 g N/m2 applications (banded at planting time plus sidedressed early plus sidedressed midseason) as fertilization systems for cabbage grown under field conditions in 1978 and 1979. The soil was a Lima silt loam (Glossoboric Hapludalf, fine loamy, mixed mesic), a productive soil derived from calcareous glacial till. Plants were spaced 4/m2.

Tops of four plants grown without fertilizer N contained 12 g N/m2 at harvest. Fertilizer N applied at 15 g N/m2 increased the total N in the plant tops to 22 g N/m2. This was an increase in plant N equivalent to two-thirds of the rate of fertilizer N applied.

Cabbage plants grown without fertilizer N yielded 4 kg fresh weight/m2. Fertilizer N at 15 g N/m2, either as urea or ammonium nitrate, yielded 8 kg of heads/m2. Fertilizer N at 30 g/m2 from urea plus ammonium nitrate yielded 10 kg heads/m2. Plants grown with fertilizer N had a lower percentage of dry weight in the heads, and had higher percentages of burst heads and heads with tipburn than heads of plants grown without fertilizer N. Thus, fertilizer N increased the yield but decreased the quality of cabbage heads grown for kraut.

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