Next Article in Journal
Integrating Greenhouse Cherry Tomato Production with Biofloc Tilapia Production
Previous Article in Journal
Total Coliform and Generic E. coli Levels, and Salmonella Presence in Eight Experimental Aquaponics and Hydroponics Systems: A Brief Report Highlighting Exploratory Data
Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Leaching Fraction-Based Irrigation on Fertilizer Longevity and Leachate Nutrient Content in a Greenhouse Environment

Department of Horticulture, Auburn University, 101 Funchess Hall, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2020, 6(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6030043
Received: 26 June 2020 / Revised: 28 July 2020 / Accepted: 30 July 2020 / Published: 3 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Floriculture, Nursery and Landscape, and Turf)
An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of leaching fraction (LF) on the longevity of controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) and leachate nutrient content in a pine bark substrate. The effect of LF-based irrigation was evaluated under six target LFs of 0.05, 0.15, 0.25, 0.35, 0.45, and 0.55. The 2.72 L nursery pots were filled with 100% pine bark substrate amended with dolomitic lime at a rate of 2.97 kg/m3 and Harrell’s 16-6-13 POLYON® applied at a rate of 6 g per container. Fertilizer was encased in vinyl-coated fiberglass mesh bags and subdressed 2.5 cm under the substrate surface for recovery at the end of 10 weeks. The total amount of nutrients leached from the container was greater at higher LFs, with twice as much inorganic nitrogen leached at a LF of 0.55 than a 0.15 LF. The amount of dissolved nutrients left in the substrate decreased as the LF treatments increased. There were 29.6% more inorganic nitrogen and 37.7% more phosphorus left in the substrate irrigated with a 0.15 LF as compared to a 0.55 LF. This suggests that at lower LFs, more dissolved nutrients may be available for plant uptake. No differences were seen in the amount of nutrients lost from the CRF or remaining in the prills. Results indicate that reducing the LF did not influence the longevity of POLYON® CRF in a pine bark substrate, but that a lower LF may be useful in reducing nutrient runoff into the environment. Targeting a lower LF also resulted in a larger pool of plant-available nutrients, allowing nursery producers to potentially reduce fertilizer rates. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen; CRF; substrate; container production; nursery production; effluent; runoff nitrogen; CRF; substrate; container production; nursery production; effluent; runoff
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Krofft, C.E.; Pickens, J.M.; Newby, A.F.; Sibley, J.L.; Fain, G.B. The Effect of Leaching Fraction-Based Irrigation on Fertilizer Longevity and Leachate Nutrient Content in a Greenhouse Environment. Horticulturae 2020, 6, 43.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop