The Impact of Ammonium to Nitrate Ratio on the Growth and Nutritional Status of Kale
Keywords:Brassica; N form; nitrates; NO3:NH4 ratio; nutrient elements; yield
The effect of four NH4:NO3 ratios in the nutrient solution (0:100; 25:75; 50:50 and 75:25) on growth and nutrient concentrations of four kale (Brassica oleraceae L. var. acephala) hybrids: ‘CN KAL 1029’, ‘Redbor’, ‘Winnetou’, ‘Reflex’ and one indigenous cultivar: ‘Ntopia Mytilinis’ was investigated. In the first four weeks of cultivation none of the NH4/NO3 ratios applied induced adverse effects on most growth characteristics determined whereas plants grown with 75% NH4-N accumulated higher leaf N, P, K, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu concentrations. After an eight week period, plants under 75% NH4-N showed significant reductions in many growth parameters suggesting a probable preference of kale plants grown for a prolonged period towards either a complete exclusion of NH4 from the nutrient solution or a 25:75 or a 50:50 NH4/NO3 ratio. Among the genotypes tested, ‘Ntopia Mytilinis’ produced the greatest yield with the lowest leaf nitrate accumulation.
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