NITROGEN FERTILIZATION RATE, SAWDUST MULCH, AND PRE-PLANT INCORPORATION OF SAWDUST - LONG-TERM IMPACT ON YIELD, FRUIT QUALITY, AND SOIL AND PLANT NUTRITION IN 'ELLIOTT'
A planting of Elliott was established in October 2003. Treatments were: 1) raised beds constructed with or without the incorporation of sawdust; 2) with or without application of a sawdust mulch after planting; and 3) nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate (low: 22-56 kg/ha; medium: 67-168 kg/ha; and high: 112-269 kg/ha, depending on planting age). There was no significant effect of N rate on machine-harvested yield which increased from 10.8 t/ha in 2006 to 21.1 t/ha in 2011. While cumulative yield has not been affected by incorporation of sawdust or mulch, plots in which sawdust was incorporated before planting had a higher cumulative yield if no mulch was used (103.2 vs. 93.3 t/ha for mulched) whereas the opposite was true for plots in which no sawdust was incorporated (91.2 and 94.6 t/ha, for bare soil or with sawdust mulch, respectively). While leaf N concentration has been lower than recommended standards in some years, this has had no negative impact on yield. Nitrogen fertilization with the high rate decreased average berry weight. Plants fertilized with the highest rate of N had a greater average firmness (over the 6 years) than those fertilized with lower rates, likely related to an associated reduction in berry weight. Plants fertilized with the low rate of N had a lower fruit N concentration at harvest in 2010, but not in 2011. Use of sawdust before planting increased soil organic matter. Soil pH of plots fertilized with the high rate of N was lower than in plots fertilized with the medium or low rate of N in 2010.
Strik, B. and Buller, G. 2014. NITROGEN FERTILIZATION RATE, SAWDUST MULCH, AND PRE-PLANT INCORPORATION OF SAWDUST - LONG-TERM IMPACT ON YIELD, FRUIT QUALITY, AND SOIL AND PLANT NUTRITION IN 'ELLIOTT'. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1017:269-275
Vaccinium corymbosum, organic amendment, fruit firmness, berry weight