Rutgers, State University of New Jersey
Plant & Science Research Center: Experimental Station
Dr. Joseph Heckman, Ph.D.
Specialist in Soil Fertility
Objective: To determine the effect of Essential on the following parameters when applied to cabbage transplants grown in soil fertilized and unfertilized with phosphorus.
1. Transplant survival
2. Plant tissue analysis for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn, and Cu at 4 weeks after transplanting
3. Photographs of treatment effects
4. Cabbage yield
Method: 'Blue Vantage' (Brassica oleracea) Cabbage seeds were planted in the greenhouse in late February* for transplanting to the field in early April*. Prior to transplanting, the root systems of the cabbage plants were placed into 1% and 2% solutions of Essential, or water for the control. The cabbage plants were grown using appropriate cultural practices as outlined in the Rutgers Commercial Vegetable Production Guide except that only half of the plants received phosphorus fertilizer when transplanted into the field. All other nutrients and lime were supplied as needed. A factorial treatment structure included the following treatments:
1. Control water without phosphorus
2. Control water plus phosphorus fertilizer
3. Essential without phosphorus
4. Essential plus phosphorus fertilizer
The treatment was arranged in a complete randomized design with 6 replications in Freehold sandy loam (fine loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludults). Each plot consisted of 12 test plants surrounded by border plants and had three, 30 ft. rows with widths of 30 inches. Harvest data and plant tissue analysis was taken from center rows only. Cabbage heads (ten each, consecutively) from the center of each plot were harvested and weighed on June 24th*.
Results: The application of P fertilizer did not increase cabbage head yield in any of the applications. Plants that received treatments of 1% and 2% Essential solutions without phosphorus performed better than the control with cabbage yield increases of 2.6% and over 8.3% respectively (See Figure 1). As a whole, treatments that received the 2% Essential solution showed almost 4% more yield in comparison to those not treated with Essential. Additionally, it was demonstrated that plots that received Essential treatments visibly showed more vigorous growth, with evenly distributed leaves, and firm heads with an average head size of 3.75 lbs. *Spring / Summer 1993
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