Optimum nitrogen fertilization of summer cabbage in Ontario

Westerveld, S. M.
McDonald, M. R.
McKeown, A. W.
Scott-Dupree, C. D.
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International Society of Horticultural Science

The recent introduction of nutrient management legislation in Ontario may force vegetable growers to reduce nitrogen (N) application. Experiments were conducted on mineral soil in Simcoe, Ontario in 2000 and 2001 to re-evaluate the N needs of cabbage. Nitrogen application rates of 0, 85, 170, 255, and 340 kg ha-1 were applied 75% preplant and 25% sidedress to Atlantis, a mid-season cultivar. Total yield, marketable yield, weight per head, head density, and head size were assessed at harvest. In 2001, total yield showed a peak at 265 kg N ha-1 while in 2001 no significant effect was recorded. Head size and weight per head increased with increasing N rate only in 2000, reflecting differences in yield. Cabbage density was generally unaffected by N rate. Days to maturity decreased with increasing N rate reaching a minimum at 245 and 226 kg ha-1 in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Nitrogen rates above current recommended levels are beneficial in maximizing cabbage yields in wet years and minimizing days to maturity.

Brassica oleracea var. capitata, Head quality, Mineral soil, Nutrient management