Nitrogen dynamics as affected by cover crop type, planting date and rye biomass spring removal in a cover crop-cucumber rotation



Cartier, Lindsey Christina

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University of Guelph


The effects of cover crop type, planting date (early-August and early-September) and cereal rye ('Secale cereale' L.) spring biomass removal in a cucumber ('Cucumis sativus' L.)-cover crop-cucumber rotation on N dynamics were investigated from 2008-2010. Relative to no cover crop (NoCC), cover crops of rye, oats ('Avena sativa' L.), oilseed radish (OSR) ('Raphanus raphanistrum' [L.] var. ' oleiferus' Metzg Stokes) and forage peas ('Pisum sativum' L.) consistently increased plant available N (PAN) during the cover crop growing season, while hairy vetch ('Vicia villosa' L.) had no effect. Differences among planting dates during the fall did not translate into differences in PAN during the cucumber season. Higher PAN in the NoCC+84 kg N ha -1 did not result in higher cucumber marketable yield income compared to OSR and pea in 2009 and all treatments in 2010. Leachate samples in lysimeters were sporadic but generally supported cover crop N dynamics observed over the rotation.



Nitrogen dynamics, Cover crop type, Crop rotation, Cereal rye, Spring biomass