Three experiments were conducted to determine the effect of season-long continuous fertigation (constant application of water soluble fertilizer during irrigation events) or various periods of fertigation on growth of seedlings of 17 woody plant species. For 13 of the 17 species, growth was vigorous; typically seedlings doubled in size during the 13-week experiment [from 1 m (3 ft) initial height to 1.5 or 2 m (4.5 to 6 ft) final height]. In the second and third experiments, seedlings grown under three to four weeks of fertigation (580 and 380 mg N per day, 1995 and 1996, respectively, from water soluble fertilizer) and then switched to weekly fertigation (580 and 380 mg N per week, 1995 and 1996, respectively) had similar height as seedlings receiving fertigation for 13 weeks. The three- to four-week fertigation treatment reduced nutrient application rates by 63 to 55% without reducing plant growth.

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Author notes

Manuscript number 114-97.

2Associate Professor and Assistant Professor, respectively.