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Quality of cucumbers as affected by drip irrigation and fertigation

Stanisław Kaniszewski, Krystyna Elkner

Research Institute of Vegetable Crops
Konstytucji 3 Maja, 96-100 Skierniewice, Poland

The objective of this study was to compare drip irrigation and fertigation of water soluble nitrogen with traditional broadcast nitrogen application and their effect on yield and quality of fresh and processed cucumbers. Total and marketable yields of cucumbers were increased by both drip irrigation and N fertilisation. Yield was maximised by 300 kg ha-1 of nitrogen (50 kg ha-1 broadcast and 250 kg ha-1 in surface fertigation) in both years of the experiment. However, significant increase in the yield was up to the rate of 200 kg ha-1 (50 kg ha-1 broadcast and 150 kg ha-1 with surface or subsurface fertigation). No greater differences in yield between broadcast and liquid nitrogen application were found. Drip irrigation and N fertilisation affected the quality of fresh and processed cucumbers. The highest percentage of fresh and processed cucumber fruits with empty cavities were found with the treatment of broadcast nitrogen application. Increased nitrogen doses also increase fruit percentage with empty cavities while drip irrigation reduced the percentage of such fruits. The highest content of sugars and vitamin C and lowest content of nitrates were found in fruits from treatment with 200 kg ha-1 of N (50 kg ha-1 preplant and 150 kg ha-1 in fertigation). Increase in nitrogen doses had a significant effect on the sensory traits of fermented cucumber fruits. The best quality indices had fermented fruits from treatments 100 and 200 kg ha-1 of N with the first part of 50 kg ha-1 applied preplant and the second as a fertigation. Fruits from these treatments had olive-green colour, and good consistency and flavour.

Kaniszewski S., Elkner K., 2002. Quality of cucumbers as affected by drip irrigation and fertigation. Folia Horticulturae 14/1: 143-154.