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The impact of cover crops on overwintering of plants and mineral composition of leeks

Eugeniusz Kołota, Katarzyna Adamczewska-Sowińska

Department of Horticulture
University of Agriculture in Wrocław
Rozbrat 7, 50-334 Wrocław, Poland
e-mail: kolota@ozi.ar.wroc.pl

Perennial ryegrass, white clover and hairy vetch used as cover crops were sown between leek rows 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 weeks after transplanting. Harvest of leeks was conducted in the last ten days of October and in early April after overwintering the plants in the field. In both terms samples of edible parts were collected for evaluation of total N, N-NO3, P, K, Mg, and Ca content. During the autumn harvest the first two sowings of cover crops considerably reduced the leek yield, while delay to 7, 9, or 11 weeks after transplanting did not adversly affect plant growth. White clover and hairy vetch undersown after 3 and 5 weeks from the date of planting appeared the most preferable for overwintering of leeks. Plants accompanied by hairy vetch contained greater amounts of total N, N-NO3 and K in both terms of harvest, and P in autumn. Perennial ryegrass caused the reduction of total N and N-NO3 in leeks, while white clover did not provide any change in plant composition.

Kołota E., Adamczewska-Sowińska K., 2003. The impact of cover crops on overwintering of plants and mineral composition of leeks. Folia Horticulturae 15/1: 25-34.