Low nitrogen fertigation promotes root development and transplant quality in globe artichoke Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved. Effective nutrition and irrigation are important nursery strategies to produce high-quality seedlings able to withstand heat and drought stress in the field. The objectives of this study were 2-fold, first to identify the influence of two nitrogen (N) levels (75 and 150 mgL-1) and two fertigation (FR) methods, overhead (OH) and flotation (FL) of artichoke (Cynara cardunculus cv. Green Globe Improved) transplants on root/shoot growth and leaf physiology during the nursery period. A repeated greenhouse experiment was conducted and morphophysiological measurements were determined at 4 and 7 weeks after seeding (WAS). The second objective was to determine the impact of the nursery treatments (FR method and N level) on the subsequent crop growth and yield under three field irrigation methods [surface drip, subsurface drip, and overhead-linear system (OH-L)]. Field measurements were conducted at 50 and 150 days after field transplanting (DAT) during FallWinter 2015. Transplants fertilized with 75 mgL-1 N (low N) had improved root components as compared to those with 150 mgL-1 N (high N), especially at 4 WAS. The low N transplants had higher root surface area, root length, root branching, thinner root diameter, and less shoot area than the high N transplants. Wilting for low N transplants was 13.5% less than that for high N at 5 DAT, with a total yield similar or slightly higher than those of high N. Although growth of OH and FL transplants was statistically similar at transplanting, those irrigated with OH (greenhouse) had a 10% higher yield than FL irrigated transplants, regardless of the field irrigation method evaluated. Overall, low N level (75 mgL-1 N) applied with OH irrigation in the nursery positively improved the transplant root system and transplant quality of artichoke seedlings.

published proceedings

  • HortScience

author list (cited authors)

  • Leskovar, D., & Othman, Y.

complete list of authors

  • Leskovar, D||Othman, Y

publication date

  • May 2016