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Undersowing legume crops for green manuring of lettuce

Sørensen, Jørn Nygaard and Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian (2003) Undersowing legume crops for green manuring of lettuce. [Undersåning af bælgplanter til grøngødskning af salat.] Biological Agriculture and Horticulture, 21 (4), pp. 399-414.

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Summary

The objective of this experiment was to investigate the potential of several species of undersown legume crops to deplete soil nitrate and to accumulate nitrogen. A further objective was to measure the effects of the legume crops as a green manure for a succeeding early lettuce crop. In two years, different undersown legume crops were compared to a control treatment where no crop was undersown. In November, at the end of their growing season, the legume crops reduced the content of mineral nitrogen in the top 1 m of the soil to one third of what was available when no crop was undersown. The N uptake in shoots and roots was in the range of 100-160 kg ha-1. The legume crops were incorporated at the beginning of April the succeeding year. In May, the content of soil mineral nitrogen was 3-4 fold the content in November. The main increase was seen in the top 0.25 m profile of the soils in which the legume crops had been grown. In July, the N mineralized from the incorporated legume crops and from other soil organic matter was estimated to be 36 and 38 kg ha-1, respectively. The yield of lettuce was increased by 20-45% when grown after legume green manure crops compared with the control treatment. The yield level was comparable to that obtained in conventional horticulture.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Soil > Nutrient turnover
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF I (1996-2001) > II.2 Vegetables
Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > I.10 (VegCatch) Organic vegetable cultivation methods and use of catch crops
DOI:10.1080/01448765.2003.9755281
Deposited By: Sørensen, Senior Scientist Jørn Nygaard
ID Code:1204
Deposited On:10 Sep 2003
Last Modified:02 Aug 2012 09:41
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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