Growth and Soil Chemical Property of Small Apple Trees as Affected by Organic Fertilizers and Mulch Sources

비료원과 멀칭재료에 따른 사과 유묘의 생장 및 토양이화학성 변화

  • Choi, Hyun-Sug (Organic Agriculture Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Rom, Curt (Department of Horticulture, University of Arkansas) ;
  • Lee, Youn (Organic Agriculture Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Cho, Jung-Lai (Organic Agriculture Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Jung, Seok-Kyu (Department of Medicinal Materials & Processing, Kyunghee University) ;
  • Jee, Hyeong-Jin (Organic Agriculture Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science)
  • 최현석 (국립농업과학원 유기농업과) ;
  • 롬컽 (아칸소주립대학교 원예학과) ;
  • 이연 (국립농업과학원 유기농업과) ;
  • 조정래 (국립농업과학원 유기농업과) ;
  • 정석규 (경희대학교 한방재료 가공학과) ;
  • 지형진 (국립농업과학원 유기농업과)
  • Received : 2010.11.19
  • Accepted : 2011.03.10
  • Published : 2011.03.31


BACKGROUND: This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of the fertilizer sources and ground cover mulches on nutrient release, growth, and photosynthesis in small one-year-old apple (Malus ${\times}$ domestica Borkh.) trees in controlled conditions. METHODS AND RESULTS: Treatments included no fertilizer (NF), commercial organic fertilizer (CF), and poultry litter (PL) for fertilizer treatments, and wood chips (WC), shredded paper (SP), green compost (GC), and grass clippings (GR) for cover mulch treatments. All treatments were applied proportionally based on the volume ratio equivalent to the soil. CF, PL, and GR treatments that had optimum carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) ratios (less than 30:1) for N mineralization through the microbes released the greatest $NH_4^+$ concentrations in the pot media at 90 days after the treatments, but GC mulch with the optimum C:N ratio did not. CF-, PL- and GR-treated plants had the largest leaf area, thickest stem diameter, longest shoot extension, and greater dry matter production. CONCLUSION(s): CF and PL showed an suitable organic nutrient source for improving plant growth in an orchard. Interestingly, GR also could be a nutrient source for tree growth, if vegetation competition is controlled by maintaining vegetation height and recycling enough grass clippings to the soil in an orchard.


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