Effective use of nitrogen fertilisers for growing garlic

Luji Bo1,2,3,4, Yingpeng Zhang1,2,3,4,Yan Li1,2,3,4, 6, Jiafa Luo1, 5, Ming Sun1,2,3, Ziwen Zhong1, Yongping Jing1,2, 4

1 Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, No.202 North Industrial Road, Jinan, China, 250100

2Key Laboratory of Agro-Environment of Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, Ministry of Agriculture, No.202 North Industrial Road, Jinan, China, 250100

3Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Control and Prevention, No.202 North Industrial Road, Jinan, China, 250100

4Shandong Provincial Engineering Research Center of Environmental Protection Fertilizers, No.202 North Industrial Road, Jinan, China, 250100

5Ruakura Research Centre, AgResearch Limited, Private Bag 3123,Hamilton, New Zealand, 3240

6 Corresponding author:E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract

An experiment was conducted on garlic (Allium sativum L.) to investigate the effects of nitrogen management on yield, economic benefit and the soil apparent nutrient balance, in the region of Laiwu town in Shandong province, China. The treatments included control (no N fertiliser), urea at 300 kg/ha, urea at 240 kg/ha, combined urea and commercial organic fertilisers at 120 kg N /ha each, and controlled-release nitrogen fertiliser at 192 kg N /ha. Results showed no significant difference both for garlic bulb yield and economic benefits between the urea treatments at different N application rates. The effect of the combined use of urea and organic fertiliser was similar to that of the urea application at the same N application rate. However, garlic bulb yields in the treatment of controlled-release nitrogen fertiliser were significantly higher than in the other fertiliser treatments, even the N application rate was lower. The net income from garlic in the treatment of controlled release fertiliser was also significantly higher than those in the other treatments (P0.05). There was N surplus after the garlic growth season when urea was applied at 300 kg/ha, while there was N, P and K deficit when the controlled-release N fertiliser at 192 kg/ha was used to produce more garlic. It is suggested that use of controlled release N fertiliser combined with a supplement of other nutrients would be a sustainable strategy for fertiliser management in garlic production.