|Online ISSN : 2349-8080
Issues : 12 per year
Publisher : Excellent Publishers
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2Faculty of Agriculture, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Reducing nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate have beneficial effect on N uptake by plants. Studies on reducing N rate in sweet potato and beetroot to improve their growth and yield are well documented but the effect of decreased N rate on N uptake by leafy vegetables are limited. A glasshouse experiment was conducted to determine the effect of different N rate on N uptake of green spinach. Treatments evaluated were (i) soil alone, and (ii) different N fertilizer rate (12, 24, 36, 60, 90 and 120 kg N/ha). Treatments were applied at 14 days after seeding (DAS) at a uniform rate of 2 t/ha. Results revealed that moderate N input between 12 to 36 kg N/ha improved N uptake and yield of spinach compared with lower rate of N input (0 to 12 kg N/ha) but higher N level of 90 kg N/ha was most effective in improving N uptake and fresh yield. The effectiveness of N input at 90 kg N/ha corresponded to the optimum retention of soil N resulting in timely availability of N for uptake by spinach leading to higher yield. Although treatment with excess N (120 kg N/ha) improved N uptake, the decline in yield was because of soil nutrient imbalance that inhibited other nutrients required by plants for growth and development. The findings from the study suggest that reducing N fertilizer rate improves N uptake in leafy vegetables without reducing productivity depending on their specific N requirement.