Responses of Early Growth of Maize (Zea mays L,) to Foliar Fertilizers Application in Hydroponics Environment

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Chikodinaka N. Okereke
Zsolt Csintalan
Chinenye E. Okereke

Abstract

The present study investigates the effect of foliar fertilization on the yield and biomass of maize seedlings. Maize seedlings were grown in a nutrient solution containing macro- and micro-nutrients and thereafter, fertilizer solutions were applied on leaf surface under high yield potential plant growing chamber conditions using the hydroponics techniques. Different combinations of root and foliar nutrient supply treatments were analysed. In the high series, nutrient supply treatments with a high concentration of the macro- and micro-nutrients with two series (H1 and H2); and the low nutrient solution with a low concentration of the macro- and micro-nutrients with four series L1, L2, L3, and L4. H1 and L1 were non-foliar fertilized. H2, L2 and L3 were sprayed with the fertilizer daily and L4 was sprayed with the fertilizer once in a week. The treatment lasted for three weeks.H1and H2 with optimal root NPK and the low series nutrient supply treatments L1, L2, L3, and L4 with one-tenth of the optimal root NPK supply was used. The results were analyzed with one-way ANOVA and Tukey post-hoc test. Foliar NPK application with the low and high nutrients solution gave the highest shoot dry biomass and N and P uptake, and lateral root formation compared to the non-fertilized plants. Under field conditions, foliar spraying of NPK high-P significantly increased the shoot dry biomass of maize compared with the treatment without P in all cases. Foliar fertilizers with high concentrations of NPK improved maize yield suggesting that appropriate management of P and N resources is a prerequisite for a sustainable maize yield.

Keywords:
Foliar fertilizers, sustainability, soil fertility, yield, maize

Article Details

How to Cite
N. Okereke, C., Csintalan, Z., & E. Okereke, C. (2017). Responses of Early Growth of Maize (Zea mays L,) to Foliar Fertilizers Application in Hydroponics Environment. Asian Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 1(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.9734/AJSSPN/2017/33573
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Original Research Article