R. BULGARI1, N. PODETTA1, G. COCETTA1, A. PIAGGESI2 and A. FERRANTE2
1 Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Production, Landscape, Agroenergy, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
2 Valagro S.p.A., 66041 Piazzano di Atessa (Chieti), Italy
BULGARI, R., N. PODETTA, G. COCETTA, A. PIAGGESI and A. FERRANTE, 2014. The effect of a complete fertilizer for leafy vegetables production in family and urban gardens. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 20: 1361-1367
The home vegetables cultivation in family or urban gardens for self-consumption is mainly performed as a hobby but without following the good agricultural practices. Home gardening is often carried out by inexperienced people, which may lead to wrong fertilization. In this work, a fertilizer was evaluated for providing the mineral nutrients required from vegetables and stimulate the nutrient use efficiency in the plant. The commercial product ONE®, commercialized by Valagro S.p.A., was tested on two different leafy vegetables, Lactucasativa L. and Cichoriumendivia L. In order to discriminate the nutritional effect from the biostimulant effects, ONE® treatments were compared to a control added with the minimum crops requirements and to solutions containing the same concentrations of macro-nutrients as in ONE®. Results showed that ONE® treatments were able to speed up the growing rate of plants that reached the commercial maturity earlier. The chlorophyll content was higher in ONE® treatments, showing a positive effect on the visual appearance of the vegetables. Nitrate content in lettuce was below 500 mg/kg fresh weight, a value much lower than the commercialization law limits. Treatment caused a higher increase of reducing sugars in lettuce respect to endive. In lettuce the sucrose content was higher in outer leaves compared to the inner leaves, while opposite results were found for total sugars. In endive sucrose and total sugar were lower in ONE® treatments compared to control. In conclusion, considering yield and quality parameters, ONE® was effective in improving the quality of the leafy vegetables tested.