Can foliar application of Titanium and Zeolite Soil Addition Enhance Crisphead Lettuce Production, and Reduce N-Leaching or/and Volatilization?

Document Type : Original Article


1 Soils,water and environment institute

2 Soil, Water and environment Research Institute, Agric. Res. Center, Egypt

3 SWERI,ARC,Giza,Egypt


Excessive nitrogen application can lead to environmental pollution, thus improving soil properties, along with raising nitrogen fertilizer efficiency is necessary for sustainability in Egypt. Therefore, afield experiments were conducted to assess the impact of varying doses of nitrogen recommended (NR) at 100% and 75% as the main factor, different rates of soil zeolite addition (0.0, 2.5, and 5.0 tons fed-1 ) as sub-main factors, and spraying titanium at different rates (0.0, 3.0, and 6.0 mg L-1) as sub-sub-main factors on soil properties and growth performance of crisphead lettuce during the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Soil available nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, along with other soil properties such as water holding capacity (WHC), electrical conductivity (EC), and cation exchange capacity (CEC), were determined. Additionally, plant performance and quality traits such as fresh and dry weights, relative water content, nitrogen and potassium levels, chlorophyll and carotene contents, head weight and diameter, total dissolved solids, dry matter, and vitamin C were assessed. Results revealed that the highest levels of available nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium post-harvest were observed with the highest zeolite rate (5.0 tons fed-1), while the lowest levels were noted in the control treatment. Soil WHC, EC and CEC increased with higher zeolite application rates, with the highest values recorded in soil treated with 5.0 tons of zeolite fed-1, followed by 2.5 tons and the control treatment. Plant traits, including growth, leaf chemical constituents, photosynthetic pigments, head characteristics, and quality, gradually improved as the zeolite application rate increased from 0.0 to 2.5 and then 5.0 tons fed-1. Similarly, all aforementioned plant traits exhibited gradual enhancement as the titanium application rate increased from 0.0 to 3.0 and then 6.0 mg L-1. Overall, the most favorable results were achieved with plants treated with 100% of NR, zeolite at a rate of 5.0 tons fed-1, and simultaneously sprayed with 6.0 mg Ti L-1. Notably, plants treated with 75% of NR, zeolite at a rate of 5.0 tons fed-1, and simultaneously sprayed with 6.0 mg Ti L-1 demonstrated superior results compared to those treated with 100% of NR without zeolite and titanium.


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