Initial development of bottle gourd as a function of nitrogen rates
Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) is a little known cucurbit, which is well accepted by consumers and is used in cooking mainly in the northeastern and southern regions of Brazil. This study evaluates the behavior of bottle gourd subjected to nitrogen rates in a greenhouse. The experimental design was completely randomized with five treatments and six replicates. The treatments consisted of five nitrogen rates equivalent to 0, 70, 140, 210, and 420 mg L-1. The following were evaluated: plant height, stem diameter, number of leaves, root dry mass, stem dry mass, leaf dry mass, total dry mass, root/shoot ratio, and chlorophyll a and b contents. Nitrogen rates influenced all studied variables. Greater plant height and stem diameter were obtained with 277 and 282 mg L-1 N, respectively. The highest nitrogen rate provided higher root growth. The results showed that the bottle gourd crop is very responsive to nitrogen fertilization during its initial growth.
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