Egyptian spinach (Corchorus olitorius, L.) is an annual herb and a popular vegetable grown in the dry, semi-arid and humid regions of Africa. It belongs to the American basswood family and is very nutritious, and known to have medicinal properties as well. Introducing Egyptian spinach as a specialty crop in Texas requires examining and determining the best cultural practices needed for its successful production. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of three nitrogen fertilizer rates on the growth of Egyptian spinach grown under greenhouse conditions. We hypothesized that the yield of Egyptian spinach will increase with increasing nitrogen fertilizer rate. Seedlings of equal sizes were transplanted six weeks after planting into 15 cm plastic containers with Sunshine Professional Growing Mix. The plants were fertilized weekly with a micronutrient (i.e. boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc) containing fertilizer, All Purpose MiracleGro fertilizer [24-8-16], (Scotts Miracle-Gro Products Inc., Marysville, OH) at 94, 188, and 376 kg N ha-1 for about 4.5 months. Weekly harvesting of the fresh shoots and weighing commenced nine weeks after transplanting and continued for approximately nine additional weeks. At the conclusion of the study, the results showed that the 94 kg N ha-1 rate of MiracleGro provided a significantly higher shoot biomass yield than the other treatments. The results imply that fertilizing Egyptian spinach at the 94 kg N ha-1 fertilizer rate is the best way to optimize yields under similar growing conditions. The results also suggest that optimizing field production of Egyptian spinach may require supplementing soils with micronutrients.
Mbia, Michelle; Obeng, Eric; Weerasooriya, Aruna; and Ampim, Peter
"The Effects of Fertilizer Rate on the Growth of Egyptian Spinach in a Greenhouse,"
Pursue: Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 3
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/pursue/vol3/iss1/2