This type of crop is mostly short cycle, belonging to many taxonomic families, generally exploited in small areas and that are marketed for the fresh consumption of some of their organs (root, stem, leaf, inflorescence, fruit) and have a high content of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
They require a highly variable soil and climate. Some are typical of the colder months like artichoke or cauliflower, and others are grown in the warmer months, like tomato.
The production and quality of horticultural crops are influenced by the levels of availability of macro and micronutrients in the soil (considering their content before fertilization and the losses that may occur due to leaching, immobilization, volatilization, etc.). Nitrogen deficiency usually results in decreased growth and a paler or yellowish colour in the leaves.
- Phosphorus deficiency normally produces purple hues in older leaves, while in small plants you can see significant growth restriction with hardly any foliar symptoms.
- Potassium deficiency is manifested, in some cases, by necrosis of the edges of the leaves and an upward curving.
- The lack of calcium usually produces a necrosis of the edges of the youngest leaves.
- Magnesium deficiency causes inter-nerve yellowing in older leaves.
Practical tips for fertilizing horticultural crops:
- The uniformity in the distribution of fertilizers and irrigation water increases their efficiency.
- When applying fertilizers or organic amendments, it is advisable to incorporate them into the soil shortly after their application to reduce nitrogen losses.
- In the case of furrow irrigation or flooding, the fractionation of fertilizer applications must be greater in the case of more sandy, stony, or shallow soils.
- In winter crops, it is advisable to make a moderate application of phosphate fertilizer, even in soils with high levels of assimilable phosphorus.
At Alfredo Iñesta we recommend these products for fertilizing vegetables.