The effect of different water and nutrient management strategies on the calcium content in apple fruit
Production of quality fruit is the main aim in horticultural crops. Numerous research reports stress the important role of calcium (Ca) in maintaining firmness and preventing the development of physiological disorders in fruit. This study focused on the effect of water and nutrient management strategies, rootstocks and foliar Ca applications on fruit Ca content. Final Ca content/concentration in apple fruit at harvest did not differ significantly between treatments water with micro jets (hand nutrition), water and nutrients with fertigation, or water and nutrients with pulsating drip when applied to ‘Brookfield Gala’ trees in third leaf, on two rootstocks (M793 and M7). In the second trial, three Ca levels were applied to ‘Brookfield Gala’ trees through a pulsating drip system during three phenological periods to evaluate the effect on Ca uptake of the fruit. During the second season, application of high Ca levels for the period full bloom to harvest gave a higher fruit Ca concentration than with applications of standard or low Ca.