Effects of organic fertilizers on the vegetative, nutritional, and productive parameters of blueberry cultivars 'Corona', 'Legacy', and 'Liberty'

Pablo Muñoz-Vega1, Hernán Paillán2, Humberto Serri1, Denise Donnay3, Carlos Sanhueza3, Emilio Merino3, and Juan Hirzel4*
Organic farming does not allow using certain inputs, such as N, which differ in nutrient release rates and dynamics. To evaluate the effect of different organic fertilizers on the vegetative, nutritional, and productive parameters of blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), a pot experiment was conducted in three consecutive seasons in a sandy soil of south-central Chile using ‘Corona’, ‘Legacy’ and ‘Liberty’. The following fertilizers were evaluated: compost (CM), Purely Grow (PG), Purely Lysine (PL), Fertil (F), blood meal (BM), lupine meal (LM), along with a control treatment without fertilization (C) and two conventional treatments with urea (CF) and sodium nitrate (S). Results indicate that vegetative growth and leaf N concentration prior to senescence were different among cultivars in the three evaluated seasons. The highest leaf N concentration was recorded in ‘Corona’ followed by ‘Legacy’ and ‘Liberty’ while levels tended to increase in the seasons. Quick-release N sources had greater effects on these parameters but with differences among cultivars. Fruit yield and weight were higher in ‘Corona’ followed by ‘Legacy’ and ‘Liberty’. Fruit yield was generally higher when using LM and F and showed no effect on fruit weight. Leaf chlorophyll content was higher in ‘Corona’ followed by ‘Legacy’ and ‘Liberty’, which increased when using CF, LM, BM, and PG. Finally, the organic fertilizer and blueberry cultivar that obtained the highest values for most of the evaluated parameters were LM and Corona, respectively.
Keywords: Blueberry, growth and production, nitrogen, organic fertilization, Vaccinium corymbosum.
1Universidad de Concepción, Facultad de Agronomía, Avenida Vicente Méndez 595, Chillán, Chile.2Universidad de Talca, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Avenida Lircay S/N, Talca, Chile.3Hortifrut S.A., Avenida del Cóndor 600, Huechuraba, Santiago, Chile.4Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, INIA Quilamapu, Avenida Vicente Méndez 515, Chillán, Chile. *Corresponding author (jhirzel@inia.cl).