Appropriate management techniques, such as fertilization programs and the use of technology in the production process, have been employed to meet the demand for vegetables year-round. Because vegetables require a considerable amount of water for their development, hydrogels can guarantee the supply of water in regions with water deficits. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of hydrogel and nitrogen fertilizer on the development and productivity of arugula cv. Cultivada in two successive crops. The experiment was conducted at the State University of Mato Grosso do Sul (Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul – UEMS), Aquidauana University Unit, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, from April to July 2011. The experimental design consisted of randomized blocks with a 2×5×2 factorial scheme, with and without application of hydrogel (polymer), five different doses of nitrogen (0, 60, 120, 180 and 240 kg ha-1) and two successive crops of arugula, with four replications. The gel was applied to the first crop, and the residual effect on the second crop was evaluated. The results show that the hydrogel had no effect on the fresh and dry mass of arugula, regardless of the cultivation period. The use of the N fertilizer significantly affects the development of arugula, as evidenced by a linear increase in the shoot dry mass, number of leaves and leaf area. The application of N influenced the components of production and productivity of arugula.
Key words: Eruca sativa Miller, brassica, hydrogel, nitrogen.
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