Announcements

Job offersmore »





Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




US (MN): Fertilizer, plastic mulch treatments benefit tomato yield

Nonreflective plastic mulches have been shown to increase early and total yield in tomato; benefits most often attributed to increased soil temperatures that enhance roots' ability to assimilate nutrients such as phosphorus, a vital contributor to increased yield. Phosphorus- (P) or nitrogen- (N) and phosphorus-containing water-soluble fertilizers applied at transplant have also been recommended to improve establishment and enhance yield of annual vegetables. A new study supports the use of both practices for tomatoes grown in clay loam soils in Minnesota.


'Little Becka' sunflowers were grown to delineate mulch and fertilizer treatments applied to 'Plum Dandy' tomato. (Photo: C. Rohwer)

Charles L. Rohwer and Vincent A. Fritz from the University of Minnesota evaluated the effects of black plastic mulch, P- and N-containing transplant fertilizer solutions, and combinations of mulch and transplant solutions for increasing and accelerating tomato yield in a fine-texture clay loam soil with little preexisting need for P fertilizers. The study appears in the August 2016 issue of HortTechnology. "Our aim was to determine if the recommendations for transplant fertilizer solutions and plastic mulch are justified, and if the effects are interactive in a clay loam soil with moderate or high levels of existing phosphorus fertility and organic matter," the authors said.

'Plum Dandy' tomato was transplanted in two consecutive years into a field with high fertility. Treatments included black polyethylene mulch or no mulch, and transplant solution containing water, 320 mg/plant nitrogen, or 320 mg/plant nitrogen + 475 mg/plant phosphorus. Mulch was removed 26 to 28 days after transplanting to eliminate midseason and late season effects.

Yield-promoting and maturity-hastening effects were shown in both years from transplant solutions containing both nitrogen and phosphorus (18% greater total ripe fruit weight than water control). Benefits were also shown for using early season black plastic mulch: tomatoes in mulch treatments had 24% greater total ripe fruit weight compared to those with no mulch.

"Recommendations for gardeners and commercial growers in Minnesota to use P-containing transplant solutions seem justified, even in moderate- to high-fertility soils," Rohwer and Fritz said. "Plastic mulch also enhanced early and total yield independent of transplant solution, presumably through increased root-zone temperature." The authors recommend transplant solution and mulch treatments be implemented together to reduce the risk of yield loss in weather-shortened seasons.

The study summarizes fertilizer recommendations for three different types of tomato growers: local (Minnesota) or regional (midwestern United States) commercial growers, or local gardeners.

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortTechnology electronic journal web site: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/26/4/460.abstract

Publication date: 10/12/2016

 


 

Other news in this sector:

5/18/2018 UK: Grants for peatlands restoration
5/15/2018 Identifying key regulator genes may speed improvements in fertilizer use
5/15/2018 CDFA, UC Davis collaborate on study about growers and fertilization
5/14/2018 Algae-based fertiliser turns vegetable farming green
5/7/2018 Nutrient monitoring of basil
5/2/2018 Nutrient monitoring of pepper transplants
5/1/2018 Video: How to calibrate a pH and EC meter
5/1/2018 Nutrient monitoring of tomato transplants
4/26/2018 "Vietnam needs organic fertilizers for clean agriculture"
4/25/2018 Nutritional monitoring in lettuce
4/12/2018 "‘Extreme bacteria’ could be game-changer for organic vegetable production"
4/12/2018 DCM Micro-Mix Minigran RHP approved
4/10/2018 Water and nutrients in fertigation in soil-grown vegetable crops
3/26/2018 Fertinnowa develops water book
3/19/2018 PHL-Australia project explores soil management to increase vegetable production
3/2/2018 Magnesium deficiency of hydroponic and container grown basil
2/23/2018 US: Four scientists join Inocucor Scientific Advisory Board
1/29/2018 Local raw material provides alternative to coconut products
1/25/2018 Portugal: Asfertglobal wins Green Project Award 2017
1/23/2018 PRO-MIX is launched in France