Effect of drip irrigation and nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium applications on tomato yield

Miurel T. Bermudez, Kelly T. Morgan

Abstract


The state of Florida ranks second in the United States in area planted and harvested for fresh market tomatoes, with a total of 30,000 acres planted and 29,000 acres harvested in 2012. The majority of Florida’s tomato production is grown in sandy soils with low organic matter and clay content, resulting in low water and nutrient holding capacities. A study was conducted to find the optimum tomato fertilization rate with drip irrigation on Immokalee fine sand soil in southwest Florida. The nutrient treatments were: 1) no fertigation (bottom mix only); 2) 150 pounds per acre (lb/acre) of N, 22.5 lb/acre of P2O5, 125 lb/acre of K2O; 3) 250 lb/acre of N, 32.5 lb/acre of P2O5, 225 lb/acre of K2O;4) 350 lb/acre of N, 42.5 lb/acre of P2O5, 325 lb/acre of K2O; and 5) 450 lb/acre of N, 52.5 lb/acre of P2O5, 425 lb/acre of K2O. Fertigation was provided twice a week in an experiment on tomato-planted beds in Fall 2013. Yields in 25-pound boxes per acre were 823, 1301, 1920, 2176, and 2190 for treatments 1 through 5, respectively. The yield results indicate that an increase in fertilizer application more than the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences recommendation rate doesn’t guarantee an increase in the tomato yields.

 


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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283