crop nutrition advice
crop nutrition advice
Everything you need to know about tomato fertilisation, best practice, suitable products, field trials and more.
Advice for growing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
States of Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal form the bulk of India's tomato production.
Tomatoes can be cultivated in various soil types ranging from clay to red soil, black soil and especially in sandy loams with good drainage.
Tomatoes perform better in soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
In pH values above 7.5, deficiencies of B, Cu, Fe, Mn, P and Zn are likely to appear. In soil pH below 5.5, tomatoes are prone to P, Mo, and Ca deficiencies.
Tomatoes perform best at temperatures between 18ºC and 27ºC. And can tolerate temperatures up to 34ºC.
The water requirement of field-grown tomatoes is 4,000-6,000 m³/ha, while protected crops consume up to 10,000 m³/ha. Water requirements are high during transplanting and fruit set. It peaks during early fruit development and is much lower during ripening. Minor water stress during the ripening stage improves fruit firmness, sugar content, taste, and shelf-life but may result in reduced fruit size.
Estimated nutrient uptake (kg/t):
Dynamics of nutrient uptake by tomato over a crop season
Role of nutrients
|Fruit setting||- (*)|
(*) Excess N fertilisation can delay the reproductive stage.
|Nitrogen||N deficiency results in general chlorosis of the older leaves on a plant, slower growth and smaller plants. There will be fewer flowers leading to reduced yield.|
|Phosphorous||Plants experiencing phosphorus deficiency develop very slowly and will be stunted even at maturity. They may be a brighter colour than normal, with a grey-green lower leaf surface. Leaflets roll upwards under severe P deficiency. Phosphorous deficiency most commonly occurs on calcareous and heavy soils, where P can be fixed.|
|Potassium||Deficiency symptoms appear on young, full-sized leaves, which display margin and tip burn necrosis of the leaves.
At advanced stages, necrosis shows in the interveinal spaces between the main veins, along with interveinal chlorosis. Potassium deficiency is more common when grown on light or leached soils.
|Calcium||Calcium deficiencies in tomato include necrosis of the leaf base, and blossom-end rot (collapsing of the distal part of the fruit). Deficiencies are severe in soils with pH below 5, or under salinity or heat stress.|
|Magnesium||Magnesium deficiency symptoms appear on older leaves first, which develop general chlorosis while veins remain green.
In severe cases, the leaves will exhibit a scorched appearance due to interveinal necrosis. It may occur on sandy soils, and when high rates of potassium are applied.
|Sulphur||Symptoms are similar to N deficiency, but the chlorosis is uniform and general throughout the entire plant, including younger leaves. Typically a reddish colour develops on leaves’ petioles and veins.|
|Boron||Symptoms generally start on young leaves which will be a lighter colour. Severe boron deficiency shows on older leaves as interveinal chlorosis, which develops to a deep yellow-orange hue.
Other symptoms include brittle leaves that may exhibit rolled-up edges and tomato fruit with a corky stem-end.
|Chlorine||Chlorine deficiency produces abnormally shaped leaves, with distinct interveinal chlorosis. The chlorosis occurs on smooth flat depressions in the interveinal area of the leaf blade. In more advanced cases, a characteristic bronzing appears on the upper side of mature leaves. Chlorine deficiency can be found in highly leached inland areas.|
|Copper||Curled leaves with petioles bent downward are typical copper deficiency symptoms. Deficiency may be expressed as light overall chlorosis along with permanent loss of turgor in the young leaves. Recently matured leaves show netted, green veining with areas bleached to a whitish grey.|
|Iron||Iron deficiency starts as interveinal chlorosis of the youngest leaves, which progresses to overall chlorosis, ending as a totally bleached leaf. Chlorosis at the base of the leaves with some green netting will recover with the application of iron up until the time the leaves become almost completely white.|
|Manganese||At the earlier stages of manganese deficiency, light chlorosis appears on the young leaves. With more severe cases, mature leaves show netted veins, before developing brown-grey necrosis along the veins. Manganese deficiency occurs on high-pH and calcareous soils, or excessively limed soils.|
|Molybdenum||An early symptom of molybdenum deficiency is overall chlorosis, very similar to nitrogen deficiency, but without the reddish colouration on the undersides of the leaves. Upward cupping of the leaves and mottled spots develop into large interveinal chlorotic areas under severe deficiency.|
|Zinc||Zinc deficiency causes stunting of plants and upward rolling of young leaves. Grey-brown to bronze areas may also develop on the leaves. Zinc deficiency occurs on alkaline soils or when a high dose of P is applied.|