Growing Tomato crop nutrition advice
Growing Tomato crop nutrition advice
Everything you need to know about tomato fertilization, best practice, suitable products, field trials and more
Advice for growing Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
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 of approximately 64 to 81 oF. Temperatures exceeding 93ºF are detrimental to pollination and fruit set, especially under insufficient water supply.
Field-grown tomatoes water requirement are approximately 16 to 24 acre-inches, while a protected crop might consume up to 40 acre-inches. Water requirement is high from transplanting to fruit setting. It peaks during early fruit development and is much lower during ripening. A minor water stress during the ripening stage could improve fruit firmness, sugar content, taste, and shelf-life, but may result in reduced fruit size.
Estimated nutrient uptake (kg/t):
Dynamic of nutrient uptake over a crop season in tomato
Role of nutrients
|Fruit setting||- (*)|
(*) Excess of N fertilization can delay the reproductive stage
|Nitrogen||General chlorosis of the older leaves on a plant. Slower growth and smaller plants; fewer flowers and reduced yield|
|Phosphorus||Plants develop very slowly and are stunted even at maturity. Brighter color than normal, lower leaf surface is grey-green. Leaflets roll upwards under severe deficiency. P deficiency occurs more frequently on calcareous or very acidic soils, where P can be fixed|
|Potassium||Symptoms appear on young, full-sized leaves. Deficiency symptoms include 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. More common on light leached soils.
|Calcium||Necrosis of leaf base, blossom-end rot (collapsing of the distal part of the fruit). Deficiencies are severe in soils with pH below 5, but can also be induced by salinity stress or heat stress.|
|Magnesium||Symptoms appear first on older leaves, general chlorosis while veins remain green.
In severe cases, scorched appearance due to interveinal necrosis. It may occur on sandy soils, and when high K rates are applied.
|Sulfur||Symptoms are similar to N deficiency, but the chlorosis is uniform and general throughout the entire plant, including younger leaves.
Typical reddish color develops on petioles and leaf veins.
|Boron||Symptoms generally start on young leaves, as lighter color. Severe deficiency shows on older leaves as interveinal chlorosis, which develops to deep yellow-orange hue.
Brittle leaves that may show rolled-up edges. Corky stem-end of the fruit in tomatoes.
|Chloride||Abnormally shaped leaves, with distinct interveinal chlorosis, chlorosis occurs on smooth flat depressions in the interveinal area of the leaf blade. In more advanced cases there appears a characteristic bronzing on the upper side of mature leaves. It can be found in highly leached inland areas.|
|Copper||Curled leaves, with petioles bent downward. May be expressed as a light overall chlorosis along with permanent loss of turgor in the young leaves. Recently matured leaves show netted, green veining with areas bleaching to a whitish grey.|
|Iron||Iron deficiency starts out as an interveinal chlorosis of the youngest leaves, evolves into an overall chlorosis, and ends as a totally bleached leaf. Leaf green color may recover upon application of iron.|
|Manganese||At the earlier stages, light chlorosis appears on the young leaves, at more severe cases, mature leaves show netted veins. Then leaves develop brown-grey necrosis along the veins. It occurs on high pH or calcareous soils, or excessively limed soils.|
|Molybdenum||An early symptom for molybdenum deficiency is overall chlorosis, very similar to nitrogen deficiency, but without the reddish coloration on the undersides of the leaves. An upward cupping of the leaves and mottled spots, developing into large interveinal chlorotic areas under severe deficiency.|
|Zinc||It causes stunting of plants and upwards rolling of young leaves. Grey-brown to bronze areas may develop on the leaves. It appears on alkaline soils, or when high P is applied.|