Hairy vetch becomes an alternative basal N fertilizer in low-input fresh-market tomato production in plastic high tunnel
Environment pollution is one of the major concerns in recent times. In order to establish low-input alternative production systems based on cover crops, the effectiveness of hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth; HV) incorporated as a basal nitrogen (N) fertilizer in fresh-market tomato production in plastic high tunnel was investigated in Sapporo, Japan. The treatments consisted of HV seeding rates (HV20, 20 kg ha-1; HV50, 50 kg ha-1) and ammonium sulfate (AS100, 100 kg ha-1) applied as basal N fertilizers, and the control with no basal fertilizer. In all plots, 150 kg ha-1 of N was added as topdressing slow-release N fertilizer (LPS100 41%-N) before transplanting. HV aboveground biomass (dry weight) was 5.85 t ha-1 in HV20 and 7.19 t ha-1 in HV50. Nitrate in petiole sap was found to be higher in HV20, HV50 and AS100 plots than in control plots throughout the cultivation period with the exception of the first 2 weeks after transplanting (WAT). The growth index (GI) was higher in HV20 (47971), HV50 (46285), and AS100 (43397) than in control (39847) at 7 WAT. Higher marketable yields were found in tomatoes grown in HV20 (68.7 t ha-1), HV50 (69.1 t ha-1) and AS100 (60.8 t ha-1), compared with control (51.9 t ha-1). The HV plots had greater soil organic nitrogen and soil carbon than AS100 and control after tomato production. From these results, the HV seeding rate of 20 kg ha-1 will be enough to support the growth of tomato planted after HV production if HV grows smoothly in greenhouse.
Muchanga, R.A., Hirata, T. and Araki, H. 2017. Hairy vetch becomes an alternative basal N fertilizer in low-input fresh-market tomato production in plastic high tunnel. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1164:127-134
soil nitrogen, soil carbon, vegetative growth, tomato yield