Effects of boron foliar sprays on tomato cultivation

W.P. Sturião, J.J. Lucena, H.E.P. Martinez, S. López-Rayo
Boron deficiency is very harmful in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivation. Boron foliar sprays can be used as a mean of preventing plant stunting, that results in low growth, poor onset of flowers and fruits, fruit physiological disorders, and hence, low tomato productivity. Boron sources and polyol like surfactants can affect foliar sprays' effectiveness. This work had the objective of evaluating foliar sprays of boric acid, borax and B-ethanolamine, with or without, polyol surfactant. The experiment was carried out in a 3×2+2 factorial arranged in randomized blocks with four replications. Plants of tomato cultivar 'Tangerine' F1 were fed with complete nutrient solution containing 5 μmol L‑1 of B. These plants were sprayed with the three sources of boron, with or without a polyol like surfactant at 14 days intervals until the production cycle was complete. The additional treatments were: a positive control (C+), in which the plants received 20 μmol L‑1 B, and a negative control (C-), in which the plants received 5 μmol L‑1 B via nutrient solution, both without supply of B via foliar sprays. We evaluated plant height, root volume, number of flowers and fruits; dry matter production; nutrient contents and accumulation, in four phenological stages, and fresh and dry matter of fruits at the harvest. The data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance and the treatments compared by mean test. Leaf sprays improved the tomato growth and production compared to the (C-) treatment, but the adequate B supply by roots (C+) was the most efficient method for nutrition of tomato plants with boron. Among the boron sources, B-ethanolamine and boric acid were those which promoted the best results in tomato production, compared to the foliar application of borax. The use of the polyol like surfactant did not result in significant improvements on growth and production of the tomato plants.
Sturião, W.P., Lucena, J.J., Martinez, H.E.P. and López-Rayo, S. (2020). Effects of boron foliar sprays on tomato cultivation. Acta Hortic. 1273, 207-216
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1273.28
Solanum lycopersicum L., nutrient solution, micronutrients

Acta Horticulturae