Nutrient status of tomatoes grown in hydroponics during the crop cycle as a factor involved in fruit yield and quality

G. Cekstere, A. Osvalde, A. Karlsons, G. Strauts
Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are popular vegetables, widely used in daily food in many countries due to their taste and nutritional value. Different studies have shown importance of nutrient supply in plants and correlation with plant vitality, fruit chemical composition and yield. The aim in our research was to assess the dynamics of nutrient accumulation in various age leaves of tomatoes grown in glasshouse under controlled conditions to reveal imbalances and its potential relationship with fruit quality and yield. Thus, three different tomato cultivars 'Beorange F1' (orange, large size fruit), 'Managua F1' (red, medium size fruit) and 'Haiku F1' (pink, bunch tomato) was grown in hydroponics for full crop cycle using artificial light conditions. Samples for chemical analysis of 12 plant essential nutrients were collected for the youngest fully developed leaves and the oldest still vital leaves. Yield accounting was done during the full crop cycle. The obtained results indicate significant differences in chemical composition between younger and older leaves: significantly higher concentrations of P, K, Ca, S, Mn, Mo, and B, as well as partly Mg and Fe were found in older leaves. In general, sufficient supply was determined for most of the plant nutrients, with few exceptions. In most cases, Zn deficiency and increased content of Mn was observed both in young and old leaves of all three tomato cultivars. In addition, the older leaves were characterized by high Ca and S content. The cultivar peculiarities, light conditions, and supply with nutrients have been discussed in relation with fruit quality and yield. During the crop cycle, generally in autumn and winter, higher incidence of fruits affected by physiological disorders was recorded for 'Beorange', to a lesser extent for 'Managua', but no damage was observed for fruits of 'Haiku'.
Cekstere, G., Osvalde, A., Karlsons, A. and Strauts, G. (2021). Nutrient status of tomatoes grown in hydroponics during the crop cycle as a factor involved in fruit yield and quality. Acta Hortic. 1321, 109-116
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1321.14
rock wool, nutrient imbalance, different-sized tomato fruits, non-marketable yield, lighting

Acta Horticulturae