K.J. Fisher, B.R. MacKay
In New Zealand cell transplants have largely replaced bare root transplants as the means of establishing processing tomato crops. When weather conditions are marginal at planting cell transplants can be held, whereas bare root transplants continue to grow and become difficult to manage. Two experiments were carried out. In the first a range of low to moderate concentration NPK feeds were applied from emergence for a period of 19 days to tomato cell transplants. The feeds were then removed and the growth of the seedlings was studied over the next 20 days. There was no rapid decline in growth on the removal of NPK as growth continued for some time on stored nutrients. Held plants responded rapidly to supplementary feeding.

In the second experiment a nutrient feed of moderate concentration was applied at frequencies of feeding of every 1,2,3,4 or 5 days. Shoot growth was related to the frequency of feeding, although there was little difference between feeding at 3,4 or 5 day intervals. In both experiments a close relationship was found between the relative growth rate of the shoot and its nitrogen content. This relationship held providing liquid feeding maintained nitrogen levels in the shoot at low levels. Growth ceased when the nitrogen content fell to 0.8–1.0% on a dry matter basis.

Fisher, K.J. and MacKay, B.R. (1990). THE NUTRITION OF TOMATO CELL TRANSPLANTS. Acta Hortic. 267, 225-234
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1990.267.28

Acta Horticulturae