MICRONUTRIENT FOLIAR FERTILIZATION INCREASES QUALITY OF TOMATO (LYCOPERSICON ESCULENTUM L.) IN ALKALINE SOILS
A specific foliar fertilizer called FFNV5 was formulated to correct micronutrient deficiencies of crops in alkaline soils. To evaluate the effect of such foliar fertilizer on fruit quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum var. floradade), plants were grown on an alkaline soil (pH 8.1) containing low concentrations of available micronutrients. The experiment was conduced under greenhouse conditions in a random array with four replications per treatment. The treatments evaluated were: 1) control, 2) soil fertilization (150-60-00) and 3) a combination of soil fertilization with foliar applications of micronutrients (sprayed once a week). Twelve foliar applications were carried out during the experiment. Electrical conductivity (EC), pH, Brix value (°Brix) and titrable acidity (TA) were measured to evaluate fruit quality while foliar analysis of micronutrients was carried out in order to establish the nutrient status of leaves. Data were statistically analyzed using ANOVA, orthogonal contrast and Tukeys tests. Positive effects of foliar fertilization as a complement of soil fertilization were observed on TA (approximately 27 and 75% higher than the control and soil fertilization, respectively) and °Brix (about 25 and 55% more than control and soil fertilization, respectively). Micronutrient concentration in leaf was increased as a result of foliar fertilization as well. For instance, Cu, Zn and B contents duplicated their concentration with respect to control, while Mn content was ten-fold higher in comparison to the control. We conclude that FFNV5 is an appropriate foliar fertilizer for crops grown on alkaline soils, resulting in better micronutrient status of plants and higher quality of fruits.
Trejo-Téllez, L.I., Rodríguez-Mendoza, M.N., Alcántar-González,, G. and Gómez-Merino, F.C. (2007). MICRONUTRIENT FOLIAR FERTILIZATION INCREASES QUALITY OF TOMATO (LYCOPERSICON ESCULENTUM L.) IN ALKALINE SOILS. Acta Hortic. 729, 301-306
foliar fertilization, soil fertilization, foliar diagnoses, fruit quality