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Fertilization programs for growing tomatoes

Our fertilization program regards different growing medium and conditions

 
Growing medium: Open field.
Soil type: Sandy loam (light).
Plant population: 11000 -12500 plants/Ha.
Expected yield: 100 T/Ha.
 
The fertilization program should be adapted according to soil analysis.
 

Recommended average rates of nutrients for tomatoes

 

N

P2O5

K2O

---------------- Kg/Ha -----------------

250-350

270-280

500-700

 
 
 

Base-Dressing

Nutrient demand

Recommended fertilizers

N

P2O5

K2O

KCI

SSP

-------------- Kg/Ha --------------

-------- Kg/Ha --------

-

80-100

150

90

470-520

 
 
 

Fertigation

Growth stage after planting

Nutrient demand

Recommended fertilizers

N

P2O5

K2O

Poly-Feed

Multi-K

MAP

AN

-------- Kg/Ha -------

-------------- Kg/Ha --------------

First 2 weeks

10

10

10

50

-

-

-

Veg. Growth - flowering (3 weeks)

50

50

50

-

110

80

75

Flowering - fruit set (4 weeks)

90

45

138

-

300

75

125

Fruit set - 1st harvest (4 weeks)

80

40

160

-

350

65

80

Harvest - end (3 weeks)

60

30

120

-

260

50

60

 
 
* Poly-Feed formula - 20-20-20
AN - Ammonium Nitrate (34% nitrogen)
MAP - Mono Ammonium Nitrate (12% nitrogen and 61% P2O5)
Multi-K- Potassium nitrate 13-0-46
 
 

Growing method: greenhouse, planted on sandy soil.
Plant density: 20,000-24,000 / Ha.
Expected yield: 120-150 Ton/Ha, depending on variety.

 
 

Macronutrients uptake (Kg/Ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

250-350

270-280

500-700

 
 
 
 

Nutrition recommendation

Base dressing

P2O5

SSP

K2O

KCl

Kg/Ha

Kg/Ha

80-100

400-500

80-100

150-170

 
 
 
 

Top-dressing: by fertigation depending on growth stage

 
Growth stage (Total 90-110 days)

Nutrition requirement (Kg/Ha/day)

Recommended fertilizer (Kg/Ha/day)

N

P2O5

K2O

Poly-Feed*

Multi-K

Haifa MAP

AN

1st two weeks from transplanting

1

1

1

5.5

   
1st two weeks - flowering

1.5

2.9

1.8

 

4

5

1.5

flowering - fruitset 1st stage

2.4

2.3

3.8

 

10

3.8

1.75

fruit-set 1st stage - fruit-set 3rd stage

4

2

6.4

 

14

3.5

5

fruit-set 3rd stage last - flowering stag

7

1.85

11

 

24

3

10.5

last flowering stag - end

4

1.85

6

 

20

3

6

 
 
* Poly-Feed = 19-19-19
Multi-K = Potassium nitrate (13-0-46)
Haifa MAP* = Mono-Ammonium Phosphate (12-61-0)
AN = Ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) 
Maximal tolerable Ec in soil solution = 3.0 mMho
 

Fertilization of tomato in the UK

Growing method: Open field.
Plant density: 11,000-12,500 / Ha.
Expected yield: 100Ton/Ha.
 
 

Macronutrients uptake (Kg/Ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

250-350

180-200

500-700

 
 
 
 

Nutrition recommendation

Base dressing
 
 

P2O5

K2O

SSP

KCl

Kg/Ha

Kg/Ha

90-100

150-210

470-520

90-130

 
 
 
 

Side-dressing

Growth stage

Nutrition requirement (Kg/Ha)

Recommended fertilizers (Kg/Ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

Multi-K

Haifa MAP

AN

Planting - flowering

100

50

150

330

80

140

Flowering - fruit-set

125

75

175

380

120

180

Fruit-set - 1st floor

125

75

175

380

120

180

Harvesting - end

100

50

150

330

80

140

Total

350

250

650

1420

400

640

 
 
Multi-K = Potassium nitrate (13-0-46)
Haifa MAP* = Mono-Ammonium Phosphate (12-61-0)
AN = Ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) 
SSP = Single Superphosphate (19% P2O5)
 
 

Fertilization of fresh tomatoes

Variety: 675.
Soil type: Sandy.
Plant density: 12,000 plants / Ha.
Expected yield: 127 T/Ha.
Growth period (days from seeding/planting to harvest): Selective.
 
 

Fertigation

 
Time interval (days after emergence or planting)

Nutrients requirement (Kg/Ha/Day)

N

P2O5

K2O

1-10

0.30

0.02

0.48

11-20

0.30

0.05

0.60

21-30

0.30

0.07

0.60

31-40

0.40

0.07

0.60

41-50

0.40

0.07

0.66

51-60

0.45

0.09

0.66

61-70

0.50

0.09

0.72

71-80

1.70

0.41

2.65

81-90

2.80

0.50

5.78

91-100

1.30

0.23

3.49

101-110

2.70

0.69

6.87

111-120

4.60

1.37

9.40

121-130 

3.90

1.03

8.43

131-150

2.70

0.39

2.41

151-180

-

-

-

181-220

-

-

-

Total (Kg/Ha)

250.00

54.97

445.70

 
 
Source: B. Bar-Yosef. Fertilization under drip irrigation.
 
 

Fertilization of greenhouse tomatoes

Variety: F-144 (Daniela).
Soil type: Sandy.
Plant density: 23,000 plants / Ha.
Expected yield: 195 T/Ha.
Growth period (days from seeding/planting to harvest): Selective.
 
 

Fertigation

 
Time interval (days after emergence or planting)

Nutrients requirement (Kg/Ha/Day)

N

P2O5

K2O

1-10

1.00

0.23

2.41

11-20

1.00

0.23

4.82

21-30

1.00

0.23

4.22

31-40

2.00

0.46

4.22

41-50

2.50

0.92

6.63

51-60

2.50

1.37

6.63

61-70

2.50

0.69

7.23

71-80

2.50

0.69

4.82

81-90

1.50

0.69

7.23

91-100

1.50

0.23

0.12

101-110

1.00

0.23

0.12

111-120

1.00

0.23

1.20

121-130 

1.50

0.46

1.20

131-150

1.50

0.80

1.57

151-180

4.00

1.15

4.58

181-220

2.00

0.69

3.61

Total (Kg/Ha)

450

148.87

855.27

 
 
Source: B. Bar-Yosef. Fertilization under drip irrigation.
 

Approximate nitrogen requirement

 
  

lbsN/acre/week

kgN /ha/week

Crop

Growth stage

low

high

low

high

Tomatovegetative growth

5

10

5.6

11.2

 early flowering/fruit set

15

20

16.8

22.4

 fruit bulking

10

15

11.2

16.8

 first harvest

5

10

5.6

11.2

 
 
Source: Blaine Hansen, 1996. Fertilizing Row Crops With Drip Irrigation Nov/Dec. Irrigation Journal.
 
 

Fertigation recommendations for tropical conditions

e.g.  Thailand

Suggested by Chatpracha Sonklien, Agronomist of Haifa Thailand.

Soil:  Medium – Heavy

 
 
CropsGrowth stageSuggested fertilizers (Kg/ha/day)Nutrients uptake (kg/ha/day)

46-0-0

12-61-0

Multi-K

N

P2O5

K2O

Tomatoes (Fresh)

I

3

2

5

2.3

1.2

2.30

II

5

 

7.5

3.2

 

3.45

III

2

 

28

4.5

 

12.88

Tomatoes (processing)

I

3

2

2

1.8

1.2

0.9

II

3

 

5

2

 

2

III

6.25

 

13.75

4.5

 

4.5

 
 
I = Initiation growth stage; II = Flowering – Fruit set; III = Development – harvesting.
 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition database for soilless tomatoes

 
 

concentration

 

Rockwool

Rockwool (reuse drainage)

Plant – dry matter (7-8%)

Parameter

Nutrient Solution

Root Environ.

Nutrient Solution

Root Environ.

Guiding Range

Deficient

Excessive
EC (mS/cm)

2.6

3.7

1.6

3.7

   
 

(mg/l)

(mg/l)

(%)

NH4

21.6

< 9.0

18.0

< 9.0

   
N-NH4

16.6

< 6.9

13.8

< 6.9

   
K in sap    

0.67 –0.74

< 0.47 
K

371.5

312.8

254.2

312.8

3.52– 5.08

< 2.35 
Ca

216.5

401.0

110.3

401.0

1.60 - 3.21

< 0.80 
Mg

58.3

109.4

24.3

109.4

0.36 - 0.49

< 0.36

 
N, total    

2.80 – 4.20

  
NO3

992.0

1426.0

666.5

1426.0

   
N-NO3

223.9

321.9

150.5

321.9

   
S, total    

1.28

  
SO4

422.8

653.5

144.2

648.7

   
P    

0.31– 0.46

< 0.31 
H2PO4

145.5

97.0

121.3

97.0

   
Si       
Na       
     

mg/Kg (ppm)

Fe

0.838

0.838

0.838

1.396

83.8 – 111.7

  
Mn

0.549

0.385

0.549

0.275

54.9-164.8

 > 1098**
Zn

0.327

0.458

0.262

0.458

39.2*

< 32.7

 

B

0.324

0.540

0.216

0.540

54.0 – 75.6

< 32.4> 75.6
Cu

0.048

0.044

0.048

0.044

6.4  
Mo

0.048

-

0.048

-

2.9 - 3.7  
 
 

* in petioles
**  in old leaves

Important note: The a/m database was prepared to fit Dutch conditions (low transpiration and low EC of the water). Some modifications may be required to correspond to your local conditions.
sources:

  • N. Straver. Nutrient solutions for vegetables and flowers grown in water or substrates.  10th Ed. 1994.
  • C. de Kreij, Sonneveld C., Warmenhoven M.G. and Straver N.A. Guide values for nutrient element contents of vegetables and flowers under glass. 3rd Ed. 1992.
 
 
 

Nutrition recommendations for soilless tomatoes

Suggested by Matt Thomas, MULTIFERT AGENCIES, Victoria, Australia.

 

Growth conditions:
Greenhouse, growth medium: 90% scoria (tuff) + 10% peat.
Drainage to waste should be effected at around 25% of input.
Assumptions regarding water test: 70 ppm Calcium, 60 ppm of Magnesium.
Target Yield : 90-120 MT /ha.

 

There are two phases of production:
Phase 1:  Rooting phase with high Phosphorus (P) requirement.
This phase will run until the second fruit floor and the K (Potassium) to N (Nitrogen) ratio will be in the range 1:1 rising to 1.5:1 at last stage
Phase 2:  Production phase. Potassium is critical and ratio K:N will rise in range 1.5:1 through to 2.0:1

 

It will be wise to establish a two tank system because:

  • Some nutrients do not sit well together, Phosphorus should not be mixed with Calcium or Magnesium.
  • It is essential that no more than 15% of your Nitrogen be applied in the Ammonium form due to the lack of nitrification in media.

 

A. Recommended solution required for tomatoes in production phase

 
 
 

N

P

K

Mg

Ca

S

Ratio

1

0.25

1.7

0.25

0.8

0.1

Conc. mg/l (ppm)

250

63

425

63

200

38

 
 
 
 

B. Nutrient solution parameters

 

pH

EC mmhos/cm

Ammonium Conc.

6-6.5

2.2-2.5

10-15% max

 
 
 
 

Recommendations

Phase 1 Rooting, approx 25 days
 
 
Fertilizer type and rates

N

P

K

Ca

Mg

0.66 g/l of Multi K (potassium nitrate)

85.5

 

266

  
0.2 g/l of phosphoric acid 

48

   
0.1g/l of ammonium nitrate

34

    
0.25g/l MAP

18

41

   
0.61 g/l Calcium Nitrate

….

  

….

 
0.2g/l Magnisal (magnesium nitrate)

….

   

…..

Total in ppm

254.5

89

266

180

80

 
 
*note 219.5 ppm as Nitrate N and 35ppm as Ammonium N.
 
 
 

How to use

 
Fertilizer

TANK A
kg/1000 liters

TANK B
Kg/1000 liters

Multi-K

82kg

 
Calcium Nitrate 

75kg

Magnisal

25kg

 
Ammonium Nitrate

12.5kg

 
MAP

31.25kg

 
 
 

Inject 25 litres/1000 litres of Phosphoric acid into irrigation lines.

Inject from each tank 5-6 liters per 1000 liters of irrigation water.

 
 
 

Phase 2 Production approx 60-90 days

 
Fertilizer type and rates

N

P

K

Ca

Mg

1.05 g/l of Multi-K (potassium nitrate)

136

 

400

  
0.26 g/l phosphoric acid +     
Water - Calcium 70 ppm , Magnesium 60 ppm   

70

60

0.56 g/l Calcium Nitrate

87

  

100

 
0.2g/l Magnisal (magnesium nitrate)

22

   

20

Total in ppm

245

63

400

170

80

 
 
*note 245 ppm as Nitrate N.
 
 
 

How to use

 
Fertilizer

Tank A
kg/1000 liters

Tank B
Kg/1000 liters

Multi-K

130kg

 
Calcium Nitrate 

70kg

Magnisal

25kg

 
 
 

Inject 32.5 litres/1000 liters of Phosphoric acid into irrigation lines.

- Inject from each tank 6 liters per cubic meter of irrigation water.

 
 
 
It will also be worth applying chelated trace elements to Tank A. There are mixed trace element products available such as “Librel BMX” or “Haifa Micro”, to be applied as stated on the directions for use.
 
Notes:
  • The balance of K/Mg/Ca can be changed by addition of Potassium Nitrate, and Calcium Nitrate or Magnesium Nitrate addition or reduction.
  • In the case of Magnesium deficiency a foliar spray of Magnesium Nitrate can be applied 2-3 times (every 10 days) at 0.5-1% concentration: ie: 1-1.5 kg in 100 liters of water and spray to wet.
  • Acid (Phosphoric) can be used for pH and bicarbonates reduction and can be added to Tank A. or direct to irrigation line. Phosphoric acid can also be used as a source of phosphorus for nutrition but be careful not to lower Tank A. pH below 3.5 as you will break chelated micro-element bonds.

THIS RECOMMENDATION IS MADE ON BEST PRACTICE DERIVED FROM ISRAELI EXPERIENCE. NO GUARANTEES ARE MADE IN RESPECT OF YIELD OR CROP PERFORMANCE AND ADJUSTMENTS SHOULD BE MADE TO REFLECT ON SITE CONDITIONS SUCH AS WATER QUALITY AND RATIOS OF NUTRIENTS.
 
 
 

Nutrition recommendations for Greenhouse soil grown truss tomatoes

Suggested by Matt Thomas, MULTIFERT AGENCIES, Victoria, Australia
 

Growth conditions:
Soil type: Light Soil.
Target yield: 100 MT/ha.
Assumptions regarding water test: 70 ppm Calcium, 60 ppm of Magnesium.

Recommended average rate of nutrients for crop

 
 

N

P

K

-------------------kg/ha-------------------

200-220

80-90

300-330

 
 
 
 

A. Base Dressing

The rates are based on the assumption that minimum 10% of the N and K will be applied as pre-plant and up to 50% of P applied as pre-plant.
 
 

N

P

K

Recommended fertilizer

--------------kg/ha-------------

 

20-30

25

30-40

12-5-14 at 250 kg/ha or similar

30

12.5

35

Supplied by Above

 
 
 
 

B. Through irrigation system

 
Growth stage

Germination/ Planting to 6-8 leaves

6-8 leaves to fruit set

Ripening and picking

Anticipated days

20

 25

 50

Poly-Feed

19-8-16 +TE

 19-8-16 +TE

 12-2.6-33 +TE

Rate kg/ha/week

60kg

 60kg

 80kg

 
 
 
 
 
Nutrient Applied by above (kg/ha)

N

P

K

Ca

Mg

(Approx)

213

59

287

42

33

 
 
 
 

Supplemental to above recommendations

 
Growth stage

6-8 leaves to fruit set

Ripening and picking

Anticipated Days

25

50

Rate kg/ha/week

25kg Calcium Nitrate

15kg Calcium Nitrate

Fertilizer

30kg Magnesium Sulphate

30kg Magnesium Sulphate

 
 
 
 

Additional information:

The balance of K/Mg/Ca can be changed by addition of Potassium Nitrate, and Calcium Nitrate or Magnesium Nitrate addition or reduction.
 
  • If required and additional foliar spray of Potassium Nitrate may be applied in bulking stage.
  • Potassium Nitrate 1kg  plus 200 grams of Tech MAP per 100 liters of water and spray to wet - use of a surfactant/ spreader is advised.
  • In the case of Magnesium deficiency a foliar spray of Magnesium Nitrate can be applied 2-3 times (every 10 days) at 0.5-1% concentration: i.e.: 1-1.5 kg in 100 liters of water and spray to wet.
Notes: 
  • 1.Fertilizer should be evenly divided over all irrigations. e.g.: If recommended rate is 25 kg per ha per week and there are 5 irrigations, then 5kg per irrigation.
  • 2. For a greenhouse size 200 ft x 30 ft  = approx 560 square meters or 0.05 of a ha.
  • Therefore a rate of: 25kg/ha/wk = 1.25 kg per greenhouse per week
    30kg/ha/wk = 1.50 kg per greenhouse per week.
THE ABOVE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE BASED ON BEST KNOWLEDGE AND RESEARCH AT THE TIME ARE BASED ON OPTIMUM YIELDS.
NO GUARANTEE ON YIELDS OR QUALITY ARE MADE OR IMPLIED.
 
 
 

Tomatoes - Nutrients values

 
 

Mature leaves and petioles

Nutrient

Average value

Critical level

 

(%)

N

5.10

2.20

S

0.80

0.24

P

0.65

0.18

K

3.20

1.10

Mg

0.41

0.17

Ca

2.90

0.90

Na

0.06

 
 

(ppm)

Fe

160

40

Al

115

 

Mn

130

40

B

52

20

Cu

20

3

Zn

36

 15

Mo

1.0

 

 
 
 
 

Macro elements removed by 1 ton marketable product

 

N

P

K

Ca

Mg

S

---------------------------------------------------Kg / ton-----------------------------------------

2-4

0.3-1.0

3-5

2.6

0.4

0.55

 
 
Source: Kinoch: VOLHOUBARE LANDBOU, RSA. Processed by Frans Lourens, Haifa, RSA May, 1999.
 
 
 

Plant analysis guide

 
Tomatoes

N

S

P

K

Mg

Ca

Na

B

Zn

Mn

Fe

Cu

Al

Mo

-------------------- % --------------------

------ p.p.m --------

From

3.00

0.50

0.30

2.50

0.50

2.00

0.01

40

35

100

100

8

20

 
To

6.00

0.90

0.80

5.00

1.00

6.00

0.10

60

50

200

200

20

200

 
 
 
 
 

Plant part to sample

 
 Time of SamplingPlant Part
Tomatoes, canning

Early bloom

Petiole of 4th leaf from growing tip

Fruit 1’’dia

First color

 
 
 
 

Plant tissue sampling procedures

 
Stage of growthPlant Part
Before or during early bloom stageThird or fourth leaves from the growing tip
 
 
 
 

In California

Field with less than 0.7 meq/100 g exchangeable K showed a wide range of color disorder severity, with an average of 20 percent of fruit affected. Conversely, field with greater than 0.7 meq/100 g exchangeable K averaged only 7 percent color disorders.


The combination of gypsum and K reduced total color disorders by 54 percent. Soil K application significantly decreased IWT (Internal White Tissue) and total color disorders.


The ratio K/√Mg will allow the processing tomato industry to use routine soil testing to rank fields for the relative danger of encountering severs YS (Yellow Shoulder) and IWT expression and to suggest appropriate soil amendment strategies. Fields with soil K/√Mg greater than 0.25 averaged only 4 percent color disorders.


Source:  Hartz, T.K. (1999). Potassium requirements for maximum yield and quality of processing tomato. Better Crops 83(2):26-28.