Trellis tomatoes and drip irrigation

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					Trellised Tomatoes
 and Drip Irrigation
   SE Vegetable & Fruit Expo
            December 2009




              Bill Yarborough
                 NCDA&CS
            Agronomic Division
        1
           NCDA&CS Agronomic
              Division Services

• Plant / Waste / Solution/ Media Analyses

• Soil Testing

• Nematode Assay

• Field Services
                         2
Field Services
 — 13 regions




   3
    NCDA&CS Soil Testing

• Measures soil pH and acidity

• Measures nutrient reserves

• Recommends lime application
  rates

• Recommends fertilizer rates

                   4
5
                    NCDA&CS
         Plant Tissue Analysis

• Measures nutrient concentrations

• Monitors nutrient uptake

• Finds deficiencies


                       6
                        Plant Analysis


• Sample latest
  mature, fully
  extended
  compound
  leaf.

• Sample weekly, beginning when first fruit
  is the size of a dime.
                           7
                           Talk Today

• History of tomato production in WNC

• Major nutrients discussed

• Fertility recommendations

• Contributors — Dr. Greg Hoyt (NCSU)
  and Steve Dillon (NCDA&CS)

                       8
             History of Tomatoes
                   in Western NC
• Early 1950s
• Staked tomatoes
• Research on fertility based on high
  rates of nitrogen and little to no
  irrigation
• Use of trellises began in late 1960s
• Drip irrigation began in the 1980s
                         9
10
                         Nitrogen

• Important for vegetative growth

• Trellis varieties determinant

• Excessive N can be a concern




                    11
                        Nitrogen

• Apply 40–60 lb/acre preplant.

• Meet additional needs, as
  required, with drip.

• Apply total of 90–130 lb/acre
  over the entire season.


                   12
                   Phosphorus




• Important for early growth
• Soil test recommendations . . . .
  Can these be reduced?
• Preplant application sufficient
                     13
                                    %P and P-Index

          60                                           0.4

                                                       0.35
          50
                                                       0.3
          40
                                                       0.25
                                                                      Carolina Gold (P-I)
P Index




                                                              P (%)
                                                                      Floralina (P-I)
          30                                           0.2
                                                                      Carolina Gold (% P)
                                                                      Floralina (% P)
                                                       0.15
          20
                                                       0.1
          10
                                                       0.05

          0                                            0
               1   2   3   4    5     6   7   8   9
                               Week
                                                  14
                                P 1998-2000


     0.45
      0.4
     0.35
      0.3
                                                                      1999
     0.25
P%




                                                                      1998
      0.2                                                             2000
                                                                      Expon. (2000)
     0.15
                                                       2000
      0.1                                       y = 0.3368e-0.0626x
                                                   R2 = 0.6327

     0.05
       0
            1   2   3   4   5     6    7   8     9

                                Week

                                           15
                   Potassium (K)




• Critical for fruit quality
• Preplant application insufficient
• Application through drip essential

                        16
17
                       Potassium Concentration

      4

     3.5

      3

     2.5
                                                     Carolina Gold
K%




      2                                              Floralina
                                                     Roma
     1.5

      1

     0.5

      0
           1   2   3     4    5     6   7    8   9

                             Week
                                        18
                K Considerations

• K levels will be  4% ppm early in
  season.
• K  2.5–3% is desirable at harvest.
• K  2% produces soft fruit.
• K  1% is unharvestable.

                      19
                            Calcium




• Important for blossom-end rot control
• Soil test recommendations adequate
• Adequate soil water essential

                       20
                         Calcium Concentration

       4.5

        4

       3.5

        3
                                                           Carolina Gold
Ca %




       2.5
                                                           Floralina
        2                                                  Roma
       1.5

        1

       0.5

        0
             1   2   3     4    5     6        7   8   9

                               Week
                                          21
22
                  Blossom-end Rot
                       and Control

• Foliar sprays ineffective
• Consider gypsum
• Adequate soil water essential

                              23
                             Boron

• Important for potassium uptake

• Preplant application insufficient

• Postplant applications required

• Can be applied foliar or drip

                      24
                      Boron Concentration

        120
        100
B ppm

         80
         60
         40
         20
          0
              1   2      3    4        5   6   7   8   9

                                  Week



                                  25
                        Preplant
             Recommendations
         for Trellised Tomatoes

• Soil test.

• Apply P2O5, potassium, boron and lime
  as recommended.

• Apply up to 60 lb/acre of N preplant.

                         26
             N & K Drip Fertility
             Recommendations
• Begin applying fertilizer when fruit is
  about the size of a dime.
• Apply 13-0-44 (or equivalent) at a rate
  of 20–25 lb/acre/wk.
• Two weeks before first harvest,
  increase rate to 50 lb/acre/wk.
• Once 50% of crop is harvested, begin
  reducing rate.
                       27
                    N & K Fertilization
             in Drip-irrigation system
Time of Application        N (lb/A)       K (lb/A)
Preplant                    40–70       If deficient
1 wk > 1st fruit set       3–4 / wk     10–12 / wk *
(~ 30 days > planting)
2 wks < harvest            6–7 / wk      20–25 / wk
Halfway into harvest       3–4 / wk      10–12 / wk
Approx. season total       90–130         170–205
* 13-0-44 used to apply K and N in 3-to-1 ratio
                               28
                Other Fertility
               Considerations

• Low P2O5 levels at harvest should
  not be a concern.

• Calcium levels should not be a
  concern with drip irrigation.

• Boron levels should be between
  40–75 ppm throughout harvest.
                    29
        Quality Fruit Begins
        with Careful Fertility

• Follow soil test recommendations.

• Use plant analysis for monitoring.

• Adequate water is essential.

• Monitor key elements boron and
  potassium.
                   30
Trellised Tomatoes
 and Drip Irrigation




            Bill Yarborough
                NCDA&CS
           Agronomic Division
      31
For more information,
          browse the
  Agronomic Division
             Web site
  www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/




         32

				
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