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Boron Improves Growth, Yield, Quality, and Nutrient Content of Tomato
- Davis, Jeanine M., Sanders, Douglas C., Nelson, Paul V., Lengnick, Laura, Sperry, Wade J.
- Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 2003 v.128 no.3 pp. 441-446
- Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, boron, calcium, firmness, fresh market, fruit quality, fruit set, fruit yield, growers, hydroponics, leaves, nitrogen content, nutrient content, nutrition, phloem, plant growth, shelf life, soil, tomatoes
- Boron deficiency in fresh-market tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is a widespread problem that reduces yield and fruit quality but is often not recognized by growers. Tomatoes were grown in field and hydroponic culture to compare the effects of foliar and soil applied B on plant growth, fruit yield, fruit quality, and tissue nutrient levels. Regardless of application method, B was associated with increased tomato growth and the concentration of K, Ca, and B in plant tissue. Boron application was associated with increased N uptake by tomato in field culture, but not under hydroponic culture. In field culture, foliar and/or soil applied B similarly increased fresh-market tomato plant and root dry weight, uptake, and tissue concentrations of N, Ca, K, and B, and improved fruit set, total yields, marketable yields, fruit shelf life, and fruit firmness. The similar growth and yield responses of tomato to foliar and root B application suggests that B is translocated in the phloem in tomatoes. Fruit from plants receiving foliar or root applied B contained more B, and K than fruit from plants not receiving B, indicating that B was translocated from leaves to fruit and is an important factor in the management of K nutrition in tomato.