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Effects of nutrition systems and irrigation programs on tomato in soilless culture

Meric, M.K., Tuzel, I.H., Tuzel, Y., Oztekin, G.B.
Agricultural water management 2011 v.99 no.1 pp. 19-25
autumn, closed loop systems, greenhouses, irrigation scheduling, irrigation systems, nutrient solutions, polyethylene, soilless culture, solar radiation, spring, tomatoes, water use efficiency
A research has been carried out to determine the effects of nutrition systems and irrigation programs on soilless grown tomato plants under polyethylene covered unheated greenhouse conditions. Two nutrition systems (open and closed) and three irrigation programs (high, medium and low) based on integrated indoor solar radiation triggering thresholds (1MJm⁻² [0.4mm], 2MJm⁻² [0.8mm] and 4MJm⁻² [1.6mm]) in both nutrition systems have been tested. Applied and discharged nutrient solution, evapotranspiration, total and marketable yield have been measured and water use efficiency has been calculated. The highest total yield has been obtained from the open system with respectively 11% and 7.2% increases in autumn and spring. Applied nutrient solution volume and seasonal ET have been modified between 47.8–180.4lplant⁻¹ and 41.7–145.5lplant⁻¹ respectively during both growing seasons. As average of two growing seasons, respectively 826.5 and 330.6m³ha⁻¹ nutrient solutions have been discharged from the greenhouse in the open and closed systems. WUE of treatments varied between 33–55kgm⁻³ in autumn and 26–35kgm⁻³ in spring. Highest WUE values have been determined in 4MJm⁻² and in the closed system in both growing seasons. Results showed that the closed system and infrequent irrigations increased water use efficiency while decreasing yield and discharged nutrient solution.