Influence of the Electrical Conductivity of the Nutrient Solution in Different Phenological Stages on the Growth and Yield of Cherry Tomato

Tao Lu, Hongjun Yu, Tanyu Wang, Taoyue Zhang, Chenhua Shi, Weijie Jiang
2022 Horticulturae  
Soilless cultivation is an important alternative to traditional agriculture and facilitates harvest by allowing for the precise control of plant nutrients to maximize the vegetable production of uniform fruits. Nutrient solution concentration is a critical factor affecting nutrient supply in soilless cultivation. Although some nutrient solution concentrations throughout the growth cycle for tomatoes have been developed, there are limited studies on nutrient solution concentrations at different
more » ... henological stages. Hence, we studied the effects of nutrient solution concentrations in different growth stages on the physiology, yield and fruit quality of cherry tomatoes with a previously developed nutrient solution formulation. The whole growth cycle of the tomato was divided into three stages which were irrigated with a nutrient solution with different electrical conductivities (ECs). A total of five treatments were set: CK (EC was 3.0 ms·cm−1 for the 1st–3rd stage), T1 (EC was 1.5 ms·cm−1 for the 1st stage, 3.0 ms·cm−1 for the 2nd–3rd stage), T2 (EC was 1.5 ms·cm−1 for the 1st stage, 3.0 ms·cm−1 for the 2nd stage, 4.5 ms·cm−1 for the 3rd stage ), T3 (EC was 1.5 ms·cm−1 for the 1st–2nd stage, 3.0 ms·cm−1 for the 3rd stage), and T4 (EC was 1.5 ms·cm−1 for the 1st stage, 4.5 ms·cm−1 for the 2nd–3rd stage). The results showed that the tomato plants treated with T2 and T4 had the strongest growth (with the highest plant height and leaf formation) as well as the best leaf photosynthetic performance (the chlorophyll content and the net photosynthetic rate were significantly increased). Additionally, the use of T2 and T4 significantly improved cherry tomato fruit quality as reflected by the significant promotion of total soluble solids by 9.1% and 9.8%, respectively, as well as by the improvement of maturity by 12.9% and 13.7%, respectively. Additionally, the yields for treatments T2 and T4 were increased by 7.3% a [...]
doi:10.3390/horticulturae8050378 doaj:e1d89ee5913d406a97fb1c7e3265ce05 fatcat:ov5rpuyvfzgk3j2qqeb66tcfwa