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Group Title: Research Report - University of Florida Agricultural Research and Education Center ; GC1981-9
Title: Exploratory investigation on the response of mulched, staked tomato to drip irrigation, tube placement, and type and quantity of fertilizer
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00056127/00001
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Title: Exploratory investigation on the response of mulched, staked tomato to drip irrigation, tube placement, and type and quantity of fertilizer
Series Title: Research Report - University of Florida Agricultural Research and Education Center ; GC1981-9
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Csizinszky, Alexander Anthony
Overman, A. J.
Publisher: Agricultural Research & Education Center, IFAS, University of Florida
Publication Date: 1981
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Bibliographic ID: UF00056127
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 62392789

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HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida







Agricultural Research & Education Center
IFAS, University of Florida
Bradenton, Fl. 33508-9324

Bradenton AREC Research Report GC1981-9 September 1981

EXPLORATORY INVESTIGATION ON THE RESPONSE OF MULCHED, STAKED
TOMATO TO DRIP IRRIGATION, TUBE PLACEMENT, AND
TYPE AND QUANTITY OF FERTILIZER

A. A. Csizinszky and A. J. Overman

ABSTRACT

A fall crop of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. 'Walter', was
grown with one or two irrigation tubes, placed on the top of raised plant beds.
Osmocote1'J 14-14-14 granular fertilizer was applied at two different placements
alone and with KNO3. Tube placement or number of tubes per bed had no signi-
ficant effect on marketable yield, fruit size or number of fruit per plant.
Average fruit weight was heavier but number of fruit was fewer, when Osmocote
was applied with added KN03 in the full width of the bed. Soil moisture increased
with depth and decreased horizontally towards the shoulder region of the plant
bed. Residual soluble salt content of the soil had no consistent pattern with
fertilizers, tube placements or number of drip tubes.
In the dry, arid areas of the world, trickle irrigated tomatoes have
produced higher yields than furrow or sprinkler irrigated crops (1, 3, 5, 6).
In addition to the higher yields, trickle irrigation resulted in appreciable
saving of water. Tomato yields and fruit size, however, were smaller with drip
than with seepage (modified furrow) irrigation under central Florida conditions
(7, 9). The fine sandy soils of the region with a hardpan at 60 to 90 cm below
the soil surface present further problems to the wide use of trickle irrigation.
When all the fertilizer is applied in the dry form under the plastic mulch prior
to transplanting, then type, quantity and placement of fertilizer has to be
considered. Location of irrigation tubes in relation to fertilizers and to the
plant row, daily irrigation frequency and quantity of water applied also have to
be investigated.
In this paper the response of a fall crop of mulched and staked tomatoes to
drip irrigation tube placement, and type and quantity of fertilizers is summarized.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

A field of Myakka fine sandy soil (Aeric Haplaquod) (2), surrounded by
90 cm deep and 120 cm wide ditches on each side to prevent interference in the
experiment by soil water from nearby lands, was prepared for planting tomatoes.
Plant beds, 23 cm high and 76 cm wide, were formed with flat top at 1.37 m
centers and covered with 32 um thick black polyethylene film. Six,.uek old
seedlings of the cv. 'Walter' raised in 3.8 cm cell size Speedling, i trays
were set in a single row at 61 cm within row spacing on Sept. 6, 1977, in a
split-plot design arranged in randomized complete block. Main plots were 3 drip
tube placements and sub-plots were 4 fertilizer placements. Each tube placement
was replicated twice and each fertilizer treatment was also replicated twice
with each tube placement.








In the main plots, micro-pore tape (duPont Viaflow type 2 W(R), single
seam) was placed on the top of the soil in the full length of the beds in 3
different arrangements: 1) single tube, 5 cm from center; 2) one tube 10 cm
from center on each half of the bed, i.e. 2 tubes per bed; 3) single tube,
15 cm from center. Water was provided at a rate of 2.27 liters/min tube at
0.247 kg/cm2 pressure. Thus beds irrigated by two tubes received twice as much
water as beds irrigated by a single tube. Flow rate was regulated by a Dole flow
control valve (Eaton Corp., Carol Stream, IL) which delivered water within the
required range regardless of fluctuations in water pressure. Irrigation rate was
adjusted each 10 days to provide increasing amounts through longer flow times as
plant size increased during the 108 day long growing season (8). Irrigation was
turned off when daily precipitation exceeded 19 mm.

Beds were divided into 7.6 m long plots and fertilizers were applied in 4
different treatments on a 5,540 net row m/ha basis. In 2 of the treatments
Osmocote(R) 14-14-14 only, at 859 kg/ha, was incorporated to 5 cm in the soil
either in the full width of the bed or in a 41-cm wide band. In 2 other treat-
ments, in addition to the Osmocote(R) applied as above, 255 kg/ha KN03 (44.5% K20
and 13.75% N) was banded on the soil surface 20 cm from the bed center, on one
side of the bed. Total nutrients applied were: 120 kg/ha N, 120 P205 and 120 K20
from the Osmocote and 35 kg/ha N and 113.5 K20 from the KNO3.

Depth of soil water table was measured daily in wells located at the top and
the bottom of the land slope. Soil samples for total soluble salt (TSS) and
moisture determination were taken after fertilizer placement, then at 10 day
intervals until the end of the harvest at,3 depths and 3 locations across the
bed. Soil moisture was determined by the oven dry method and soil TSS by the
saturated paste procedure (10). At harvest, weight and number of fruit were
taken. Fruit was harvested 4 times during the season at 5-7 day intervals.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The total amount of irrigation water applied by a single tube and rainfall
received in 10 day periods during the growing season are listed on Tables 1 and
2. Among the main effects, tomato yields were not significantly affected by the
number of drip tubes per bed, placement of tubes in relation to the plant row,
or to the KNO3 bank (Table 3). The placement and quantity of fertilizers also
had no effect on yield per ha. Interaction of tube with fertilizers had no
significant effect on tomato yields. Number of fruit harvested per ha was not
affected by drip tube placement or number of drip tubes per bed. Significantly
less fruit were harvested from plots treated with Osmocote in the full width
of the bed plus banded KNO (Table 3). With this fertilizer treatment, however,
fruit size was significantTy greater. Tube placement and number had no significant
effect on fruit size.
Variation of soil moisture with tube placement during the growing season
is in Tables 4-6. During September and December moisture content was highest
due to heavy rains. In the dryer months overall soil moisture decreased, es-
pecially in the shoulder region of the plant beds. Regardless of placement or
the number of irrigation tubes per bed, soil moisture increased with depth and
decreased towards the shoulder region. Placement of two tubes per bed, doubling
the amount of irrigation water, did not increase horizontal movement but resulted
in higher soil moisture in the plant row region.







Variation of soil TSS content in the 0-15 cm depth in the mulched beds
is on Table 7. There was no clear trend to the leaching of salts from the soil
with tube placement or number of tubes per bed. Doubling the amount of irri-
gation water did not result in corresponding loss of nutrients from plots
filled with two tubes per bed (treatment #2). Distance of the drip tube from
the bed center and from the KNO3 band had no effect on the residual TSS content
or on the rate at which the nutrients were leached from the soil during the growing
season. The differences measured in soil TSS content between the two fertilizer
placements and quantities and within the treatments at the three sampling points
in the plant bed gradually diminished as the season progressed (Table 7). The
total residual soil TSS content between the treatments was not affected by
fertilizer placement and quantity at the end of the growing season. For example,
placing the Osmocote in the full width of the bed as in a 41-cm wide band or
adding KN03 with the Osmocote had no effect on the total residual soluble salt
content.

Differences in soil TSS content remained within treatments at the three
sampling points due to fertilizer placement. For example, the application of
Osmocote in a 41-cm wide band with or without added KNO8 resulted in higher
TSS content in the plant row region and residual soil TSS content was higher
in the shoulder region in plots where Osmocote was applied in the full width of
the plant bed. However, these variations with locations within the treatments
were not consistent; and, as a result, the differences measured in TSS content
were not significant.

Low yields and poor fruit size of the tomatoes in the experiments, compared
to yields and fruit size with seepage irrigated crops (4), may have been the
result of improper fertilizer placement and/or timing of irrigation within a
24-hour period and during the season. The limited horizontal movement of water
observed in these trials points to the importance of placing the dry fertilizers
in the moist soil zone near the drip tube when pre-planting application of
dry fertilizers is applied with trickle irrigation.

The timing of daily irrigation frequency my also be important on Myakka
fine sand. In the experiments irrigation water was applied once or twice per
day in large quantities. This application method may result in rapid vertical
movement of water to a deeper soil layer. Water, below 23 or 25 cm soil depth,
is lost for the plants since tomato roots under the plastic mulch seldom penetrate
to a greater depth with trickle irrigation.

Water was applied in increasing daily quantities in 10 day periods as the
season progressed and plants increased in size until the 80th day of the season
(Table 1). The daily amount of irrigation water was then reduced progressively
until the end of the harvest. This practice may have been yield limiting since
water is still needed to increase fruit size during harvest time.


LITERATURE CITED

1. Bar-Yosef, B. 1977. Trickle irrigation and fertilization of tomatoes in
sand dunes: Water, N, and P distributions in the soil and uptake by
plants. Agron. J. 69:486-491.
2. Calhoun, F. G., V. W. Carlisle, R. E. Caldwell, L. H. Zelazny, L. C. Hammond,
and H. L. Breland. 1974. Characterization data for Florida soils. Univ.
of Fla., IFAS, Soil Sci. Res. Rept. No. 74-1.








3. Gardner, H. B. 1942. The influence of irrigation water on the yield and
quality of sweet corn and tomatoes with special reference to time and
number of applications. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 40:475-481.
4. Florida Agricultural Statistics. 1979. Vegetable Summary. Florida Crop
and Livestock Reporting Service. Orlando, Florida.
5. Goldberg, D., B. Gornat, and D. Rimon. 1976. Drip irrigation. Drip
Irrigation Scientific Publications, Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel. 196 pp.
6. Hall, B. J. 1974. Staked tomato drip irrigation in California. 480-485
in Proc. 2nd Initial Drip Irrig. Congr., San Diego, Calif. July 7-14. 1974.
7. Locascio, S. J., and J. M. Myers. 1974. Tomato response to plug mix,
mulch and irrigation method. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 87:126-130.
8. Marlowe, G. A., Jr., and J. S. Rogers. 1976. Water use by Florida
vegetable crops. IFAS, Univ. of Florida, Vegetable Crop Extension Report
No. 16. 1976.
9. Persaud, N., S. J. Locascio and C. N. Geraldson. 1976. Effect of rate and
placement of nitrogen and potassium on yield of mulched tomato using
different irrigation methods. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 89:135-138.
10. United States Salinity Laboratory Staff. 1954. Diagnosis and improvement
of saline and alkaline soils. USDA Handbook 60.


Table 1. Drip Irrigation Schedule for Tomatoes, Fall 1977.+

Number of Irrigation Rainfall
irrigation water per day for period
days nm mm

Sept. 6 15 10 0.55 5.84
16 25 9 0.83 75.14
26 Oct. 5 10 3.11 10.41

Oct. 6 15 9 6.51 21.08
16 25 10 6.93 2.03
26 Nov. 4 10 6.79 5.33

Nov. 5 14 10 6.21 0.00
15 24 9 6.21 56.64
25 Dec. 4 10 3.79 6.60
Dec. 5 14 8 1.66 121.92
15 22 7 0.75 74.93

Totals 102 -- 379.92

+Data for single tube treatment.









Table 2.

Total Irrigation and Rainfall for Tomatoes,
Fall 1980, Single Tube Treatment
mm


Irrigation
Rainfall
Total water
Irrigation water/plant/season
Total water/plant/season
t9,080 plants/ha


415.2
380.0
795.2
465.0t
890.5t


Table 3. Effect of Tube Placement and Fertilizer Treatment on Tomato
Yield, Number of Fruits per ha and Average Fruit Size

Yield per No. of fruit Avg. fruit
ha per ha size
Mt x 1000 gm
Tube placement
Single, 5 cm from center 17.1 NS+ 145.4 NS+ 121 NS+
Double, 10 cm on each side 16.2 127.2 130
Single, 15 cm from center 15.7 127.2 129
Fertilizer treatment
#1 16.4 NS+ 136.3 a+ 125 b+
#2 16.9 136.3 a 125 b
#3 15.2 118.1 b 133 a
#4 16.8 136.3 a 124 b


+lean separation within columns
for number of fruit per ha and


by Duncan's multiple range test, 5% level
10% level for average fruit size.


S#1. Osmocote full width of the bed; #2. Osmocote in a 41-cm band; #3. Osmocote
full width of the bed plus KN03; #4. Osmocote in 41-cm band plus KNO3.








Table 4. Variation of Soil Moisture Content in the Plant Bed,
Tube Placement 1.+
Soil Location in the plant bed
depth Shoulder Plant Tube
lMonth cm region row % region
Sept. 0 5 11.2 10.9 12.3
5 10 14.4 14.6 15.9
10 15 18.1 16.3 19.0
Oct. 0 5 9.2 9.4 11.6
5 10 11.9 13.2 12.5
10 15 14.3 13.6 15.5
Nov. 0 5 9.7 9.2 10.9
5 10 11.8 12.2 13.4
10 15 14.6 14.1 15.8
Dec. 0 5 10.6 10.6 11.4
5 10 13.5 13.7 14.5
10 15 18.2 17.5 20.2
+Single tube, 5 cm from bed center, average for all fertilizer
treatments.



Table 5. Variation of Soil Moisture Content in the Plant Bed,
Tube Placement 2.+
Soil Location in the plant bed
depth Shoulder Plant Tube
[ionth cm region row % region
Sept. 0 5 11.7 13.3 12.5
5 10 17.2 18.4 17.5
10 15 22.2 21.8 21.3
Oct. 0 5 9.7 10.4 10.2
5 10 12.8 12.4 13.2
10 15 15.0 14.4 15.8
Nov. 0 5 8.7 10.3 10.3
5 10 12.4 12.2 12.3
10 15 14.9 14.7 15.8
Dec. 0 5 9.9 11.2 11.1
5 10 13.6 13.6 13.6
10 15 17.9 18.1 19.4

+Two tubes per bed, average for all fertilizer treatments.










Table 6. Variation of Soil Moisture Content

Tube Placement 3.


in the Plant Bed,


Soil Location in the plant bed

depth Shoulder Plant Tube

Month cm region row % region

Sept. 0 5 10.7 12.2 11.1

5 10 14.0 13.2 14.2

10 15 17.4 17.1 17.0

Oct. 0 5 10.8 10.9 10.6

5 10 13.4 13.3 14.6

10 15 16.7 15.6 15.9

Nov. 0 5 9.8 9.2 9.8

5 10 12.1 11.8 12.3
10 15 14.6 13.5 15.2

Dec. 0 5 10.5 10.1 10.8

5 10 13.7 13.7 14.7

10 15 17.7 16.5 20.5


+Single tube,

placements.


15 cm from bed center, average for all fertilizer





Table 7. Variation in Total Soluble Salt Content of the Soil Solution With Various Tube and Fertilizer Placements,

PPtM, 0-15 CM Soil Depth. Fall 1977.

Tube placement
#1 #2 #3
Month SRY PR TR Total SRY PR TR Total SRY PR TR Total
Fertilizer lx
Sept. 10,150 5,040 4,500 19,690 10,150 5,040 4,500 19,690 10,150 5,040 4,500 19,690
Oct. 7,320 5,270 3,630 16,220 8,730 5,420 3,260 17,410 8,670 6,150 2,420 17,240
Nov. 3,590 4,150 3,060 10,800 6,590 3,100 3,900 13,590 8,810 5,510 1,430 15,750
Dec. 3,320 3,630 3,990 10,940 3,510 2,550 2,490 8,550 2,710 1,570 1,710 5,990
Fertilizer 2x
Sept. 2.070 20,960 5,440 28,470 2,070 20,960 5,440 28,470 2,070 20,960 5,440 28,470
Oct. 1,220 10,230 2,980 14,430 1,670 12,570 1,380 15,620 2,210 21,010 1,650 24,870
Nov. 1,250 4,630 2,310 8,190 1,920 9,560 1,640 13,120 1,560 6,380 1,550 9,490
Dec. 1,420 3,850 2,880 8,150 2,030 7,810 1,230 11,070 1,360 7,020 2,050 10,430
Fertilizer 3x
Sept. 11,790 6,710 6,590 25,090 11,790 6,710 6,590 25,090 11,790 6,710 6,590 25,090
Oct. 9,200 2,840 7,020 19,060 9,100 4,840 3,350 17,290 7,780 3,800 3,490 15,060
Nov. 8,620 2,900 3,520 15,090 6,590 3,280 3,290 13,160 5,200 4,900 2,780 12,880
Dec. 4,100 3,220 2,440 9,760 3,170 2,820 1,840 7,830 4,390 2,000 1,820 8,210
Fertilizer 4x
Sept. 3,970 17,390 5,650 27,010 3,970 17,390 5,650 27,010 3,970 17,390 5,650 27,010
Oct. 2,110 7,760 2,740 12,610 2,380 13,060 1,990 18,430 2,560 11,050 1,870 15,480
Nov. 2,050 4,180 2,750 8,980 1,620 4,930 1,530 8,080 1,760 9,010 1,660 12,430
Dec. 1,790 2,000 1,260 5,050 1,860 3,540 1,570 6,970 1,670 3,550 2,340 7,560


Continued ........










Table 7. (Continued)


ZTube placement: 1 = single tube, 5 cm from bed center; tube placement 2 = two tubes per bed; tube placement 3 =
single tube, 15 cm from bed center.
YSR = shoulder region; PR = plant region; TR = tube region
XFertilizer 1 = Osmocote full width of the bed; Fertilizer 2 = Osrocote in 41-cm wide band; Fertilizer 3 =
Osmcclte full width of the bed plus KNO3; Fertilizer 4 = Osmocote in 41-cm wide band plus KHO3.






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