Influence of four concentrations of Steiner solution on nutrients in soil solution and productivity in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)
The development and productivity of agricultural crops is directly related to the nutritional supply they receive. The hypothesis of this trial is that the concentration of ions measured in the soil solution allows evaluating the ef ficiency of the nutritional management and its ef fect on the crop – the concentration of ions are conditioned by the mineral supply and the ion exchange processes of the soil. Thus, the objective of the experiment is to measure the ef fect of the continuous application of four nutrient solution concentrations on the concentration of ions in the soil solution and the tomato crop response under greenhouse conditions. The trial was established in calcareous soil under a complete randomized block design with three replications, with indeterminate tomato plants. The treatments were four concentrations of a Steiner solution modified for tomato cultivation: (1) 50, (2) 75, (3) 100 and (4) 125% applied continuously by fertigation. In each treatment the soil solution was extracted, and the concentration of NO3-, K+ and Ca+2 ions, pH and electrical conductivity were measured for 18 weeks at the same time the crop response was measured. The concentration of the nutrient solution applied constantly to the tomato crop has a direct relationship with the availability of nutrients. The nutrient solution at 125% generated better growth, physiology, commercial quality and agronomic yield. Calcium was the only element that was detected in suf ficient levels in the soil solution from a concentration of 50% in the nutrient solution because of its high original availability in the soil.