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Tomato Cultivation: Tomato Crop Nutrition

It is a good idea to sample plants several times during the course of the growing season to monitor their nutrient status.

Leaf tissue analysis should start as soon as the plants begin to flower, so that additional fertilizers can be applied in a timely fashion if needed.

Take samples even if the crop looks good; having a record of leaf analysis and fertility practices over time helps diagnose problems when they occur.

To a good tissue sample a proper collection of leaves is essential, since nutrient levels vary among leaves of different ages.

So choose recently mature, fully expanded leaves from just below the last open flower cluster.

Take at least eight to ten whole leaves from plants throughout the field to get a representative sample.

Based on the results, apply soluble fertilizer as needed through the drip system, watered in by hand, or blended with a fresh application of compost spread along plant rows.

Some Cultural Control Methods are,
1. Plant seeds or transplants free of weeds

2. Plant healthy and vigorously growing plants

3. Good seedbed preparation

4. Proper fertilization and watering

5. Follow recommended row spacing

6. Manage diseases and insects

If the soil test indicates magnesium is low and if lime is recommended, apply dolomitic limestone.

If magnesium is low and lime is not recommended, apply 25 pounds of elemental magnesium per acre.

Apply a minimum of 10 pounds of sulfur per acre and, if soil test indicates low, apply 1 pound of actual boron per acre and 5 pounds of actual zinc per acre.

These nutrients should be supplied in the pre-plant fertilizer application.

Plant tissue analysis or petiole sap analysis is an excellent tool for measuring the nutrient status of the crop during the season.