Nitrogen and Tillage Effects on the Fruit Quality and Yield of Four Tomato Cultivars

Amy Oberly, Mosbah Kushad, John Masiunas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The type of tillage system used and the rate of nitrogen fertilizer applied may affect fruit quality and total fruit yield of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). The treatments were either conventional tillage or rye (Secale cereale L.) mulch with or without 50 kg·ha−1 N. In both tillage systems, the application of 50 kg·ha−1 of N reduced the concentric cracking of tomato fruit, except for ‘UC82’ in conventional tillage and ‘Cherry Express II’ in rye mulch. When harvested at the same stage of maturity, chroma and hue along with acetic and citric acid concentrations of fruit were not affected by tillage system or N treatment. Fruit yields ranged from 34.0 to 60.6 Mg·ha−1. Total yield of ‘UC82’ was not affected by cropping system. Depending on the year, total yields of ‘Mountain Supreme’, ‘Pik Red’, and ‘Cherry Express II’ were reduced in the rye mulch. Although rye mulch had a minimal effect on fruit quality, the delay in fruit maturity and resultant lower total yields will limit acceptance of the system. Later applications of fertilizer or combining rye with plastic mulches might overcome these limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vegetable Crop Production
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 25 2003


  • Fruit color
  • Fruit cracking
  • Organic acids
  • Reduced tillage
  • Rye (Secale cereale)
  • Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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