The effect of calcium and magnesium on growth, yield and postharvest quality of two popular tomato varieties

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February, 2015
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This study was carried out to investigate the effects of different rates of soil application of Calcium and Magnesium on growth, yield and postharvest quality of Pectomech and Tropimech tomatoes.The experiment was conducted at Central Agricultural Research Station in the field, Kwadaso.The experimental design was a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. Bulk soil samples were taken at a depth of 0-20cm and then 20-40cm before treatment application for soil analysis. Lime and MgSO 4 were broadcast and hoed–in two weeks before transplanting. N: P: K was applied as well as sulphate of ammonia which was the last fertilizer to be applied before harvest. The levels of lime application in this study were 0 tons (the control) and 1.5 tons per hectare. For Magnesium sulphate, the levels applied were 0kg/ha (the control), 30kg/ha and 60kg/ha. From the study, it was observed that effect of magnesium (30kg/ha) and calcium (1.5t/ha) on Pectomech and Tropimech varieties resulted in retention of plant population (50.116, 53.94); leaf area (17.49, 16.21); TSS (4.81, 4.48); Pericarp thickness (5.67, 5.65) and fruit diameter (40.83, 40.60) respectively for the parameters. Effect of Calcium (1.5t/ha) on Tropimech also resulted in decreased number of dropped flowers (70.29), fruit rot (9.52) and shrivelled fruit (2.62). Again, increasing levels of magnesium and Calcium resulted in increased rates of absorption for Calcium (0.96) in Tropimech and Magnesium (0.72) for Pectomech. Generally, both Pectomech and Tropimech responded well to the increasing levels of Magnesium and Calcium and can be adopted to enhance production of Pectomech and Tropimech varieties as well as improve their postharvest quality.
A thesis submitted to The School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy Degree in Postharvest Technology, 2015