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Tomato Nitrogen Uptake and Partitioning

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Seasonal N Uptake

Nitrogen in the aboveround biomass of processing tomatoes measured in 11 commercial fields in the Central Valley. Uptake was determined by harvesting the aboveground biomass at different times during the season [3].

Nitrogen Partitioning

Approximately 70% of the total aboveground N of processing tomatoes grown in research plots at UC Davis and in commercial fields was in the fruits, with the rest being in the vines [4].

Nitrogen Removed at Harvest

Nitrogen removed at harvest of processing tomatoes. The overall average is weighted for the number of observations in each data set. More information can be found here [2].


Tomato Fertilization Guidelines


  1. Aegerter, B., 2015. Potential for improved fertigation efficiency via field-based sensing devices. Report submitted to the California Tomato Research Institute. Complemented with unpublished data.
  2. Geisseler, D., 2021. Nitrogen concentrations in harvested plant parts - Update 03/2021
  3. Geisseler D., Aegerter, B.J., Miyao, E.M., Turini, T., Cahn M.D., 2020. Nitrogen in soil and subsurface drip-irrigated processing tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum L.) as affected by fertilization level. Scientia Horticulturae 261, 108999
  4. Hartz, T.K., Bottoms, T.G., 2009. Nitrogen Requirements of Drip-irrigated Processing Tomatoes. HortScience 44, 1988-1993.
  5. Lazcano, C., Wade, J., Horwath, W.R., Burger, M., 2015. Soil sampling protocol reliably estimates preplant NO3- in SDI tomatoes. California Agriculture 69, 222-229.