Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 10, Issue 1,2012
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

A comparison of two types of agrosystems for the protected soilless cultivation of tomato crops in arid zones


Pilar Mazuela 1, Juan Francisco Trevizán 1, Miguel Urrestarazu 2*

Recieved Date: 2011-09-20, Accepted Date: 2012-01-10


In the Azapa Valley, near the Atacama desert in the far north of Chile, the climate allows cultivation of year-round vegetable crops, especially during the winter (from June to September). Tomato is the main crop in this region. The goal of this study was twofold: to evaluate the effects of an inert substrate (perlite) and an organic substrate (compost) on the yield and quality of cherry (cv. 51-72) and cv. Naomi tomatoes in soil-less culture and to compare a high-tech greenhouse with another, more economical shade-house constructed of anti-insect mesh. A standard nutrient solution at pH 5.8 with an electrical conductivity of 2.2 dS m-1 was used. The control parameters in the fertigation were the following: the electrical conductivity, the pH, and the percentage of the applied volume that was measured as drainage. Yield (the mean weight and number of fruits) and quality (the soluble solid matter, firmness and percentage of dry material) measurements were taken of the fruit. The climate inside each greenhouse was distinct, although neither the temperature nor the relative humidity limited the tomato growth. The values for the fertigation control parameters were very different for the two substrates, but, in general, the yields and quality parameters were very similar. The data suggested that compost, as used directly as a substrate, is an alternative to more traditional inorganic substrates, such as perlite. We also found that a mesh (anti-insect) greenhouse is a viable, less expensive alternative for growing tomatoes in the majority of the Arica region.


Crop protection, soilless culture, compost, perlite, fertigation

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2012
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 338-341

Full text for Subscribers

Note to users

The requested document is freely available only to subscribers/registered users with an online subscription to the Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment. If you have set up a personal subscription to this title please enter your user name and password. All abstracts are available for free.

Article purchasing

If you like to purchase this specific document such as article, review or this journal issue, contact us. Specify the title of the article or review, issue, number, volume and date of the publication. Software and compilation, Science & Technology, all rights reserved. Your use of this website details or service is governed by terms of use. Authors are invited to check from time to time news or information.

Purchase this Article:   20 Purchase PDF Order Reprints for 15

Share this article :