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Title: Quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) changes under different cover crops, soil tillage and nitrogen fertilization management
Authors: Massantini Riccardo
Radicetti Emanuele
Frangipane Maria Teresa
Campiglia Enio
Issue Date: 2021
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the interaction effects of winter cover crops
(hairy vetch, subclover and black oat) and a bare soil, cover crop biomass management (incorporated
into the soil or left on the soil surface as death mulch), and nitrogen (N) fertilization level (0, 75
and 150 kg ha−1 of N) on fruit yield and fruit quality parameters of processing tomato. Hairy vetch
residues increased the yield (+57%), color index (+8%) and sugar/acidity ratio (+7%) of marketable
tomato fruits compared to bare soil regardless of cover crop biomass management. Black oat residues
determined a poor marketable yield, especially in tilled soil (on average, −26%, compared to bare
soil) and they had a tendentially negative effect on some parameters of tomato quality (high firmness
and titratable acidity, low color index and pH). Subclover residues, when incorporated into the soil,
determined similar marketable fruit yield to bare soil, although they had a more favorable effect on
the color parameters of tomato fruits. The increasing of the N fertilization level from 0 kg ha−1 of
N to 150 kg ha−1 of N always positively influenced the tomato yield and fruit characteristics. The
results suggest that hairy vetch, compared to other cover crops, had a positive influence on tomatoes
and it could be part of an environmentally friendly management package for sustainable tomato
cultivation in Mediterranean conditions.
ISSN: 2077-0472
DOI: 10.3390/agriculture11020106
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