BACKGROUND: The objective of this work was to study the influence of irrigation and organic fertilisation on quality attributes of tomato fruit (cv. Nautilus) grown for the canning industry. The assay was carried out during two consecutive years (2006 and 2007) in agricultural soil. Nine treatments resulting from the combination of three fertilisation types (sheep manure, a mixture of sheep manure and peat and an inorganic fertiliser (control)) with three levels of drip irrigation (3.30, 5.00 and 6.70 mm day−1) under black polyethylene mulch were applied (n = 3).
RESULTS: For the chromatic attributes L*, H*, C* and S* the highest values corresponded to the treatments with organic matter. However, the a*/b* ratio and colour index value were higher for the control treatment. In all cases the estimated optimal ripening time was the same, and on this date a decline in the ratios was observed. The values of the physical properties increased with increasing irrigation, higher values always being obtained in the treatments with organic fertilisers. The highest production for all irrigation levels corresponded to the treatment with mixed sheep manure and peat fertiliser.
CONCLUSION: Cultivation involving fertilisation with the manure/peat mixture and an irrigation level slightly above 5.00 mm day−1 can be recommended as optimal, since it gave the most satisfactory values with respect to the quality attributes of tomato fruit grown for the canning industry. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry