|Author: ||T.R. Gormley|
The importance of peat as a growing medium for glasshouse crops is well known.
It is a standard medium to which all nutrients must be added and has excellent water holding capacity.
Tomatoes are often grown in 15–20 cm of peat (shallow trough method) and considerable quantities of water and liquid feed are applied during the growing season, especially at times when there is a heavy demand because of good light conditions.
It is easy, therefore, to underfeed or overfeed plants, especially since the depth of peat is so small and this could affect yield adversely.
In addition, nutrition affects fruit quality so it is also important to ensure that all plants get the same amount of feed in order to maintain uniform high quality.
Overfeeding plants also raises costs.
The whole operation of feeding, watering and soil testing is similar to a production line in any manufacturing industry and lends itself readily to quality control methods.
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