Soil characterization of horticultural greenhouses in northern Uruguay
Keywords:mulch, organic amendment, electrical conductivity, tomato
The crops under cover constitute a very important production mode within the horticulture of northern Uruguay, but there is little information on the current state of these soils. The objective of this study was to characterize some physicochemical properties of soils under greenhouses with tomato cultivation (Solanum lycopersicum) and to relate them to soil management practices. For this, 30 commercial properties were selected from the horticultural area of northern Uruguay near the city of Salto. Soil samples were taken from the most representative greenhouse, at the end of the crop's productive period, from each farm. Additional information was collected such as area by production mode, number of consecutive crops in the same greenhouse, yield obtained in the harvest under study, and soil management. The high values observed for organic soil carbon (OSC), pH, available P, and mineral N suggest the need to decrease the application rates or frequency of organic amendments and/or fertilizers. The high concentrations of Na+ in the surface and NO3- in the subsurface horizons indicate the need to improve irrigation management. This information could be used as a basis to outline aspects to delve into, for rational management of amendments and nutrients, and irrigation water in soils under these production systems.
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