Role of Boron in Tomato Production

Boron is involved in the production of nucleic acid and plant hormones, the movement of plant sugars, and in carbohydrate metabolism and translocation.

Boron and nitrogen, potassium, and calcium uptake

USA trial shows that, if boron is deficient, the uptake of other nutrients, notably nitrogen, potassium and calcium, is reduced.

Boron and yield

Boron also has an important role in pollen germination and fruit set, therefore boron nutrition affects yield, as shown in US studies.

Boron and fruit number

Pre-flowering applications ensure good fruit set and full yield potentials are achieved. In addition, while boron is quickly taken up from the soil, it is relatively immobile in the plant, so foliar sprays are often more effective (trials in Vietnam).

Boron and fruit weight

Boron nutrition not only increases yield due to fruit number, but also due to fruit weight (trials in Vietnam).

Boron, calcium and russeting

Lack of boron (and calcium) increases the incidence of russeting, as shown in US trials.

Boron and tomato shelf life

Boron also has a positive influence on the level of cracking and shelf life of the fruit, as USA trial shows. Any cracks on the fruit shoulder increase water loss and susceptibility to pathogen attack.

General guidelines for boron application

Boron deficiency prevents root growth and disrupts cell membranes, which has a direct effect on plant’s uptake mechanism. On the other hand, excess boron can block the transportation of calcium, so it is important that accurate application rates are adhered to. Boron accumulates in the leaf margins, turning them black. Root death occurs where levels are particularly high. Soils with high levels of boron can be ameliorated by leaching.

Boron at tomato growth stages
Establishment Ensures good shoot growth
Vegetative growth Ensures growth is not limiting
Flowering - fruit set Maximizes flower set, development and fruiting
Fruit ripening - maturity Ensures even ripening

Role of nutrients

Read about the role of other nutrients in tomato production:

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Potassium

Calcium

Magnesium

Sulfur

Boron

Copper

Iron

Manganese

Molybdenum

Zinc

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sebastian korob
Sebastian Korob
Crop Manager, Vegetable/Berries