Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Plant and Soil Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Krista Jacobsen


A two-year field experiment (2022-2023) was conducted at the University of Kentucky Horticulture Research Farm in Lexington, KY to study the effects of potassium (K2O) fertilization rates on tomato yield and ripening disorders in determinate and indeterminate varieties (‘BHN-589’ and ‘Big Beef’, respectively). In the first year, K2O rates representing the soil test result-based commercial recommendation (0 lbs/acre) and sequentially greater rates (150, 300, and 450 lbs K2O/acre) were applied. In the second year, K2O rates were increased based on lack of fruit quality response and were 0, 300, 600, and 900 lbs K2O/acre. Leaf tissue nutrients, tomato yield, and soil data were collected and analyzed. In the first year, marketable yield remained unaffected by K2O fertilizer treatments or tomato cultivars. However, cultivars significantly influenced unmarketable yield. Leaf sample analysis revealed no significant nutrient differences between treatments or cultivars, except for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and boron (B). Soil analyses showed a significant effect of K2O fertilizer treatment on soil available K2O content. In the second year, significant differences were observed in yield, soil K2O level, Hartz ratio, and leaf tissue K content among treatments. Despite this, none of the K2O treatments reduced ripening disorder. Further research is needed to improve fertilization strategies, understand observed variations, and develop optimized practices for enhancing tomato quality and yield in HT cultivation.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Funded by: UKY Department of Horticulture and The Food Connection at UK

Included in

Horticulture Commons