The experiment was conducted by combining two factors namely; irrigation scheduling with three levels and nutrient management with five levels. The two factors were crossed factorially; irrigation treatments were arranged in vertical strips and integrated nutrient management arranged in horizontal–strip with strip plot design replicated three times. Field soil was sampled for physical and chemical property determinations. Equal amount of irrigation water were applied before the initiation of irrigation treatments. Once the drip system was installed, irrigation was done on the basis of daily evapotranspiration (ETo) value of the previous day. Growth and canopy characteristics such as plant height, stem diameter, lateral branch length, canopy width and canopy depth were measured and canopy cover was estimated. Additionally yield and yield components at harvest were measured from sample fruits. Physiological data such as chlorophyll content, quantum yield, and Ft were assessed. Data were subjected to analysis of variance as per the design using the SAS Software. Among irrigation levels tested, highest total yield 82.14 t ha-1, was recorded from full irrigation treatment followed by 57.30 t ha-1 from 80% ETc irrigation levels and lowest total yield 49.30 t ha-1 from 60% of full irrigation depth. This finding indicated that tomato should be irrigated at full water requirement to get maximum fruit yield. From this investigation, the total fruit yield was recorded from N 185 kg ha-1 P 60 kg ha-1 combination and N 75 kg ha-1 P 50 kg ha-1 treatment combination with 67.483 and 67.31 t ha-1 respectively. Application of N 185 kg ha-1 P 60 kg ha-1 combination (grower's check) did not contribute to much yield difference but would encourage luxury consumption and environmental pollution. Thus combinations of full irrigation treatment with N 75 kg ha-1 P 50 kg ha -1 nutrient application would be recommended for verification for tomato production around Melkassa.
Key words: Drip irrigation, N and P nutrient, evapotranspiration (ETo), ETc, tomato.
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