Global warming and resulting drought is the most important constraint affecting plant production in the Mediterranean Region. Therefore, effective management of scarce water resources is of paramount importance in this region. This research was conducted to determine the optimal irrigation strategy for drip irrigated fresh market tomato grown in different soilless culture in a glasshouse in the Mediterranean Region of Turkey. Volcanic ash, peat and their mixture were used as growth media. Four different irrigation levels (WL1=75%; WL2=100%; WL3=125% and WL4=150% of Class A Pan evaporation) and two watering frequencies (once and twice daily applications) were evaluated. Highest yield and fruit number were obtained from the ash+peat mixture (1:1) with twice a day watering at WL4 irrigation level. Soluble solids of tomato fruit decreased with increasing available water. The highest irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) value of 121.4 kg m-3 was obtained from once a day irrigation WL1 irrigation level with peat+ash (1:1). IWUE decreased in all treatments as the amount of irrigation water increased.
Key words: Peat, volcanic ash, substrate, drip irrigation, class A Pan, irrigation water use efficiency.
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