Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #164430


item Perkins Veazie, Penelope

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/23/2004
Publication Date: 7/1/2004
Citation: Perkins Veazie, P.M. 2004. Berry crop quality response to soil and foliar nutrition[Abstract]. Hortscience. 39:738.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Mineral nutrition, especially from nitrogen, potassium, and calcium, affects the quality of small fruits such as blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and grape. Generally, nitrogen and potassium are needed for berry growth and for development of acidity and sweetness. Potassium intake increases as berries size and calcium is needed to prevent excessive softening during this phase. Excessive nitrogen can make fruit soft and decrease surface color, and in blueberries, can cause formation of fewer, smaller berries that take longer to ripen. Excessive potassium can decrease magnesium uptake, lower fruit pH and increase acidity and potassium content in strawberries, and may increase or decrease acidity of grapes, depending on type and variety. Phosphorous is needed for fruit set and early growth, but excessive phosphorous can create micronutrient deficiencies, especially zinc. Application of extra calcium improves disease resistance and increases calcium content and fruit firmness. Boron deficiency can cause malformed fruit. In most small fruits, maintaining ideal commercial fruit quality is the goal of nutrition programs. Vitamin and phytonutrient contents of small fruits are of increasing interest to consumers, and these can be manipulated by nutritional management, such as increasing ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in strawberries by increasing potassium.