The use of fertigation, coupled with micro-irrigation, has continued to increase since it was first introduced in horticultural cropping systems. This combination provides a technical solution whereby nutrients and water can be supplied to the crop with high precision in terms of time and space, thereby allowing high nutrient use efficiency. However, the correct estimation of crop nutrient and water needs is fundamental to obtaining precise plant nutrition and high nutrient use efficiency in fertigated cropping systems. This paper illustrates the state-of-the-art and new perspectives for optimal nutrient management of vegetable crops cultivated under fertigation regimes. An overall description is reported for the most valuable technologies and techniques based on simulation models, soil testing, plant testing, and related decision support systems that can be adopted for efficient fertigation. However, it should be highlighted that only a few of the above technologies and techniques are practically available and/or easy to use by growers. Therefore, much more attention should be paid in the future to the transfer of research knowledge to farmers and technical advisors.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited