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Nutrient Management Program

Nutrient Management Program


General information

  • UF/IFAS fertilization and liming recommendations are advisory in nature and emphasize efficient fertilizer use and environmentally sound nutrient management without losses of yield or crop quality.
  • Recommendations assume that nutrients will be supplied from commercial fertilizer and expected crop yields and quality will be typical of economically viable production.
  • Recommendations assume straight fertilizers (single nutrient sources) will be used to apply nutrients. If multi-nutrient fertilizers will be used, the fertilizer analysis should align with recommended nutrient rate ratios.
  • Consider UF/IFAS recommendations in the context of the overall nutrient management strategy. Evaluate fertilizer rates, timing, placement, and source for efficiency and consider return on fertilizer investment.
  • If organic soil amendments are applied, understand and account for nutrient contributions and other benefits of adding organic matter.
  • For best results, follow these recommendations in their entirety. The UF/IFAS recommendation is a holistic combination of fertilizer rates plus nutrient management aspects including irrigation.

Fertilizer rates

  Target pH lbs/acre/cropping season


P2O5 K2O
Soil test     Low Med High Low Med High


Snap, Pole, Lima

6.5 100 100 80 0 100 80 0
  • Indicated fertilizer rates plus the nutrients already in the soil will satisfy the crop nutrient requirement for this cropping season. Excessive fertilization has been shown to reduce vegetable quality.
  • On soils that have not been in vegetable production within the past 2 years, or where micronutrients are known to be deficient, apply 5 lb Mn, 3 lb Zn, 4 lb Fe, 3 lb Cu, and 1.5 lb B/A. Use soil testing to monitor micronutrient status every 2 years to avoid micronutrient toxicity, because some micronutrients can build up in the soil. When deciding about micronutrient applications, consider micronutrients added to the crop via fungicides.
  • Up to 40 lb/acre Mg might be needed when soil test is medium or lower in Mg. Mg can be supplied in fertilizer or from dolomitic limestone, when liming is recommended. Calcium concentrations are typically sufficient in most soils used continuously for vegetable production or where the Mehlich-3 Ca index is >300 ppm. Calcium is added during liming activities and from calcium carbonate present in irrigation water drawn from aquifers in Florida. These sources should be considered in the determination of Ca fertilizer needs.

Fertilizer timing

  • Fertilizer should be applied in split applications to reduce leaching losses and lessen danger of fertilizer burn.
  • Broadcast all P2O5 and micronutrients, if any, and 25% to 30% of the N and K2O in the bed at planting.
  • Apply remaining N and K2O in sidedress bands during the early part of the growing season.
  • Additional, supplemental sidedress applications of 30 lbs N/A and 20 lbs K2O/ac should be applied only if rainfall/irrigation amounts exceed 3 inches within a 3-day period or exceed 4 inches within a 7-day period.

Fertilizer placement

  • Broadcast or sidedress fertilizer depending on the nutrient (see above).

Fertilizer sources

  • Supply 25% to 50% of the N in the nitrate form if soils were treated with multipurpose fumigants or if the soil temperature will stay below 60°F for up to one week following transplanting or germination.

Water management

  • Fertilizer and water management are linked. Maximum fertilizer efficiency is achieved only with close attention to water management.
  • Supply only enough irrigation water to satisfy crop requirements. Excess irrigation may result in leaching of N and K, creating possible plant deficiencies. 


HS 1261 Snap Bean Soil Fertility Program in Miami-Dade County

CV 296 Vegetable Production Handbook, Ch. 2: Fertilizer Management for Vegetable Production in Florida

CIR 1152 UF/IFAS Standardized Nutrient Recommendations for Vegetable Crop Production in Florida 

Other Resources

SL 331 A Summary of N, P, and K Research with Snap Bean in Florida