Tomato is a self-pollinated crop. Tomato is one of the most popular and widely grown vegetables in the world ranking second in importance to potato in many countries.

 

Tomato in large quantities is used to produce soup, juice, ketchup, puree, paste and powder; it supplies vitamin C and adds a variety of colors and flavors to the food. The tomato seeds contain 24% oil used as salad oil and in the manufacture of margarine.

Tomato cultivation and management practices

Area and production

China is the leading producer of tomato holds 31% shares in the world. India ranks second in the production of tomatoes after the china as data of year 2017 (source: FAOSTAT)

Countries Production (tones)
China 59,626,900
India 20,708,000
Turkey 12,750,000
United States 10,910,990
Egypt 7,297,108
Iran 6,177,290
Italy 6,015,868
Spain 5,163,466
Mexico 4,243,058
Brazil 4,230,150

 

Taxonomy

The botanical name of tomato is Solanum Lycopersicum. Tomato belongs to the family Solanaceae and the genus Lycopersicon. The genus includes 12 species, all native to South America.  The origin of tomato is western South America.

Soil and Climate

Tomato is grown in many types of soils from sand to heavy clay. A well-drained , fairly light fertile loam with a fair moisture holding capacity is ideal for growing a good crop of tomato. It prefers a soil reaction ranging from pH 6.0 to 7.0. In acidic soils, liming was beneficial.

Tomato is a warm season crop, required relatively long season to produce a profitable crop. It is highly susceptible to frost. High temperature and high humidity favor development of foliar diseases. Dry wind results in dropping of flowers.

Temperature

The optimum temperature for growing tomato is 21-270C. The temperature which favors high percentage of germination within a prescribed time differed between cultivars.

Suitable temperature for germination of seeds is 18.5 to 210C. Many tomato cultivars germinated rapidly in a temperature range of 26 to 320C.

Seed treatment in tomatoes 

Seed treatment with hydrogen peroxide (0.2- 0.6 per cent) for 2 to 4 days at 210C gave an early emergence of seedlings for 7 to 8 days and also yielded 22.8 per cent higher yield. Heat treatment at 600C for 6 hours also proved effective in increasing the yield by 33.3 per cent.

Transplanting

Tomato is planted in well pulverized and levelled field. Tomato is normally planted in raise beds of 60 to 75 cm width. Transplanting is usually done during late afternoon and the seedlings are placed on side of the beds. This provides ample moisture for the plants to survive.

Spacing

Many scientist observed that proper spacing resulted in higher yield. The optimum spacing of   4 x 2 ft produced the highest yield and increased spacing resulted in slight increase in fruit weight an number of fruits per plant.

Irrigation

Tomato being very sensitive to soil water regime, the water tables play a major role in meeting the irrigational needs of the crop. To balancing between yield and quality, a water table depth of 0.6 and 0.8 m was necessary for tomato production on sandy loam soils. It is necessary to maintain even moisture supply. Irrigation requires in winter season 7 to 8 days intervals.

Manures and Fertilizers in tometo

The farm yard manure (FYM) required for tomato cultivation is 20-25 tonnes per hactre. The FYM should be applied in field before 15 days of sowing. In high yielding cultivars, 65 to 75 per cent of total dry matter was accumulated in the fruit end.

The major nutrient or fertilizer for the tomato cultivation require 104 kg N, 22 kg P and 141 kg K. The fertilizer is used according to the availability of nutrient in the soil (know about it, doing soil testing).

Micronutrients for tomato

Among the micronutrients boron, zinc and manganese deserve special attention. A positive correlation was observed between boron and flower number, number of aborted flower and fruit weight. Boron deficiency caused reduction in root growth, swollen hypocotyls and cotyledons, brittle leaves and necrosis of shoot apex.

Biofertilizer

It not only played an important role in maintaining good health of the plants, but also served as a natural source of plant nutrient or organic production to increase production.

S.No. Biofertilizers Importance
1. Azospirillum brasilense Seedbed-transplanting (higher fruit yield), uptake of NPK
2. VAM fungi Promoted phosphate uptake in low phosphate soils.
3. Azotobacter Improve fruit yield.

 

Weed control

The weeding problem start 15-25 days after transplanting the tomato seedlings. For controlling the weeds, the role of weedicide in tomato crop was studied by many workers. Orobranche ramose, a dicot weed of tomato could be controlled by the application of chlorsulfuron (pendimethalin) at 2.44 g. (Qasem, 1998). Hand weeding also be done in the tomato field.

Mulching

Mulching is useful to getting higher production and also in moisture conservation. The plastic polythene sheet is mainly used and its also help to reduction the pest, insect etc.

Yield of large fruits were enhanced by application of mulch. Mulching with black or transparent polyethylene decreased levels of Bemisia tabaci infestation and tomato yellow leaf curl.

Tomato cultivation and management practices, mulching

Effect of growth substances in tometo

The effect of various plant growth substances on seed germination, growth, flowering, fruit set, yield and quality of fruits. Seed treatment, sprays on seedling, flower cluster or whole plant were found to be affective in increasing the production of tomato. Balasubramaniam (1998) opined that seed treatment with GA3 enhanced percentage of seed germination and shoot growth, while IAA inhibited both.

Harvesting

The stage of maturity for harvest of tomato depends upon the purpose for which they are used  and distance covered to reach the market. The following stages of maturity for harvesting are recognized.

  1. Immature : Before the seeds fully developed and before the jelly-like substances surrounding the seeds were formed.
  2. Mature green : the fully grown fruit with a brownish ring at stemscar, removal of calyx, light green colour at blossom and changed by yellowish green and seeds surrounded by jelly-like substances filling the seed cavity.
  3. Turing : ¼ of the surface at blossom and show pink (breaker stage).
  4. Pink : ¾ of the surface shows pink.
  5. Hard ripe : Nearly all red or pink with firm flesh.
  6. Over ripe : fully coloured and soft.

Tomatoes Yield

Tomato cultivation and management practices

The yield depended upon various agroclimatic factors, including soil fertility, and cultivar and cultural practices. On an average in India, under field conditions, a normal tomato crop produced 16-25 t/ha. The hybrids often produced 60-80 t/ha.


Dinesh Dhaker

Dinesh is a agriculture student which are follow and contribute in this website as writer and editor of post.

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