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TOMATO, Solanum lycopersicum (SOLANACEAE)

Solanum lycopersicum, syn. Lycopersicon lycopersicum is native to South America from Mexico to Argentina. Tomatoes are short-lived perennials cropped as annuals.

Uses
Majority of the total tomato crop is processed into juice, canned tomatoes, sauces, pastes, and ketchup. 25% are tomatoes for fresh market. Although most processing tomatoes are canned or processed into sauces and condiments, small percentages are also sold fresh or as ‚sun-dried‘ tomatoes. Greenhouse tomatoes are generally indeterminate and can be cropped for 24 months or longer. Varieties used for commercial fresh market production outdoors are determinate. Fruit can be yellow, orange, pink, red, or even white.
Ecology and planting
Tomatoes need 6 hours of direct sunlight to flower, temperature 10°C to 30°C with optimum range of temperature is 21-24°C. Tomatoes have a high water requirement but also have an extensive r o o t s y s t e m . W i t h good growing conditions, plants should be given as much water as possible during vegetative growth. Tomato seedlings require 5 to 7 weeks at 20 to 25°C day and 15 to 20°C night temperatures to be ready for transplanting to the fi eld. For staking of fresh market tomatoes within-row spacings are 40 to 75 cm and between-row spacing are 140 to 180 cm. Processing tomatoes and mechanically harvested fresh market tomatoes are often direct seeded. Average time from transplanting to harvest is for early cultivars: 50 to 65 days, mid-season cultivars: 70 to 80 days, late cultivars: 85 to 95 days. The yield is ranging from 5-20 tons per acre depending on tomato variety.
Mycorrhiza & Bio-fertilizers
Tomato belongs to plants with high dependency on mycorrhiza. Field application of mycorrhiza proved signifi cant increase in total yield. When combined with bio-fertilizer, increase up to 15-20% in yield may be expected. Plants should be more resistant to soil borne diseases and drought. Application of mycorrhizal inocula may be also carried out at nursery stage or at field planting. Mycorrhiza was also reported to be able to increase signifi cantly the content of benefi cial carotenes and sugars in fruits. In the field mycorrhiza increases stability of soils and helps conserve nutrients in the soil profile and contribute to erosion control of intensively used agricultural land. Complex effects of mycorrhiza treatment result in increased sustainability of the planting field.
Recommended products:
 
Symbivit: mycorrhizal product
Conavit: slow release fertlizer
 

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More details:
 
Info sheet Tomato [PDF]