Get Greater Yield With Improved Tomato Nutrition

Scarlet Red Tomato

Editor’s note: Steve Bogash, horticulture educator for Penn State University, presented this topic at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Pennsylvania in February.

In order to grow high yields of tomatoes of 20-plus pounds per plant, Steve Bogash, regional horticulture educator for Penn State University says growers must be “willing to focus on production details.”

Fruit cracks, radial cracking, yellow shoulder, blossom-end rot, and shoulder cracks are tomato defects that create severe losses of marketable fruit. Bogash suggests several “cultural practices that growers can implement to dramatically decrease these problems. Proper irrigation management, careful attention to balancing specific nutrients, and the use of either plastic or organic mulches have all been proven in field trials to significantly increase fruit quality.”

High tunnels and shelters provide growers with some control over weather. Bogash says implementing these has “been shown in trials to be ‘unusually effective’ at increasing fruit quality through reducing rain splash on fruit and even improving light quality when using ‘diffusion-type’ plastic films.” He notes that fruit cracking often follows rain, in larger fruit.

“Keeping rain off the foliage all but eliminates a number of fungal and bacterial diseases by keeping the leaves dry and preventing rain drop splashing-caused movement of plant disease spores. Spider mites, aphids, thrips, Fulvia leaf mold and powdery mildew remain common pest challenges for shelter-grown tomato plants,” he said.

In order to produce the greatest quantity of the highest quality, Bogash suggests tomatoes (peppers too) growers must:

  1. Pay careful attention to soil preparation prior to planting. In the case of soilless media, the selection of the appropriate media has long-term consequences for the management of plant nutrition.
  2. Select only those varieties that perform well and meet individual grower market requirements.
  3. Understand their water resources thoroughly as pH and alkalinity have direct implications in water treatment and the selection of nutrients.
  4. Use moisture sensing soil appliances such as tensiometers in order to meet plant demands as growing conditions change.
  5. Be prepared to test both the soil and plant tissue as part of a concerted program to meet changing plant demands.
  6. Have a well-designed, easy to maintain, well maintained, nutrient injection system.
  7. Be prepared to apply nutrients on a regular basis to meet plant demands. This includes foliarly applied nutrients.

For more on this article click here.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Production Stories
Growers boot up drone technology on the farm
Production
September 16, 2016
The Definition Of Precision Ag
As the world’s population has been projected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, we will need to use the latest technology to to feed the world. Read More
Basic tractor on the horizon
Fruits
September 16, 2016
U.S. Farm Productivity Approaching Perilous Ground
Investments in research and Extension required to stay ahead of the competition. Read More
8-10-san-luis-reservoir-california
Fruits
September 15, 2016
California Growers May Face More Water Cuts
State proposal would divert more water to San Joaquin River system to save endangered fish habitat. Read More
Urban vegetable farm in rural Cuba
Organic
September 11, 2016
Organic Seed Alliance Names New Executive Director
New leader has a background in nonprofit development, environmental education. Read More
Photo credit: USDA
Fruits
September 8, 2016
Organic Association Chooses New Leader
John Mesko to head the Midwest Organic, Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), which hosts the nation’s largest annual organic farming conference. Read More
mycorrhizae
Citrus
September 7, 2016
Getting To The Root Of Improved Fruit And Vegetable Production
Taking a holistic approach to soil health is a key to increasing plant vigor and yields. High yields begin with Read More
To have product ready to ship year-round, NatureFresh interplants its tomatoes, which involves adding a new crop behind plants that are currently producing tomatoes.
Production
September 6, 2016
NatureFresh Farms Hits A New Level For Locally Grown
The company's Ohio-grown greenhouse tomatoes hit the marketplace as phase two and three of a state-of-the-art facility are being completed. Read More
The Latest
Berries
September 22, 2016
It Behooves Blueberry Growers To Protect…
Placing priority on bee care best practices will ensure sweet success for your crop. Read More
Production
September 16, 2016
The Definition Of Precision Ag
As the world’s population has been projected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, we will need to use the latest technology to to feed the world. Read More
Fruits
September 16, 2016
U.S. Farm Productivity Approaching Peril…
Investments in research and Extension required to stay ahead of the competition. Read More
Organic
September 11, 2016
Organic Seed Alliance Names New Executiv…
New leader has a background in nonprofit development, environmental education. Read More
Citrus
September 7, 2016
Getting To The Root Of Improved Fruit An…
Taking a holistic approach to soil health is a key to increasing plant vigor and yields. High yields begin with Read More
Production
September 6, 2016
NatureFresh Farms Hits A New Level For …
The company's Ohio-grown greenhouse tomatoes hit the marketplace as phase two and three of a state-of-the-art facility are being completed. Read More
Equipment
September 6, 2016
Trimble Announces Seamless Farm Data Int…
This initiative will ensure accurate records and eliminate duplicate data entry.   Read More
Marketing
September 6, 2016
Red Sun Farms Becomes Part Of The ‘Ohio …
After breaking ground on a second greenhouse in the spring, Red Sun plans to start the hiring process this fall and plant the first crop in early 2017. Read More
Fertilizer
September 5, 2016
Pump And Fertilize: How To Factor Irriga…
Water quality regulations in many regions of California now require farmers to report the amount of nitrogen fertilizer they apply to their fields and the nitrate concentration of their irrigation water. Read More
Citrus
August 31, 2016
Ag Robots And Drones May Be A $10 Billio…
A new report analyzes how the robotic market and technology developments will change the business of agriculture. Read More
Fruits
August 30, 2016
Western Growers Opens AgTech Innovation …
Startup companies can apply to compete for ag industry resources. Read More
Fruits
August 6, 2016
Save The Pollinators [Opinion]
Bees need to be protected as these beneficial, pollinating insects have an important job: They help increase yields of both fruits and vegetables. Read More
Production
August 2, 2016
SARE Grant Expands Tomato Research In Hi…
Researchers in New Hampshire receive grant to expand research for tomato nutrient and pest management in high tunnels. Read More
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Ag Tech Is Hot On Horticulture; Get A Ha…
As evidenced by the recent AgTech Summit hosted by Forbes magazine in Salinas, CA, action in precision farming and the Read More
Production
July 27, 2016
Survey: Fruit And Vegetable Growers Supp…
Most of the berry, almond, melon, pumpkin, and tree fruit growers surveyed are being careful about how they manage their farms to minimize pesticide impacts and improve bees’ habitats. Read More
Production
July 26, 2016
Importing Frozen Honeybee Sperm Is Key T…
The Washington State University (WSU) bee program has worked with researchers from around the world to create more honeybee genetic repositories like the one at WSU. Read More
Berries
July 12, 2016
Automated Strawberry Picker: One Step Cl…
Company receives U.S. Patent approval for continuous picking wheel on the machine. Read More
Fruits
July 7, 2016
New Video Highlights Benefits Of Plantin…
It’s becoming clear that one effective method is to plant wildflowers at field edges. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]