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
Apples & PearsFrom The Road: IFTA Conference Day 4
February 25, 2015
Creating fruiting walls with mechanical hedgers can help increase light interception in the canopy, say researchers and growers. Read More
Protected AgricultureParticipate In The 2015 Greenhouse Crop Production & Engineering Design Short Course
February 25, 2015
The University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center hosts its annual short course March 22-27 in Tucson, AZ. Read More
BerriesGrowing Greenhouse Strawberries Can Pay
February 24, 2015
British trial shows much lower disease pressure, higher quality and bigger yields. Read More
Apples & PearsThe State Of Mechanical Apple Harvesting
February 23, 2015
Breakthroughs in mechanization have been a long time coming, but recent advances combining the skills of both people and machines are bringing efficiencies to orchards of all sizes. Read More
Apples & PearsOn The Road With IFTA: Conference Day 1
February 21, 2015
Honeycrisp ― and the delicate balance between quality and profitability ― are the preconference workshop focus at this year's IFTA Conference. Read More
OrganicWestbridge Receives California Approval For Organic Herbicide
February 18, 2015
SUPPRESS® Herbicide EC is a new broad spectrum, post-emergent tool for organic growers. Read More
CitrusNew Desalination Technology May Be The Answer To California’s Drought
February 18, 2015
Researchers plan to address concerns with a process that will examine ways to turn seawater into drinkable water. Read More
The Latest
Crop ProtectionSurvey Shows Growers Seek New Strategies To Control Thr…
March 4, 2015
Growers surveyed at the 2015 Southeast Regional Fruit And Vegetable Conference list thrips as major pest concern, and are looking for new technologies to combat pests. Read More
FruitsMaximize Produce Profits By Focusing On Soil Health
February 27, 2015
Cover crops are just one of the ways you can help boost your trees’ and vines’ performance and your bottom line. Read More
Apples & PearsFrom The Road: IFTA Conference Day 4
February 25, 2015
Creating fruiting walls with mechanical hedgers can help increase light interception in the canopy, say researchers and growers. Read More
Apples & PearsOn The Road With IFTA: Conference Day 1
February 21, 2015
Honeycrisp ― and the delicate balance between quality and profitability ― are the preconference workshop focus at this year's IFTA Conference. Read More
CitrusMegadrought In The West Predicted By End Of The Century
February 18, 2015
Lowering greenhouse gases will reduce risk, scientists say. Read More
FruitsSeed Industry Is Breeding A Win-Win For Farmers, Consum…
February 14, 2015
Florida Grower editor Frank Giles says all should marvel at the technology being used to feed the growing world population with healthy produce. Read More
ProductionResearchers Reprogram Plants To Tolerate Drought Condit…
February 10, 2015
An agrochemical used to control late blight of fruit and vegetable crops may help plants survive during a drought. Read More
ProductionHow To Assess The Impact Of Salt On Irrigation Water
February 9, 2015
In the West, growers are often concerned about whether they will have access to a sufficient quantity of water to Read More
Nutrient ManagementCelebrate Soil [Opinion]
February 5, 2015
Highlighting to consumers the importance of having healthy soil to produce your crop is another way to tell the story of ag to the masses. Read More
FruitsHighlights From The Mid-Atlantic Fruit And Vegetable Co…
January 28, 2015
Bio-control use, media literacy, and disease control were just a few of the topics discussed at the convention held in Hershey, PA. Read More
FruitsUSDA Forecast Predicts Normal Water Supply For Parts Of…
January 27, 2015
The Southwest, Sierra Nevada region, and Pacific Northwest are starting the year drier than normal. Read More
FruitsJiffy Pumped To Introduce New Produce Propagation Syste…
January 23, 2015
PreGro concept to make its debut at Fruit Logistica. Read More
CitrusElevated Expectations For UAV Use In Agriculture
January 15, 2015
Uncertainties aside, many believe unmanned aircraft will find a lasting place in farming. Read More
CucurbitsHow To Be Successful Using Grafted Vegetable Plants
January 15, 2015
University of Arizona researcher offers advice on purchasing commercially grafted plants, pitfalls to avoid, and an update on the latest technology. Read More
FruitsUSDA Announces Kick Off Of The International Year Of So…
January 7, 2015
In 2015, the nations of the world are focusing their collective attention to the primary resource essential to food production: soil. Read More
ProductionPresent The Facts On GMOs [opinion]
January 5, 2015
Genetically modified organisms (GMO). Why do those three words strike fear in the hearts of some consumers? We know those fears are Read More
CitrusAce Pump Adds Two New Stainless Models To Its 650 Max S…
December 22, 2014
The equipment is designed to provide long-lasting performance. Read More
ProductionNational Vegetable Grafting Symposium To Take Place Jan…
December 17, 2014
The third grafting symposium, Growing New Roots for the Vegetable Industry in the U.S., will be held at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center in Savannah, GA. Read More