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
A bell pepper trial in New Hampshire was designed to evaluate  the performance of greenhouse and field pepper varieties in unheated tunnels.  Photo credit: Becky Sideman
More Vegetables
November 30, 2016
Keys To Successful Bell Pepper Production In High Tunnels
Proper water management and pruning strategies can help improve yields. Read More
2012 Yakima,  WA Apple Orchard - Feature
Fruits
November 29, 2016
Orchard Spray Oil Now OMRI Listed
Orchex 796 Orchard Spray Oil can be used on number of tree and nut crops. Read More
Synergy Power LLC has developed a device that has potential to harvest heat from waste in industrial food processing facilities and other applications.
Production
November 29, 2016
Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator Looks To Expand Reach With New Partnership
The incubator leverages one of the U.S.’s most productive agriculture regions to help develop and nurture ag-tech innovations. Read More
Varroa mites are considered the biggest bee health problem worldwide. Here, a Varroa mite has latched on to the upper-right side of a honeybee's abdomen to feed. (Photo credit: Purdue Agriculture/Tom Campbell)
Fruits
November 28, 2016
Another Species Of Mite Threatens Honeybees
Purdue researchers see a sister species of varroa mite developing ability to parasitize honeybees. Read More
sprayer nozzles
Equipment
November 28, 2016
New Video Series To Enhance Safety And Efficacy of Spray Applications
Videos cover the science behind key topics and best practice recommendations, which include understanding droplet size and spectrum. Read More
Scanning electron micrograph of fresh pollen removed from wax storage cells of honey bee colonies. In choice tests, bees strongly preferred freshly collected pollen over aged pollen. Photo credit: USDA-ARS
Citrus
November 21, 2016
Bacterial Imbalances Can Be Troublesome For Honeybees
A recent study reports that bees given fresh pollen or fresh supplements fared better than bees given pollen or supplements that had first been aged for 21 days. Read More
This image higlights salad leaf microflora prints. Photo credit: The University of Leicester
Food Safety
November 21, 2016
New Study Shows Pre-Cut Salad Fosters Growth Of Salmonella
A new study shows minimal damage to salad leaves in bagged salads stimulate the presence of Salmonella enterica. Read More
The Latest
Apples & Pears
December 4, 2016
Easy Tips For Apple Pruning Demonstratio…
Seminar to be presented in both English and Spanish by Penn State University Extension experts. Read More
More Vegetables
November 30, 2016
Keys To Successful Bell Pepper Productio…
Proper water management and pruning strategies can help improve yields. Read More
Production
November 29, 2016
Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator L…
The incubator leverages one of the U.S.’s most productive agriculture regions to help develop and nurture ag-tech innovations. Read More
Fruits
November 28, 2016
Another Species Of Mite Threatens Honeyb…
Purdue researchers see a sister species of varroa mite developing ability to parasitize honeybees. Read More
Equipment
November 28, 2016
New Video Series To Enhance Safety And E…
Videos cover the science behind key topics and best practice recommendations, which include understanding droplet size and spectrum. Read More
Citrus
November 21, 2016
Bacterial Imbalances Can Be Troublesome …
A recent study reports that bees given fresh pollen or fresh supplements fared better than bees given pollen or supplements that had first been aged for 21 days. Read More
Citrus
November 20, 2016
Partnership Highlights Key Role Bees Pla…
Campaign focuses on role honeybees and beekeepers have pollinating the foods Americans eat. Read More
Equipment
November 14, 2016
New 4×4 Vehicle Offers Four-Passeng…
With increased room in vehicle, additional personnel can be transported to complete tasks on the farm. Read More
Production
November 7, 2016
Trimble Releases New Ag Software Platfor…
The software platform is designed to help growers and crop advisors simplify farm data management and increase productivity and profitability. Read More
Apples & Pears
November 2, 2016
Consider Alternatives To Finished Apple …
While tree availability has been a challenge, you may find other options give you a similar result. Read More
Production
November 1, 2016
Vertical Farming Innovator Urban Crops O…
The Belgium-based company produces tailored growth infrastructures that are turnkey, automated, robotized, and able to be integrated into existing production facilities. Read More
Equipment
October 25, 2016
Agricultural Mechanization: One Theme Of…
The show to be held in Italy will highlight some of the latest spraying, irrigation, and harvesting equipment. Read More
Production
October 12, 2016
Precision Ag Technology Moves Forward Fo…
Startups at Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology focus on tools to contribute to your business. Read More
Leafy Vegetables
October 3, 2016
Options In Lettuce Thinning
The words “precision agriculture” can mean different things to different people. For those producing row crops, it typically has to Read More
Organic
October 2, 2016
Tips For Growers To Manage Top Organic P…
A strong IPM program that combines strategies to build healthy soil is the best line of defense for vegetable growers. Read More
Equipment
September 28, 2016
Small Tractor Sales On The Rebound
Retail sales of tractors under 40 horsepower gained more than 21% last month, while sales of larger tractors continued their double-digit declines. Read More
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Rodale Institute Launches An Organic Far…
A new national organization for organic growers is designed to provide advocacy, the latest research and education, and information-sharing among farmers. Read More
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