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
Insect Control
September 6, 2017
Vegetable Pest Populations Can Soar in High Tunnels, Study Shows
High tunnels alone are not enough to control pest populations, the study shows. To control pest levels, growers need to take other steps that allow ventilation while screening crops, and supporting natural predators. Read More
Fruits
September 5, 2017
Organic Fruit Sales Surge 12%
Organic vegetable sales rose 6%, as consumer demand is still going strong. Read More
Production
August 30, 2017
Houweling’s Tomatoes Grows Produce with Mastery Under Glass
Houweling’s Tomatoes exceeds industry standards for locally grown produce while pioneering innovative technologies that improve sustainability. Read More
Citrus
August 23, 2017
Varroa Mite Researchers Talk High Infestations in Bee Colonies
In 2016, The New York State Beekeeper Tech Team (which is attached to Cornell University’s Dyce Lab Beekeeping Resources) found that Read More
fine-tuning an orange
Citrus
August 18, 2017
How Florida Growers are Fine-Tuning Citrus Fertility
Some are tweaking nutrition programs to focus on root health along with foliar applications. Read More
Citrus
August 17, 2017
How Wicked Will Winter 2018 Be in the U.S.?
The 200th edition of the Farmers’ Almanac reveals wide-ranging weather patterns and events that would require everything from shovels to shorts. Read More
Production
August 9, 2017
Greenhouse Vegetable Production Systems for Every Grower
From fully automated deepwater culture to vertical growing systems, growers and manufacturers weigh in on tools for producing top-quality vegetables and greens. Read More
Fruits
August 7, 2017
Inaugural Organic Grower Summit Attendee Registration Now Open
Only 22 booths remain for exhibitors at the trade show, which is scheduled for Dec. 13 and 14 in Monterey, CA. Read More
Crop Protection
August 2, 2017
Report: 90% of NY Beehives Had Varroa Mites in 2016
Cornell University's NYS Beekeeper Tech Team recent report also shows most hives are infected with Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), a disease linked to the mites. Read More
Organic
July 19, 2017
4 Challenges Large Operations Face in Organic Vegetable Production
Organic vegetable production in Monterey County has evolved over the past 25 years. It was once the domain of small- Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
USDA Pulls 8 Products from Approved Organic Production List
After a few months of speculation, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has published its Sunset 2017 final rule on approved products for organic production and handling. Read More
Fruits
July 9, 2017
USDA Invests $6.8 Million for Pollinator Health
Projects focus on colony losses, pollinator habitats, and increase pollinator populations. Read More
Citrus
July 5, 2017
Give Tech Companies the Expertise They Lack [Opinion]
One problem with many agricultural technology start up companies is that no one on staff has a farming background. That's easy enough to fix. Volunteer your expertise. Read More
Citrus
July 5, 2017
Want Labor-Saving Harvest Equipment? Collaborate.
Innovation and technology start with growers working with their peers and manufacturers. Read More
Berries
July 1, 2017
Water is a Must for Berry Crops
As the adage goes, “ability is availability” as so it goes for water. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
September 7, 2017
Improving Water Management: Can Silicon …
Though very much-needed, technological solutions must be cost-effective and industry appropriate. Read More
Production
September 6, 2017
Companion Crops Lower Inputs and Increas…
An age-old production method often associated with Native Americans has been validated by study results from the Texas A&M AgriLife Read More
Insect Control
September 6, 2017
Vegetable Pest Populations Can Soar in H…
High tunnels alone are not enough to control pest populations, the study shows. To control pest levels, growers need to take other steps that allow ventilation while screening crops, and supporting natural predators. Read More
Production
August 30, 2017
Houweling’s Tomatoes Grows Produce with …
Houweling’s Tomatoes exceeds industry standards for locally grown produce while pioneering innovative technologies that improve sustainability. Read More
Citrus
August 23, 2017
Varroa Mite Researchers Talk High Infest…
In 2016, The New York State Beekeeper Tech Team (which is attached to Cornell University’s Dyce Lab Beekeeping Resources) found that Read More
Production
August 9, 2017
Greenhouse Vegetable Production Systems …
From fully automated deepwater culture to vertical growing systems, growers and manufacturers weigh in on tools for producing top-quality vegetables and greens. Read More
Crop Protection
August 2, 2017
Report: 90% of NY Beehives Had Varroa Mi…
Cornell University's NYS Beekeeper Tech Team recent report also shows most hives are infected with Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), a disease linked to the mites. Read More
Organic
July 19, 2017
4 Challenges Large Operations Face in Or…
Organic vegetable production in Monterey County has evolved over the past 25 years. It was once the domain of small- Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
USDA Pulls 8 Products from Approved Orga…
After a few months of speculation, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has published its Sunset 2017 final rule on approved products for organic production and handling. Read More
Fruits
July 9, 2017
USDA Invests $6.8 Million for Pollinator…
Projects focus on colony losses, pollinator habitats, and increase pollinator populations. Read More
Citrus
July 5, 2017
Give Tech Companies the Expertise They L…
One problem with many agricultural technology start up companies is that no one on staff has a farming background. That's easy enough to fix. Volunteer your expertise. Read More
Citrus
July 5, 2017
Want Labor-Saving Harvest Equipment? Col…
Innovation and technology start with growers working with their peers and manufacturers. Read More
Irrigation
June 28, 2017
Robert Sakata Talks About Water
The Colorado grower discusses how water issues have changed which crops they grow where, and raises the idea of leasing water rights during droughts replacing crop income. Read More
Citrus
June 21, 2017
Study Suggests Modern Beekeeping Gives V…
Parasite has adapted, thrived with colonies in modern hives. Read More
More Vegetables
June 21, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Pumpkin…
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, Read More
Citrus
June 21, 2017
Storm Runoff May Recharge Aquifers and Y…
A new study hints that tapping into storm water during dry years does more than increase water table levels. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 19, 2017
Bee-ware: New Resources Released for Nat…
New videos, webinars available during week-long observance. Read More
Irrigation
June 7, 2017
Managing Pivot Irrigation in Drought Are…
Navajo Agricultural Products Industry's Crop Manager Amanda Kerr shares her method to ensure the operation is always as prepared as possible for a drought. Read More