TOMATO CULTIVATION

Lycopersicon esculentum, Solanaceae

The origin of tomato is Peru(South America)
Tomato is rich in minerals (Iron and phosphorous), essential amino acids, vitamins(A and C) and dietary fibres.
It contains lycopene and beta carotene pigments.
Fruit of tomato is Berry and the red colour of tomato is mainly due to Lycopene pigment.

The major tomato producing states are Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa Andra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam.
Important Varieties and Hybrids
Varieties
Pusa ruby, Pusa 120, Arka Sourabh, Pusa gaurav, Arka vikas, hisar lalit, PKM 1 etc
Hybrids
TNAU tomato hybrid CO3, COTH 1 and COTH 2

Soil

It requires well drained loamy soils rich in organic matter and it requires pH of 6.5-7.5.

Sowing season
Kharif season: May – June
Rabi season: November – December

Nursery bed preparation

Apply FYM of 10 kg, 1kg Neem cake, VAM of 50 g, enriched Superphosphate of 100 g before sowing.

Seed rate
            Varieties : 300-350 g/ha
             Hybrids : 100-150 g/ha

Seed treatment

Treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride 4 g or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g or Carbendazim 2 g per kg of seeds 24 hours before sowing. Sow the seeds in lines at 10 cm apart in raised nursery beds and cover with sand.

Protected nursery management

Prepare the nursery area of 3 cents with slanting slope of 2 % for the seedling production to cover 1 ha.
Cover the nursery area with 50 % shade net and cover the sides using 40/50 mesh insect proof nylon net.
Form raised beds of 1 m width and convenient length and place HDPV pipes at 2m interval for further protection with polythene sheets during rainy months.
Mix sterilized cocopeat @ 300 kg with 5 kg neem cake along with Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria each @ 1 kg. Approximately 1.2 kg of cocopeat is required for filling one protray. 238 protrays (98 cells) are required for the production of 23,334 seedlings, which are required for one hectare adopting a spacing of 90 x 60 x 60 cm in paired row system.
Sow the treated seed in protrays @ one seed per cell. 

Cover the seed with cocopeat and keep the trays one above the other and cover with a polythene sheet till germination starts

After six days, place the protrays with germinated seeds individually on the raised beds inside the shade net
Water with rose can everyday and drench with NPK 19:19:19 @ 0.5% (5g/l) at 18 days after sowing

Field preparation

2-3 Ploughings should be given to the land to get fine tilth.
Thoroughly prepare the field with the addition of FYM @ 25 t/ ha and form ridges and furrows at a spacing of 60 cm.

Apply 2 kg/ha of Azospirillum and 2 kg/ha of Phosphobacteria by mixing with 50 kg of FYM.

Irrigate the furrows and transplant 25 days old seedlings on the sides of ridges. Life irrigation to be given on 3rd day of planting.

Spacing required is 60 x 45 cm

Mulching

Mulch with black LDPE sheets of 25 micron thickness and bury both the ends into the soil to a depth of 10 cm

Weed control

Apply Pendimethalin 1.0 kg a.i./ha or Fluchloralin 1.0 kg a.i / ha as pre-emergence herbicide, followed by hand weeding once at 30 days after planting.

Irrigation

 After establishment of seedlings, irrigate at weekly intervals. Drip irrigation can be followed to get higher yield.
Manuring
Varieties
Basal dose : FYM 25 t/ha, 75Kg/ha Urea, 100 Kg/ha DAP and 50 Kg/ha MOP. Borax of 10 kg and Zinc sulphate 50 kg/ha is given to correct Zn and B deficiency
Top dressing of 75 kg Urea/ha on 30th day of planting or during earthing up.
Hybrids
Basal dose : FYM 25 t/ha, 50 Kg/ha Urea, 250 Kg/ha DAP and 100 Kg/ha MOP
Borax of 10 kg and Zinc sulphate 50 kg/ha to correct Zn and B deficiency.
Top dressing : N(Urea) and K(MOP) each 150 kg/ha in 3 equal splits at 30, 45 and 60 days after planting.
Growth regulators
Spray 1.25 ppm (625 ml in 500 litres of water) Triacontanol at 15 days after transplanting and at full bloom stage to increase the yield.

Training of hybrids

Stake the plants 30 days after planting with 1 – 1.5 m tall stakes.
Remove the side branches up to 20 cm from ground level.
Micronutrient spray
Foliar spray of ZnSO4 @ 0.5 per cent thrice at 10 days interval from 40 days after planting.
Spray 19:19:19 + Mn @ 1 % at 60 days after planting.

Crop Protection
We can observe number of diseases and pests in tomato.
Major diseases that we observe are Early blight, Fusarium wilt, Damping off, Leaf spot, Root knot nematode, leaf curl etcBy using fungicides and bactericides we can control these diseases.
And disorders like Fruit cracking, Blossom end rot, Puffiness, Sunscald, catface which are caused due to nutrient deficiencies like Ca, B and high temperature.
Major pests of tomato are Fruit borer, Whitefly, Serpentine leaf minor, nematodes etc.By using pesticides and nematicides we can control these pests.

Crop Duration
110 – 115 days from transplanting (135 – 140 days from sowing)

Harvesting

Fruits can be harvested by by twisting motion to separate fruits from stem.Fruits are harvested at an interval of 4 days.

Yield

 Varieties : 30 – 40 t / ha
 Hybrids  : 80 – 95 t / ha
Boom flower – N spray at 2ml / litre in three sprays – 30 days, 55 days and 75 days after planting increase the yield.

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