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Tomato cultivation / Tomato farming techniques in Punjab – Kisan Suvidha
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Tomato cultivation / Tomato farming techniques in Punjab

tomato cultivation

Tomato cultivation / Tomato farming techniques in Punjab

Introduction

Tomato is one of the most important vegetables worldwide.Tomato is one of the most important “protective foods” because of its unique nutritive value.It is one of the most versatile vegetables with administered usage in Indian culinary tradition. As it is a relatively short duration crop and gives a high yield, it is economically attractive, and the area under cultivation is increasing daily.

Tomato belongs to the Solanaceae family. Tomato is a herbaceous sprawling plant growing to 1-3 m in height with a weak woody stem. The flowers are yellow in color, and the fruits of cultivated varieties vary in size from cherry tomatoes, about 1–2 cm in size to beefsteak tomatoes, about 10 cm or more in diameter. Most cultivars produce red fruits when ripe. Tomato has very few competitors in the value addition chain of processing.

Scientific name- lycopersicon esculentum.

Soil and climatic requirements for Tomato

Tomato is a warm season crop and requires a relatively long growing season with plenty of the sunshine and moderate day temperature of 20–280C. It is sensitive to frost.  Low temperature, restricts the plant growth and fruit setting is low. The critical factor in the establishment of fruits is the night temperature, the optimum range being 15–200C.The red pigment in the fruit will develop only when the temperature is between 150C and 300C. Above this range of temperature, only the yellow pigment formed. If the temperature exceeds 400C, no pigments are formed.

Tomato can be grown in all types of soils, but the soil should be friable. However, it grows best in light soils ranging from sandy loam to loam.

Improved Hybrids/Varieties of Tomato

Hybrids:

1.TH-1 (2003):

It is a determinate hybrid which is a cross between W-321×1-181. Its foliage cover is dense that protects the fruits from sun scalding. Fruit color is dark red, the shape is round, and average fruit weight is 85 g.  its fruits are firm, average TSS is 5% and is thus recommended both for fresh market and processing. It has a better shelf life and is suitable for transporting to distant markets. TH-1 is moderately resistant to late blight. Average yield is 245 q/acre.

Varieties:

1.Punjab Ratta (2009):

The plants are determinate; foliage cover is dense and dark green it takes 125 days from transplanting to first picking when transplanted during the last week of November. The fruits are oval, medium sized, very firm suitable for processing and the average yield is 225 q/acre.

2.Punjab Varkha Bahar-1 (2009):

The plants are semi-determinate, foliage cover is dense and dark green. Fruits are round and medium firm. It takes 90 days for maturity after transplanting. It is moderately resistant to leaf curl virus. The variety is suitable for cultivation during the rainy season. Its average yield is 215 q/ acre.

3.Punjab Varkha Bahar-2 (2009):

The plants are determinate; foliage cover is dense and light green. Fruits are round and medium firm. It takes 100 days for maturity after transplanting. It is moderately resistant to leaf curl virus. The variety is suitable for cultivation during the rainy season. Its average yield is 216 q/acre.

4.Punjab Upma (2000):

The plants are determinate; foliage cover is dense & leaflets are broad. The fruits are oval, medium in size, solid dark red in color.

The plants are determinate; foliage cover is dense & leaflets are broad. The fruits are oval, medium in size, solid dark red in color and are suitable for fresh market and processing.The average yield is 220 q/acre, and yield is 300 g/q of fruits.

5.Punjab NR- 7 (1985):

Its plants are dwarf; foliage is medium dense, fruits are flat and round, medium-sized (70g), uniform red, multilocular and juicy. It is highly resistant to0.

Its plants are dwarf, and foliage is medium dense, fruits are flat top and round, medium-sized (70g), uniform red, multilocular and juicy. It is highly resistant to root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita and M. javanica) and resistant to Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. lycopersici). Average yield is 175-180 q/ acre.

6.Punjab Chhuhara (1975):

The plants are dwarf, being about 60 cm tall. Its dense foliage protects the fruits from sunburn. The fruit is pear shaped, small to medium with fewer seeds. Its fruits ripen uniformly. It yields about 320 q/acre.

The plants are dwarf, being about 60 cm tall. Its dense foliage protects the fruits from sunburn. The fruit is pear shaped, small to medium with fewer seeds. Its fruits ripen uniformly. It yields about 320 q/acre.

Agronomic practices of Tomato

1.Sowing time

For winter planting, sow the seeds in October and transplant in November-December. Sarkanda cover should invariably be provided during winter to protect the plants against frost. However, dwarf varieties with polythene bags of 35 cmx25 cm size and 100- gauge thickness.

Transplant tomato in February. For February planting, sow seed at the end of November and protect seedlings from frost in the nursery beds by covering with polythene sheets or sarkanda thatch. However, the yield obtained would be comparatively lower from February planted crop than from November planted crop.

To ensure successful growing of healthy seedlings from costly hybrid seeds of tomato, grow nursery of this crop under polyhouse (size 24’ x 13’ x 6’) made of UV stabilized low density polyethylene film of 200 microns (800 gauge) thickness.

Time of sowing under polyhouse Time of transplanting
Main season crop
a) 1st week of November End of November
Spring season crop
b) Last week of December Mid February

Sow Punjab Varkha Bahar-1 and Punjab Varkha Bahar-2  in the second fortnight of July, and transplant it in the second fortnight of August. Transplant two seedlings per hill.

2.Seed rate 

Seed rate is 100g/acre when sown in the nursery. Sow nursery in two marla (50 m2) area to transplant one acre.

3. Nursery raising

Prepare 1.5m wide and 20 cm high beds in an area of two marlas (50 m2) to raise seedlings for an acre. Mix 5 quintals of well rotten farmyard manure with the soil and water the beds at least ten days before sowing. Drench the beds with 1.5 to 2.0% solution of Formalin by applying 4-5 L of solution per sq m. Cover beds with a plastic sheet/tarpaulin for 48-72 hours. Turn the soil in beds once a day for 4-5 days to eliminate Formalin.Treat the seed with 3 g Captan/Thiram per kg of seed. Sow seeds 1 to 2 cm deep in lines with 5 cm spacing. Drench the nursery plants with 0.4% Captan/Thiram (4g/L of water) after 5-7 days of germination. Repeat after 7-10 days. The seedlings become 15-20 cm tall in 4-6 weeks. After lifting seedlings, wrap them in a wet paper for carrying to transplanting site.

4. Spacing

Dwarf varieties require a close spacing of 75 cm x 30cm. Transplant rainy season varieties at a spacing of 120-150×30 cm.

Manures and fertilizers requirements for Tomato

Apply 10 tons of well rotten farmyard manure and plough it into the soil. Add 25kg of N (55kg of Urea) along with 25kg of P2O5 (155 kg of Single Superphosphate) and 25 kg of K2O (45kg of Muriate of Potash) per acre in a band at 15 cm on one side of the bed mark and prepare the channels. After removing sarkanda/polythene bag cover by mid-February, apply 35 kg of N (75kg of Urea) per acre in the rows, but not touching the base of the vines. Mix it with the soil and earth up.

In the sandy soils, apply nitrogen in three split doses. The first part should be implemented along with phosphorus and potash. The second dose should be applied just before the plants take up active growth and the third dose when the first flower clusters have started setting fruits. Under high fertility conditions, reduce the application of N, as the blossoms may fail to set fruit due to the unfavorable carbohydrate-nitrogen ratio within the plant.

Weed control in Tomato

For weed control in tomato, apply Stomp 30 EC (pendimethalin) one liter/acre or 750 ml/acre followed by one hoeing or Basalin 45 EC (fluchloralin) one liter/acre or 750 ml/acre followed by one hoeing or Sensor 70 WP (metribuzin) 300g/acre. These weedicides should be applied 3-4 days before transplanting on prepared beds, and Basalin 45 EC (fluchloralin) need to be mixed into the soil with light harrowing and planking.

Growth Regulator  

 To increase the yield of tomato, spray ‘Vipul Booster’ @ 1 ml/liter of water in the nursery beds at least a week before transplanting. Repeat the spray of @ 0.5 ml/liter of water five times at fortnightly intervals. The first foliar spray after transplanting should be started a week after transplanting. Each spray application requires 100 liters of water with 50 ml of the chemical. This growth regulator increases the yield by 16-18 percent in November transplanted crop and about 12 percent in the February transplanted crop.

Irrigation water requirements for Tomatoes

First irrigation should be given immediately after transplanting. Subsequent irrigations may be given after 6-7 days during summer and 10-15 days during winter months. The total number of irrigations required are 14 to 15.

Harvesting of Tomato

Harvest tomato according to the distance of markets. For long distance, markets pick mature green fruits whereas for a local market pick at turning red stage. For processing, pick when fruits are fully red. While packing for long distance markets remove rotten, over-ripe and borer-infested fruits. The fruit should be pre-cooled immediately after harvesting. Punjab Varkha Bahar-1 is ready for harvesting at the end of November and begin the harvesting of Punjab Varkha Bahar-2  from first fortnight of December.

Seed Production 

Grow tomato at the isolation distance of at least 50 m from other varieties to avoid any chance of contamination. For getting true to type seed, minimum three field inspections are required. The first inspection should be made at vegetative phase, second at flowering and fruiting and third before harvesting of fruits. The extraction of seed from the ripe fruits is done by fermentation method and acid method. In fermentation method, the crushed fruits are allowed to ferment for 1 to 2 days and then put in water where pulp and skin float and the seeds settle down at the bottom. In the Acid method, about 100 ml of commercial hydrochloric acid is thoroughly mixed with 14 kg of crushed tomato fruits. The seeds is separated out from the pulp within half an hour which may be cleaned, dried and packed.

Plant Protection

Insect Pests management

Spray 400 ml of MalathionRipe fruit should be before fruiting intervals starting from the

Pests and Symptoms Control Measures Precautions
1. Aphid (Aphis gossypii)
and white-fly 50 EC in 100 liters of water picked before spray.
(Bemisia tabaci) Observe the waiting
period of 3 days after
spray of Fame.
2. Fruit borer Give three sprays at 2 week
(Helicoverpa armigera)
The larva attacks initiation of flowers with any of
the fruits and cause, the following insecticides
holes and rotting afterwards using 100 litres of water
per acre.
  • Sevin/Hexavin 50WP (carbaryl) 800g.
  • Sumicidin 20 EC (fenvalerate) 100ml.
  • Ripcord 10 EC (cypermethrin) 200 ml.
  • Decis 2.8 EC (deltamethrin) 160 ml.
  • Carina 50 EC (profenophos) 600 ml
  • Fame 480 SL (flubendamide) 30 ml

Note: For motorized knapsack sprayer, use the same quantity of pesticides per acre as mentioned above, but the quantity of water for dilution will be approximately 1/10th.

 

Source-Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.

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