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Tomato

Description

tomatoTOMATO

TOMATO or Kamatis in Tagalog or tomato in English is classified as a vegetable. It is a tropical plant but often does not grow well under such conditions. It is a rich source of Vitamin C and a popular cash crop for small farmers and home gardeners.

Tomato is an important and popular vegetable grown in many parts of the world. The fruit is used as an ingredient in many food preparations and is regarded as one of the most profitable crops for off-season production, preferably from May to September.
(Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014)

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Cultural Management

 

Climatic and Soil Requirements

Site Selection

Choose a part of the farm that is slightly elevated and has good drainage to avoid water logging in case a flash flood occurs during the wet season. For dry season planting, make a catchment with a canal directed into it to drain excess water after each irrigation schedule. Choose a sandy loam or clay loam soil with a pH of 5.5-8.0.

Growing Season

Tomato can be grown anytime of the year. In hilly areas, plant tomato from September to January. For lowlands, plant from November to February. Grow off-season type and grafted tomatoes (kamlong) from May to September for bigger profit.

Land Preparation

With a carabao drawn implement, plow and harrow the area once and twice if the soil is not in good tilt. Then set furrows at a distance of 100 cm before transplanting the indeterminate type or semi-viny. For determinate type with bushy growth habit set at 75 cm distance between furrows.

Crop Establishment

There are two methods of seedling production: the use of seedbed and seedling trays.

Seedbed method

  1. For 1000 m2 tomato production, use one seedbed measuring 1 x 10 m so that seedlings will not be overcrowded, thereby producing seedlings with bigger stems. Cover the seedbed with 3-5 cm thick rice hull and then burn completely to minimize the incidence of pre-emergence damping-off on the seedlings.
  2. Mix 10 kg compost and 100 g complete fertilizer and incorporate these evenly into the seedbed. Sow the seeds in small shallow furrows at 20-30 g/10 m2. Cover the seeds lightly with fine soil. Dust the surroundings of the seedbed with Sevin SP to control ants, and spray 1 tbsp of Vitigran Blue per gallon of water to avoid infection of damping-off. To ensure uniform germination of the seeds, saturate the seedbed with water for the first three days using sprinkler until the seeds emerge.
  3. To avoid succulent stem, regulate watering as soon as the seedlings have emerged. For the seedlings to have a good start, apply urea at a rate of 1 tbsp/gal of water at 7-14 days after emergence (DAE). Sprinkle water on the seedlings using a sprinkler (regador) immediately after applying the fertilizer to avoid burning effect on the leaves. Drench the seedbeds with Vitigran Blue at the rate of 1 tbsp/gal of water once damping-off is observed.
  4. To produce hard seedlings, water the seedbed only when plants show temporary wilting (this can be observed in the morning) and repeat regularly starting at 14 DAE until the seedlings are ready for transplanting, which is at 25-30 DAE. Water the seedbeds thoroughly before pulling the seedlings for transplanting to minimize root damage.

Seedling tray method

  1. Seedling tray method (Fig. 2) needs only 100 g seeds/ha or 10 g for 1000 m2.
  2. Plant the seeds singly in each hole of the tray intended for seedlings with potting medium (Fig.2a) available at seed stores, or bake garden soil for 2 hours.
  3. When cooled, mix the garden soil, fine sand and compost at the ratio of 3:1:1. Drop 2-3 grains of 14-14-14 in each hole (Fig. 2b) before filling with the soil mixture.
  4. Care and maintenance of seedlings (Fig. 2c) is the same as in seedbed, but transplanting shock is minimized in tray method.

Transplanting

For wet season planting, use one month old seedlings because these are harder, taller, and can withstand the impact of rain. Transplant seedlings at a spacing of 0.50 m between hills and 1.0 m or 0.75 m on rows or furrow right after irrigation water run in the furrows. For dry season, transplant 25-day-old seedlings.

To avoid breaking the stem of seedlings during transplanting on irrigated furrows, hold the roots with the thumb and forefinger then push towards the soil at 3-5 cm deep depending on the length of the stem. For an area of 1000 m2, transplant the seedlings on the right side of the furrows for the first half of the area. For the next half, transplant on the left side of the furrows. For easier off-barring, use a carabao-drawn plow.

For seedlings in trays, transplant each seedling together with the soil medium from the tray using the same planting distance and method of transplanting as in seedbed method. If grafted tomato will be used, transplant the seedlings 3 cm deep to the hole and cover firmly with light soil. Do not cover the grafted part to avoid infection. Support the transplanted seedlings with trellis.

Nutrient Management

Broadcast chicken manure or organic fertilizer before land preparation or at final harrowing to fully incorporate the fertilizer into the soil. Apply 14-14-14 at transplanting so that seedlings will be healthy and vigorous before flowering. Delayed application will result in weaker plants and smaller fruits. Side dress using urea mixed with muriate of potash (0-0-60) for higher fruit setting, and to prolong the fruiting period of the crop.

Water Management

Four to five irrigations are needed from transplanting to 14 days before the last harvest depending on the type of soil. Tomato is very sensitive to flooding; hence, irrigation must be done just to moisten the root zone especially during the onset of flowering up to the last harvest.

The following irrigation schedule must be followed for a 1000 m2 area:

  1. First : during transplanting (flooding) or hand watering
  2. Second : 14 DAT (flooding) or hand watering
  3. Third : at vegetative stage (21 DAT), water at 1 L/hill.
  4. Fourth : at flowering and early fruiting (30 DAT) water at 1 L/hill.
  5. Fifth : optional, depending on the appearance of the plants at harvesting stage (hand water if necessary)

Pest and Disease Management

Insect pests and diseases of tomato are managed by using chemical, biological, and remedial measures. Most of the pests and diseases of tomato are common throughout the year except thrips and whiteflies, which are present only during dry season starting in January, declining in May and ending in June or July depending on the arrival of rain. The farmer or any amateur grower may try the suggested biological and remedial measures in managing the insect pests and diseases. In case of pest outbreaks, the use of chemical pesticides is the last resort.

 Insect Pest and DiseasesSuggested Management

Insect pest:

Fruitworms/Cutworms

To control worms at fruiting stage, spray neem seed extract at 200-300 ml/16 L or hot pepper fruit extract 100-200 ml/16 L. For cutworm, spray before twilight.

Spray with Thuricide HP or Dipel (Bacillus thuringiensis) following manufacturers recommended dosage. These are bacterial pesticides

28 Spotted Beatle, Mites,

Leafhoppers, Whitefle/Thrips

To drove other pests spray 100-200 ml pure tubai leaf extract/16 L of water on the plants alternate it with spraying karot tuber extract (100-200 ml tuber extract per 16 L water). Do it twice a week.

Puff smoke on the crop twice a week during the whole growing period.

For thrips, mites, leafhopper and white fly, practice overhead irrigation.

For thrips use blue sticky trap, for whitefly use yellow sticky trap.

Diseases:

Leaf spot

To control these disease spray the leaves with zinc oxide power at 2-3 tbsp/16 L water (with 1 tbsp sticker during wet season). Spray decoction of serpentina 10ml extract per 16 L water.

Fungal wilt/Bacterial wilt

Treat the seeds with Centella asiatica (takip kuhol) decoction at 45°C to 50 °C for 2-5 minutes. Uproot infected plants and burn outside the area. Drench infected soil with 5% solution of zonrox then expose to sunlight. Avoid surface irrigation. Do not cultivate or touch infected plants as this will transfer the pathogens to other plants. If possible, hand water the plants early in the morning or late in the afternoon with 1 L/plant every week at vegetative stage and 2 L/plant every two weeks at fruiting stage for clay loam soil.

Bacterial spot

To prevent this disease, spray a decoction of guava, star apple and avocado (done by boiling 1 kg leaves of each in 3 gallons of water for 5 minutes). For stronger concentration, restore 1 gallon decoction to 16 L water with 1 tbsp sticker. Spray on leaves and fruits of tomato once a week.

Minimal infection if grown after rice. Practice good drainage and use large dose of organic manure.

Powdery mildew

Spray Cassia alata (Andadasi or Acapulco) leaf extract at the rate of 1 L leaf extract/16 L water with sticker then spray vigorously on leaves and whole plants. For severe infection, spray a ratio of 1:1 leaf extract to water twice a week until the fruiting stage. As a disinfectant and as a preventive measure, spray 16 ml zonrox per/6 L of water or 1tbsp baking soda/16 L of water on the whole plant once a week.

Leaf mold

Burn infected plant residues after harvest. Plant tomato after rice and plant other crops after tomato (crop rotation). Plant resistant varieties.

Nematode

Plant 1 month old marigold seedlings as intercrop two weeks before transplanting of tomato. Plant resistant varieties.

Early Blight

Spray Acapulco leaf extract.

Late Blight

Spray Acapulco leaf extract alternate with serpentine decoction.

Blossom rot

Spray the plants with nutrients high in calcium at flowering stage. Or spray the plant with fresh malunggay leaf extract at a ratio of 1:4 malunggay extract to water. Or spray with decoction of seaweeds, decoction of burned sea shells, crabs and shrimps skeletons (1:10 shells to water).

Sources: Colting, L. M., et al, 2003; Farmers'/Gardeners' Practices

Chemical Control of Insect Pests and Diseases of Tomato

 Insect Pests and DiseasesSuggested Pesticides Rate Application (tbsp/16 L water)When and How to Apply
 Common NameProduct Name   
 Insect Pests    

Aphid

Methomyl

Lannette 40 SP

4.0 - 8.0

Spray any of the insecticides as soon as insect infestation is observed. Repeat spraying at 7-10 days interval or depending on level of insect population.

28 Spotted Beetle

Carbaryl

Sevin 85 S

4.0 - 6.0

 Spray any of the insecticides as soon as insect infestation is observed. Repeat spraying at 7-10 days interval or depending on level of insect population.

Thrips

Carbaryl

Provin 85 WP

4.0 - 6.0

Spray any of the insecticides as soon as insect infestation is observed. Repeat spraying at 7-10 days interval or depending on level of insect population.

Fruitworm

Methomyl

Deltametrin

Lambdacyhalothrin

Carbaryl

Lannate 40 SP

Decis R

Karate 2.5 EC

Provin 85 WP

4.0 - 8.0

1.5 - 2.5

1.0 - 1.5

4.0 - 6.0

Spray any of the insecticides as soon as insect infestation is observed. Repeat spraying at 7-10 days interval or depending on level of insect population.

Whiteflies

Thiamethoxan

Triazophos

Actara 25 WG

Hercules

1.5 - 2.0

4.0 - 6.0

Spray as soon as symptoms are observed. Repeat at 7-10 days depending on level of infection.

 Diseases    

Powdery mildew, Early & late blight/Leaf spot

Chlorathalonil

Mancozeb

Metalaxyl

Daconil 75 WP

Dithane M-45

Ridomil MZ 58 WP

4.0 - 6.0

4.0 - 6.0

6.0 - 10.0

Spray as soon as symptoms are observed. Repeat at 7-10 days depending on level of infection.

Bacterial Spot

Bacterial Wilt

Copper oxychloride

Vitigran Blue 35 WP

4.0 - 6.0

Spray when the first cluster is well formed. Repeat if required. Treat the seeds with 5% lime solution than subject to 50°C for two hours; air dry the seeds before sowing.

Source: Gajete, T.D. et. al 2004

Weeding

By using a carabao-drawn plow or hand hoe, cultivate in between rows of plants by off barring at 14-21 DAT. Hill-up at 28-35 DAT. Spot-weed at the surrounding of the seedlings after each off-barring and hilling-up if there are standing weeds. If plastic mulch is available, mulch the area before transplanting.

Harvesting

Harvest fruits intended for future use at matured green stage at 1-2 months during rainy season. Matured green fruits gradually ripen in one month at room temperature. Frequent harvesting sustains the production of more fruits. For immediate use, harvest the fruits at breaker pink stage. These will fully ripen within three days at ambient temperature but can be slowed when stored in a refrigerated condition.

Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014