Summary: Tomato production is a very labor intensive crop, but when properly grown is highly productive. Staked tomato production involves establishing a trellis using stakes and string or twine to hold the plants upright. Proper pruning of the plants ensures good air circulation so that conditions are less favorable for diseases. Use of irrigation and fertilizers increases the chance of success as do practices such as crop rotation and use of resistant varieties.
Fresh market tomato production:
- Tomato transplants are grown on raised beds approximately 150 cm wide. Plants on the bed are spaced about 50 cm apart.
- Plants are pruned to one shoot below the first flower cluster and supported by the poles and twine. Plants are tied to the trellis at about 30 cm intervals.
- The time from planting to harvest may be 80 days or more. After harvest begins it may last for 70 to 120 days depending upon disease, insect and weather conditions.
- Generally medium to light soils are best. Tomato roots require good drainage.
- Nitrogen fertilizer requirement are 110 to 200 kg/ha until the first harvest then 10 kg/ha during harvest.
- Phosphorous fertilizer requirements are 65 to 130 kg/ha.
- Potassium needs depend upon the soil but may be as high as 130kg/ha.