I have always been interested in writing about tomato cultivation, especially how farmers can get bigger tomato fruits to attract a handsome market price for exchange. The size of tomato fruits greatly determines its market potential; when you have tomato of big sizes, you would be sure to sell at premium prices.
Contrary to many, tomato fertilizer recommendations do not solely make the tomato fruits grow bigger; although, it is part of the factors. These management practices take the lion’s share of the production of big-sized tomato fruits. Few farmers are aware of these tricks and I can tell you that they are really selling at better prices compared to their peers.
I hovered around in search of techniques to improve tomato farmers’ productivity and am glad am coming up with these management practices. Some farmers actually call them tricks but I do not feel they are tricks because they are what every tomato farmer must do to achieve good results. For better understanding, I made short video illustrations on each management practice. Read up!
Management Practices In Tomato Farms
Tomato cultivation is divided into two stages; the nursery and the transplanting stage. The nursery stay usually lasts for 6 weeks, if it is extended, the seedlings start losing its vigour as a result of the breakage in their root system.
After 6 weeks, transplanting is done. The seedlings are allowed to overcome the transplanting shock for the following 2 weeks before fertilizers are applied to aid the other developmental and fruiting stages.
The emergence of tomato flower and fruit starts after about 35-45 days after transplanting. During this period, these management practices must be carried out for better fruit setting and bigger fruits size. These management practices are:
I am sure you are very familiar with this term but do you really know how pruning of tomato is done for the best result? This you learn as you listen and read through.
Pruning is the removal of shoots with excessive growth on the tomato plant. Pruning is very essential for tomato, especially the indeterminate tomato plants. There are two forms of pruning; nipping and heading.
Nipping is the removal of the side shoots, leaving the main stem in position. The fruit grows along the main stem as other potential stems had already been eliminated. On the other hand, heading is the removal or elimination of the growing tip or the top of the stem, leaving 3-7 fully growing leaves to grow into branches.
The pruning of the tomato plants has direct benefits to the quality and size of fruits produced. Nipping helps to reduce the number of shoots produced; this practice allows the nutrients in the soil to serve the existing branches and fruits only instead of the entire branches and fruits on the plant. This leads to bigger tomato fruits with high quality in terms of taste and nutrient composition.
Heading stops the vertical growth of the tomato and concentrates all the growth parameters, nutrient, moisture, and air, on the horizontal growth. As the plant grows taller, it tends to produce more branches competing for these growth parameters.
It is not practicable to have a soil that caters to the plant’s need if you desire to leave the tomato plant unpruned. They will produce more fruits with smaller sizes if you do.
However, if you prune your tomato plants, you have successfully created an avenue for the plants to flourish and grow bountifully. The fruits may not be much in the count but their quality and sizes would be high enough to commensurate with the returns of the unpruned tomato plants.
Now you see the importance of pruning tomato plants. Aside from making the tomato fruits bigger, pruning also, improves light penetration and air circulation. Pruning is best done with secateurs; disinfectant must be applied to the portion to prevent infections.
Pinching is another important management practice in the tomato farm to carry out during the flowering stage. Listen to what pinching means and how it is done to increase the size of your tomato fruit.
Pinching is a form of nipping but it is done using the fingers. Pinching is done to limit the number of branches bearing the tomato fruits. Ideally, about 7 or 8 branches is enough on a tomato plant if you so much desire big tomato fruits.
Pinching is best done when the first tomato fruit begins to form; the plant will produce shoots between the main stem and the leaf stem, called suckers. These suckers should be removed by pinching them with the fingers; if these shoots were allowed to grow, they would produce masses of foliage but few tomatoes of smaller sizes. This is not economical enough.
3. Trimming of leaves
Another management practice that can bring about bigger tomato fruits but most farmers do not observe is the trimming of the leaves. Not just any leaves but some type of leaves; find out about the leaves in the next video
As the tomato plant grows older, you tend to observe some leave defects. Some leaves become old, sick and diseased. These types of leaves should be removed from the tomato plants. The removal has many advantages.
If these leaves remain on the plant, they tend to have a share of the nutrients, water, air and other growth parameters available for the entire tomato plant.
However, these leaves are not economically productive but retrogressive to the plant, so why keeping them on your plant? Remove these types of leaves and allow the healthy ones to make good use of the nutrients and other resources in the soil.
In addition, the trimming of tomato leaves controls the spread of diseases, thereby preserving the quality of the tomato.
This is a very common management practice done in a tomato farm as soon as the plant begins to flower. Staking tomato plants has a lot of benefits; these you find out in the next video.
This is a very common management practice done in a tomato farm. Staking and trellising provides support for the tomato stand as a whole. The weight of the tomato fruits may be too much for the entire plant to bear, if the tomato plant is not properly staked, the plant might collapse and all the fruits would be lost for no reason.
Trellising and staking helps to keep the tomato fruits and foliage off the ground, this will increase fruit yield and size and reduce fruit rot.
Lastly, tomato fruits are highly perishable but with very high demand. If you want to earn more, focus on raising tomato without compromising the quality at the expense of the quantity.
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