It is quite profitable to Farm tomatoes commercially as it is a very high yielding crop. Tomatoes presently are an essential food constituent globally. The tomatoes are undeniably the second largest vegetable both in terms of production and utilization. They are a member of the nightshade family and were considered poisonous in the earlier days. However, the use of tomato as food has rapidly expanded over the last 100 years.
Do you own a farm, and you want to use it for Farm tomatoes? You will need to take into account all of your on-hand resources, the environmental conditions of your area, the predicted weather and soil conditions and nutrients. Are you concerned when you take into account all the costs? You don’t need to bother any longer.
Here are a few quick and easy tips and tricks that can help you to Farm tomatoes at the farm in kitchen gardens. At the end of this article, you will have a complete guide for growing tomatoes, from planting to harvesting and do’s and don’ts. Do you know that tomato is the second horticulture crop produced in terms of yield in the world? Recently, their prices have been comparatively high; it is going to be very cost-effective if you farm it on your place.
If you are about to Farm tomatoes on a large scale, here is good news for you. Tomatoes can be grown on a variety of soil types. Plants rely on the soil for physical support, anchorage, water and nutrients. If you don’t have favourable environmental conditions, all your hard work will go in futile; you cannot be able to get the desired results.
Optimal soil conditions for the tomato growth are fertile, airy, well-drained, medium-textured and sandy loamy soil. Proper tillage is indispensable, as tomatoes are deeply-rooted plants and the root growth can be restricted if there is some hardpan, compact layer or heavy clay. Transplant tomatoes into plastic mulch on raised beds the mulch enhance growth before time. Moreover, these raised beds will provide proper drainage.
You want to Farm tomatoes; you are reluctant due to the high cost of hybrid seeds, you don’t need to worry anymore. Don’t seed tomatoes directly, as direct seeding has several disadvantages. Weed control is difficult, it requires well-made seedbeds, and you will also need to control the depth of planting and in-row spacing. Apply an appropriate fertilizer; it is very significant to maintain soil moisture to help plant roots gets established.
You will need to keep it in mind to provide adequate space for proper growth. Several factors should be in mind like growth habitat of variety, its size at maturity, soil moisture, environmental conditions and management. Keep a minimum distance of 5 feet between rows, plants 22 inches apart in rows. In this way, you will be able to grow 4700-4900 tomato plants per acre.
Production Using Plastic Mulch
You can easily manage weed pressure, moisture and fertilizers through plastic mulch as it is preferable in the commercial production of stacked tomatoes. Plastic mulch provides various advantages.
It promotes early growth by capturing heat, prevents weeds development and conserves moisture by reducing fertilizer leaching. Using plastic mulch is a bit costly; it increases yield and returns sufficiently to offsets potential disadvantages.
Water Requirements Of The Field
You can’t negate the importance of water requirements to produce a high yield of varieties. It increases annual tomato yield by an average of 60 per cent. Irrigation offers other advantages as well and eliminates disastrous crop loses and ensures good quality. You will need to take special care of tomatoes during transplanting, flowering and fruit development stages.
There are several options available for irrigation. But before choosing any of these, consider the availability of existing equipment, the size and shape of your farm, amount of water available, cost, fuel and labour requirements. Keeping these crucial factors in mind, you may go for sprinkler, drip or scheduling irrigation.
Your tomatoes are prone to different physiological problems due to adverse environmental conditions. Blossom-end rot occurs due to calcium deficiency and is distinguished by black, necrotic and sunken tissues at the blossom end. To a certain extent, you can fix it by providing even moisture during the growth period.
Exogenous applications of calcium as the spray alleviate the issue. During periods of high temperature, prolonged rain or wet soil, tomato fruits are prone to cracking. You will need to be extra careful about puffiness, sunscald, blotchy ripening and internal browning.
The first and foremost step to be taken is to consider soil pH. For obtaining the best yield, the pH range needs to be within the amplitude of 6.2-6.8. Nitrogen is a macronutrient for most of the plants so it should be provided in bulk as it promotes leaf development. The typical amount of nitrogen needed is 150 to 200 pounds per acre. Be careful or else excessive nitrogen can delay your crop’s maturity and shipping quality.
Make it sure that your farm soil never runs out of this crucial element. Micronutrients are the elements that are needed by the plants in lower amounts as they can’t thrive in their absence. Don’t forget the minor-nutrients like Magnesium, Sulfur, Zinc and Boron. Lime and fertilizer supplied with an appropriate amount at the right time. Dissolve fertilizer materials in water and apply to the soil around the plant roots, which will promote rapid root development.
Sprayers for Insecticides
The types of equipment used for the application of liquid insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers are sprayers. For spraying tomatoes, two types of sprayers are widely used and recommended hydraulic and air-curtain boom.
Always prefer solid or hollow cone-type nozzles of sprayers and keep them clean and clog-free. Apply spray from all directions as it is advantageous as completely cover all the sides.
Harvest tomatoes when they reach the mature-green stage. If harvested earlier, they fail to ripe naturally. Size of tomatoes is a factor that strongly influences commercial buyers. Pick the mature tomatoes by hand and place them in polythene picking buckets.
Always wash and size the fruit before packing. Pick them with care and don’t drop them or else you will lose the yield. Rinse all the picking buckets to remove field debris, soil and potential accumulation of disease-causing organisms.
Make sure that you take good care while handling tomatoes. Extreme care becomes crucial, especially during harvest time and shipping. One of the factors that determine the market rates of tomatoes is its proper handling. Your careless handling can result in physically injured tomatoes, which are prone to diseases. Don’t handle roughly, dump carelessly or squash hardly.
Cooling and Shipping
Tomato prefers warm and humid atmosphere, so refrigeration temperature affects it badly. While storing tomatoes, you need to be extra careful and conscious. Forced air cooling is highly recommended cooling mechanism as it promotes long shelf-life of tomatoes. Pre-cooling tomatoes before loading for shipping is crucial.
Marketing tomatoes or any other horticultural crop is more than just selling. Marketing is a single umbrella that covers many features like how to plan, later on, produce and harvest crops and bring them in the market in quality form. And all the steps should always be customer-oriented. The skilled person keeps prior knowledge of the market in mind.