Tomato is a warm season crop, it requires warm and
cool climate. The plants cannot withstand frost and high humidity. Also
light intensity affects pigmentation, fruit colour, fruit set. The plant
is highly affected by adverse climatic conditions. It requires different
climatic range for seed germination, seedling growth, flower and fruit
set, and fruit quality. Temperature below 100C and above 380C
adversely affects plant tissues thereby slow down physiological
activities. It thrives well in temperature 100C to 300C
with optimum range of temperature is 21-240C. The mean
temperature below 160C and above 270C are not
desirable. The plant doesn’t withstand frost, it requires low to
medium rainfall, and does well under average monthly temperature of 21
to 230C. Avoid water stress and long dry period as it causes
cracking of fruits. Bright sunshine at the time of fruit set helps to
develop dark red coloured fruits.
||Fruit set (day)
||Red colour development
Tomatoes do very well on most mineral soils, but they
prefer deep, well drained sandy loams. Upper layer of soil should be
porous with little sand and good clay in the subsoil. Soil depth 15 to
20cm proves to be good for healthy crop. Deep tillage can allow for
adequate root penetration in heavy clay type soils, which allows for
production in these soil types.
Tomato is a moderately tolerant crop to a wide pH
range. A pH of 5.5- 6.8 is preferred. Though tomato plants will do well
in more acidic soils with adequate nutrient supply and availability.
Tomato is moderately tolerant to acid an soil that is pH of 5.5. The
soils with proper water holding capacity, aeration, free from salts are
selected for cultivation.
Soils extremely high in organic matter are not
recommended due to the high moisture content of this media and nutrient
deficiencies. But, as always, the addition of organic matter to mineral
soils will increase yield.
Choice of seeds
After seed production, diseased, broken seeds are
discarded. The seeds for sowing should be free from inert matter. Early
germinating, bold, uniform in shape and size, seeds are selected for
sowing. Hybrid seeds from F1 generation are advantageous for sowing as
it gives early and high yield uniform fruity, resistant to adverse
a) Seed and sowing
Tomato is generally cultivated by transplanting
seedlings on ridges and furrows. At the time of transplanting seedlings
are harder by exposing to open weather or by withholding irrigation. A
seed rate of 400 to 500g/ha is required.
Seeds are treated with Thiram @ 3g/kg of seed to
protect from seed born diseases. Seed treatment with B. naphthoxyacetic
acid (BNOA) at 25 and 50 ppm, gibberllic acid (GA3) at 5-20 ppm and
chlorophenoxy acetic at 10 and 20 ppm was found to improve the growth
and yield of tomato.
Seeds are sown in June July for autumn winter crop
and for spring summer crop seeds are sown in November. In the hills seed
is sown in March April. The spacing recommended for the autumn winter
crop is 75 x 60cm and for spring summer crop 75 x 45cm.
Nursery Preparation and Care
The ideal seedbed should be 60cm wide, 5-6cm long and
20-25cm high. Clods and stubbles should be removed from the seedbed. Add
sieved FYM and fine sand on the seedbed. Bring them to fine tilth.
Drench the bed with Fytolon/Dithane M-45 @ 2-2.5 g/lit of water. Draw
the lines 10 to 15cm apart throughout the length of the seedbed. Sow the
seeds thinly spaced in lines, press gently, cover with fine sand and
then cover the bed with straw. Irrigate with rose can. Irrigate the
seedbed twice a day till the seeds germinate. Remove the straw after the
seeds germinate. Apply a little Thimet at 4-5 leaf stage. Spray the
seedlings with Metasystox/Thiodan @ 2-2.5 ml/lit water and Dithane M-45
@ 2-2.5 g/lit water.
As the fruit production and quality depends upon
nutrient availability and fertilizer application so balance fertilizer
are applied as per requirement. The nitrogen in adequate quantity
increases fruit quality, fruit size, color and taste. It also helps in
increasing desirable acidic flavor. Adequate amount of potassium is also
required for growth, yield and quality. Mono Ammonium Phosphate (MAP)
may be used as a starter fertilizer to supply adequate phosphorus during
germination and seedling stages. Calcium availability is also very
important to control soil pH and nutrient availability. Sandy soils will
require a higher rate of fertilizer, and more frequent applications of
these fertilizers due to increased leaching of essential nutrients. The
seedlings are sprayed with starter solution of micronutrient. Before
planting farm yard manure @ 50 ton per hectares should be incorporated.
Normally tomato crop requires 120kg Nitrogen (N), 50kg Phosphorus (P2O5),
and 50kg Potash (K2O). Nitrogen should be given in split
doses. Half nitrogen and full P2O5 is given at the
time of transplanting and remaining nitrogen is given after 30 days and
60 days of transplanting.
Soil and tissue analyses should be taken throughout
the growing and production season to insure essential nutrients are in
their proper amounts and ratios. Tissue analysis of a nutritionally
sufficient plant will show the following nutrient status:
In the present situation it has been realized that
the use of inorganic fertilizers should be integrated with renewable and
environmental friendly organic fertilizers, crop residues and green
Tomatoes have been observed to withdraw water from
depths up to 13 feet in a well structured soil. Tomato plants require
adequate moisture throughout their growth period. First irrigation is
required soon after seedlings are transplanted. Frequent water is
necessary in root zone when plants are small. In summer irrigation at
intervals of 3-4 days and 10-15 days water is necessary to maintain wet
soil. Erratic moisture conditions can cause radial and concentric
cracking on fruit.
Implements for Interculturing Operations
Generally interculturing operations like hand hoeing,
weeding, mulching, staking is followed in tomato. Implements like
hand-hoe, khurpi, land leveller etc. are used.
Inter Culture Operations
Pre-emergence applications of herbicides like
metribuzin at 0.35 kg/ha, fluchloralin 1.25 kg/ha has been found
effective to increase the tomato yield significantly in comparison to
traditional method of hand weeding. Also plastic mulching (black or
transparent) can be used to control the weeds. Weeds can be controlled
successfully by mulching plus use of herbicides (pendimethalin @ 0.75kg
ai/ha or oxyflorophen @ 0.12kg ai/ha).
Spraying of PCPA at 50 ppm, IAA at 50 ppm or borax 1%
gave the fruit set in summer season. PCPA spray at flowering stage was
observed to create favorable conditions for fruit set in low as well as
Staking of Tomato
Due to staking there is better growth of tomato plant
and branches, increased fruit bearing, and improved quality of fruits.
Cultural operations like fruit picking, spraying, weeding, fertilisers
application and earthing up etc. for staking can be done by two methods.
In first type, at each plant sticks of 1.5-2meter length and 2.5cm
thickness are placed and plant of tomato is staked as it is growing. In
second type, a network of wire and bamboo is form and with the help of
sutali (small rope) branches of plant is spread. Secondary branches
should be cut upto 30 cm and from 30 cm height keeping two main branches
plant should be allow to spread on this network.
Tomato is well fitted in different cropping systems
of cereals, grains, pulses and oilseeds. Cropping systems rice-tomato,
rice-maize, okra-potato-tomato, tomato-onion are popular in various
parts of India. Cauliflower- okra –sunflower –cabbage –tomato –maize
-tomato-watermelon and paddy-peas-tomato have been proved economical
systems. Palak or radish can be grown as inter-crop in tomato
Following are the few major pest of tomato:
Control measures of tomato pest is given as below: -
Spraying of cypernethrin at the rate of 3-4 ml or for
Phosphamidon (85 SL) 5 ml per 10 litre of water at the interval of 8-10
- Tomato fruit eating catre piller/tomato fruit borer
Spraying of monocrotophos (36 SL) 5 ml/ 10 litre of
water at the interval of 8-10 days.
Trichograma and campoletic cloride as a predator and
heliocil as biological control.
It can be control by spraying dimethoate (30 E.C.) 10
ml/10 litre of water.
The controls vary from state to state and region to
region. The local agricultural chemical manual will list controls and
rates for each pest.
Fungicides / Incidence of diseases
Following are the diseases of tomato, which control
by following methods of fungicide application: -
||Method of application
|Anthracnose (Colletotrichum phomoides)
||Recognized by its sunken spots on the fruit
||Rotation is the major control for this disease.
|Bacterial fruit spot
||On leaves small, water soaked, brown spots
appear on the older leaflets. Under favourable conditions these
spots may coalesce to form dark streaks. The affected leaves turn
yellow and blighting of the foliage may take place.
||Streptocycline (100PPm) or copper fungicides
|Tomato leaf curl
||Leaf curl disease is characterized by severe
stunting of the plants with downward rolling and crinkling of the
leaves. The newly emerging leaves exhibit slight yellow
colouration and later they also show curling symptoms, older
leaves become leathery and brittle.
||Disease is transmitted by whitefly hence to
check the whitefly population use insecticides fuadan or disyston
||Soil application, treating the nursery beds
with granular insecticides.
|Tomato big bud
||The youngest fruit truss, instead of becoming
recurved as in normal plants, assumes an upright position. The
buds on the truss also point in a vertical direction, the calyx
segments remain united almost to the tips, and the whole calyx
enlarges to a form like a bladder with a toothed opening at the
||Metasystox (0.02%) or nuvacron (0.05%) at ten
days intervals to control the insect vector (leaf hopper)
||On established plants, dark brown spots with
concentric rings develop first on old leaves. Spotted leaves die
prematurely leading to early defoliation.
||Mancozeb @ 0.2%
||Leaves and fruits are affected. Irregular
greasy greyish areas develop on leaves. Under moist conditions
these areas expand rapidly and a white downy growth appears on the
lower surface of the affected leaves. Affected leaf dries and
||Mancozeb @ 0.2%
|Septoria leaf spot
||Appearance of numerous, small, grey coloured
circular leaf spots with dark margin is the characteristic symptom
of the disease.
||Mancozeb @2 g/kg.
0.2% Dithane Z-78
|Leaf mould/black mould
||It is recognized by the presence of a yellowish
area on the upper leaf surface with brown mouldy growth on the
lower surface. As the lesions develop, the leaves wilt and die.
||Mancozeb @ 0.2%
||It is characterized by yellowing and wilting of
leaves and finally the entire plant wilts and dies prematurely.
Often the stem tissue is discoloured throughout the plant.
||0.1% carbendazim or benomyl
||A white talcum like covering on the lower
surface of the leaves while the corresponding upper surface turns
yellow. Premature dropping of infected leaves are common.
||Dinocap at 0.1% or Wet sulphur at 0.2%
||Infected plant parts when cut and immersed in
clear water, a white streak of bacterial ooze coming out from the
cut ends is visible.
||Streptocycline (1g/40 lit)<
Bleaching powder @ 15 kg/ha.
|Seed treatment for 30 min.
(Caution:-This is a
general information and you are requested to read the product
information carefully before use and you should consult a expert if you
have any doubt or questions.)
Harvesting Time and Method
The harvest of tomatoes is dependent on the closeness
to the market. Stages of tomato harvesting: -
- Mature green fruit:- Fruits are bulk packed in ventilated containers
for shipment. Those picked to be shipped are picked at the mature
green stage and sprayed with ethylene 48 hours prior to shipping.
Immature green tomatoes will ripen poorly and be of low quality.
However, tomatoes harvested at the mature green stage will ripen into
a product indiscernible from vine-ripened fruit. A simple way to
determine maturity is to slice the tomato with a sharp knife. If seeds
are cut, the fruit is too immature for harvest and will not ripen
- Pink colour fruits :- For Local sale of tomatoes may be vine ripened
to a firm ripe or a full red color before harvesting.
- Vine-ripened tomatoes should be harvested at the breaker stage to
ensure the best quality. Fruit at the breaker stage, which have some
interlocular gel and a pinkish red color on the inside, are sure to be
mature. Such fruit can be handled and shipped better than that which
has more color, and it will often bring a higher price than less
mature tomatoes. If tomatoes are to be vine-ripened, fields should be
harvested often and thoroughly to narrow the range of ripeness.
- Fully ripe:- Processing tomatoes are picked fully ripe.
Harvesting every day may be desirable during the peak
of the season. Remove all diseased, misshapen, and otherwise cull tomatoes
from the vines as soon as they are discovered. Remove discarded tomatoes
from the field to avoid the spread and buildup of diseases and insect
Means of Transportation
Tomatoes are highly perishable in nature hence quick
means of transportation is necessary. Tomatoes are transported by road
through tractors, trucks and also by rail and air to distant markets.
Village produce is transported to the near by towns and city market only
by road. The cargo services are also available for transportation.
Processed tomatoes are having high export potential hence transported to
different countries like USA, Saudi Arabia and Japan etc.