Tips for Tomato Cultivation for Better Harvest

Tomato is one of the most common vegetables around the world which is used in both cooking and salads in a raw form. The presence of the fruit is seen in every day of kitchen-life. The fruit is sometimes considered as a vegetable. It is a store of both vitamins A and C.

As the use of tomato has increased, the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers have also climbed up to increase tomato production. There is no need for a large area for getting chemical-free tomato but it needs direct sunlight. The tomato plant easily gets a virus or bug infection. So utmost care is needed for the plant, and the average height of the plant comes around 1-3 meters. 

The plant does not need a large area to grow, that makes the crop suitable for terrace garden. It is advised not to use seeds from the tomatoes that we buy from the vegetable shops because there are chances for not blooming and it will easily succumb bugs and viruses attack.

Keep in mind these factors to increase tomato production

Warm-season is suitable for tomato, making the climate of Kerala is better for the plant to grow. If the plant receives a temperature in between 21-24 degree Celsius, then the fruits will be good in shape, size and colour. If the temperature surpasses a limit of 32 degrees, then also the crop will be affected. The success of cultivating tomato plant lies in the choosing of the seeds. 

Kerala Agriculture University, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and Indian Institute of Horticultural Research are the main centres which produce leading tomato seeds. Most common varieties are sakthi, mukthi, anagha, pusa ruby, arka alok, and arka shreshta. 

For preventing damping-off disease, it is recommended to dip seeds into Trichoderma viride or thiram before sowing. Nitrogen, phosphorous and potash can be mixed with the soil before sowing the seeds. The next step of fertilisers can be added after 20- 25 days after planting the seeds. After 2 months some more of the above-said fertilisers can be added to the plant. 

Some studies tell the use of growth regulators to influence the germination as well as the flowering and bearing fruits. Irrigation is another factor that affects tomatoes. Water scarcity should be avoided to get the desired results. Overrated water supply will also affect the plant. 

Common infections that tomatoes get

The most common pests that attack tomato plant are tomato fruit worm, Epilachna beetles, jassids, tobacco caterpillar, whitefly, mites, and root-knot nematodes. And diseases are bacterially wilted, damping off, early blight, buckeye rot, late blight, fusarium wilt, powdery mildew, tomato mosaic virus, tomato leaf curl virus, tomato spotted wilt virus and anthracnose. Apart from bugs attack and diseases, some physiological disorders can come such as blossom end rot, sunscald, and cracking.

Use of fenvalerate, deltamethrin, malathion, dichlorvos, carbaryl, nuvan, dimethoate, and wettable sulphur can reduce all these bugs and viruses.