Tomato Production Guide
1. Make seedbed 50 cm apart with any convenient length in an area fully exposed to sunlight
2. Pulverize the soil thoroughly and add compost or dried animal manure at the rate of 5 kg per sq meter.
3. Sterilize the soil by burning rice straw or rice hull on top of the seedbed for 4-5 hours to kill soil-bon pathogens.
4. Drench the seedbed with fungicide-insecticide solution.
5. To protect the seedlings from heavy rains, place plastic roofing.
1. Wet the seedbed thoroughly before sowing.
2. Make horizontal rows 5cm apart.
3. Sow 80-100 seeds in every 50 cm row (150-200 g of seeds are needed per hectare).
4. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and place rice straw mulch.
5. Water the seedbed daily (seedlings start to emerge 3-6 days from sowing).
Care of Seedlings
1. 3-5 days fater germination, prick the seedlings by transferring them into a tray or seedbox to allow more space between seedlings and prevent damping-off. In the absence of seedling tray or seedbox, use paper pots (rolled), “lukong” or rolled banana leaves, and plastic bags.
2. Plant the seedlings in a soil mixture consisting of garden soil, compost (or well decomposed animal manure, and rice hull in a 2:3:1 ratio). If possible, sterilize the soil mixture by baking or through steam.
3. Drench the newly pricked seedlings with fungicide solution to prevent damping-off. If insect appears, spray the seedlings with appropriate insecticide.
4. For large scale production, use seedbed. In this case, pricking is not done. Instead, thinning is done to allow more space between seedlings.
5. A week after pricking or thinning, apply starter solution (2 tbsp Ammonium Phosphate (16-20-0) or 14-14-14 dissolved in 1 gal water).
6. A foliar fertilizer may also be used.
7. 1 week before transplanting, harden the seedlings by gradually reducing the amount and frequency of watering until the seedlings experience temporary wilting.
1. Plow and harrow the soil twice.
2. Make furrows distanced at 0.75-1 meter for determinate and semi-determinate varieties and 1.5 m for indeterminate varieties.
3. Place 500g compost or dried manure per hill if the soil is not fertile.
1. Select healthy seedlings with 3-5 leaves 3-4 weeks after seedling emergence.
2. Transplant 2-3 seedlings per hill spaced 40 cm apart.
3. Transplant in the afternoon.
4. Press the soil gently around the base of the seedlings.
5. Water immediately.
6. Replant missing hills 5-7 days after transplanting.
1. Trellising is recommended in growing semi-determinate and indeterminate varieties.
2. Use bamboo or ipil-ipil poles as post.
3. Tie the branches to the post and train the vines using plastic straw.
1. 1-2 days before planting, apply 20 g 14-14-14 per hill and mix it thoroughly with the soil.
2. 3-4 weeks after transplanting, mix 2 parts of Urea (46-0-0) with 1 part Muriate of Potash (0-0-60) and apply 1 tbsp (10g) of the mixture 6-8cm away from the base of the plants in bands (first sidedressing).
3. Apply another 1 tbsp of the mixed fertilizer two weeks later (second sidedressing).
Depending on the weather and soil, water the plants once a week until early fruiting stage.
1. Use Trichogramma chilonis or botanical insecticides like native hot pepper.
2. Use insecticide only if necessary.
1. If the disease is caused by a fungus, spray with fungicide and remove the damaged leaves.
2. If the disease is caused by a virus and bacteria, pull-out, bury or burn the whole plant immediately to prevent its spread to other healthy plants
1. Remove the weeds near the base of the plants before the first sidedressing.
2. Off-bar and hill-up the soil to prevent the weeds.
3. Mulch with rice straw during dry season. For large plantation, mulch with black plastic. Mulching also conserves soil moisture.
1. Harvest mature green or pink-blushed fruits early in the morning
2. Place the harvest in bamboo crates lined with banana leaves or used newspaper to prevent mechanical damage to the fruits.
3. Avoid over- or under- packing.
4. Remove bruised and damaged fruits.
5. Pack together fruits with similar maturity in one container.
Harvest fruits that have reddish streaks to fully red ripe stage.
1. Cut fruits in half and squeeze out the seed with the juice into a container. Allow mixture to ferment 1-2 days or easier removal of mucilaginous seed coat.
2. Dip a fine-holed strainer and rub seeds gently into the strainer to remove the coating.
3. Put the seeds in a pail of water to allow immature seeds to float. Discard water together with the floated seeds leaving the good seeds that settled at the bottom of the pail. Repeat the procedure until no floats can be found.
4. Put seeds in a net bag and air dry them for 2-3 days before sun drying for 4-5 days. Increase the sun drying time as the seeds dry. For oven drying, dry seeds initially to no more than 30°C, and increase it to 40°C as the seeds dry.
5. For dry sealed packaging, dry the seeds to 8% moisture content.
1. Dry seed absorb moisture from the air. Use moisture resistant packaging materials such as thick polyethylene plastic, aluminum foil, tin cans, or glass jars. Seal well.
2. Seeds can be packed in paper packets but must be placed in large tin cans or wide-mouth glass jars with desiccants (charcoal, silica gel, calcium chloride, quick lime, or wood ash) at the bottom.
3. Cover tightly.
Keep seeds away from moisture and high temperature. The cooler and drier the area, the longer the life of the seeds.
Tomato is a perishable crop which deteriorates rapidly if not properly handled. Some tips to preserve the freshness and lengthen the storage life of the fruits are as follows:
1. Harvest fruits at the right stage of maturity. If intended for fresh market and long distance shipment, harvest at the mature-green stage; for processing purposes, harvest at the red-ripe stage.
REASON: Harvesting of immature fruits results in irregularly ripened and poor quality fruits while picking beyond the optimum stage of maturity renders them unsuitable for long-distance shipment.
2. Pick tomatoes during the cooler times of the day, usually at dawn. If it is necessary to harvest up to noon time, keep the harvested fruits in a shaded area soon after picking.
REASON: During this time, temperature is low thus, metabolic processes are slowed down. At noon time, the temperature is high and exposure of the fruits to the sun will increase fruit temperature which hastens weight loss and ripening.
3. Avoid harvesting during rainy days.
REASON: Rain water accumulated on the stems favors growth and development of disease-causing microorganisms.
4. Avoid wounding the fruit when harvesting.
REASON: Injuries incurred during harvesting serve as avenue for entry of microorganisms, hasten water loss and speed up the ripening process.
5. Avoid dropping the fruits into the harvesting containers or when transferring them to the collecting crates.
REASON: Impact bruises on the commodity can result in non-visible symptoms of deterioration manifested internally as brown to black discoloration in the seed area.
6. Avoid over and under packing; allow enough spaces after shaking the containers.
REASON: Over-filled or loosely-packed containers will have a high percentage of injured fruits.
7. Line the crates with newspaper or thin pin-pricked polyethylene bag.
REASON: Liners protect the fruits from mechanical injury while pin-pricked polyethylene bags regulate ripening.
8. Pack only clean, disease-, insect- and injury-free tomatoes.
REASON: Diseased fruits may infect sound ones while injured commodities are readily infected and ripen faster.
9. Have a uniform stage of ripeness within the pack.
REASON: Ripening fruits produce ethylene which causes faster ripening of green ones.
10. Use crates with smooth inner sides.
REASON: Rough inner sides cause bruising of fruits during transport.
11. Arrange containers with enough spaces to allow air circulation during transport.
REASON: Free air circulation will prevent over-heating and will also allow free gas exchange between the commodity and the environment.
12. Be careful when loading and unloading the containers.
REASON: Careless loading and unloading aggravate compression and abrasion damage.
13. Store ripe fruits separately from unripe ones.
REASON: Ripe fruits give off ethylene which hastens the ripening of unripe ones.
14. Delay the ripening of green-mature fruits by keeping them in pin-pricked, (0.05 mm) polyethylene bags for six days at ambient condition.
REASON: The high carbon dioxide and low oxygen inside the polyethylene bag delay ripening.
15. Store green-mature fruits (in small amounts) in moist sawdust.
REASON: The high relative humidity and relatively low temperature attained with sawdust storage minimize weight loss.