Tomato is a very common crop, used in our daily cooking food. In Pakistan it can be grown for a whole season, by nature tomato is a warm-season crop and by forcing technique it can be grown in tunnels in winter so for a whole year it can be grown. Tomato farming in Pakistan is a highly profit-boosting crop, so in this article, I will share practical knowledge. The whole article will be discussed under these outlines,
- Nursery preparation
- Time to prepare the nursery
- Land preparation
- Plant Protection
- Fertilizers and Irrigation
- Feasibility report
- Yield and Profit
- Frequently asked question
In the nursery preparation, small raised beds are prepared, on which tomato grow from seeds are broadcasted and covered with wheat straw and keep moist the bed until the germination completed. Water is given every day early in the morning. A complete nourished nursery plant up to 8-10 inches of height is ready for transplanting in the field. For nursery preparation, the seedling tray is also used by different farmers with soilless media culture like peat moss, etc. Different hybrid varieties Sahil, Cheema, and Darvish are very popular by Syngenta, Haji sons companies. Approximately, 250g of seeds is required for an acre for hybrid tomato farming in Pakistan and plant population for an acre varies from 12-16 thousand depend upon the plant to plant distance and type of variety.
Time to prepare the nursery
There are different practices involved in the tomato cultivation method, in which if you want to grow the crop for the summer season, the nursery preparation should be started in January, and for the winter season in tunnel farming its nursery is prepared from 15 August in Pakistan. For low tunnel varieties, the nursery can be prepared up to 10 January whereas high tunnel nursery should be prepared as early as possible from 15 August.
Field preparation should be done with 2-3 times plowing and bed prepared with 4-5 ft of distance in tomato planting techniques. At the time of transplanting, the plant should be placed with 1-1.5 ft for hybrids in tunnels while 2-2.5 ft distance for an open field without tunnels.
Plant protection measures (PPM)
There are two main fungal diseases early blight and late blight in tomato are very common. To control these fungal diseases, always buy pesticides (Elite, Intracol, etc) from top reputed companies like Arista, Syngenta, Buyer, etc. those farmers who have grown their tomato crop without tunnels for a whole year, should protect their crop from frost stress by covering the crop with a white polythene sheet. In Pakistan, frost stress is very heavy from December to mid of January.
It also noted that growing the tomato crop in an open field, leads to common fungal crops like as earlier described early and late blight while growing in tunnels due to excess of humidity, Powdery, and Downey mildew fungal diseases are very common.
Weeding is very important when plants are transplanted in the field after that several flushes of weeds came through a whole crop season. It is recommended that care should be taken each week for this purpose. Weeds as well as tomato plants are very faster to grow their suckers and spreading shoots should cut off to avoid the extra bunch and stalking is done with the time its schedule is the same just like weeds.
In tunnels during the winter air circulation is mandatory, during the daytime both sides of tunnels should be opened so that excess of humidity could be removed, while the night-time tunnel should be closed so that plants could be protected from low temperature.
If the temperature rises from the optimum limit, it will burn the flowers which will lose to convert to fruits hence you can lose the crop, so air circulation will help to lower the humidity and temperature more than optimum condition. These are measures that should follow in the whole tomato planting recipe.
Fertilizer and Irrigation
The irrigation schedule is depended upon the season and temperature. When there is a high temperature, the irrigation interval should be within a week (5-8 days) while during the winter season its duration should be 10 -12 days. Fertilizer should be applied with irrigation. Different fertilizers like DAP, NP, or Potash is recommended. Initially, when plant vegetative growth is more, plant needs more phosphorus for the healthy and strong stem which help in the smooth flow of nutrients from the roots when it is near about fruiting it requires more potash. At the later stage of fruiting plants become weak for nutrients flow from roots and it is recommended that different plant growth regulators (PGR) spray should be applied just like amino acids on plant leaves to support the plant nutrition.
For growing tomatoes, its estimated expenditures are 35 to 40 thousand rupees apart from tunnel structure. For a simple wooden structure of tunnels for high tunnel about 25 to 30 thousand rupees, whereas for iron structure, 70 to 80 thousand rupees of expenditure are estimated, approximately.
Yield and profit
Tomato farming for profit, different companies claim for 50 to 60 ton of production of tomato per acre, but this is not exact figure to reach as it, it depends upon the hard-working keeping everything according to the recommendation will reach up to roundabout above production. But when it is sold to the market its high rates from 150 per kg to above give more profit which reduces the cost of production and crop loss. Profit per acre fluctuates but 10 -12 lakh rupees are normally in tomato growing farmers. So, it is a very high profit earning crop just like rose farming.
- Nursery area should be not in the direct sunlight, keep moist, make raised bed, broadcast the seed. Nursery prepared for the transplant in the field within 1 month.
- 250g of seed is recommended for an acre and its varieties should be picked from well-reputed seed companies like Syngenta, Haji sons.
- There are two different times to prepare the nursery, for the warm season, in January whereas for the winter season it should be well prepared from 15 August.
- Land should well be prepared with pulverized soil with 4-5 ft of bed to bed and 45 cm plant to plant distance.
- Plant protection measures should be taken very carefully, like fungal disease attack, weeds, plant sucker, air circulation to maintain temperature and humidity.
- Fertilizers and irrigations should be according to recommendations and season. Apply fertilizer with irrigation, phosphorus at the time of vegetative growth, potash at the time of fruiting.
- Its yield is enough high which supports the high profit due to higher rates of tomato in the market.
- Tomato farming is a highly profit-earning crop even from a small area (Kanal).
- This is a whole tomato farming business plan.
Frequently asked questions,
Tomato is fruit or vegetable?
It is just pronounced by different people whether it is fruit or vegetables. Commonly, called vegetables because it is used for cooking purposes. In the horticulture, vegetable classification according to plant part is very interesting. According to that classification, some are leafy vegetables (mint, coriander, fenugreek, spinach ) due to ‘leaves used’,
some are tubers (potato) due to ‘stored food in underground stem’, some are bulbs (onion) due to bulb just like tubers similarly some vegetables are fruit (tomato, eggplant, or brinjal) due to their fruit part used. Botanically (due to ripened ovary) and according to the vegetable classification (according to plant part used) tomato is a fruit, but due to daily usage in the kitchen with different vegetables more pronounced as vegetables.
Why is tomato not a vegetable?
See the above answer.
Which acid is present in a tomato?
There is 4 types of acids present in tomatoes, which are malic acid, citric acids, and tartaric acids and tricarboxylic acids. Their content value changes and hence decreased with the storage time like in ascorbic acids. 1st day of storage vitamin C content is recorded 3.30 mg/ml after a week its value is lowered 0.49 mg/ml and completely drain out 0 after 14 days of storage. Among these acids, citric acid and malic acid are abundant. Citric acid is higher followed by malic acid, tartaric acid, and tricarballylic acid.
Is it safe to eat tomato seeds?
Tomato seeds contain the gel around them, and by the point of view of our stomach seeds are indigestible. From the nutritional point of view, seeds of tomato are healthier or non-toxic and help in the smooth blood circulation.
What are tips and hacks to grow tomatoes?
see the above article.
Should diabetic patient eat tomato?
Yes, there are following reasons,
- Tomato is non-starchy
- Low glycemic index
- Contain low calories which help in maintaining a healthy weight
- Reduce cardiovascular risk
- Improve cholesterol level
- Maintain the blood pressure
Can tomatoes cause kidney stones?
There is a compound, named oxalate is present in the tomato which is responsible for making kidney stones. But on the other hand, tomato contains even a smaller quantity of oxalate which is not able to make a stone in the kidney. It is estimated that 100g of tomato contains 5g of oxalates.