Evaluation of different training systems and crop densities to increase greenhouse tomato production and profitability in the Mediterranean area
Increasing the productivity and quality of greenhouse horticultural crops in the Mediterranean area requires the use of new structures, improved ventilation systems or an increase of radiation inside the greenhouse. This must be accompanied by the optimization of growing techniques. An example of this is how to guide the tomato plants. The usual practice in the area is to twist the plant around a supporting twine attached to the overhead wires. When the plants reach the wires, they are left to fall by gravity towards the soil. It is well known that the use of training systems for this lowering of the plants (where the plant always grows from below towards the wires) has many advantages for the crop but requires more labor and an optimization of the crop densities. In the Research Center of Cajamar Las Palmerillas, different systems of lowering the plants by using hangers and different crop densities have been compared for a long-cycle cultivation of tomato in greenhouse during various cropping seasons. The results showed that increasing density and using hangers enhanced the production between 10 and 34%, and the profitability of the cluster tomato crop between 16 and 48% compared to the traditional system. Also, in low-height greenhouses the use of hangers at low or medium height is recommended.
Gázquez, J.C., Pérez, C., Meca, D.E., Segura, M.D., Domene, M.A., López, J.C. and Buendía, D. (2017). Evaluation of different training systems and crop densities to increase greenhouse tomato production and profitability in the Mediterranean area. Acta Hortic. 1170, 777-782
benefit, quality, hook system, crop management, plastic house