Training of soil grown cherry tomato in the open field and in the tunnel

K. Ugrinović, M. Škof
When grown in the soil, indeterminate tomato Solanum lycopersicum in Slovenia is traditionally trained to one stem. Two stems training is occasionally practiced for soil grown grafted plants, while it is a prevailing training system for hydroponically grown plants. The trials with two cultivars (‘Sweet Million’ and ‘Tomatoberry’) of cherry tomato were set up in the open field (location Lucija, submediterranean climate) and in unheated plastic tunnel (location Jablje, temperate continental climate) to test two training systems for ungrafted soil grown plants. Two-stems training (2S), conducted as primary stem plus secondary stem from the first strong auxiliary shoot on the primary stem, was compared with traditional one-stem training (1S). The planting density was adjusted to reach the same stem density per surface area – for 2S training the number of transplants was reduced by halves as compared to 1S training. The development of plants, the amount of yield and the dynamics of fruit ripening were monitored. Harvesting begun at about the same time on both locations, but it lasted only about 2 months in the open field and about 3.5 months under the tunnel. The final yields in the open field were only about one third of those achieved under the tunnel, while the early yields in the open field were about two thirds of those from the tunnel. On both locations, the 1S plants of both cultivars produced only about half as many fruits as 2S plants and, secondary stems of 2S plants produced less fruits than primary stems. Final yield per surface area did not significantly differ among the both training systems in neither of locations; anyhow the yield of first harvests of 2S training was significantly lower than that of 1S training on both locations and for both cultivars. The differences between the two cultivars were significant only in the tunnel where ‘Sweet Million’, in total, yielded more than ‘Tomatoberry’, but the yields of the first harvests of ‘Tomatoberry’ were higher than those of ‘Sweet Million’.
Ugrinović, K. and Škof, M. (2021). Training of soil grown cherry tomato in the open field and in the tunnel. Acta Hortic. 1326, 117-122
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1326.15
Solanum lycopersicum, number of stems, yield dynamics, cultivar, open field, protected area

Acta Horticulturae