EXTENDING UPPER CELL DENSITY LIMITS OF PROCESSING TOMATO TRAY TRANSPLANT PRODUCTION IN GREENHOUSES

A. Liptay, K. Hoffmann
Increasing the number of seedlings grown per unit area in multi-celled trays in the greenhouse can substantially reduce the unit cost of the individual seedling. Improving the cost efficiency of production in this manner is economically desirable only if the agronomic performance of the seedlings grown at the very high densities is at least comparable if not superior to that of seedlings produced at lower densities. The objective of the studies reported here was to determine the upper density limits and the factors affecting these limits at which processing tomato (LYCOPERSICON LYCOPERSICUM Karsten) seedlings can be produced and still have satisfactory agronomic performance upon subsequent setting outdoors in the field. Improvisation was necessary because commercial trays were not available at the high densities and with varying cell depths. Plant cells were made from polyethylene tubes of various inner diameters from 10 to 25 mm and various lengths i.e. depths. The tube sections were supported in different manners to obtain various densities of seedlings per m2 of greenhouse surface area. Growth and agronomic performance of these seedlings was recorded both in the greenhouse and outdoors after field setting. Satisfactory agronomic performance in the field was obtained from seedlings grown in the greenhouse as dense as 3,300/m2 with cells of an inner diameter of 16 mm and a depth of 5 cm. Seedlings produced at 6,400/m2 in the smallest cells i.e. 10 mm, were tender and very susceptible to sandblasting damage when transplanted into the field, in contrast to those seedlings grown at any of the lower densities.
Liptay, A. and Hoffmann, K. (1988). EXTENDING UPPER CELL DENSITY LIMITS OF PROCESSING TOMATO TRAY TRANSPLANT PRODUCTION IN GREENHOUSES. Acta Hortic. 230, 533-540
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.230.70
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.230.70

Acta Horticulturae