M. García Lozano, I. Escobar , J.J. Berenguer
Research related with soilless tomato yields has traditionally been focused on how to obtain higher yields and longer post-harvest fruit shelf life, forgetting the tomato fruit taste and flavour. The study reported here was targeted to demonstrate that tomatoes with great flavour can be obtained in soilless culture, although with a relevant reduction of yield. The experiments were carried out along two years, in a typical, unheated plastic greenhouse, in Motril, coastal region of the Granada province (Spain), using perlite as substrate. The first year, two cultivars of raf type tomatoes, ‘Raf’ (Clause Seeds) and ‘Marmandino’ (Nunhems Seeds), were compared. With the objective of raising the electrical conductivity (EC) in the drainage solution, sodium chloride (NaCl) was added to the nutrient solution and the drainage from the irrigation solution was maintained low by restricting irrigation. In both cultivars, the salt added treatment obtained much more flavoured tomato fruits, but lower yields. The second year, two raf type tomatoes, ‘Raf’ and ‘Dulzura’ (both from Clause Seeds), a cherry type tomato (‘Katalina’, Zeraim Seeds) and a Kumato type (reference ‘SX-387’ Syngenta Seeds) were grown in the high EC conditions of the first year (NaCl added). All these tomatoes, except ‘Dulzura’ cultivar, reached an important increase in the total soluble solids (°Brix) as well as a considerable better flavour, though the yields and size fruits of ‘Katalina’ and ‘SX-387’ were lower, as compared with the average of locally grown commercial tomatoes.
García Lozano, M., Escobar , I. and Berenguer, J.J. (2012). FLAVOURED TOMATOES IN SOILLESS CULTURE. Acta Hortic. 927, 481-487
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.927.61
salinity, perlite, nutrient solutions, 'Raf'

Acta Horticulturae