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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 843: International Symposium on Soilless Culture and Hydroponics

INFLUENCE OF DIFFERENT PRUNING METHODS IN CHERRY TOMATO GROWN HYDROPONICALLY IN A CROPPING SPRING CYCLE: EFFECTS ON THE PRODUCTION AND QUALITY

Authors:   J.L. Franco, N. Rodríguez, M. Díaz, F. Camacho
Keywords:   Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme Hort., rockwool, sprouts, plant structure
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.843.20
Abstract:
The practice of intensive tomato cropping needs to improve the production and quality of the produce, to achieve higher incomes and enable maintaining the profitability. Competitiveness in the intensive farms is achieved by introducing technological innovations that allow the efficient and sustainable development of the crop. Greenhouse cherry tomato culture is very intensive and requires many cultural practices to obtain an optimal production rate and quality, to make it profitable. Choosing the proper pruning method to keep a balance in the relationships source/sink and C/N ratio, and at the same time to favor the fruit development, is crucial to optimize the production. The trial was carried out in a semi-cylindrical greenhouse structure in the Experimental Farm “Fundación Universidad de Almería-ANECOOP”, Almería (Spain), during one cropping spring cycle. Cherry tomato cv. ‘Salomee’ (Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme Hort.) was grown in rockwool substrate. The fruit production and quality parameters were measured. Two different treatments were evaluated: T0) pruning two sprouts, leaving the primary and secondary sprouts, borne below the second inflorescence (control); T1) pruning two sprouts, at the auxiliary sprout below the second inflorescence of the primary and secondary stems that form the plant structure. There were no statistically significant differences between treatment T1 and treatment T0 (control) in the increase of the number and weight of the total and marketable fruit per area unit. However, there were increases after 141 d.a.t. (days after transplant) for the harvest of additional clusters. Regarding the parameters of the fruit quality, the treatment T1 had greater values in the content of soluble solids and lower values in acidity.

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