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Tomato Transplant Production Method Affects Plant Development and Field Performance

Javanmardi, Jamal, Moradiani, Mohammad
International journal of vegetable science 2017 v.23 no.1 pp. 31-41
Solanum lycopersicum, composts, direct seeding, leaves, peat, perlite, plant density, plant development, plant establishment, ripening, seedlings, soil, tomatoes, transplant production
In addition to direct seeding of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), several plant establishment methods are used, with each presenting its own set of advantages and limitations. Transplant production methods including normal plug tray, bare root transplants with known plant density, and broadcast seeded bare root transplants were evaluated in peat : perlite 60:40 (v/v) or compost : field soil 1/3:2/3 (v/v) substrates against direct seeding of tomato in the field. The highest plant establishment percentage and leaf number before the first truss were for plug transplants; earlier fruit ripening was from bare root transplants. Broadcast seeded bare root transplants and direct-seeded plants had the greatest first yield. Fruit production increased following the second harvest toward maximum potential yield in transplanted seedlings, regardless of production method. Compared to direct seeding, greater total yield was from transplants due to more possible harvests.