Wednesday, April 24, 2024

How To Start A Lucrative Tomato Farming

Tomato farming is the cultivation of tomatoes for the production of tomato fruits. The cultivation of tomatoes can be profitable if done in the right way. Tomato farming can be done in the open field, in pots, greenhouses, gardens, and containers. Tomato plants' fruits are harvested after 60–90 days, depending on variety.

Tomato farming is the cultivation of tomatoes for the production of tomato fruits. The cultivation of tomatoes can be profitable if done in the right way. Tomato farming can be done in the open field, in pots, greenhouses, gardens, and containers. Tomato plants’ fruits are harvested after 60–90 days, depending on variety.

The tomato is a perennial herbaceous plant, but it is often grown as an annual crop even if biennial and perennial forms exist. Tomatoes are cultivated in tropical and temperate climates in open fields or greenhouses in temperate climates. Greenhouses are often used for large-scale production.

Tomatoes are technically fruits because they fit the botanical definition of one: they are the fleshy parts of a plant that surround its seeds. However, for nutritional and culinary purposes, tomatoes are considered a vegetable due to their taste, use in meals, and nutrient content.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF TOMATOES

  1. Tomatoes help prevent cancer.
  2. Tomatoes regulate blood pressure.
  3. Tomatoes aid weight loss.
  4. Tomatoes improve skin and hair health.
  5. Tomatoes are good during pregnancy.
  6. Tomatoes reduce cholesterol and promote heart health.
  7. Tomatoes counter the effects of cigarette smoke.
  8. Tomatoes improve vision.

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How to plant tomatoes

Choose a sunny place for your tomatoes because the warmer the soil, the faster the tomatoes grow. Tomatoes should receive at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. Tomatoes can grow in all soils, from light to heavy ones.

  1. Procurement of Improved Seeds

One of your most important decisions in making millions from tomato farming starts with choosing the proper seed to cultivate. The following are some of the varieties you can choose from: Platinum F1, Maxim F1, Cobra 26 F1, Rio-Grande, etc., and you’re guaranteed huge production.

The average yield per hectare has been below 3 tons in Nigeria because the majority of tomato farmers still practice crude methods of selecting seeds that are outdated and not viable.

2. Nursery preparation

The first step in the tomato planting process is to prepare the nursery so that the tomato seeds can germinate. You can either choose to raise tomato plants in beds in the garden or plant them indoors.

When the seeds begin to germinate and grow leaves and roots, you can transplant them to areas suitable for tomato growth and production.

3. Sowing and Nursery

We recommend you start raising seedlings with a seedling tray. But if you would prefer using soil, apply pesticides 5 to 6 days before sowing. Doing this will minimize the activities of disease-causing organisms, e.g., nematodes, fungus, bacteria, and even insects. If any, weeding should be done. Water heavily a day before transplanting to harden the seedlings.

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4. Site selection and land preparation

Tomatoes can grow in all soils, from light to heavy ones, but there is a need to provide enough sunlight—at least 6 hours of sunlight every day, by choosing a sunny place because the warmer the soil, the faster the tomatoes grow.

Tomatoes do best in soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. If your soil is acidic, you will need to lime it. The soil should be well drained and not soaked. Loosen the soil to at least 20 cm in depth. Finally, it’s time to transplant tomato seedlings.

5. Transplanting

Nursery plants older than 24 days are suitable for transplanting. When your tomato seedlings are about 8 to 10 cm tall, they’re ready for transplanting. Ensure you plant within an hour of removing it from the nursery.

It’s advisable to dip the roots of the seedling into pesticides to prevent insect attack and fungal diseases. Transplant early in the mornings or in the evenings. Water the plants after transplanting to protect them from water stress.

  1. Wetting your tomatoes

Water is crucial in tomato farming, so access to it is necessary. Your farmland must have a ready and steady source of water. So, it’s good you dig a well, drill a borehole, or store rainwater by creating a mini reservoir to harvest water.

Relying on rain fed tomato farming is long outdated. Smart farmers now farm tomatoes all year round with drip irrigation systems. Many are not aware that tomatoes dislike having wet leaves. That is why drip irrigation is the best way to irrigate tomatoes.

Having water on tomato leaves aids foliar infections, which can damage the plants. Drip irrigation ensures adequate water supply to the roots of plants. This irrigation system saves up to 80% of the water compared to any other type of irrigation.

6. Protecting your plants and weeding

It is very important that you protect your plants from diseases such as Fusarium, bacteria wilt, Septoria leaf spot, bacteria blight, collar and root rots, etc. Insects such as leaf hoppers, thrips, leaf miners, etc. Weeding should be done when necessary and regularly.

7. Staking for tomatoes

There are two types of staking in tomato farming. Single plant and multiple plant staking, single staking is when each plant gives one stalk. It’s physically draining and expensive. Multiple staking is done for every 5 feet along the rows. The stems of the tomato plants are tied to the stake for proper support.

To make your plant more productive and healthier, adjust or help the tomato plants or vines grow on the staking materials, then prune properly. The best way to stake tomatoes is to tie them just above a cluster of flowers rather than just below.

8. Fertilizer application

Avoid fast-release fertilizers and high-nitrogen fertilizers. Too much nitrogen will result in lush foliage but few flowers and little or no fruit. Apply biostimulants, boron, and calcium fertilizers to plants for quality tomato fruits.

For proper root establishment, bone meal-based fertilizers are used because they’re rich in phosphorus. Note that fertilizer application should be done after your soil test results. You can apply potassium sulfate, monoammonium phosphate, calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, chelates, foliar fertilizer, etc.

9. Harvesting tomatoes

When the tomato fruits are ready, you can twist them from the petioles of the bunch. You can use scissors to cut off the stem, leaving a little part of it attached to the tomato fruit. It is advisable to harvest them before they ripen fully so as to prevent cracking, reduce the spread of fungal diseases, and prevent premature rotting. After harvest, keep the harvested fruits in plastic crates or baskets under shade and sort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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