🍅 Weed Control in Tomato:
Do frequent weeding, hoeing and hilling and keep the field weed free for 45 days. If weeds are left uncontrolled they will reduce crop yields by 70-90%. Spray Fluchloralin (Besalin) @ 800 ml/200 liters of water as pre-emergence Herbicide two to three days after transplantation. If weed intensity is high, spray Sencor 300 gm per acre after germination. Mulching is also an effective method for weed control as well as reducing soil temperature.
🍅 Irrigation in Tomato Farming:
In winter, irrigate at an interval of 6 to 7 days and in summer months, irrigate at an interval of 10-15 days depending on the soil moisture. Heavy watering after a period of drought can lead to fruit cracking. The flowering stage is critical for irrigation, water stress during this stage can lead to flower drop and adversely affect fruiting and productivity. According to various researches, it has been found that irrigation of half an inch every fortnight results in maximum penetration of roots and thus higher yield.
Tomato Farming Pests and their control :
🕷️ Leaf Miner:
Leaf miner insects eat the leaves and create serpentine mines in the leaves. It affects photosynthesis and fruit formation.
In the initial stage, spray Neem seed kernel extract 5%, 50 grams per liter of water. Dimethoate 30EC 250ml to control leaf miner. Or Spinosad 80ml. Or Triazophos 200 ml in 200 liters of water. Spray by mixing it per 200 liters of water.
Whitefly nymphs and adults suck cell sap from leaves and weaken the plants. They secrete honeydew on which black sooty fungus develops on the leaves. They also spread leaf curl disease.
After sowing the seeds in the nursery, cover the bed with 400 mesh nylon net or thin white cloth. It helps in protecting plants from insect attack. Use yellow sticky traps coated with grease and sticky oil to check for infestation. To control the spread of whitefly, uproot and destroy affected plants. In case of severe infection, spray Acetamiprid 20SP@80 g/200 L of water or Triazophos@250 ml/200 L of water or Profenophos 200 ml/200 L of water. Spray again after 15 days.
Gram pod borer or Heliothis armigera: It is a major pest of tomato. Crop loss due to Helicoverpa is approximately 22-37% if not controlled at appropriate levels. Apart from leaves, it also eats flowers and fruits. They make circular holes on the fruits and eat the pulp.
In case of early infection, grown larvae are picked by hand. In the initial stage use HNPV or Neem extract 50 grams per liter of water. To control fruit borer, apply 16 pheromone traps/acre at evenly spaced 20 days after transplantation. Change the feed every 20 days. Destroy infected parts. If the number of pests is high, then apply Spinosad 80 ml+Sticker@400 ml. Spray per 200 liters of water. To control shoot and fruit borer, spray Rinaxipyr (Corazan) 60 ml/200 liters of water.
Mite is a serious pest and can cause yield loss of up to 80%. These are insects found widely throughout the world. It attacks many crops like potato, chilli, beans, cotton, tobacco, saffron, castor, jute, coffee, lemon, lime, black gram, cowpea, black pepper, tomato, sweet potato, mango, papaya, brinjal, guava . Infants and adults feed exclusively on the lower surface of leaves. Infected leaves appear cup-shaped. Heavy infestations result in defoliation and drying of leaves.
If infestation of yellow mite and thrips is seen in the field, spraying of Chlorfenapyr @ 15 ml/10 litre, Abamectin @ 15 ml/10 litre, or Phenazaquin @ 100 ml/100 litre, has been found effective. . For effective control, spray Spiromesifen 22.9SC(Oberon)@200 ml/acre/180 liters of water.
🦠 Diseases and their control:
Fruit rot: Major disease of tomato which is seen due to changing weather. Water-soaked wounds appear on the fruits. Later they turn black or brown and cause rotting of the fruits.
Before sowing, treat the seeds with Trichoderma 5-10 gm or Carbendazim 2 gm or Thiram 3 gm per kg seed. If infection is seen in the field, collect and destroy infected fruits and leaves lying on the ground. Fruit rot and anthracnose attack is mostly seen in cloudy weather, to control it, spray Mancozeb 400 gm or Copper Oxychloride 300 gm or Chlorothalonil 250 gm per 200 liter of water. Spray again at an interval of 15 days.
Hot temperatures, high humidity are ideal conditions for the spread of this disease. It is characterized by black spots that form on the infected parts. The spots are usually circular, water-soaked and sunken with black edges. Fruits with multiple spots drop prematurely causing huge losses to the yield.
If anthracnose infection is seen. To prevent this disease, propiconazole or hexaconazole 200 ml. Spraying should be done by mixing it in every 200 liters of water.
🦠 Early blight:
Common and major diseases of tomato. Initially small, brown isolated spots are seen on the leaf. Later, spots also appear on the stem and fruits. Fully developed spots become irregular, dark brown in color and have a thickened ring inside the spots. Fell into serious condition.
If an outbreak of early blight is observed then Mancozeb 400 grams or Tebuconazole 200 ml. Spray per 200 litres. Spray again 10-15 days after the first spraying. The possibility of early and late blight increases in cloudy weather. As a preventive measure, spray Chlorothalonil 250 grams per 100 liters of water. Apart from this, blight and other diseases increase due to sudden rains, to control blight disease, spray copper based fungicide 300 g/liter + streptocycline 6 g/200 liter of water.
🥀 Fading and Damping Off:
Damp and poorly drained soils cause damping off disease. This is a soil borne disease. The stem shrinks when it gets wet in water. The sprouts died before they could sprout. If it appears in the nursery, the entire plant may be destroyed.
To prevent root rot, moisten the soil with 1% urea @100 g/10 liter and copper oxychloride @250 g/200 liter of water. To control blight, soak the surrounding soil with Copper Oxychloride 250 grams or Carbendazim 400 grams per 200 liters of water. Increased temperature and humidity due to watering leads to fungal growth in the roots, to overcome this apply Trichoderma 2 kg per acre with cow dung near the roots of the plants. To control soil borne diseases, moisten the soil with Carbendazim 1 gram per liter or Bordeaux mixture 10 grams per liter, after 1 month apply 2 kg Trichoderma per acre mixed with 100 kg cow dung.
🦠 Powdery Mildew:
Spotted, white powdery growths appear on the lower side of the leaves. It parasitizes the plant, using it as a food source. This usually occurs on older leaves just before or at the time of fruit set. But it can develop at any stage of crop growth. In severe infection it causes leaf fall.
Avoid water logging in the field. Keep the field clean. To control this disease, 1 ml with Hexaconazole sticker. Spraying should be done at the rate of per liter of water. In case of sudden rain, chances of powdery mildew are higher. For mild infection, mix water soluble sulfur 20 grams per 10 liters of water and spray it 2-3 times at an interval of 10 days.
The plant starts yielding 70 days after transplantation. Harvesting is done depending on the purposes like for fresh market, long distance transportation etc. Ripe green tomatoes, 1/4 of the fruit turning pink, are harvested for long distance markets. Almost all fruits turn pink or red but have hard pulp that are harvested for local markets. For the purpose of processing and seed extraction, fully ripe fruits with soft pulp are used.
Grading is done after harvesting. The fruits are then packed in bamboo baskets or crates or wooden boxes. Pre-cooling is done to increase the self-life of tomatoes during long distance transportation. Many products like puree, syrup, juice and ketch up are made from ripe tomatoes after processing.