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Journal of Applied Horticulture. 2001: 3(1): 23-27

Effect of low-tunnel, mulch and pruning on the yield and earliness of tomato in unheated glasshouse

Arin, L; Ankara, S

T. U. Agricultural Faculty, Department of Horticulture, 59030 Tekirdag, Turkey.

A study was conducted to determine the effect of low-tunnel, mulching (black and transparent polyethylene or straw) and pruning treatments on yield and earliness of tomato cv. Fuji F1 in unheated glasshouse. A 643.72% increase in height (relative to height at the planting time) was observed in plants grown under low-tunnel (tunnelled) than those grown without tunnel (602.87%). Among the mulches, plant height increase was highest with the straw mulch (679.13%). Stem diameter increase was higher in plants tunnelled (265.36%) than plants grown without tunnel (233.83%). Straw and transparent polyethylene mulches recorded higher stem diameter than other mulches. The number of days to first harvest was 117.97 for plants tunnelled and that for plants grown without tunnel was 119.88. The shortest time to harvest was recorded in transparent polyethylene (117.90 days), which was at par with black polyethylene (118.17 days). Early fruit yield was higher in tunnelled and mulched treatments than in other treatments. The crops pruned from the 4th truss had more early yield than those pruned from the 8th truss. The total yield was highest (5288.41 g) in plants tunnelled and pruned from the 8th truss. Among the mulch treatments, straw mulch recorded the highest yield while the control recorded the lowest. Fruit weight was higher in crops tunnelled, mulched with straw and pruned from the 4th truss. The results indicate that low-tunnels are useful for promoting: crop development during the initial growth stages, early harvest and high total yield. Mulching and pruning from the 4th truss are useful for increasing the early yield. For a high total yield, straw mulching and pruning from the 8th truss are recommended, however, pruning from the 4th truss produces larger fruits.


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