THE EFFECT OF ROW COVERS ON THE YIELD OF THREE TOMATO CULTIVARS

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, P.O. Box 231, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903

Three tomato varieties were evaluated for early and total yield using row covers. Tomatoes were planted three weeks earlier than the normal planting date and row cover treatments included; 1) slitted, clear polyethylene 2) floating, spunbonded, polypropylene and 3) bare, no row cover. `Pilgrim', `Celebrity' and' Mountain Pride' were selected as early, mid-season and late varieties, respectively. Row covers were removed after three weeks at which time a second planting was made, representing the normal planting time. Slitted, clear, polyethylene row covers significantly increased early yields in all varieties as compared to the bare treatment. In addition, clear row covers resulted in higher early yields in `Pilgrim' and `Mountain Pride' than floating row covers. Despite row covers over `Celebrity' and `Mountain Pride', early yields were still not as great as the `Pilgrim' cultivar without any row cover.

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