Transplant Depth Influences Tomato Yield and Maturity

in HortScience
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  • 1 University of Florida, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, P.O. Drawer 5127, Immokalee, FL 33934
  • | 2 University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center, Route 3, Box 4370, Quincy, FL 32351-9529
  • | 3 Manatee County Extension, 1303 17th Street, Palmetto, FL 34221-2998
  • | 4 Dade County Extension, 18710 SW 288 Street, Homestead, FL 33030-2309

`Agriset', `All Star', and `Colonial' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants set to a depth of the first true leaf and `Cobia' transplants set to a depth of the cotyledon leaves yielded more fruit at first harvest than plants set to the top of the rootball (root–shoot interface). The increase in fruit count was predominantly in the extra-large category. More red fruit at first harvest suggested that deeper planting hastens tomato maturity. The impact of planting depth diminished with successive harvests, indicating the response to be primarily a first-harvest phenomenon in tomato.

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