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Hanna Y. Hanna and Kenneth D. Henderson

A study was conducted to determine the effects of a constructed interplant bottom heating system using diesel fuel and an above-plant heating system using natural gas on heating and production cost of greenhouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum). Two identical greenhouses 30 × 96 ft were used for this study in the spring (January to July) of 2002 and 2003. The interplant bottom-heated greenhouse consumed an average of 195,790,000 btu during the heating period (January to March) to raise the air temperature 5 ft above the floor to the optimum level for greenhouse tomato production. The above-plant-heated greenhouse consumed an average of 208,100,000 btu to do the same. Using the interplant bottom heating system reduced energy consumption by 6%. Average cost was $6.22 and $9.10 per million btu from diesel fuel and natural gas, respectively. The difference is ≈32% reduction in fuel cost based on fuel type. The interplant bottom heating system raised root-media temperature to near the optimum level for tomato growth and increased total yield by 9.5%. Producing 1 lb of tomatoes in the interplant bottom-heated greenhouse required 13,266 btu at a heating cost of $0.08; however, it required 15,459 btu in the above-plant-heated greenhouse at a heating cost of $0.14. Less energy, cost-effective fuel, and increased yield reduced heating cost per production unit by 43% in the interplant bottom-heated greenhouse.

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Hisayuki Kudo and Takeo Harada

homeobox fusion transcript ( Chen et al., 1997 ) in Mouse ear ( Me ) tomato ( Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) can alter the morphology of wild-type tomato grafted on Me . We are intrigued about the consequences of this phenomenon in horticultural crops

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Christian A. Wyenandt, Landon H. Rhodes, Richard M. Riedel, and Mark A. Bennett

The development of septoria leaf spot in processing tomatoes grown on conventional (bare soil) beds or beds with chemically or mechanically killed winter rye (Secale cereale L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) cover crop mulch with or without fungicide was examined. The two fungicide treatment programs included fungicide applied weekly (7 d) and a no fungicide control. In mulch bed systems without fungicide, septoria leaf spot caused ≈50% defoliation 10 and 28 d later in 1997 and 1998 than in the conventional system, respectively. In both years, area under disease progress curve (AUDPC) values for septoria leaf spot development were lower with the presence of a chemically or mechanically killed mulch compared with the conventional bed system when no fungicide was applied. In 1997, there were no significant differences in AUDPC values for septoria leaf spot development when fungicide was applied weekly. In 1998, AUDPC values were lower in both mulch systems compared with the conventional bed system when fungicide was applied weekly. At harvest in both years, defoliation was highest in the no fungicide control treatment. In 1997, marketable yield was significantly higher in both mulch systems compared with the conventional bed system. Conversely, in 1998, marketable yield was significantly higher in the conventional bed system than in either mulch bed system.

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Bielinski M. Santos

The effects of early pruning on the growth and yield of ‘Florida-47’ and ‘Sungard’ tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) were assessed in west-central Florida. Each cultivar was established in separate experiments. The four pruning treatments consisted of leaving one, two, and three main stems in the tomato plants below the first flower cluster, and a nonpruned control. Pruning shoots had significant effects on the plant height of ‘Sungard’ and ‘Florida-47’ at 4 and 3 weeks after transplanting, respectively. Tomato plants with a single stem were 13% and 10% taller than the ones in the nonpruned control, respectively. However, this effect disappeared 1 and 2 weeks later in both cultivars. Regardless of the cultivar, early pruning did not influence foliar disease incidence or early and total tomato marketable yield. This cultural practice did not affect the partitioning to different fruit categories in either cultivars. This data showed that early pruning can temporarily change the plant architecture of ‘Sungard’ and ‘Florida-47’ tomato, explaining the perceived increased plant vigor in comparison with the nonpruned control. However, the effect disappeared during the growing season and did not reflect on marketable yields of either tomato cultivars. If no pruning were performed in these cultivars, growers would be able to save an estimated $40/acre of tomato.

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Elisha O. Gogo, Mwanarusi Saidi, Francis M. Itulya, Thibaud Martin, and Mathieu Ngouajio

Unfavorable environmental conditions, pests, and viral diseases are among the major factors that contribute to poor growth and quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) seedlings in tropical areas. Improving crop microclimate and excluding insects that transmit viruses may improve transplant quality and yield in production fields. This study was carried out in two seasons at the Horticulture Research and Teaching Field of Egerton University in Njoro, Kenya, to investigate the effects of agricultural nets herein called eco-friendly nets (EFNs) on germination and performance of tomato seedlings. Tomato seeds were either raised in the open or under a permanent fine mesh net (0.4-mm pore diameter). Eco-friendly net covers modified the microclimate resulting in significantly higher day temperatures and relative humidity, compared with the open treatment. Nets increased temperature and relative humidity by 14.8% and 10.4%, respectively. Starting seeds under a net advanced seedling emergence by 2 days and resulted in higher emergence percentage, thicker stem diameter, more leaves, and faster growth leading to early maturity of seedlings and readiness for transplanting. Netting improved root development by increasing root quantity and length. Stomatal conductance (g S) and estimates of chlorophyll content were higher in seedlings under net covering compared with those in the noncovered control treatment. Insect pests and diseases were also reduced under net covering. The use of the net in the production of tomato transplants presented a 36.5% reduction in the cost of seeds, through improved emergence and reduced pest damage. All other factors held constant, healthy and quality transplants obtained under a net covering also translate into better field performance; hence, increasing economic returns for commercial transplants growers, as well as for tomato farmers. Results of this study suggest that EFNs can be customized not only for their effective improvement on growth and quality of tomato transplants but also for their pest and disease management in the nursery alone or as a component of integrated pest and disease management.

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Miguel Urrestarazu, Juan E. Alvaro, Soraya Moreno, and Gilda Carrasco

or bag cultures using the tomato ( Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Daniela) and green bean ( Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. Maite) crops in Almería (southeast Spain). Commercially available Grodan ® Med. rockwool and Otavi ® Ibérica perlite were used

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Manoj G. Kulkarni, Glendon D. Ascough, and Johannes Van Staden

. ‘Clemson Spineless’] and tomato ( Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. ‘Heinz-1370’) purchased from McDonald's Seed Company, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The experiment was set up on 8 Mar. 2006 in a greenhouse at 20 ± 2 °C having midday photosynthetic

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Varda Kagan-Zur, Yosef Mizrahi, Dan Zamir, and Nir Navot

A spontaneous tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) triploid hybrid was analyzed by isozyme and restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles. The double chromosome complement donor was shown to be the male parent, contrary to the prevailing hypothesis.

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Mason T. MacDonald, Rajasekaran R. Lada, Jeff Hoyle, and A. Robin Robinson

Ambiol®, a derivative of 5-hydroxybenzimidazole, acclimates tomato ( Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) to drought Acta Hort. 774 355 362 MacDonald, M.T. Rajasekaran, L.R. Hoyle, J. Robinson, A.R. 2009

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Kenneth J. Boote, Maria R. Rybak, Johan M.S. Scholberg, and James W. Jones

, Florida. Soil Conservation Service, Washington, DC Byrd, G.T. Ort, D.R. Ogren, W.L. 1995 The effects of chilling in the light on ribulose-1-5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase activation in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) Plant Physiol. 107 585 591