Cultivation Of Tomato

By Punjab Agricultural University on 27 Jan 2016


Climate and Soil

Tomato is a warm season crop and requires a relatively long growing season with plenty of sunshine and moderate day temperature of 20–28' C. It is sensitive to frost. Under low temperature,the plant growth is restricted and fruit setting is low. The critical factor in the setting of fruits is the night temperature, the optimum range being 15–20' C.The red pigment in the fruit will develop only when the temperature is between 15' C and 30' C. Above this range of temperature, only the yellow pigment formed. When the temperature exceeds 40' C, no pigment will be formed.Tomato can be grown in all types of soils, but the soil should be friable. However, it grows best in light soils ranging from sandy loam to loam.

Improved Hybrids/Varieties


TH-1 (2003) : It is a determinate hybrid which is cross between W-321x1-181. Its foliage cover is dense that protects the fruits from sun scalding. Fruit color is deep red, shape is round and average fruit weight is 85 g. Its fruits are firm, average TSS is 5% and is thus recommended both for fresh market and processing. It has better shelf life and can be transported to distant markets. TH-1 is moderately resistant to late blight. Average yield is 245 q/acre.

VarietiesPunjab Ratta (2009) : The plants are determinate, foliage covers dense and dark green. It takes 125 days from transplanting to first picking when transplanted during the last week of November. The fruits are oval, medium sized, very firm and deep red (average lycopene content 8 mg/100 g). It is suitable for processing and the average yield is 225 q/acre. 

Punjab Varkha Bahar-1 (2009) : The plants are semi determinate, foliage cover is dense and dark green. Fruits are round and medium firm. It takes 90 days for maturity after transplanting. It1 2 3 4 5 is moderately resistant to leaf curl virus. The variety is suitable for cultivation during the rainy season. Its average yield is 215 q/acre.

Punjab Varkha Bahar-2 (2009) : The plants are determinate,foliage cover is dense and light green. Fruits are round and medium firm. It takes 100 days for maturity after transplanting. It is moderately resistant to leaf curl virus. The variety is suitable for cultivation duringthe rainy season. Its average yield is 216 q/acre.

Punjab Upma (2000) : The plants are determinate, foliage covers dense & leaflets are broad. The fruits are oval, medium in size,firm deep red in color and is suitable for fresh market and processing.The average yield is 220 q/acre and yield is 300 g/q of fruits.

Punjab NR- 7 (1985) : Its plants are dwarf, foliage is medium dense, fruits are flat round, medium sized (70g), uniform red,multilocular and juicy. It is highly resistant to root knot nematodes(Meloidogyne incognita and M. javanica) and resistant to Fusariumwilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. lycopersici). Average yield is 175-180 q/acre.

Punjab Chhuhara (1975) : The plants are dwarf, being about 60 cm tall. Its dense foliage protects the fruits from sunburn. The fruit is pear shaped, small to medium with fewer seeds. Its fruits ripen uniformly. It yields about 320 q/acre.

Agronomic Practices

Sowing time : For winter planting, sowing should be done in October and transplanting in November-December. Sarkanda cover should invariably be provided during winter to protect the plants against frost. However, dwarf varieties can be successfully and economically covered with polythene bags of 35 cmx25 cm size and of 100- gauge thickness.The transplanting of tomato can also be done in February. For February planting, sow seed in the end of November and protect seedlings from frost in the nursery beds by covering with polythene sheets or sarkanda thatch. However, the yield obtained would be comparatively lower from February planted crop than from November planted crop.To ensure successful growing of healthy seedlings from costly hybrid seeds of tomato, grow nursery of this crop under poly house(size 24’ x 13’ x 6’) made of UV stabilized low density polyethylene film of 200 microns (800 guage) thickness. 

The sowing of Punjab Varkha Bahar-1 and Punjab Varkha Bahar-2 can be done in second fortnight of July and their transplanting canbe done in second fortnight of August. Transplant two seedlings per hill.

Seed rate : Seed rate is 100g/acre when sown in the nursery.Sow nursery in two marla (50 m2) area to transplant one acre.

Nursery Raising : Prepare 1.5m wide and 20 cm high beds in an area of about two marlas (50 m2) to raise seedlings for an acre.Mix 5 quintals of well rotten farmyard manure with the soil and water the beds at least 10 days before sowing. Drench the beds with 1.5 to2.0% solution of Formalin by applying 4-5 liters of solution per square meter. Cover beds with a plastic sheet/tarpaulin for 48-72 hours.Turn the soil in beds once a day for 4 to 5 days to eliminate Formalin. Treat.Treat the seed with 3 g Captan/Thiram per kg of seed. Sow seeds 1 to 2 cm deep in lines with 5 cm spacing. Drench the nursery plants with 0.4% Captan/Thiram (4g/liter of water) after 5 to 7 days of germination. Repeat after 7 to 10 days. The seedlings become 15to 20 cm tall in four to six weeks. After lifting the seedlings, wrap them in a wet paper for carrying to the transplanting site.

Spacing : Dwarf varieties require a close spacing of 75 cm x30cm. Rainy season varieties should be planted at a spacing of 120-150x30 cm.

Manures and Fertilizers

Apply 10 tonnes of well rotten farmyard manure and plough it into the soil. Add 25kg of N (55kg of Urea) along with 25kg of P2O5(155 kg of Single Super phosphate) and 25 kg of K2O (45 kg of Muriateof Potash) per acre in a band at 15 cm on one side of the bed mark and prepare the channels. After removing sarkanda/polythene bag cover by mid February, apply 35 kg of N (75kg of Urea) per acre in the rows, but not touching the base of the vines. Mix it with the soil and earth up. In the sandy soils, apply N in three split doses. The first part should be applied along with phosphorus and potash. The second dose should be applied just before the plants take up active growth and the third dose when the first flower clusters have started setting fruits. Under high fertility conditions, the application of N should be reduced, as the blossoms may fail to set fruit due to the unfavorable carbohydrate nitrogen ratio within the plant.

Weed Control : For weed control in tomato, apply Stomp 30 EC (pendimethalin) one litre/acre or 750 ml/acre followed by one hoeing or Basalin 45 EC (fluchloralin) one litre/acre or 750 ml/acrefollowed by one hoeing or Sencor 70 WP (metribuzin) 300g/acre.These weedicides should be applied 3-4 days before transplantingon prepared beds and Basalin 45 EC (fluchloralin) needs to be mixed into soil with light harrowing and planking.

Growth Regulator : To increase the yield of tomato, spray ‘VipulBooster’ @ 1 ml/liter of water in the nursery beds at least a week before transplanting. Repeat the spray of @ 0.5 ml/liter of water five times at fortnightly intervals. The first foliar spray after transplanting should be started a week after transplanting. Each spray application requires 100 liters of water for which 50 ml of the chemical is needed.This growth regulator increases the yield by 16-18 per cent in November transplanted crop and about 12 per cent in the February transplanted crop.

Irrigation : First irrigation should be given immediately after transplanting. Subsequent irrigation may be given after 6-7 days during summer and 10-15 days during winter months. Total number of irrigation required are 14 to 15.


Harvesting should be done according to distance of markets.For long distance markets pick mature green fruits whereas for local market pick at turning red stage. For processing, pick when fruits are fully red. While packing for long distance markets remove rotten,over-ripe and borer-infested fruits. The fruit should be pre-cooled immediately after harvesting. Punjab Varkha Bahar-1 is ready for harvesting at the end of November whereas the harvesting ofPunjab Varkha Bahar-2 should be started from first fortnight of December.

Seed Production

The tomato should be grown at the isolation distance of at least 50 meter from other varieties to avoid any chance of contamination.Minimum three field inspections should be made for getting the true to type seed. The first inspection should be made at vegetative phase,second at flowering and fruiting and third before harvesting of fruits.Any off type and diseased plants should be removed. The extraction of seed from the ripe fruits is done by fermentation method and acid method. In fermentation method, the crushed fruits are allowed to ferment for 1 to 2 days and then put in water where pulp and skin float and the seeds settle down at the bottom. In Acid method,about 100 ml of commercial hydrochloric acid is thoroughly mixed to 14 kg of crushed tomato fruits. The seeds is separated out from the pulp within half an hour which may be cleaned, dried and packed.

Note: For motorized knapsack sprayer, use the same quantity of pesticides per acre as mentioned above, but the quantity of water for dilution will be approximately 1/10th.