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Farming

Cultivation

Cultivation is the foundation of successful fresh-market tomato farms. Healthy soil, plant support, and careful management result in the most delicious fruit.

Great tomatoes start from the ground up. Tomatoes are deep-rooted plants, and root development is determined by the soil profile—nutrient composition, effective depth, pH, water holding capacity, and other factors. Soil analysis will guide farmers in optimizing soil preparation and amendment prior to planting. The growing environment and proper support also determine tomato quality.

Commercially produced tomatoes are grown in one of two ways. Some growers use a controlled-environment greenhouse with a soilless medium and high-string trellis support system. Others grow in open fields, growing tomatoes in covered soil with a post and “Florida weave” woven twine support system. Climate and water availability play large roles in deciding the best system for a grower. Learn more about the details of each option in articles contributed by our experts.

Types of Cultivation

  • Commercial Tomato Production Handbook
    by William Terry Kelley, George Boyhan, Kerry Harrison, Paul E. Sumner, David B. Langston, Jr., Alton N. Sparks, Jr., A. Stanley Culpepper, William C. Hurst, Esendugue Greg Fonsah,

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