tomatoTomato, scientifically known as Lycopersicum esculentum Miller is an important and popular vegetable grown in many parts of the world. The fruit is used as an ingredient in many food preparations and is regarded as one of the most profitable crops for off-season production, preferably from May to September.

Recommended Varieties

Tomato varieties are classified according to their growth habit such as indeterminate or determinate type. The indeterminate type develops new stems from axillary bud in the leaf subtending the inflorescence with continued growth of internodal inflorescence every 3rd to 4th leaf with sequential maturity depending on the type variety and management, prolonging the harvesting period.

The determinate type is bushy with an inflorescence limited only to 4-6 leaves and the next buds are developed slowly if not aborted restricting the prolific flowering resulting in shorter production period. The characteristics of tomato varieties recommended for production are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Characteristics of recommended varieties of tomato.
VarietyDays to harvesting (DAT)Productive period (months)Yield
(t/ha)
FruitTypePlanting seasonReaction to pests and diseases
ColorSizeShape
Apollo for fresh market352-330Red orangeMedium largeoblongDeterminateDry seasonTMV-MR bacterial wilt-MR
Magilas for fresh301-230Pink redlargeoblongDeterminateDry and wet seasonDumping off-R wilt-R TMV-R
Atlas (F1)402-340Red orangeMedium LargeoblongSemi determinateDry and wet seasonBacterial-R wilt-R TMV-R
Atlas(rafted) (kamlong)402-340Red orangeMedium largeoblongSemi determinateWet seasonBacterial wilt-R TMV-R
Cherry504-540Red orangeMediumroundIndeterminateDry and wet seasonWilt R TMV -MR
TMV – Tomato Mosaic Virus.  MR – Moderately resistant; R – resistant

Site Selection

Choose a part of the farm that is slightly elevated and has good drainage to avoid water logging in case a flash flood occurs during the wet season. For dry season planting, make a catchment with a canal directed into it to drain excess water after each irrigation schedule. Choose a sandy loam or clay loam soil with a pH of 5.5-8.0.

Growing Season

Tomato can be grown anytime of the year. In hilly areas, plant tomato from September to January. For lowlands, plant from November to February. Grow off-season type and grafted tomatoes (kamlong) from May to September for bigger profit.

Land Preparation

With a carabao drawn implement, plow and harrow the area once and twice if the soil is not in good tilt. Then set furrows at a distance of 100 cm before transplanting the indeterminate type or semi-viny. For determinate type with bushy growth habit set at 75 cm distance between furrows.

Crop Establishment

There are two methods of seedling production: the use of seedbed and seedling trays.

1. Seedbed method

* For 1000 m2 tomato production, use one seedbed measuring 1 x 10 m so that seedlings will not be overcrowded, thereby producing seedlings with bigger stems. Cover the seedbed with 3-5 cm thick rice hull and then burn completely to minimize the incidence of pre-emergence damping-off on the seedlings.

* Mix 10 kg compost and 100 g complete fertilizer and incorporate these evenly into the seedbed. Sow the seeds in small shallow furrows at 20-30 g/10 m2. Cover the seeds lightly with fine soil. Dust the surroundings of the seedbed with Sevin SP to control ants, and spray 1 tbsp of Vitigran Blue per gallon of water to avoid infection of damping-off. To ensure uniform germination of the seeds, saturate the seedbed with water for the first three days using sprinkler until the seeds emerge.

* To avoid succulent stem, regulate watering as soon as the seedlings have emerged. For the seedlings to have a good start, apply urea at a rate of 1 tbsp/gal of water at 7-14 days after emergence (DAE). Sprinkle water on the seedlings using a sprinkler (regador) immediately after applying the fertilizer to avoid burning effect on the leaves. Drench the seedbeds with Vitigran Blue at the rate of 1 tbsp/gal of water once damping-off is observed.

* To produce hard seedlings, water the seedbed only when plants show temporary wilting (this can be observed in the morning) and repeat regularly starting at 14 DAE until the seedlings are ready for transplanting, which is at 25-30 DAE. Water the seedbeds thoroughly before pulling the seedlings for transplanting to minimize root damage.

2. Seedling tray method

* Seedling tray method needs only 100 g seeds/ha or 10 g for 1000 m2. Plant the seeds singly in each hole of the tray intended for seedlings with potting medium available at seed stores, or bake garden soil for 2 hours. When cooled, mix the garden soil, fine sand and compost at the ratio of 3:1:1. Drop 2-3 grains of 14-14-14 in each hole before filling with the soil mixture. Care and maintenance of seedlings is the same as in seedbed, but transplanting shock is minimized in tray method.

3. Transplanting

* For wet season planting, use one month old seedlings because these are harder, taller, and can withstand the impact of rain. Transplant seedlings at a spacing of 0.50 m between hills and 1.0 m or 0.75 m on rows or furrow right after irrigation water run in the furrows. For dry season, transplant 25-day-old seedlings.

* To avoid breaking the stem of seedlings during transplanting on irrigated furrows, hold the roots with the thumb and forefinger then push towards the soil at 3-5 cm deep depending on the length of the stem. For an area of 1000 m2, transplant the seedlings on the right side of the furrows for the first half of the area. For the next half, transplant on the left side of the furrows. For easier off-barring, use a carabao-drawn plow.

* For seedlings in trays, transplant each seedling together with the soil medium from the tray using the same planting distance and method of transplanting as in seedbed method. If grafted tomato will be used, transplant the seedlings 3 cm deep to the hole and cover firmly with light soil. Do not cover the grafted part to avoid infection. Support the transplanted seedlings with trellis.

Nutrient Management

Broadcast chicken manure or organic fertilizer before land preparation or at final harrowing to fully incorporate the fertilizer into the soil (Table 2). Apply 14-14-14 at transplanting so that seedlings will be healthy and vigorous before flowering. Delayed application will result in weaker plants and smaller fruits. Side dress using urea mixed with muriate of potash (0-0-60) for higher fruit setting, and to prolong the fruiting period of the crop.

Table 2. Fertilizer requirement for tomato production.
Kind of FertilizerRate of Application per ha 1000m2)Time of ApplicationMethod of Application
Chicken manure500 kg (250 g/plant)before plowingBasal/broadcast
oror
Organic fertilizer250 kg (125 g/plant)final harrowingBasal/broadcast
14-14-1425 kg (125 g/plant)At transplantingBasal
Urea+0-0-6015 kg15 g/plant21 days after transplanting (DAT) (at 3rd irrigation)Side dress
15 kg
Source: Gajete, T.D. et. al 2004

Water Management

1. Four to five irrigations are needed from transplanting to 14 days before the last harvest depending on the type of soil. Tomato is very sensitive to flooding; hence, irrigation must be done just to moisten the root zone especially during the onset of flowering up to the last harvest.

2. The following irrigation schedule must be followed for a 1000 m2 area:

* First : during transplanting (flooding) or hand watering
* Second : 14 DAT (flooding) or hand watering
* Third : at vegetative stage (21 DAT), water at 1 L/hill.
* Fourth : at flowering and early fruiting (30 DAT) water at 1 L/hill.
* Fifth : optional, depending on the appearance of the plants at harvesting stage (hand water if necessary)

3. Irrigate by furrow (quick passing) to minimize soil erosion and to favor high fruit setting. Waterlogging for 24 hours will favor the occurrence of wilt diseases and reduce fruit setting. In the absence of surface irrigation, water the plants weekly at the rate of 1 L/hill until two weeks before the last harvest.

4. For tomato with plastic mulch, water twice a week for the whole crop duration.

Pest Management

Insect pests and diseases of tomato are managed by using chemical, biological, and remedial measures. Most of the pests and diseases of tomato are common throughout the year except thrips and whiteflies, which are present only during dry season starting in January, declining in May and ending in June or July depending on the arrival of rain. The farmer or any amateur grower may try the suggested biological and remedial measures in managing the insect pests and diseases as presented in Table 3. In case of pest outbreaks, the use of chemical pesticides as shown in Table 4 is the last resort.

Insect Pests

1. 28-spotted beetle (Epilachna philippinensis) – This is a small beetle with brownish yellow forewings dotted with 28 black spots. Both adults and larvae are destructive by feeding on the leaves of tomato and other solanaceous crops. They feed by scraping the surface of the leaves until it has been skeletonized.

2. Fruit worm (Heliothis armigera.) – The polyphagous larva of this insect feed on corn, tobacco, cotton and other vegetables. In tomato, the larva damages the fruit at any stage of growth rendering it non-marketable.

3. Aphids (Aphis gossypii) – The insect pest attacks tomato, cotton, and other crops by sucking the sap of the leaves and stem of the plant. It can also transmit (vector) cucumber mosaic virus. Severe infestation of aphids results in the accumulation of their sweet and sticky substances on the infested plant parts, which serve as a medium for the growth of black molds that block the photosynthetic activity of the leaves. It is the aphids’ secret toxic substances that result in curling of the shoots and dwarfing of the internodes of tomato. This symptom reduces the plants’ reproductive potentials.

4. White fly (Bemicia tabaci) – This white fly is a serious pest of tomato that attacks the plant by sucking the sap of the leaves. It also acts as a vector of tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) that causes yellowing and curling of tomato leaves resulting in stunted plants with aborted flower and fewer fruits.

5. Thrips (Frankiniella occidentalis) are minute pests that suck the leaves of the tomato. It is a vector of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) that reduces yield.

Diseases

1. Tomato mosaic Virus (TMW) – This virus causes mosaic pattern on the leaves of tomato coupled with curling of the young leaves and shoots. Most of the varieties are tolerant to tomato mosaic virus and are capable of bearing fruits throughout their life span but are not prolific as the healthy plant. The disease is seed-borne.

2. Late blight – is caused by the fungus. Phytophthora infestans (Montagne) de Bary. The symptoms are seen as brown spots on the older leaves with yellowish advancing lesion. Under favorable condition the symptom progress to upper leaves, stems and fruits of the plant.

The advance stage of the disease is seen as a whitish growth on the fruit. The disease can be transmitted by mechanical means while the growth and development of this fungus is favored by a moist and cooler condition of the environment. Under severe infection, the plant may succumb to death.

3. Bacterial wilt – The causal organism is Pseudomonas solanacearum that infects tomato and other solanaceous crops. The pathogen is either soil-borne or seed-borne. It invades the roots of tomato then progresses to the vascular bundle where it interferes with the translocation of nutrients and water. Advanced symptom is browning of the inner parts of the stem, wilting of the plant before it dies.

4. Bacterial spot – is caused by Xanthomonas campestris var. vesicatoria an agent of bacterial spot, which is characterized by a sunken irregular brown spots on the fruits, stems, and leaves of tomato (Fig. 4d). Fruits infected with bacterial spots are considered non-marketable. The disease is common during wet season planting and is transmitted through the seeds. Weeds are some of the alternate hosts of this bacterium, which becomes latent after the cropping period.

5. Root knot nematode – This parasitic nematode (Melodogyne incognita) attacks the roots of tomato that results in the formation of knots and galls on the roots. Infected tomato become susceptible to other root disease. Above ground symptoms shows stunting of the plant with moderate wilting as that of water stress.

6. Fusarium Wilt – the fungus Fusarium oxysporum is the causal agent of the fungal wilt of tomato. The pathogen is soil-borne with the similar symptom with that of bacterial wilt. The only difference is the presence of white mycelia (thread-like) that grow on the infected part of the plant.

7. Early blight Alternaria solani (Ell. and G. Martin) Sor. – This fungus incites the symptom of early blight in tomato. This fungus is prevalent during the cool months of the year, infecting the leaves, stems and aboveground parts of the plant. The symptom appears as target-like spots on the leaves. At fruiting stage, infected fruit shows numerous irregular spots and the disease can cause high yield loss if not immediately controlled

8. Powdery mildew – is caused by the fungus Leveillula taurica (Lev) Arnaud. The symptom is like a white talcum powder on the surface and undersurface of the leaves. The growth and development is favored by warm condition of the environment with low humidity. The profuse powdery growth of the organism covers the surface of the leaves and other parts causing the leaves to become yellowish then turns brown and die.

9. Leaf mold – The causal organism of this disease is Cladosporium fulvum Cooke. It is characterized by brownish spots with molds on the under surface of the leaves and later coalesce into blight. During severe infections, the leaves turn brown and die resulting in reduced flowering and fruiting span of the plant.

10. Blossom end rot – The primary symptom of this physiological disorder is calcium deficiency, which is characterized by dry rot with water-soaked appearance at the blossom end of the immature fruits, It later enlarges and turns into papery or leathery sunken brown to black rot upon infection of saprophytic fungi (secondary symptom). Fruits with end rots are non– marketable.

Table 3. Biological and remedial control of pests and diseases of tomato.
Insect pest and diseasesSuggested management
A.) Insect pest:
fruitworms/cutworms
To control worms at fruiting stage, spray neem seed extract at 200-300 ml/16 L or hot pepper fruit extract 100-200 ml/16 L. For cutworm, spray before twilight.
Spray with Thuricide HP or Dipel (Bacillus thuringiensis) following manufacturers recommended dosage. These are bacterial pesticides
28 spotted beatle, mites, leafhoppers, whitefly/thripsTo drove other pests spray 100-200 ml pure tubai leaf extract/16 L of water on the plants alternate it with spraying karot tuber extract (100-200 ml tuber extract per 16 L water). Do it twice a week.
Puff smoke on the crop twice a week during the whole growing period.
For thrips, mites, leafhopper and white fly, practice overhead irrigation.
For thrips use blue sticky trap, for whitefly use yellow sticky trap.
B) Diseases:
Leaf spot
To control these disease spray the leaves with zinc oxide power at 2-3 tbsp/16 L water (with 1 tbsp sticker during wet season). Spray decoction of serpentina 10ml extract per 16 L water.
Fungal wilt/bacterial wiltTreat the seeds with Centella asiatica (takip kuhol) decoction at 45°C to 50 °C for 2-5 minutes. Uproot infected plants and burn outside the area. Drench infected soil with 5% solution of zonrox then expose to sunlight. Avoid surface irrigation. Do not cultivate or touch infected plants as this will transfer the pathogens to other plants. If possible, hand water the plants early in the morning or late in the afternoon with 1 L/plant every week at vegetative stage and 2 L/plant every two weeks at fruiting stage for clay loam soil.
Bacterial spotTo prevent this disease, spray a decoction of guava, star apple and avocado (done by boiling 1 kg leaves of each in 3 gallons of water for 5 minutes). For stronger concentration, restore 1 gallon decoction to 16 L water with 1 tbsp sticker. Spray on leaves and fruits of tomato once a week.
Minimal infection if grown after rice. Practice good drainage and use large dose of organic manure.
Powdery mildewSpray Cassia alata (Andadasi or Acapulco) leaf extract at the rate of 1 L leaf extract/16 L water with sticker then spray vigorously on leaves and whole plants. For severe infection, spray a ratio of 1:1 leaf extract to water twice a week until the fruiting stage. As a disinfectant and as a preventive measure, spray 16 ml zonrox per/6 L of water or 1tbsp baking soda/16 L of water on the whole plant once a week.
Leaf moldBurn infected plant residues after harvest. Plant tomato after rice and plant other crops after tomato (crop rotation). Plant resistant varieties.
NematodePlant 1 month old marigold seedlings as intercrop two weeks before transplanting of tomato. Plant resistant varieties.
Early BlightSpray Acapulco leaf extract.
Late BlightSpray Acapulco leaf extract alternate with serpentine decoction.
Blossom rotSpray the plants with nutrients high in calcium at flowering stage. Or spray the plant with fresh malunggay leaf extract at a ratio of 1:4 malunggay extract to water. Or spray with decoction of seaweeds, decoction of burned sea shells, crabs and shrimps skeletons (1:10 shells to water).
Sources: Colting, L. M., et al, 2003; Farmers’/Gardeners’ Practices

 

Table 4.  Chemical control of insect pests and diseases of tomato.
Insect Pests and DiseasesSuggested PesticidesRate Application (tbsp/16 L water)When and How to Apply
Common NameProduct Name
A. Insect Pests
AphidsMethomylLannete 40 SP4.0-8.0Spray any of the insecticides as soon as insect infestation is observed. Repeat spraying at 7-10 days interval or depending on level of insect population.
28-spotted beetleCarbarylSevin 85 S4.0-6.0
ThripsProvin 85 WP4.0-6.0
Fruit wormMethomylLannate 40 SP4.0-8.0
DeltametrinDecis R1.5-2.5
LambdacyhalothrinKarate 2.5 EC1.0-1.5
CarbarylProvin 85 WP4.0-6.0
WhitefliesThiamethoxanActara 25 WG1.5-2.0Spray as soon as symptoms are observed. Repeat at 7-10 days depending on level of infection.
TriazophosHercules4.0-6.0
B.Diseases
Powdery mildew, Early & late blight/Leaf spot
ChlorathalonilDaconil 75 WP4.0-6.0Spray as soon as symptoms are observed. Repeat at 7-10 days depending on level of infection.
MancozebDithane M-454.0-6.0
MetalaxylRidomil MZ 58 WP6.0-10.0
Bacterial spot
Bacterial wilt
Copper oxychlorideVitigran Blue 35 WP4.0-6.0Spray when the first cluster is well formed. Repeat if required. Treat the seeds with 5% lime solution than subject to 50°C for two hours; air dry the seeds before sowing.
Source: Gajete, T.D. et. al 2004

Weeding

By using a carabao-drawn plow or hand hoe, cultivate in between rows of plants by off barring at 14-21 DAT. Hill-up at 28-35 DAT. Spot-weed at the surrounding of the seedlings after each off-barring and hilling-up if there are standing weeds. If plastic mulch is available, mulch the area before transplanting.

Harvest Management

Harvest fruits intended for future use at matured green stage at 1-2 months during rainy season. Matured green fruits gradually ripen in one month at room temperature. Frequent harvesting sustains the production of more fruits. For immediate use, harvest the fruits at breaker pink stage. These will fully ripen within three days at ambient temperature but can be slowed when stored in a refrigerated condition.

References: Production and Management of tomato. July 7, 2008. Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture. http://www.openacademy.ph/.

Tomato Production Guide Technology Option 1

Seedbed Preparation

1. Make seedbed 50 cm apart with any convenient length in an area fully exposed to sunlight
2. Pulverize the soil thoroughly and add compost or dried animal manure at the rate of 5 kg per sq meter.
3. Sterilize the soil by burning rice straw or rice hull on top of the seedbed for 4-5 hours to kill soil-bon pathogens.
4. Drench the seedbed with fungicide-insecticide solution.
5. To protect the seedlings from heavy rains, place plastic roofing.

Sowing

1. Wet the seedbed thoroughly before sowing.
2. Make horizontal rows 5cm apart.
3. Sow 80-100 seeds in every 50 cm row (150-200 g of seeds are needed per hectare).
4. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and place rice straw mulch.
5. Water the seedbed daily (seedlings start to emerge 3-6 days from sowing).

Care of Seedlings

1. 3-5 days fater germination, prick the seedlings by transferring them into a tray or seedbox to allow more space between seedlings and prevent damping-off. In the absence of seedling tray or seedbox, use paper pots (rolled), “lukong” or rolled banana leaves, and plastic bags.
2. Plant the seedlings in a soil mixture consisting of garden soil, compost (or well decomposed animal manure, and rice hull in a 2:3:1 ratio). If possible, sterilize the soil mixture by baking or through steam.
3. Drench the newly pricked seedlings with fungicide solution to prevent damping-off. If insect appears, spray the seedlings with appropriate insecticide.
4. For large scale production, use seedbed. In this case, pricking is not done. Instead, thinning is done to allow more space between seedlings.
5. A week after pricking or thinning, apply starter solution (2 tbsp Ammonium Phosphate (16-20-0) or 14-14-14 dissolved in 1 gal water).
6. A foliar fertilizer may also be used.
7. 1 week before transplanting, harden the seedlings by gradually reducing the amount and frequency of watering until the seedlings experience temporary wilting.

Land Preparation

1. Plow and harrow the soil twice.
2. Make furrows distanced at 0.75-1 meter for determinate and semi-determinate varieties and 1.5 m for indeterminate varieties.
3. Place 500g compost or dried manure per hill if the soil is not fertile.

Transplanting

1. Select healthy seedlings with 3-5 leaves 3-4 weeks after seedling emergence.
2. Transplant 2-3 seedlings per hill spaced 40 cm apart.
3. Transplant in the afternoon.
4. Press the soil gently around the base of the seedlings.
5. Water immediately.
6. Replant missing hills 5-7 days after transplanting.

Trellising

1. Trellising is recommended in growing semi-determinate and indeterminate varieties.
2. Use bamboo or ipil-ipil poles as post.
3. Tie the branches to the post and train the vines using plastic straw.

Nutrient Management

1. 1-2 days before planting, apply 20 g 14-14-14 per hill and mix it thoroughly with the soil.
2. 3-4 weeks after transplanting, mix 2 parts of Urea (46-0-0) with 1 part Muriate of Potash (0-0-60) and apply 1 tbsp (10g) of the mixture 6-8cm away from the base of the plants in bands (first sidedressing).
3. Apply another 1 tbsp of the mixed fertilizer two weeks later (second sidedressing).

Water Management

Depending on the weather and soil, water the plants once a week until early fruiting stage.

Pests Management

Pest

1. Use Trichogramma chilonis or botanical insecticides like native hot pepper.
2. Use insecticide only if necessary.

Diseases

1. If the disease is caused by a fungus, spray with fungicide and remove the damaged leaves.
2. If the disease is caused by a virus and bacteria, pull-out, bury or burn the whole plant immediately to prevent its spread to other healthy plants

Weeding

1. Remove the weeds near the base of the plants before the first sidedressing.
2. Off-bar and hill-up the soil to prevent the weeds.
3. Mulch with rice straw during dry season. For large plantation, mulch with black plastic. Mulching also conserves soil moisture.

Harvest Management

1. Harvest mature green or pink-blushed fruits early in the morning
2. Place the harvest in bamboo crates lined with banana leaves or used newspaper to prevent mechanical damage to the fruits.
3. Avoid over- or under- packing.
4. Remove bruised and damaged fruits.
5. Pack together fruits with similar maturity in one container.

Seed Production

Harvesting

Harvest fruits that have reddish streaks to fully red ripe stage.

Seed Processing

1. Cut fruits in half and squeeze out the seed with the juice into a container. Allow mixture to ferment 1-2 days or easier removal of mucilaginous seed coat.
2. Dip a fine-holed strainer and rub seeds gently into the strainer to remove the coating.
3. Put the seeds in a pail of water to allow immature seeds to float. Discard water together with the floated seeds leaving the good seeds that settled at the bottom of the pail. Repeat the procedure until no floats can be found.
4. Put seeds in a net bag and air dry them for 2-3 days before sun drying for 4-5 days. Increase the sun drying time as the seeds dry. For oven drying, dry seeds initially to no more than 30°C, and increase it to 40°C as the seeds dry.
5. For dry sealed packaging, dry the seeds to 8% moisture content.

Packaging

1. Dry seed absorb moisture from the air. Use moisture resistant packaging materials such as thick polyethylene plastic, aluminum foil, tin cans, or glass jars. Seal well.
2. Seeds can be packed in paper packets but must be placed in large tin cans or wide-mouth glass jars with desiccants (charcoal, silica gel, calcium chloride, quick lime, or wood ash) at the bottom.
3. Cover tightly.

Storage

Keep seeds away from moisture and high temperature. The cooler and drier the area, the longer the life of the seeds.

Proper Handling

Tomato is a perishable crop which deteriorates rapidly if not properly handled. Some tips to preserve the freshness and lengthen the storage life of the fruits are as follows:

1. Harvest fruits at the right stage of maturity. If intended for fresh market and long distance shipment, harvest at the mature-green stage; for processing purposes, harvest at the red-ripe stage.
REASON: Harvesting of immature fruits results in irregularly ripened and poor quality fruits while picking beyond the optimum stage of maturity renders them unsuitable for long-distance shipment.

2. Pick tomatoes during the cooler times of the day, usually at dawn. If it is necessary to harvest up to noon time, keep the harvested fruits in a shaded area soon after picking.
REASON: During this time, temperature is low thus, metabolic processes are slowed down. At noon time, the temperature is high and exposure of the fruits to the sun will increase fruit temperature which hastens weight loss and ripening.

3. Avoid harvesting during rainy days.
REASON: Rain water accumulated on the stems favors growth and development of disease-causing microorganisms.

4. Avoid wounding the fruit when harvesting.
REASON: Injuries incurred during harvesting serve as avenue for entry of microorganisms, hasten water loss and speed up the ripening process.

5. Avoid dropping the fruits into the harvesting containers or when transferring them to the collecting crates.
REASON: Impact bruises on the commodity can result in non-visible symptoms of deterioration manifested internally as brown to black discoloration in the seed area.

6. Avoid over and under packing; allow enough spaces after shaking the containers.
REASON: Over-filled or loosely-packed containers will have a high percentage of injured fruits.

7. Line the crates with newspaper or thin pin-pricked polyethylene bag.
REASON: Liners protect the fruits from mechanical injury while pin-pricked polyethylene bags regulate ripening.

8. Pack only clean, disease-, insect- and injury-free tomatoes.
REASON: Diseased fruits may infect sound ones while injured commodities are readily infected and ripen faster.

9. Have a uniform stage of ripeness within the pack.
REASON: Ripening fruits produce ethylene which causes faster ripening of green ones.

10. Use crates with smooth inner sides.
REASON: Rough inner sides cause bruising of fruits during transport.

11. Arrange containers with enough spaces to allow air circulation during transport.
REASON: Free air circulation will prevent over-heating and will also allow free gas exchange between the commodity and the environment.

12. Be careful when loading and unloading the containers.
REASON: Careless loading and unloading aggravate compression and abrasion damage.

13. Store ripe fruits separately from unripe ones.
REASON: Ripe fruits give off ethylene which hastens the ripening of unripe ones.

14. Delay the ripening of green-mature fruits by keeping them in pin-pricked, (0.05 mm) polyethylene bags for six days at ambient condition.
REASON: The high carbon dioxide and low oxygen inside the polyethylene bag delay ripening.

15. Store green-mature fruits (in small amounts) in moist sawdust.
REASON: The high relative humidity and relatively low temperature attained with sawdust storage minimize weight loss.

References:

Fliers. Tomato. September 2008. Institute of Plant Breeding, University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Laguna.

Package of Technology of Different Vegetable Crops: Technology Generation and Dissemination for the Growth and Development of Vegetable Industry.2005.DA-RFU 4A& Bureau of Agricultural Research, Diliman Quezon City.

Source: bar.gov.ph

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