FINE-TUNING YOUR PRUNING AND INCREASING YOUR YIELD
For more than 150 years, the Seminis legacy has been to work to create seeds and solutions that can meet our growers’ toughest challenges. Our relentless pursuit of innovation is fueled by our belief that every generation can be better than the last. This belief was also the driving force behind our recent Dixie Red research in North Carolina and Tennessee. Looking to address the strong grower demand for large-fruited, high disease resistance, vigorous determinate varieties, we relied on the lessons of these trials to plant the seeds of a better future. And those lessons provided valuable information about the proper way to prune Dixie Red tomatoes.The trial design details:
- 2X3 factorial, RCBD, 4 replications
- Varieties: Mountain Fresh Plus (competitor), Dixie Red
- Pruning Regimes: Ground Suckers (GS)+0, GS+2, GS+4
You’re wondering, exactly how many suckers do I prune? The short answer is to prune the groundsuckers (if any), plus two.
It’s important you prune properly, because the benefits are only realized when done right. Pruning too much (or too little) will lead to problems like decreased yield and canopy. But proper pruning, on the other hand, can increase both.
Not too little. Not too much.
The most common error made by Dixie Red Tomato growers is overpruning. A number of tomato varieties call for pruning four suckers or zero suckers, and sometimes both those strategies are mistakenly applied to the Dixie Red Tomato. But when done correctly (two suckers), pruning your Dixie Red Tomato can improve plant vigor, increases canopy cover and leads to larger fruit sizes with higher yields as seen in the trial data below.
When you don’t prune properly, you can experience a lower yield.
At the end of the day, we’re growing forward.
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*Central (China Grove) North Carolina Trial: 2015 fresh determinte round tomato trial with 4 replications. Transplanted 4/23/2015, harvest 7/6/2015 and 7/14/2015. Plant population: 5163 plants/acre. Estimates assume 29.39 lb/box, $7.50/box.
*Western (Hendersonville) North Carolina Trial: 2015 fresh determinate round tomato trial with 4 replications. Transplanted 5/25/15, harvested 8/6/2015 and 8/13/2015. Plant population: 4480 plants/acre. Estimates assume 29.39 lb/box, $7.50/box.
Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location and from year to year. The information provided in this article may not be an indicator of results you may obtain as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible.
These recommendations are based upon information obtained from the cited trials. These recommendations should not be substituted for the professional opinion of a producer, grower, agronomist, pathologist and similar professional dealing with this specific crop.
SEMINIS DOES NOT WARRANT THE ACCURACY OF ANY INFORMATION OR TECHNICAL ADVICE PROVIDED HEREIN AND DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY FOR ANY CLAIM INVOLVING SUCH INFORMATION OR ADVICE.