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Tomato cultivation & practices

The tomato is botanicaly known as Lycopersicum esculentum belongs to the family Solanacae. The fruits are harvested as red for consumption. It has prominent place in human food. A brief accounts on its cultivation is given below.

Chander Mohan
Fresh Red Tomatoes
Fresh Red Tomatoes

The tomato is botanicaly known as Lycopersicum esculentum belongs to the family Solanacae. The fruits are harvested as red for consumption. It has prominent place in human food. A brief accounts on its cultivation is given below.


Improved varieties

Arka Saurabh, Arka Vikas, Arka Ahuti, Arka Ashish, Arka Abha , Arka Alok, HS101, HS102, HS110, Hisar Arun, Hisar Lalima, Hisar Lalit, Hisar Anmol, KS.2, Narendra Tomato 1, Narendra Tomato 2,  Pusa Red Plum,  Pusa Early Dwarf, Pusa Ruby, Co-1, CO 2, CO 3, S-12, Punjab Chhuhara, PKM 1, Pusa Ruby, Paiyur-1, Shakthi, SL 120, Pusa Gaurav, S 12, Pant Bahar, Pant T3, Solan Gola and Arka Meghali.

F1 hybrids:

Arka Abhijit, Arka Shresta, Arka Vishal, Arka Vardan, Pusa Hybrid 1, Pusa Hybrid 2, COTH 1 Hybrid Tomato, Rashmi, Vaishali, Rupali, Naveen, Avinash 2, MTH 4, Sadabahar, Gulmohar and Sonali.

Climatic Requirement

The tomato is a warm-season crop. The crop does well under an average monthly temperature of 210C to 230C. Temperature and light intensity affect the fruit-set, pigmentation and nutritive value of the fruit. Long dry spell and heavy rainfall both shows detrimental effect on growth and fruiting. 


The tomato grows on practically all soils from light sandy to heavy clay. Light soils are good for an early crop, while clay loam and silt-loam soils are well suited for heavy yields. Tomatoes do best in a soil that has a soil reaction from pH 6.0 to 7.0. If the soil is acidic liming is required.

Seed rate

  • For raising the seedlings in nursery bed 300 - 400 g/ha seeds are required.

  • Hybrid seeds are very costly so it should be sown in plastic cups or ice cube tray, which require only 70-90 g.

Time of planting

  • Tomato is a day neutral plant so wildly it found grown in any season.

  • In the northern plains three crops are taken but in frost affected area rabi crop is not fruitful. The kharif crop is transplanted in July, rabi crop in October - November and zaid crop in February months.

  • In the southern plains where there is no danger of frost, The first transplanting is done in December-January, Second June-July Third in September-October depending on the irrigation facilities available.

Raising seedlings

  • Seedlings are grown before one months of transplanting raised beds of 60-100 cm width and of convenient length.

  • Soil solorization of nursery bed by covering them with white transparent polythene sheet for one month should be done in hot summer months. It will kill the disease causing organisms like fungus, bacteria, nematode as well as insects and seeds of weeds.

  • For one m2 of nursery area apply 5kg well rotten FYM and 20 g of each N, P and K fertiliser, and also apply 2.5g carbofuran or 200 g of neem cake and 10-25 g tricoderma.

  • While preparing the nursery beds, neem cake /castor cake/ neam leaf/ castor leaf/ pongamia leaf/ calotropis leaf has to be incorporated @ 400 g/m2 for protection against nematoads.

  • After sowing the seeds, mulch with green leaves and irrigate with a rose-can daily in the morning. Remove the mulch immediately after germination of the seeds. Restrict irrigation one week before transplanting and irrigate heavily on the previous day of transplanting.

  • Cover the nursery bed with fine nylon net to escape the damage by virus transmitting insects.

Seed treatment

  • To avoid damping off disease treats the seed with Tricoderma @ 5-10 g/Kg seed or carbendazim 2g/Kg seed.

  • The treated seeds are dried in shade for 30 minutes and then sown sparsely along the lines in ½ cm depth and then covered by the topsoil.

Land preparation

Land is prepared to a fine tilth by thorough ploughing or digging 2 - 3 times.  At the last ploughing organic manure and 10 kg carbofuran granules or 200 kg neem cake has to be applied


Apply well rotten farm yard manure / compost @ 20-25 t/ha at the time of land preparation and mix well with the soil. A fertilizer dose of 75:40:25 kg N:P 2O5:K2O / ha may be given. Half the dose of nitrogen, full phosphorus and half of potash may be applied as basal before transplanting. One fourth of nitrogen and half of potash may be applied 20-30 days after planting. The remaining quantity may be applied two months after planting.


  • The transplanting is done in small flat beds or in shallow furrow depending upon the availability of irrigation.

  • In heavy soil it is usually transplanted on ridges and during the rains also it is advantageous to plant the seedlings on ridges.

  • For indeterminate varieties/hybrids, the seedlings have to be staked using bamboo sticks of two meter length or planted in broad ridge of 90 cm width and 15 cm height. The seedlings are planted in the furrows at a spacing of 30 cm and the plant is allowed to spread on the broad ridge.


The spacing recommended for the autumn-winter crop is 75 x 60 cm and for the spring-summer crop 75 x 45 cm.


Tomatoes need very careful irrigation that is just sufficient water at the right time. It is necessary to maintain an even moisture supply. During summer season, irrigation at every 5to 7 days interval is necessary, whereas in winter 10 to 15 days interval is sufficient. A period of drought followed by sudden heavy watering during the fruiting period may cause cracking of fruits.

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