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The effects of fluid sowing pre-germinated seeds and transplanting on emergence, growth and yield of outdoor bush tomatoes

  • D. Gray (a1), Joyce R. A. Steckel (a1) and J. A. Ward (a1)

Summary

Experiments on outdoor bush tomatoes cv. Sleaford Abundance were conducted during 3 years to compare seedling establishment from fluid-sown pre-germinated seeds with that from conventionally sown dry seeds and to compare the effects on ripening and yields of these establishment methods with transplanting. Fluid-sown pre-germinated seeds emerged about 15 days earlier than conventionally sown dry seeds from sowings made in late April (mean soil temperature at seed depth from sowing to emergence ranged from 9 to 11.5 °C) and about 6 days earlier from sowings made in mid-May (mean soil temperature ranged from 12 to 15 °C). The percentage seedling emergence from pregerminated fluid-sown seeds was, on average, 57% from the earlier sowings and 65% from the later sowings, 34 and 24% higher, respectively, than from dry seeds sown conventionally. Plants from fluid-sown pre-germinated seeds were about 50% heavier than those from dry seeds at all stages of growth up to flowering. Crops established by fluidsowing started to ripen 7 days earlier than those established from dry seeds, when averaged over sowing dates and years. Yields of ripe marketable fruit > 35 mm in. size from crops established from pre-germinated seeds were 35·2 t/ha, averaged over sowing and planting dates, 37% higher than from dry seeds though 51% lower than from transplants. In the two years with good growing seasons crops fluid sown in late April gave as good yields as those transplanted in late May and early June, after the last frosts, though in the cool wet year yields from fluid-sown crops were considerably lower than those from transplanted crops. Yields of ripe, marketable fruit from ‘bare-root’ plants raised from pre-germinated seeds in unheated Dutch-light structures were, on average, 48·5 t/ha, 25% higher than from plants raised in soil blocks in a heated glasshouse.

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The effects of fluid sowing pre-germinated seeds and transplanting on emergence, growth and yield of outdoor bush tomatoes

  • D. Gray (a1), Joyce R. A. Steckel (a1) and J. A. Ward (a1)

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