Tomato cultivation |

Tomato cultivation
  1. Tomato Cultivation

Tomato cultivation

Tomato is one of the most important vegetable crops in the world. It is one of the common vegetable crops grown on a large scale in polyhouse too

The major tomato producing states are Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam

General Information for tomato cultivation

Scientific name

Scientific name of Tomato is Lycopersicon esculentum


Family of tomato is Solanaceae


is an annual or short lived perennial herb having greyish green curled uneven pinnate leaves

The flowers are off white and bear fruits which are red or yellow in colour

It is a self pollinated crop

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Soil required for tomato plantation

Tomato can be grown on a wide range of soils from sandy to heavy clay

Well-drained, sandy or red loam soils rich in organic matter

pH range of 6.0-7.0 are considered as ideal

Climate for tomato farming

Tomato is a warm season crop

Bright sunshine at the time of fruit set helps to develop dark red coloured fruits


Temperatures for best fruit colour and quality is 21-24°C

Temperatures above 32o C adversely affects the fruit set and development

Temperature below 10 oC adversely affects plant tissues thereby slowing down physiological activities


The plants cannot withstand frost and high humidity

It requires a low to medium rainfall

Varieties for tomato cultivation

IARI varieties – Pusa Rohini, Pusa Sadabahar, Pusa Hybrid 8, Pusa Hybrid 4, Pusa Uphar, Pusa Hybrid 2, Sioux

IIHR varieties – Arka Vikas, Arka Saurabh, Arka Meghali, Arka Ahuti, Arka Ashish, Arka Abha, Arka Alok, Arka Vishal, Arka Vardan, Arka Shreshta, Arka Abhijit

Pantnagar varieties –  Pant T-10, AC-238, Pant T-3

Other varieties -H-24, H-86, Pusa Early Dwarf, CO-3, CO-1, BT-12

Indeterminate varieties
Pusa Ruby, Solan Gola, Yaswant (A‑2), Sioux, Marglobe, Naveen, Ptom‑9301, Shalimar‑ 1, Shalimar‑2. Angurlata, Solan Bajr, Solan Sagun, Arka Vikas. Arita Saurbh.

Determinate varieties
Roma (EC‑13513), Rupali, MTH‑15, Ptom‑18, VL‑1, VL‑2, HS 101, HS 102, HS 110, Pusa Early Dwarf, Pusa Sheetal, Floradade, Arka Meghli, Co.1, Co.2, Co.3 (Marutham), PKM.1, Py1,


COTH‑1, Pant Hybrid‑2, Pant Hybrid‑10, Kt‑4. Pusa Hybrid‑l‑4, Arka Shreshta, Arka Vardan, Arka Abhijit, Navell 1 &2 (Sandoz), Rupali, Sonali, MTH 6

Season of Planting

Seeds are sown in June July for winter crop

Seeds are sown in November for summer crop

In the hills seed is sown in March April

Nursery Bed Preparation for tomato cultivation

Tomato seeds are sown on nursery beds to raise seedlings for transplanting in the field

Raised beds of size 3 x 0.6 m and 10-15 cm in height are prepared

About 70 cm distance is kept between two beds to carry out operations of watering, weeding, etc.

The surface of beds should be smooth and well levelled.

Add sieved FYM and fine sand on the seedbed

Raised beds are necessary to avoid problem of water logging in heavy soils

To avoid mortality of seedlings due to damping off, drench the seed bed first with water and then with Bavistin (15-20 g/10 litres of water).

Seed rate for Raising Seedlings

About 250-300 g of seed are sufficient for raising seedlings for one hectare of land

Seed treatment

Seeds are treated with fungal culture of Trichoderma viride (4 g/ kg of seed) or Thiram (2g/kg of seed) to avoid damage from damping-off disease

Sowing should be done thinly in lines spaced at 10-15 cm distance

Depth of sowing

Seeds are sown at a depth of 2-3 cm and covered with a fine layer of soil followed by light watering by water can

The beds should then be covered with dry straw or grass or sugarcane leaves to maintain required temperature and moisture

The watering should be done by water can as per the need till germination is completed

The cover of dry straw or grass is removed immediately after germination is complete.

During the last week in nursery, the seedlings may be hardened by slightly withholding water.

The seedlings with 5-6 true leaves are ready for transplanting within 4 weeks of sowing

Transplanting in tomato cultivation

Land Preparation

The field is ploughed to fine tilth by giving four to five ploughing with a sufficient interval between two ploughing

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Planking should be done for proper levelling

Furrows are then opened at the recommended spacing

Well-decomposed FYM @ 25 t/ha is thoroughly incorporated at the time of land preparation


Transplanting of seedlings is done at at spacing of 75-90 x 45-60 cm

Method of Planting

Seedlings are transplanted in furrows in light soils and on side of the ridges in case of heavy soils

A pre-soaking irrigation is given 3-4 days prior to transplanting

Before planting seedlings should be dipped in a solution prepared by Nuvacron (15ml) and Dithane M – 45 (25g) in 10 litres of water for 5-6 minutes


Weed Control

Two-three hoeing and the earthing up are required to keep the crop free of weeds

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Weed: Detailed classification

Pre- emergence application of Basalin (1kg a.i./ha) or Pendimethalin (1kg a.i./ha), coupled with one hand weeding 45 days after transplanting is effective for control of weeds

Plastic mulching (black or transparent) can be used to control the weeds

Crop Rotation

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Tomato should not be grown successively on the same field and a break of at least one year is required between planting of tomatoes or other Solanacesous crops (eg. Chillies, Brinjals, Capsicum, Potato, Tobacco, etc.), cucurbits and many other vegetables.

The crops, which can be grown after tomatoes, are as follows- Cereals (eg. Rice, Corn Sorghum, Wheat, Millets, etc.) or Cruciferons crops (eg. Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi etc) or Radish, Watermelon, Onion, Garlic, Groundnut, Cotton, Safflower , Sunflower, Sesame, Sugar beet and Marigold

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Cropping systems rice-tomato, rice-maize, okra-potato-tomato, tomato-onion are popular in various parts of India

After care operations


It is done 2-3 weeks after transplanting

Staking can be done either by wooden stakes or laying overhead wires to which individual plant is tied


Tomato is very sensitive to water application

Heavy irrigation provided after a long spell of drought causes cracking of the fruits

Light irrigation should be given 3-4 days after transplanting

Irrigation should be given 7-8 days interval during kharif, during rabi 10-12 days and 5-6 days during summer

Critical Irrigation Stage

Flowering and fruit development are the critical stages of tomato

Manuring & Fertilization

For a good yield, 15-20 tonnes of well-decomposed FYM is incorporated into the soil

Generally, application of 120 kg N, 80 kg P2O5 and 50 kg K2O per hectare is recommended for getting optimum yield

For hybrid varieties, the recommended dose per hectare is 180 kg N, 100 kg P2 O5 and 60 kg K2 O

Half dose of N and full dose of P and K is given at the time of planting

The balance half of N is given as top dressing 30 days after transplanting

Growth Regulators

Effect of growth regulators in tomato crop is as follows

Plant-growth regulators Concentration (mg/litre) Method of application Attributes affected
Gibberellic acid (GA) 10-20


Foliar spray

Seed treatment

Higher yield at low temperature

Seed germination

Ethephon 100-500


Foliar spray

Pre-harvest spray

Flowering, fruiting and yield

Fruit ripening

PCPA 50-100 Foliar spray at low flowering Tomato fruit set at high temperatures

IPM practices for Tomato pests

The IPM package given below will take care of fruit borer, leaf miner, mite and insect vector.


Raise Marigold (Tall African variety golden age bearing yellow and orange flowers) nursery 15-20 days before tomato nursery

One week after germination of seeds, spray the seedlings with (imidacloprid 200 SL @ 0.3 ml/l or thiomethoxam 25 WP @ 0.3 g/l)

Before transplanting

Apply Neem cake 250 kg/ha ridges at the time of preparing land

Dip the roots of seedlings (do not dip the foliage as it may cause burning of leaves) with imidacloprid 200 SL @ 0.3 ml/l or thiomethoxam 25 WP @ 0.3 g/l for 5 minutes.

Main field

Transplant 20-25 day old tomato and 45-50 day old marigold simultaneously in a pattern of one row of marigold for every 16 rows of tomato. However, the first and last row of the plots should be of marigold. Simultaneous flowering of both the crops ensures attraction of fruit borers to marigold flowers

Fifteen days after planting spray imidacloprid 200 SL @ 0.4ml/l or thiomethoxam 25 WP @ 0.3g/l for leaf curl vector (whitefly) control

Apply neem cake @ 250 kg/ha to ridges at 20-25 DAP (at flowering) to reduce nematode, fruit borer and leaf miner incidence

Spray Ha NPV (@250 LE/ha) with 1% jaggery as sunscreen at 28, 35 and 42 DAP in the evening

Spray marigold flowers with HaNPV or destroy fruit borer larvae in them

As an alternative to HaNPV spray, the egg parasitoids, Trichogramma chilonis, T. braziliensis and T. pretiosum @ 2.5 lakhs/ha can be released (five releases @ 50,000/ha/release). The first release has to be done at the flower initiation of the crop

If red spider mite incidence is noticed, spray Neem soap 1 % or neem oil 1% or any synthetic acaricide like dicofol 18.5 EC (1.5 ml/l), or Ethion 50 EC ( 1.5 ml/l) or sulphur 80 WP (3 g/l) etc. Spray lower surface of the leaves

Mechanical collection and destruction of bored fruits at periodic interval (3-4 times after fruit set) to minimize fruit borer incidence to the minimum

Destroy leaf curl and other virus affected plants as soon as the symptoms appear in a few plants to minimize their spread


Depending on the variety, fruits become ready for first picking in about 60-70 days after transplanting

The different stages of harvesting are as follows

Dark green colour – Dark green colour is changed and a reddish pink shade is observed on fruit. Fruits to be shipped are harvested at this stage. Such fruits are then sprayed with ethylene 48 hours prior to shipping. Immature green tomatoes will ripen poorly and be of low quality. A simple way to determine maturity is to slice the tomato with a sharp knife. If seeds are cut, the fruit is too immature for harvest and will not ripen properly.

Breaker stage – Dim pink colour observed on ¼ part of the fruit. Fruits are harvested at this stage to ensure the best quality. Such fruit are less prone to damage during shipment often fetch a higher price than less mature tomatoes.

Pink stage – Pink colour observed on ¾ part of the fruit.

Reddish pink- Fruits are stiff and nearly whole fruit turns reddish pink. Fruits for local sale are harvested at this stage.

Fully riped – Fruits are fully riped and soft having dark red colour. Such fruits are used for processing.

Fruits are normally harvested early in the morning or evening

Since all the fruits do not mature at the same time, they are harvested at an interval of 4 days

Generally there will be 7-11 harvests in a crop life span


On an average, the yield varies from 20-25 t/ha.

Hybrid varieties may yield upto 50-60 t/ha.

Tomato seed production

Read our article related to tomato seed production including process, isolation dostance etc. Click the image below

Tomato seed production


Author: agristudent

Team Agristudent is a young and dynamic team of Agriculture specialists who have acquired specialised knowledge in their respective subjects. Their mission is to create a unique online encyclopedia of agriculture, which can be useful to millions around the world as an online reference library

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