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A Case study on increasing tomato productivity in a Low cost naturally ventilated Greenhouse with different spacing M.

Ganesan* and Vijay R. Subbiah Scientist, JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation 3rd Cross Road, Taramani Institutional Area, Chennai 600 113. ABSTRACT Effect of spacing on yield and yield attributing characters of tomato was studied under low cost naturally ventilated greenhouse during the winter season of Tamil Nadu in M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai. One month old seedlings of tomato (cv. PKM 1) were transplanted at four different spacings (75 x 60 cm, 60 x 45 cm, 45 x 30 cm, and 30 x 15 cm) in a low cost naturally ventilated greenhouse. Effects of different spacing on the plant height, number of nodes, internode length, plant dry matter, number of fruits, average fruit weight and yield of tomato were assessed. The results showed that increasing the spacing significantly increased the number of fruits, average fruit weight, yields per plant and dry matter. It was found that the highest fruit yield was recorded in wider spacing of 75 x 60 cm followed by 60 x 45 cm spacing. KEYWORDS: Tomato, Greenhouse, Spacing * Corresponding author Introduction With the increase in population of our country and improvement in the dietary habits, the consumption of vegetable has improved. People realize the importance of vegetables in their diet as vegetables have high nutritive value, which are vital for the body. Also in the present scenario the cultivable land area is decreasing day by day due to rapid urbanization, industrialization and shrinking land holdings. Therefore, vegetable production under low cost greenhouse technology is the best alternative to use the land and other resources more efficiently. Greenhouses provide one of the feasible solutions for raising vegetables and horticultural crops for improving crop productivity. Khan et. al. (1996) has suggested that the cultivation under naturally ventilated low cost poly/greenhouses should be adopted for making its cultivation a profitable venture. In greenhouse vegetable cultivation, profits depend on yields obtained. Spacing is one of the important factors, which influence the yield of tomato. Many experiments have been conducted on the effect of spacing on growth and yield of tomato. Tanaka and Komochi (1982) studied the relationship between plant density and topping on the growth and yield of tomato in greenhouse. With increasing plant density, leaf size, stem diameter, weight of leaves and stem per plant decreased and flowering as well as ripening was delayed up to 7 days and yield per unit area increased. Papadopoulos and Pararajasingham (1997) reported that greater fruit yields are possible in narrow plant spacing than with wide plant spacing in greenhouse tomatoes. The main factors responsible for the increase in fruit yield at narrow spacing were greater crop biomass and increased availability of total assimilates for distribution to the fruits. Saglam et al. (1995) reported that a spacing of

2 0.75 X 0.35 m gave more fruits/plant and heavier fruits than closer spacing but yield/unit area was increased with closer spacing. Tomato is an important vegetable crop in India. Maximizing production of tomato at optimum will be greatly useful under low cost greenhouse conditions. The objective of this study was to evaluate growth and yield of greenhouse tomato under different spacing in winter season. Materials and Methods The experiment was conducted during winter season (October 2002 - January 2003) in a low cost naturally ventilated greenhouse of the dimension, 6 x 3 x 3m (width x length x height), east west oriented, located at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, in Tamil Nadu. A gable roof shape on bamboo frame greenhouse was constructed with ultra-violet stabilized high-density polyethylene film (200 micron thickness). During experimentation vertical sides of the houses were kept open and nylon net (25% shade) was used for the free airflow. No additional environmental control measures were used except routine irrigation. Cultivar PKM 1 released by Horticultural College and Research Institute, Periyakulam, Tamil Nadu was selected for this study. One-month-old seedlings were transplanted at four different spacing in greenhouse. The plant spacing tested were: T1, 75 x 60 cm; T2, 60 x 45 cm; T3, 45 x 30 cm; T4, 30 x 15 cm. The experiment was laid out in randomised complete block design with four replications. Regular irrigation, fertilization, stacking and crop protection measures were adopted as per recommended practices. Observations on plant height, number of nodes, internode length, plant dry matter, number of fruits, average fruit weight and yield were recorded and the data were statistically analysed as per the procedures suggested by Gomez and Gomez (1996).

Results and Discussion In tomato, plant density, number of fruits per plant and average fruit weight determine the ultimate yield (Thomson and Kelley, 1971). In the present study, growth and yield attributing characters were recorded to evaluate the yield potential of tomato at different plant spacing between plants and rows. Among the different spacing, closure spacing of 30 x 15 cm increased the plant height and dry matter (Fig. 1) significantly and other vegetative parts such as number of nodes and internode length increased considerably but these increases were not significantly differed. This experiment provides clear evidence that closure spacing will increases in plant growth and decrease the plant dry matter. Plant height increased as spacing decreased but the dry matter increased with wider spacing of 75 x 60cm. The more dry matter in wider spacing might be due to slightly higher temperature prevailed inside the greenhouse (Tiwari and Chaudhury, 1986). Papadopoulos and Ormrod (1991) also reported a consistent increase in plant height and internode length with closer spacing. The average fruit weight, number of fruits per plant and yield per plant (Fig. 2) increased with wider spacing of 75 x 60cm compared to closer spacing of 30 x 15cm. Wider spacing of 75 x 60cm gave the highest yield of 3555g per plant followed by 60 x 45cm spacing with a yield of 2779g per plant. Superiority of wider spacing (75 x 60cm) for higher yield is due to increased light penetration into the canopy. Wider spacing of 75 x 60cm led to production of more number of fruit per plant and increased average fruit weight. From this study, it is concluded that the tomato production in a low cost naturally ventilated greenhouse condition with the spacing of

3 75 x 60cm could be taken up in areas that have limited land resource. Adaptation of such techniques would help in increasing the productivity in a unit area thereby helping in utilization of the land resource in an optimum manner.
45 40

200 175 150 125 100 75 50 25 0

CD at 5% : 36.07

Number of nodes/plant

35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 75 x 60 60 x 45 45 x 30 30 x 15 Sp acin g (cm )

Plant height (cm)

75 x 60 60 x 45 45 x 30 30 x 15 Spacing (cm )

5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 75 x 60 60 x 45 45 x 30 30 x 15 Sp acin g (cm )

Internodal length (cm)

350 300 Plant Dry Matter (g) 250 200 150 100 50 0 75 x 60 60 x 45 45 x 30 30 x 15 Spacing (cm ) CD at 5% : 87.71

Fig. 1. Effect of different spacing on plant height, number of nodes, internode length and plant dry matter of tomato grown in a low cost naturally ventilated greenhouse

Number of fruits/plant

80 Average fruit weight (g) 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 75 x 60 60 x 45 45 x 30 30 x 15 Spacing (cm)

CD at 5%: 44.61

50 40 30 20 10 0 75 x 60 60 x 45 45 x 30 30 x 15 Spacing (cm ) CD at 5% : 16.33

4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0

CD at 5% : 1529.11

Yield/plant (g)

75 x 60 60 x 45 45 x 30 30 x 15 Spacing (cm )

Fig. 2. Effects of different spacing on number of fruits, average fruit weight and yield of tomato in a low cost naturally ventilated greenhouse condition Acknowledgement The authors wish to thank the Executive Director and Programme Director (Ecotechnology) of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation for support in carrying out this experiment.

5 REFERENCES 1. Gomez, A. K. and A. A. Gomez. (1996). Statistical Procedures for Agricultural Research. 2nd Edition, John wiley & sons, Inc., New York. 2. Khan, M.M., Krishna Manohar, R., Kariyanna, Shyamalamma, Biradar, M.S. (1996). Gerbera under low cost greenhouse. Published by Plasticulture Development Centre, Division of Horticulture, UAS, Bangalore. 3. Papadopoulos, A. P and D. P. Ormrod. (1991). Plant spacing effects on growth and development of the greenhouse tomato. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 71: 297-304. 4. Papadopoulos, A. P and S. Pararajasingham. (1997). The influence of plant spacing on light interception and use in greenhouse tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.): A review. Scientia-Horticulturae, 69: 1-29. 5. Saglam, N., A. Yazgan, R. (ED.). Fernandez-Munoz, J (Ed.). Cuartero, and M. L. Gomez Guillamon. (1995). The effects of planting density and the number of trusses per plant on earliness, yield and quality of tomato grown under unheated high plastic tunnel. Acta-Horticulturae. 412: 258-267. 6. Tanaka, M. and S. Komochi. (1982). Research Bulletin of Hokkaido National Agricultural Experimental Station, 35: 83-99. 7. Thomson, H. S. and W. C. Kelley. (1971). Vegetable crops. 5th edition, MC Graw-Hill book co. 8. Tiwari, R.N. and Chaudhury, B. (1986). Solaneceous, In: Vegetable Crops of India. Bose T.K. and Som M. G. Edited, Naya Predesh, Calcutta, pp258-260.