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Field Preparation for Tomato

There are over 2000 varieties of tomatoes that are being cultivated in India. India is the second largest tomato producer. In the year 2021, India alone produced about 20.33 million tons. Tomato is not a vegetable, it is a fruit and is further classified as a berry. Tomato is a crop that can be grown anywhere without a farm i.e on a small piece of land adjacent to your house. It is one of the most popular gardening crops. Tomato is also a crop for value addition, like ketchup, jam, pickle, and sun drying. 

Difficulty Level: Easy 

Selection of Seeds

As mentioned before, Tomato planting has over 1000 varieties to choose from. Some of the popular varieties are Vaishali, Rupali, Rashmi, Rajni, Pusa Ruby, Pusa Early Dwarf, Pusa 120, Co 1, Sioux, Best of All, Marglobe, Roma, Punjab Chuhra, Arka Vikas, Arka Saurabh, Arka Meghali, Amish Paste, Baylor Paste, Bulgarian Triumph, Carol Chyko’s Big Paste, Grandma Mary’s, Bellstar, Big Red Paste, Canadian Long Red, Denali, Hungarian Italian, Oroma, Palestinian, Peasant, Polish Paste, Red Sausage, Roma, San Marzano. 

Tomato seed treatment

Tomato seed treatment is essential for good germination and good yield. Tomato seed treatment with Trichoderma viride 4 g/kg of seeds or Carbendazim 2 g/kg of seeds, 24 hours before sowing is proven effective. 

Nursery Bed Preparation for Tomato

A nursery of 3 cents area is sufficient to produce enough seedlings for the one-hectare farm. Cover half of the nursery using 50% shade ned and cover the side of the nursery with an insect-proofed net. Form raised beds of 1 m width and convenient length and place HDPV pipes at 2m intervals for further protection with polythene sheets during rainy months. For the soil mixture for the raised bed mix sterilised coco peat at 300 kg with 5 kg neem cake along with Azospirillum and 1kg of Phosphobacteria. Conventionally cocopeat is used as portray filling. Depending on the region and the soil fertility the number of tomato saplings varies. In the south, for example, there are over 20,000 seedlings used per hectare, which requires 238 portrays (98 cells) with a spacing requirement of 90 x 60 x 60 cm in paired row system. In the north, however, the conventional practice is to plant much fewer saplings, around 10,000 per hectare. This requires 119 portrays (98 cells). 

Sow one treated seed per cell in the protrays. Cover the seeds with cocopeat, and stack the trays above each other and cover it with a polythene sheet till germination. After six days, once the germination starts, place the germinated ones separately on the raised bed inside the shade net. Water with rosecan every day and drench with NPK 19:19:19 at  0.5% (5 gm/lit water) 18 days after sowing. 

Land Preparations for Tomatoes

Plough the land to a fine tilth. Apply 25 t/ha of FYM as basal manure during the last ploughing and form ridges and furrows at 60 cm spacing. This proceeds by the application of 2 kg/ha of Azospirillum and 2 kg/ha of Phosphobacteria by mixing with 50 kg of FYM. The fields are advised to be lined with drip lines for better irrigation. This way the water requirement can be regulated. Five days before planting the crop, spray of Pendimethalin 1.0 kg a.i./ha (or) Fluchloralin 1.0 kg a.i/ha as pre-emergence herbicide is advised although not mandated. Then transplant the 28-day-old plants. Fill the gaps that have been left on the 7th day after transplanting. 

Soil Type Requirements for tomato

Tomato crop requires good soil that is rich in organic matter. Loamy soil with a neutral pH range of 6.5 – 7.5 is ideal. 


Tomato cultivation is practised all throughout India. It is one of the hardest crops and requires less maintenance.  


  1. Suggest some popular varieties of tomato? 
States  Varieties/Hybrids 
Tamil Nadu  Saaho tomato seeds (To 3251), Lakshmi tomato, Abhilash tomato, Heemsohna tomato, Polyana tomato 
Andhra Pradesh  Saaho tomato seeds (To 3251), Abhilash tomato seeds, Heemshikhar tomato, US 440 tomato, Sikinder tomato 
Telangana  Saaho tomato seeds (To 3251), Abhilash tomato seeds, US 440 tomato, Heemsohna tomato, SW 1508 hybrid round tomato 
Karnataka  Saaho tomato seeds (To 3251), Heemsohna tomato, Abhilash tomato seeds, US 440 tomato, US 800 tomato, Heemshikhar tomato 
Madhya Pradesh  Saaho tomato seeds (To 3251), Abhilash tomato seeds, NS 4266 tomato, Heemshikhar tomato, Heemsohna tomato, To-3150 tomato 


2. How is seed treatment done for tomato?

Treat the tomato seeds with BACTVIPE (Pseudomonas fluorescens) bio-fungicide at 5-10 ml/kg seed in 50 ml of water or SANJEEVNI (Trichoderma viride) bio-fungicide at 8 – 10 gm/kg seed in 50 ml water. Then shade dry the seeds 20 – 30 minutes before sowing. 

  1. How is the soil mixture prepared for tomato nursery protrays required for an acre main field?

The soil mixture for protrays is prepared by mixing 121 kg of sterilized Sterling Neopeat Bale (Cocopeat) with 2 kg neem cake along with Biofertilizers like Azospirillum (Pioneer Agro) and Phosphobacteria (Pioneer Agro) each at 4 kg/acre.  

(Note: Change the biofertilizer recommendation as per your nursery area) 

4. What is the general dose of fertilizer recommendation for tomato?

The fertilizer recommendation dose for tomato varieties is 60:40:20 kg/acre and hybrid is 81:101:101 kg/acre. The commercial quantity for field application is listed in the table below:  

Nutrient  Fertilizer   Varieties (per acre)  Hybrid (per acre) 
Organic  FYM  10 ton  10 ton 
N  Urea or  130 kg  176 kg 
Ammonium Sulphate  293 kg  395 kg 
P  Single Super Phosphate (SSP) or  250 kg  631 kg 
Double Super Phosphate (DSP)   125 kg  316 kg 
K  Muriate of Potash (MOP)  33 kg  169 kg 
Sulphate of Potash (SOP)  40 kg  202 kg 

(For Zn deficient soil)  

ANSHUL ZINC EDTA-FS (ZN 12%) micronutrient  Foliar application: 0.5 – 1 gm/lit water  

Soil application:10 kg 

Foliar application: 0.5 – 1 gm/lit water 

Soil application:10 kg 

B (For B deficient soil)  ALLBOR Boron 20%  Foliar spray: 1 gm/lit water  Foliar spray: 1 gm/lit water 



5. What is the ideal season for sowing tomatoes?

May – June and November – December is the ideal season for tomato cultivation. 

6. What pre-emergence herbicide can be used to control weeds in tomato field?

Spray pre-emergence herbicide BACF PLOD (30% EC Pendimethalin) at 1000 ml/acre.

Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial or legal advice. Pesticides are a considerable risk of loss in crops and viewers are advised to do their own research before making any decisions. 


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