Are you planning to grow tomatoes? That’s fantastic! But before you dive into the exciting planting process, it’s important to ensure that your field is well-nourished and properly prepared. In this article, we will be sharing some valuable insights on the best practices for making your field ready for a successful tomato crop. So, let’s get started!
Best Practices for Preparing Your Field for Tomato Cultivation
Tilling or Ploughing
The first step in preparing your field is tilling the land, also known as ploughing, which involves cutting, breaking, and inverting the soil. Tilling mechanically loosens and breaks up the soil and also helps in creating an optimal environment for seed germination and root growth. This process enhances air and water flow to the plant roots, thereby promoting healthy development.
Tilling the land also ensures that the minerals present in the soil are well-mixed and easily accessible to the crops, further enhancing their growth. This step sets a strong foundation for your tomato cultivation.
Note: While tilling is crucial, make sure that you are not over-tilling the soil, as excessive tilling can lead to the loss of soil structure and fertility, erosion, and damage to beneficial soil microorganisms. Striking a balance between loosening the soil for planting and maintaining its overall structure and health is essential.
The next step after tilling is harrowing, which smoothens and pulverizes the soil to a shallow depth. It helps create a finer seedbed and prepares the soil for subsequent operations.
Harrowing is followed by the application of Farmyard Manure (FYM). FYM supplies nutrients and enhances the solubility and availability of nutrients in the soil. It also boosts microbial activity, further enriching the soil.
Recommended dose of FYM: 12 tons of FYM/acre
Making Ridges and Furrows
The last step in tilling involves making ridges and furrows. These make intercultural operations easier throughout the growth cycle.
Recommended spacing for ridges and furrows: 60-75 cm. This specific spacing helps prevent the spread of pests and diseases, ensuring the overall health of your tomato plants.
Application of Biofertilizers and Bioagents
To further enhance soil health and protect against pests and diseases, consider using beneficial microorganisms.
These beneficial microorganisms can be mixed with neem cake, Pongamia cake, and FYM for improved results.
Application method: Broadcast the basal dose 7 to 10 days after applying biofertilizer.
Setting up the Irrigation-Drip System
Additionally, for improved irrigation and water use efficiency in your tomato field, it is recommended to lay down inline drip lateral pipes.
Recommended pipe specifications: Use pipes with a diameter of 12 or 16 mm.
Note: These pipes should be laid at a 2-feet distance throughout the field.
Remember, a well-prepared land is crucial in tomato cultivation as it lays the foundation for a high-quality yield. Make sure to follow the best practices and essential steps listed in this article for optimal crop growth and a higher yield.