Performance of greenhouse tomato cultivars grown in soilless culture in North Central Florida

Juan C. Rodriguez, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Nicole Shaw


A greenhouse tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cultivar trial was conducted at the University of Florida's Protected Agriculture Project site in Gainesville, Florida during the spring of 1999. The objective of this trial was to evaluate Israeli and Dutch tomato cultivars grown in the greenhouse for yield and fruit quality under the climatic conditions (springsummer) of north central Florida. Tomato plants were transplanted into white polyethylene bags filled with coarse perlite on 15 Feb. 1999, and were grown for 7 months. Bags were arranged in double rows 20 cm apart and 30 m long. Plants were spaced 36 cm apart. Water and nutrients were supplied through a drip system as needed and adjusted to permit 20 to 30% leachate in a 24-hour cycle. Both cluster and beefsteak varieties were compared in this trial. 'Champion', Taverna', and 'FA-593' had greater marketable yields (fruit per plant) than other cluster cultivars. Among the beefsteak cultivars, marketable yields for 'FA-574' and 'Catherine' were higher than Trust'. Cultivars with the highest yield had high fruit quality and good disease resistance. Cluster varieties 'Champion' and Taverna' and the beefsteak variety 'Catherine',should be considered by growers who wish to compete with product imported from Europe and Canada. When managed with the standard practices for greenhouse tomatoes in Florida (training, pruning, and fertigation) these cultivars could provide growers additional tomato varieties for trial.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283