Influence of transplant spacing and planting date on fruit yield, plant status of tomato and population development of Meloidogyne incognita

S. Kumar, A. S. Khanna


Field studies were conducted to evaluate the most suitable tomato transplant spacing and planting date at a field site infested with Meloidogyne incognita. Tomatoes were transplanted the 20th of each month from March through July and, on each date, transplants were spaced 35, 45 and 55 cm apart in 60-cm-wide rows. Initial population densities of M. incognita were determined prior to transplanting each month and populations per 200 cm3 soils were: 212, 246, 321, 790, and 410 in March, April, May, June and July, respectively. Tomato plant growth and yield was greatest in the April and May plantings. Tomatoes transplanted in March were stunted due to high nematode multiplication on their roots. The tomatoes transplanted in July suffered nematode damage in the vegetative phase and the cool temperatures at fruiting reduced ripening. Highest yield and largest fruit size were attained at the in-row plant spacing of 45 cm.

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