Greenhouses are preparing for a new tomato season

21 August 2020
1562

In greenhouses, farmers reap two tomato harvests each calendar year. The cycle can last from spring to summer and from autumn to winter, as climate control systems do not limit the producers’ choice of growing conditions. Under growing conditions of greenhouses, the first sprouts appear 44-45 days after planting tomato seeds in January-February. In March, farmers start planting in greenhouse containers with nutrient solutions for the entire growing season. Nutrients that can be washed out of the substrate during irrigation are supplied to the plants together with water. Peak crop-bearing season “under glass” falls on the hottest months, which should be regulated by ventilation, and in modern greenhouses it is done by air cooling, which, together with additional methods, can extend the crop-bearing season. The crop-bearing season in an enclosed space lasts 4 months, which is longer than that in a plantation. However, in most cases, greenhouse owners take a time-out when it is unprofitable to compete with massive supplies of open ground tomatoes. During this period, greenhouses are disinfected and cleaned to remove old plants, installation works are conducted and nutrient solutions are renewed. There is enough time to check supply systems, conduct preventive maintenance and adjust equipment. Vegetable growers resume work after the peak of the heat. They sow seeds in early August, and the seedlings grow in greenhouses until September.

Currently, the work is in full swing at most greenhouses, which ensure the supply of fresh vegetables to the markets in the coming winter and spring. Workers of the greenhouse complex in the Bäş Nur business society, located in the Charjev etrap, Lebap velayat, are preparing for a new tomato season. They grow tomato plants on a coconut substrate, the process of growing tomatoes is automated. Last season, the average yield of each of 60,000 tomato plants of Turkish varieties, including Bandito, exceeded 10 kg. Workers of the greenhouse complex, located in the territory of the Üzümçilik farmers’ association (Geoktepe etrap, Ahal velayat) are engaged in delivering fertilisers and selecting the seeds to sow. Agricultural technicians prefer planting hybrid high-yielding varieties that ensure developing heavy tomato fruit. Nowadays, there is a great choice of hybrid varieties from Turkey, France, Germany and Russia in the seed market of the country.

Elena DOLGOVA,
NT