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University of Central Missouri Tomato Plant Study

By S. Mark Goodwin, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Agriculture, University of Central Missouri

Summary of the H2OExcel Tomato Trials at the University of Central Missouri

Tomato variety Lola F1 seeds were planted 2/16/13 and grown in the University greenhouse until transplanted into a Zimmerman high tunnel on April 9th. Lola F1 is a indeterminate tomato hybrid tolerant of Fusarium wilt and Tobacco mosaic virus races 1 and 2. Average size fruits are reported to be 7‐9 oz.

The Zimmerman high tunnel at the UCM Mitchell St. Farm is a 48 foot by 20 foot tunnel with 5 foot high side walls. Sidewall have vinyl walls which can be lowered to allow cross ventilation and the polycarbonate endwalls have removable panels. The roof of the high tunnel is covered with a single layer of 6 mil clear, polyethylene plastic.

Two raised beds were prepared for the tomato transplants. Each bed was 3 ½ foot wide and 21 feet long and was raised 6 inches above the surrounding soil grade. Drip tape was buried just off center of the raised bed and buried 1‐2 inches below the soil surface. Drip tape was 10 mil thick with 4 inch spacing between emitters and rated to 1 gallon per minute flow per 100 feet of tape. A pressure regulator was installed to maintain drip tape water pressure at 10 psi. Each bed had it own drip tape with a shutoff valve so that each bed could be watered independently of the other bed. Both beds were connected to a Dosotron DM11F 11 GPM fertilizer injector which was used to inject both fertilizer and H2O Excel into the appropriate beds.

 

The beds were covered with black plastic film to accelerate soil warming in the spring. In mid‐May the plastic film was covered with straw to prevent excessive soil warming from the summer sun.

Soil testing determined the soil for both raised beds as a loam; 37.5% sand, 42.5% silt and 20.0 Clay. Organic matter was 3.1%. pH 6.9. Phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium were all in the medium to high range for each nutrient respectively.

Tomato variety Lola F1 seeds were planted 2/16/13 and grown in the University greenhouse until transplanted into a Zimmerman high tunnel on April 9th. Lola F1 is a indeterminate tomato hybrid tolerant of Fusarium wilt and Tobacco mosaic virus races 1 and 2. Average size fruits are reported to be 7‐9 oz.

The Zimmerman high tunnel at the UCM Mitchell St. Farm is a 48 foot by 20 foot tunnel with 5 foot high side walls. Sidewall have vinyl walls which can be lowered to allow cross ventilation and the polycarbonate endwalls have removable panels. The roof of the high tunnel is covered with a single layer of 6 mil clear, polyethylene plastic.

Two raised beds were prepared for the tomato transplants. Each bed was 3 ½ foot wide and 21 feet long and was raised 6 inches above the surrounding soil grade. Drip tape was buried just off center of the raised bed and buried 1‐2 inches below the soil surface. Drip tape was 10 mil thick with 4 inch spacing between emitters and rated to 1 gallon per minute flow per 100 feet of tape. A pressure regulator was installed to maintain drip tape water pressure at 10 psi. Each bed had it own drip tape with a shutoff valve so that each bed could be watered independently of the other bed. Both beds were connected to a Dosotron DM11F 11 GPM fertilizer injector which was used to inject both fertilizer and H2O Excel into the appropriate beds.

 

Fruit harvest in pounds with standard deviations

Fruit harvest began June 18 and ended October 11. A total of 2,196 fruits were harvested. By September 20 harvest from each bed was essentially identical.
Total amount (lbs) Average fruit size (lbs)
Bed 1 163 0.213 ± 0.19
Bed 2 166.8 0.238 ± 0.19

Irrigation data below is present from April 9 to September 20

Treated
Bed 1 ‐ T1‐14 tomatoes (treated) water only fert+water
Duration of irrigation (minutes) 4789 8381 minutes
Volume of water applied (gallons) 1745.6 2200 gallons
Total duration (minutes) 13170 minutes
Total gallons 3945.6 gallons
% of T15‐28 74.8 %
Control
Bed 2 T15‐28 tomatoes (control) water only fert+water
Duration of irrigation (minutes) 7767 8667 minutes
Volume of water applied (gallons) 2576.1 2697.6 gallons
Total duration (minutes) 16434 minutes
Total gallons 5273.7 gallons