Modern Tomato Farming Techniques are brought to your perusal herein. You also have a stepwise guide involved in starting the farming from beginning to end.
- Land preparation for your tomatoes farming
- Selection of tomato Species for your tomatoes farming
- Plant Seeds in Nursery Bed for a proper tomatoes farming
- Weed Control and Mulching
- Fertilizer Application and consistent watering
Tomato is a vegetable that is widely consumed in Nigeria, and globally. Its significance to human health cannot be overemphasized.
This attractive fruit berry is an excellent source of antioxidants, which help to fight against cancerous growth. It is also a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lots more.
Tomatoes demand fertile loamy soil, sunlight, and consistent water for optimal growth. Therefore, can be planted anywhere in the country.
In Nigeria, a large sum of tomatoes consumed is from the North, where the irrigation system is being adapted to supply water to crops consistently. Tomatoes farming is an extremely lucrative business because Nigerians eat tomatoes every day.
This berry is consumed fresh, boiled, fried, and tinned. It is used in producing tomato paste, ketchup, and tomato juice and is added as an ingredient in virtually all meals we eat. Such as; stew, soup, omelet, rice, salad, portage, etc.
Tomatoes farming is much more rewarding than you could ever imagine. Ever considered venturing into this business?
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Here is a step-to-step guide on how to start a successful tomatoes farming business:
1. Land preparation for your tomatoes farming
Purchase or lease a land preferably with fertile black loamy soil. Divide the land portion into a nursery bed and main field for transplant.
Prepare the ground by clearing grasses/debris and loosening the soil with hand trowels and hoes. Also, soil pH should be within the range of 6-7. Use NPK fertilizer to boost soil fertility.
Lastly, it is very important to treat soil with insecticides and fungicides to avoid pests and diseases attack on your crop. This is because vegetables hardly survive when infected with diseases. Therefore, prevention is better than cure.
2. Selection of tomato Species for your tomatoes farming
It is highly essential to plant good seeds. Whatever you sow you’ll reap. Choose a good tomato species with improved high yield quality. Do not plant the local species.
The Roma tomato is recommendable for planting in Nigeria. It is commonly used in producing canned tomatoes and tomato paste owing to its redness.
This tomato species is known distinctively for its low water content and tough epicarp, which enables it not to perish easily like other species such as cherry.
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3. Plant Seeds in Nursery Bed for a proper tomatoes farming
Planting seeds is best done at the beginning of the rainy season around April. Spread seeds on the soil. It is advisable to cover the soil with dry grasses to prevent soil loss of moisture and seeds from being eaten by birds.
Also, Remove grasses at about 12-14 days to allow proper growth, and note that planting should be done in cool weather, preferably early morning or evening.
Transplanting is carried out after 6 weeks of seed growth on nursery beds. At this point, you transfer seedlings to the main field you have prepared.
Transplanting of tomato seedlings should be done the same day they are uprooted from the nursery bed to prevent dehydration.
Tomato seedlings are very fragile and tender. Therefore, should be handled with care. Open the soil with a small knife or cutlass, insert the seedling into the hole and cover with soil.
5. Weed Control and Mulching
Weeding is carried out after 8 weeks of transplant. It is essential to weed in order to prevent unhealthy competition of unwanted grasses with tomatoes planted for soil nutrients, space, water, and lots more.
Also, it is essential to mulch because tomatoes grow well on wet soil (which needs moisture). Mulching will help reduce sunlight rays, conserve soil nutrients, and keep the soil cool for the optimal growth of tomatoes.
6. Fertilizer Application and consistent watering
To get a good harvest, it is highly essential to fertilize your crop and water them from time to time.
NPK fertilizer can be applied to help replenish soil nutrients taken by the weeds, and help boost your tomato growth.
Once a tomato starts bringing forth fruits, it keeps producing till the dry season when the plant dies off owing to the heat. This means when you start harvesting, you harvest till the end of the season. The first harvest starts within the first three months of planting.
Tomatoes are widely consumed in Nigeria. Therefore, locating buyers isn’t a challenge. Tomato is a perishable product.
This is why it is advisable to look for potential buyers/markets before harvesting, so as not to run into a loss or reduce the quality of your product owing to late patronage.
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