There has been rapid expansion of greenhouse tomato production in New York State over the last 5 years. Greenhouse tomatoes capitalize on local markets and available labor. However, heating a greenhouse in upstate New York requires high-energy input and can be cost prohibitive. An alternative to a fully heated greenhouse is the hoop house or high tunnel. Unlike greenhouses, these structures have no supplemental heat or automated ventilation. High tunnels can be moved, which offers an advantage for rotating into fresh soil for tomato culture, to avoid pest and disease build-up, as well as nutrient depletion.
This is the second year of NE SARE sponsored variety research in high tunnel tomatoes. Building on 2004’s results, we kept the top two producing varieties and introduced two new varieties based grower input. In a cooperating grower’s high tunnel in Penn Yan, NY 84 plants each of varieties Big Beef, Blitz, Boa, and Geronimo were transplanted on April 18 in a randomized complete block design with 4 replications. Plants were trained to a vertical trellis and single growing point.
A second trial was established to measure yield from five heirloom varieties. In a cooperating grower’s high tunnel in Livonia, NY 50 plants each of varieties Amish Paste, Carmello, Cherokee Purple, Dona and Prudens Purple were transplanted on April 20 in a randomized complete block design with 5 replications. Plants were trained to a vertical trellis and single growing point.
Harvest and data collection began on June 27, 2005 and ended October 31, 2005. Yield data was recorded for each harvest using a digital scale. Total weight per block in pounds was recorded as well as number of fruit. For each variety mean weight per plant, mean fruit per plant and mean weight per fruit was calculated. Disease resistance for Cladosporium Leaf Mold and Manganese deficiency were recorded in the Penn Yan high tunnel. Data were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and treatment means were separated using Fishers Least Significant Difference.
In the Penn Yan high tunnel varieties Big Beef and Geronimo had significantly higher yields than Blitz and Boa as measured by mean tomato yield in pounds per plant. Geronimo yielded significantly higher number of mean fruit per plant than Blitz and Boa. Big Beef yielded a significantly heavier mean weight per fruit than the other three varieties. Varieties Big Beef and Boa were significantly more susceptible to Cladosporium Leaf Mold than Geronimo and Blitz. Blitz exhibited significantly greater Manganese deficiency than the other varieties. Data used from this trial could increase gross revenue per 2000 sq ft high tunnel by $4000 and eliminate fungicide applications.
In the Livonia high tunnel Prudens Purple yielded significantly higher in mean pounds per plant than Amish Paste, Carmello, Cherokee Purple and Dona. Carmello yielded significantly higher number of mean fruit per plant than other varieties. Prudens Purple yielded a significantly heavier mean weight per fruit than the other four varieties.
- To compare 4 hybrid and 5 heirloom tomato varieties in an 2 separate high tunnels by
measuring yield in total weight, total number of fruit, and mean fruit weight.
To observe disease and insect pest trends in the high tunnel, and manage them in a
To evaluate the practicality of soluble organic fertilizers in an injection system.
To share our information with other growers in the region.