-- Plants must be tied or clipped with tomato clips to a string or twinesuspended from a strong overhead cable. Thisstarts as soon as they are about 10 inches highand continuesthroughout production. Aseparate supportsystem must be built inside thegreenhouse f pipe, etc. tosupport the croYou mustremember thateach plant mayweigh 10 to 15 pounds whenit is loadedwith fruit sothe supportsystem must be quite strong. Kentuckyfarmers have used different ways to supporttomatoes in tobacco greenhouses (see previous photos). Typical greenhousestructures are usually NOT strong enough tosupport a tomato crop, consult the greenhousemanufacturer for details; greenhousesdesigned to support a tomato crop areavailable from some manufacturers. Activelygrowing tomatoes will have to be clipped tothe support string or twined around the stringevery 6-10 days.3nitrate is not compatible with other fertilizersin the concentrated form. With two fertilizers,the irrigation system has two injectors, eachto inject a specific amount of each type of fertilizer at each watering.rom p .
Water, Fertilizer and Growing Media
--Tomato production requires that plantnutrition be monitored carefully andregularly. Tomatoes require a well drainedgrowing medium, regular watering andregular applications of fertilizer. Theapplication of water is typically done with atrickle irrigation system composed of distribution lines with drip tubes or spraystakes. Drip tubes or spray stakes are placedat the base of each plant. Tomato plants use agreat deal of water, especially in warmweather, so the use of a time clock to controlthe irrigationsystem is highlyrecommended andrelativelyinexpensive.Many typesof fertilizer have been used for tomatoes.Generally, thefertilizer ismoderate innitrogen and highin phosphorus, potassium,calcium andmagnesium. A grower must be sure thatcalcium and magnesium are included in thefertilizer program. Normal plant and fruitgrowth requires these nutrients to be presentin the correct amounts. A number of companies - Cropking Inc., Hydro-Gardens,Inc., Totalgro Plant Foods are listed below -have excellent fertilizer mixes for tomatoes.The fertilizer typically comes in two parts,calcium nitrate and a complete fertilizer (without calcium). This is because calcium
Figure 2 A pump typefertilizer injector used toadd concentratedfertilizer to the irrigationwater.Figure 1 Tomato clips areused to tie the tomato stemto a string suspended fromthesuortstructure.Figure 3 A tomato greenhouse with plants grownin the soil.