How To Grow Tomatoes Commercially For Success

There are three factors to master if you want to know how to grow tomatoes commercially. Being one of the leaders in the tomato industry, venturing into tomato production can be a worthy endeavor for US growers. However, remember that much like in any crop production, growing tomatoes commercially demands your full effort and attention. 

Below are three factors to ensure that you’ll be familiar with tomato production. However, it’s worth emphasizing that you must have an idea of the industry itself to make the necessary adjustments tailored to your circumstances. It would also be helpful to partake in classes for commercial tomato production. 

 

How To Grow Tomatoes Commercially For Success

Step #1. Planning

According to the University of Tennessee, growing tomatoes commercially demands close attention to detail. This endeavor requires you to handle the high level of management and provide the labor and capital necessary to keep the production running. Therefore, planning is the most crucial step if one wants to know how to grow tomatoes commercially. 

First, know your local tomato market because you want to be able to produce tomatoes ready for the market by strategizing your planting calendar. This way, you can schedule your production to meet the most profitable time. This includes knowing when you’ll have lesser competition or when the demand for tomatoes is high. 

You also want to secure distribution channels before you start growing. You have to ensure that you can sell your harvest and avoid wasting tomatoes. Your area should have reliable tomato distributors, or you can talk to people that know where you can sell your yield. 

 

Step #2. Site preparation

Another critical point when learning how to grow tomatoes commercially is knowing the best site for the crops. Each region has an ideal timing for growing tomatoes, but each state also has an area that will be best for growing the crops as well. The good news is that depending on the variety; you should have a vast selection of tomato production sites or consider expanding in the greenhouse to prevent climates’ challenges. 

In general, tomatoes can grow in any fertile and well-draining soil, but it’s preferable if your site also has sandy loam soil. Avoid planting in areas that stay soggy or those with previously grown solanaceous crops such as peppers and eggplants to prevent diseases on your tomatoes. 

You will need to till your area first to ensure optimal yields on your crop since this enhances the soil structure for root growth and development. More so, please ensure that your site can support the deep root system of tomatoes. And lastly, a useful tip for growing tomatoes commercially is using raised beds for planting since this design prevents waterlogging. 

 

Step #3. Choosing tomato varieties

The next consideration after planning and selecting the site is choosing the tomato varieties suitable for your area. More so, you have to keep in mind what variety will give you excellent marketable yield and acceptability. Start by choosing tomato varieties that will adapt well to your area’s condition and then filter through your selection by prioritizing those with good quality for the market. 

This may sound simple, but each factor affects the success of your commercial tomato production. For example, if your plant ends up incompatible with your area, you will have an underwhelming yield or low-quality fruits that are hard to sell. More so, you want to have a good yield for every season. 

Growers also consider disease-resistance to prevent drawbacks during production. Disease control is one aspect of growing tomatoes commercially that can make or break your production. Even though you have excellent management control, it’s more advantageous to consider varieties that are less likely to get diseases. 

 

What Are The Costs And Returns In Growing Tomatoes Commercially?

As one can expect, the production costs for growing tomatoes commercially will vary depending on your area. You can classify variable costs as plants, lime and gypsum, fertilizer, plastic, fumigation, insecticide, fungicide, herbicide, stakes and string, labor, cleanup, machinery, irrigation, land rent, and interest on operating capital. On the other hand, the fixed costs for your operation will be the annual departmental payment, machinery, irrigation, land, and overhead, and management. 

You can check the extension offices in your area to know more about the budgets necessary for growing tomatoes. To give you numbers, you can expect a breakeven point is grossing $3,000 per acre if you have sold 75% of your tomatoes. Experience in production will provide you techniques that can reduce costs. 

Therefore, a strategic way is to start at a small scale and gradually increase once you become efficient in this endeavor. More so, be prepared to adapt your production system to the changes in the market. You should be able to anticipate optimistic and pessimistic values when producing tomatoes. 

 

Conclusion

Those in the US can consider venturing into commercial tomato production. However, you must consider three steps to learn how to grow tomatoes commercially without drawbacks. They include planning, site preparation, and tomato variety selection. 

These three factors are significantly influential in ensuring that your production system will thrive in the competitive industry. Remember that commercial tomato production requires management skills and preparation for the challenges each year. However, your knowledge shouldn’t stop in these three factors as the industry is ever-changing. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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