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Thursday, August 28, 2008

AMALAN PENANAMAN UMUM - Melatih Tanaman & Cantasan / GENERAL CULTURAL PRACTICES - Training & Pruning


In general greenhouse crops (tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers) are indeterminant (vining) types to take advantage of the vertical volume of the greenhouse.
*The plant vines are supported on vine twine by vine clips. The twine is wrapped around some sort of device from which it can be unwound (tomahook, bobbin, etc.). Plants are trained up the twine to the wires forming a “V” shape. As the plants grow up to the overhead support wire, the twine is unwound, the plants lowered and shifted one space – “LEANED AND LOWERED”.

Tomato vines should not be lowered more than 2 feet at a time OR another good way to tell, DO NOT lower the vine such that an 80 or higher degree bend is created in the vine near the floor. High angles promote stem cracking.
*Plants are trained to 1-3 stems by removing (pruning) side shoots or “suckers”. Tomatoes are trained to 1 stem (or 2 stems to replace a topped or broken neighbour or during a season of high light, i.e., Spring or early Summer).
Peppers are usually trained to 2 or 3 stems. Their stems are much more brittle than tomatoes and tend to snap if they are leaned and lowered. Cucumbers have traditionally been trained using such methods as the “V-cordon” or “umbrella”. However, they can also be trained to 1 stem like tomatoes.

*Side shoots or suckers are so named because they suck nutrients from the main plant. The process of removing suckers = “sucker pruning” or “suckering”.

*NEVER PRUNE SIDE SHOOTS WITHIN 2 INCHES OF THE TOP! It is too easy to remove the APICAL MERISTEM, the top growing point. If the apical meristem is removed or damaged (the plant is “topped”), a lower side shoot or even a sucker from a neighboring plant will need to be allowed to grow and take over as the apical meristem. This will take time and this plant will now be behind the others. Therefore, STUDY the top of the plant carefully, DETERMINE the location of the apical meristem, MOVE 2 inches down, THEN begin pruning!
*Extra growths may also occur on fruit clusters. These should be removed.
*Leaves: As the plants grow old leaves furthest from the apical meristem will begin to age or senesce = yellow spots appear due to the loss of chlorophyll. These leaves are no longer contributing as much to photosynthesis. These leaves should be removed – usually 3 leaves once a week. This is about the usual number of leaves that appear at the meristem per week.
The first three leaves will be removed when the plants reach 4-6 feet.
Leaves should be removed in the morning when the plants are “turgid” (full of water) so that they break off crisply. Leaves should be removed at the stem-petiole abscission zone – the bulbous point of attachment of the leaf petiole to the main stem. This abscission zone forms a clean break and seals quickly. If the leaf is “ripped” off, the damaged tissue could provide a point of entry for pathogens.
NOTE: Removing old, lower leaves also allows for air movement around the
lower part of the plant. This reduces humidity that can promote disease.
Also, certain insect pests tend to reproduce on lower leaves. Pruning
reduces their overall populations.

Watch these 2 videos on How To Prune Tomatoes:

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