Effects of Earthing up and Pruning Systems on Growth and Yield of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicon.)
Keter, I. K.
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Tomato (Solanum lycopersicon) is an important crop cultivated and consumed worldwide. It provides wide variety of nutrients with many health-related benefits like, protection against cancer, maintains blood pressure and reduces blood glucose level in people with diabetes. Despite the importance of tomato, its growth and yield is limited by choice of cultural practices mainly earthing up and pruning system. There is also limited knowledge on the effect of integrating pruning and earthing up on tomato growth and yield. This study investigated the effect of integration of pruning and earthing up on the growth and yield of tomato. A split-plot experimental design, arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design, with three replications was used. The study investigated two factors i.e. pruning system in the main plot (single stem, double stem, and triple stem) and earthing up in sub-plots. (0 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, and 30 cm. The findings of the study revealed that earthing up and pruning system had a significant (p ˂ .05) effect on plant height and stem girth diameter at 45, 52, and 59 days after transplanting. The single stem pruning system and earthing up to 30 cm gave the tallest plant height with an average plant height of 69.80 cm in cultivation 1 and 71.50 cm in cultivation 2. Single stem pruning system and earthing up to 30 cm gave the largest stem girth diameter with mean stem girth diameter of 2.16 cm in cultivation 1 and 2.25 cm in cultivation 2. Triple stem pruning system, earthing up to 30 cm recorded the highest number of marketable fruits with 64500 fruits/hectare in cultivation 1 and 64333 fruits/hectare in cultivation 2. To improve tomato growth and development which consequently improves marketable yields, farmers are encouraged to consider triple stem pruning system with earthing up to level 30 cm.