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Tomato Crop Land Preparation

Deep ploughing is recommended which is to be followed by cross cultivation with cultivator. The land needs to be levelled before transplanting of the tomato Land preparation is the first step before planting tomatoes. Almost all tomatoes are planted on raised beds in some countries.

This facilitates cultivation and irrigation of the tomato crop, as well as improving drainage, which minimizes root diseases. Land preparation consists of proper grading (particularly if furrow irrigation is used), subsoiling to break up compacted layers, listing, and final bed preparation. Tomato beds are most often 60 or 66 inches wide.

Listing is often a critical step, as straight rows allow precision planting and close cultivation. Land preparation is often done in the fall if a spring planting is planned, as wet spring weather may prevent the use of heavy equipment needed for land preparation.

Fallow bed herbicide treatments are sometimes used to prevent winter weed growth, and allow early spring tomato planting. Soils should be prepared early by incorporating organic matter and cover crops well before the planting season.

If a cover crop is in place, it should be turned in at least 3 weeks before transplanting. For more on this see the section (VI) on primary tillage in the tillage basics article. In areas where wind protection is needed, a cover crop (especially rye, wheat, oats, or hairy vetch) can be strip-tilled to provide standing cover crop strips to buffer wind around recent transplants.

Soil Testing within Organic Systems and Organic Soil Fertility. Cover crops play a vital role at Perry winkle Farm. They improve soil quality, provide nutrients, prevent erosion, moderate soil temperatures, conserve moisture, and help control insect, weed, and disease problems.

This tomato crop benefits from a thick layer of mulch grown in place as a rye cover crop from fall to early spring. They do not import straw mulch from off-farm for fear of weed seeds.