Many growers in Australia and New Zealand are looking forward to growing Prunus after the tomato has demonstrated great results in other parts of the world. Corné Smulders from the Netherlands is one grower who has had great success with the variety.
“The potential in kilos is higher for Prunus than for our previous main cultivar. Just like that variety, Prunus yields 32 to 33 trusses on an annual basis, with fruits that are five grams heavier. An additional benefit is that it is less susceptible to botrytis and is mildew-resistant,” he said.
Corné grows using anti-condensation film, so that the plant temperature remains higher in the early stages of growing. “We steer the crop generatively, with nights of 12 to 13 degrees and daytime temperatures of 23 to 24 degrees,” Corné said.
“Especially in the starting phase, we go back to 12 degrees in the first week to strengthen the first truss. After that, we go up to nights of 13.5 to 14 degrees.”
Corné says that while the growing has been great, there were some dark months that provided some challenges. “We had to give up some speed in the creation of fruits, but the variety recovered immediately as soon as there was a bit of light – that is the strength of this variety, the production and creation of fruit has been great,” he said.
Corné said as for pruning the plant, he started with pruning at five until about mid-March and then went to six until mid-June.
“When the light started to decrease again, we went back to pruning to five in order to keep sufficient strength for the final shoot in autumn. In week 32, we are pruning again to six and we will do that until the end of the crop,” Corné said. Overall Corné said that Prunus was a great variety with excellent production.
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