Picking leaves halfway down the plant results in fewer tomatoes

A Dutch leaf picking trial was recently completed with Brioso. The post-winter leaf picking strategies were continued until the end. The standard was 33% leaf picking at the top, and retaining 11-12 leaves.

One treatment consisted of no leaf picking at the top and retaining leaves at the bottom of the plant at the same height as the standard. This caused about a third of extra leaves to remain on the plant. The other treatment also consisted of no leaf picking at the top. This was combined with 66% leaf picking from the fourth or fifth vine, so the number of leaves was roughly equal to that of the standard.

After winter (from March onward) 39.4 to 40.4 kg/m2 was produced. Not removing leaves from the top yielded a slightly higher production (0.2 kg) than the standard treatment with 33% leaf picking. There was 2.5% less production if fully-grown leaves were removed halfway down the plant from March onward. This is probably because well-functioning leaves were removed in which the plant had already invested assimilates. The taste level and shelf life were good, without clear differences between treatments.

An extensive analysis of data is carried out to provide an explanation for the results. Many values have been measured, including light interception and intermittent measurements of dry matter in the various plant parts. The final results will be presented and published soon.

Source: Kas als Energiebron

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