Rebecca Sideman
Researcher next to tomato plants

Caterina Roman, UNH '22, with her research tomato plants.

We have just published a new research report that describes the results of research on high tunnel tomato at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, led by Caterina Roman, an undergraduate student working with Becky Sideman. Our goals were 1) to study the impact of thinning tomato fruit clusters and removing alternate fruit clusters on individual fruit weight and total marketable yields, 2) to evaluate the influence of cluster pruning on frequency of tomato disorders, and 3) to quantify the effect of cluster pruning on fruit production throughout the season.

In this report, we share preliminary results from our 2021 study. In brief, we found that pruning clusters to 3 fruit had resulted in larger fruit, but a higher proportion of unmarketable cracked fruit and lower overall marketable yields. Removing every other cluster did prolong fruiting and make production more consistent throughout the season, but resulted in lower yields overall. For future work, we plan to evaluate more moderate thinning strategies (reducing clusters to 4 or 5 fruit).

Please check out  the full report for more information!