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What's New? > Crossville Tomatoes

What's New? Crossville Tomato Variety Trial

Variety trial of six greenhouse tomato varieties grown over two short (Fall & Spring) cropping cycles.

VARIETIES TESTED (all from DeRuiter Seeds):

Mature Crop of Tomatoes grown hydroponically in the greenhouse

1.      Dundee
2.      Geronimo
3.      Grace
4.      Matrix
5.      Style
6.      Trust

Horticultural Management: Plants were grown in 3 gallon bags containing coco-coir. Two plants were transplanted into each bag. Bags were placed 18inches on center within rows, with six feet between rows. The entire greenhouse was irrigated automatically with drip irrigation lines controlled by a timer. Fertilizer was provided to each plant by means of a series of Dosatron injectors and liquid stock fertilizers. The same fertilizer mix was provided to all varieties. Plants were pruned to a single stem clipped to a string and grown to a height of ten feet. Plants were topped when they reached the support wire and the crop was terminated after 5 months. Pollination was achieved using commercial bumblebees.

Yields: Highlights of the yields for each variety include: (See full report for graphs -html) (pdf)

During the 8 week harvest period in the Fall 2006 crop, Dundee produced the highest yields of total marketable fruit (6.4 pounds per plant), followed closely by Geronimo (6.2 pounds per plant), although Geronimo produced slightly more jumbo sized fruit than Dundee (4.4 vs. 3.8 pounds per plant, respectively). Grace and Matrix were identical in total yields (5.5 pounds per plant), although Matrix produced more jumbo fruit (3.3 pounds per plant) than Grace (2.5 pounds per plant). Style yielded 4.8 total pounds per plant, of which 2.7 were jumbo grade. Trust weighed in last with 4.6 total pounds per plant, including only 2.0 pounds of jumbos per plant.

Notes: In many of the fresh vegetable markets in Tennessee, jumbo size fruit can demand a premium price over standard large and extra large fruit. Each variety tested offers different attributes that should be weighed carefully in addition to the total fruit yield. Dundee is a longer shelf life variety, ripening slowly and keeping well at room temperature. Dundee and Geronimo are very fast growing vines, aggressively reaching heights well above the other varieties early in the crop's life cycle and may not be the best choices for growers in low greenhouses who do not intend to lean and lower the crop over a long growing cycle. Grace and Style are similar in that they are moderately fast growing vines with good fruit set. Matrix is a shorter vine, growing slower than the previously discussed varieties, but has a remarkably even rate of fruit production, which may be valuable to growers desiring uniform yields over time (see Figure 2 in full report). Finally, Trust is the standard variety grown in greenhouses throughout the US and Canada. It is a reliable variety, but does have lower total yields and a lower ratio of jumbo fruit compared to other grades of fruit, which may an asset in some markets. Note that the size, number, and amount of fruit harvested each week can be managed and manipulated somewhat through pruning, crop nutrition, timing, and other external activities.