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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X

Abstract

BOZO, T. T.; MPAMBANI, B.; MBENGA, A.  and  MHLONTLO, S.. Comparative Studies On Yield And Quality Response Of Soil And Soilless Grown Tomatoes: The Case Study Of Masiphathisane Community Project And Bathurst Experimental Farm. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2019, vol.47, n.4, pp.75-85. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2019/v47n4a527.

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L) belongs to the Solanaceae family and is grown worldwide for its edible fruits with antioxidant benefits. A study was conducted in Bathurst Experimental Farm and Masiphathisane Community Project to compare yield and quality of tomato cultivars cultivated with an open bag hydroponic (soilless) system and in-soil system respectively both under a semi-controlled environment. Three tomato cultivars under soilless system, namely Mercury, Merya and Star 9037, and one cultivar, SV4129, in-soil system were used. Marketable and unmarketable yield, total soluble solids (%Brix), as well as the pH of the tomato juice were determined. Results showed that plants in the soilless system developed faster with higher total yield compared with in-soil cultivation. Cultivars Mercury and Merya can be selected and recommended for high yields and high sugar content in %Brix respectively in soilless production. The pH of tomato juice was highest in all cultivars under soilless and the lowest was recorded in-soil production systems. The most promising cultivar with regards to yield and quality under soilless production was Mercury. Results indicate that soilless cultivation can improve yield and quality, with cultivar selection playing an important role when utilising this production system.

Keywords : pH; Sugar content; Tomatoes; Yield.

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