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Tomatoes experience

 Tomato, South of France, France, May - July, 2019, Doubling growth

BASIC DATA

GOAL OF EXPERIMENTATION AND CONDITIONS OF REALIZATION  

The aim of the test was to compare the yield gain between two types of tomatoes: specimens grown with Raincatcher and specimens grown without, under strictly same conditions:

  • Grown outdoors in one container.The dimensions of the cultured container: 3m x 1.50m.The soil is a mixture of soil and potting soil at the rate of 50 liters of soil for the entire container.
  • Planting on the same day (May 10, 2019). 12 pieces of tomato seedlings in three lines of 4 plants each. Plants are arranged in a single line of 60 cm apart with a 40 cm line spacing. The first row are planted with 5 grams of Raincatcher in the root zone. The other nine are without RAINCATCHER.
  • Same watering for all plants: the plants are irrigated using an automatic system composed of calibrated sprinklers delivering 2 liters of water per hour to each plant. The first watering is done manually on the day of planting.
  • During the month of May, the plants were watered for 2 hours every three days, to foster the rooting.
  • Then, they were only watered for 40 minutes every 3 days (or about 1.3 liters per plant every 3 days) to simulate bad weather conditions (drought).
  • The test was carried out near Salon de Provence, in southeastern France, next to Ethan de Berre.

THE TOMATO VARIETY AND CONDITIONS OF EXPERIMENTATION

Tomato variety used for the test: F1 Hybrid Cobra.

Tomato Cobra is a large-fruited type (diameter from 65 mm with a fruit weight of 100-200 g), well known for its taste.

Rustic selection, burst resistant, easy to produce. A productive variety with round large fruits, has a solid flesh, excellent taste with good disease resistance.

METEOROLOGICAL DATAS

The tomatoes were planted on May 11th. Climatic data remained in the seasonal norms until June 19th.

Then, an episode of high heat started with temperatures almost always above 35 ° C with a peak above 44 ° C, regularly above seasonal values (18 ° C more than average during the peak at 44 ° C on June 28th).

In parallel, rainfall remained very low with less than 15 mm of water in June, less than 8 mm in July and nothing during the first decade of August.

Winds were regularly quite strong, above 50 km/h, with peaks above 100 km/h sometimes.

The graphs and tables below give the values of the meteorological data recorded over the period.

MAY 2019 

JUNE 2019 

JULY 2019 

AUGUST 2019 

RESULTS 

KEY FIGURES OF FRUIT HARVESTED

A typical harvest was carried out on August 5th, 5 days after the previous harvest, to start on a stabilized crop. Only mature tomatoes were taken. 

On the picture, the fruits on the right are the result of 3 tomatoes trees grown with the RAINCATCHER®, fruits on the left are from the other 9 witness-plants (without RAINCATCHER).

We can see that tomatoes grown without RAINCATCHER are of the same size and rather small comparing to the average fruits of the used variety (the diameter of the harvested fruits ranges from 56 to 71 mm). It is due to a shortage in irrigation water experienced by the seedlings from the end of June.

The fruits produced with RAINCATCHER are rather big compared to the variety standard with 75 to 106 mm. These permits to confirm the compensation by RAINCATCHER of the effects of the water deficiency voluntarily applied since June 1st. Tthe fruits have remained normal or even bigger than the typical fruit of the variety, despite the high temperature and the wind

Comparison of the biggest collected fruits.

From the 9 control-tomato-trees (witnesses), 13 fruits were harvested in 5 days, which is an average of 1.45 fruits per plant. When the 3 tomatoes trees treated with RAINCATCHER® in their root zone gave 6 fruits, which is an average of 2 fruits per plant.

The normal average weight of one fruits of the Cobra hybrid F1 variety goes between 100 to 200g. The unit weight of the fruits grown without RAINCATCHER® ranges from 73 g to 122 g with a total weight of 1308 g, giving an average fruit unit weight of about 100 g. The weight of fruits grown with the RAINCATCHER goes from 122 g to 271 g with a total weight of 1147 g, thus the average unit weight of a fruit is 191 g.

   

Biggest fruit mass with/without RAINCATCHER

If, under artificially created conditions of drought, tomatoes produce fruits with size on average at the lower limit of typical fruits of the variety, when using RAINCATCHER®, on the contrary, enables to get fruits with sizes of the upper part and above of the normal weight of the variety.

The smallest fruit harvested with RAINCATCHER weighs as much as the largest fruit harvested on control plants. Half of the fruits harvested with plants supported by RAINCATCHER are above 200g, and only the smallest is below 150g.

When we count the mass produced per plant/tree, we obtain 145 g per untreated plant and 382 g for the average of the plants treated with RAINCATCHER.

CONCLUSION

During the experiment carried out from May 11th to August 5th, 2019 in the South of France, on a field crop of Cobra Hybrid F1 tomato, the use of RAINCATCHER gave very significant results.

The collected data show that, in unfavorable agricultural conditions, due to poor irrigation and meteorological conditions characterized by very high temperatures, relatively strong winds and extremely low rainfall during the fruiting phase, the use of the RAINCATCHER® (Raincatcher) allowed to produce 4.8 times morefruit mass per plant and about 30% more fruit than control tomato samples.