Evaluating the effects of staking and pruning on the growth and yield of indigenous tomatoes at NaCRRI
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Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L) are the second most important vegetables in the world after potatoes, grown and eaten as protective foods that prevent the human body from several ailments. In Uganda there are different tomato types, the large fruit commercial tomato varieties which are the most grown and the indigenous tomatoes that occur as land races in farmer fields with a small fruit diameter. The indigenous tomatoes are poorly managed due to the traditional consumer habits when compared to the commercial varieties which results in lower yields. The most grown commercial varieties are susceptible to Bacterial wilt an important soil borne bacterial disease. Research on tomatoes in Uganda currently focuses on developing measures to control the disease through breeding for resistant commercial varieties. This study was conducted at the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) in Namulonge village. Evaluation of the effects of staking and pruning on the growth and yield of 10 indigenous tomato accessions i.e. 105 (001), 41 (076), 29 (141), 65 (095), 87 (177), 99 (016), 1 (005), 9 (201), 35 (057), 79 (007) and percentage Bacterial Wilt incidence among them. These accessions were randomly selected from a 200 core sample collected from the 25 tomato growing districts of the country. A factorized Randomized Complete Block Design was used to lay out the experiment and data collected on the effect of staking and pruning on growth characteristics of height, flowering date, maturity date and fruit yield. Evaluations on the percentage Bacterial wilt incidence among the accessions and between the treatments was also carried out. The accessions evaluated had no significant difference (p>0.001) for most of the growth parameters evaluated except maturity date. However, based on comparisons, accessions 105 (001) and 9 (201) performed better than the others. The two genotypes are recommended to be used in tomato breeding programs to improve the commercial varieties. The treatments had no significant effect (p>0.001) on the growth and yield parameters of the accessions. I.e. staking and pruning verses the control (unstaked and unpruned). However, there was a generally higher plant growth, yield and less percentage bacterial wilt incidence in the staked and pruned accessions.