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(By courtesy American Agriculturist. I'lioto by Prof. W. Ci. Johnson) 




Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture 






H)r. *3f:.i5B:i. :lbeiamer 




Printed in U. S. A. 

Copyright. 1907, by 


All rights pvsefued 


This little book has been written in fulfilment of a 
promise made many years ago. Again and again I 
have undertaken the work, only to lay it aside be- 
cause I felt the need of greater experience and wider 
knowledge. I do not now feel that this deficiency has 
been by any means fully supplied, but in some direc- 
tions it has been removed through the kindness of Dr. 
F. H. Chittenden of the Bureau of Entomology, who 
wrote the chapter on insect enemies, and of W. A. 
Orton of the Bureau of Plant Industry, United 
States Department of Agriculture, who wrote the 
chapter on diseases of tomatoes. 

I have made free use of. without special credit, and 
am largely indebted to, the writings of Doctor Stur- 
tevant and Professor Gofif, Professor Munson of 
]\Iaine, Professor Halsted of New Jersey, Professor 
Corbett of Washington, Professor Rolfs of Florida, 
Professor Bailey of New York, Professor Green of 
Ohio, and many others. I have also found a vast 
amount of valuable information in the agricultural 
press of this country in general. I am also indebted 
to L. B. Coulter and Prof. W. G. Johnson for many 
photographs. My thanks are also due B. F. William- 


son, who made the excellent drawings for this book 
under Professor Johnson's direction. 

Tomatoes are among the most generally used and 
popular vegetables. They are grown not only in gar- 
dens, but in large areas in every state from Maine to 
California and Washington to Florida, and under 
very dififerent conditions of climate, soil and cultural 
facilities, as well as of requirements as to character of 
fruit. The methods which will give the best results 
under one set of conditions are entirely unsuited to 

I have tried to give the nature and requirements of 
the plant and the effect of conditions as seen in my 
own experience, a knowledge of which may enable 
the reader to follow the methods most suited to his 
own conditions and requirements, rather than to rec- 
ommend the exact methods which have given me the 
best results. 

Will W. Tracy. 

Washiiifi^toiu April, IQO/. 



Preface ......... v 


BOTAXV OF THE ToMATO . . . u, . . I 

History ......... ^.14 

Gexeral Ciiaracteuistics of the Plant . ^j . 20 

Essentials for Development . . . .. .^ 28 

Selection of Soil for Maximum Crop - - ' 33 

Exposure and Location ...... 38 

Fertilizers . . . . a . l- • 43 

Prei'aration of the Soil ...... 46 

HoTr.EKs AND Cold-frames ..... 51 



Starting Plants ....... 59 

Proper Distance for Pl.\nting . . . .68 

Cultivation . . . . . ... 76 

Staking, Training and Prixixg .... 79 

Ripening. Gathering. Handling axd Marketixg the 

Fruit . . . . . ... . .90 

Adaptation of Varieties ...... 97 

Seed Breedixg and Growing . . . .112 

Production for Cannixg . . . . . .117 

Cost of Production . . . . . . .121 

Insects Injurious ro the Tomato .... 123 

Tom.\to Disea-ses ....... 131 

Index ......... 148 




1. Where new varieties of tomatoes are developed 

and tested .... Frontispiece 


2. Tomato flowers 

3. Two-celled tomato ^ 

4. Three-celled tomato ^ 

5. Currant tomato and characteristic clusters . . 5 

6. Red cherry tomato ^ 


7. Pear-shaped tomato .....•• « 

8. Yellow plum tomato • ^ 

9. One of the first illustrations of the tomato . .11 

10. An early illustration of the tomato ... 12 

11. Typical bunch of modern tomatoes ... 27 

12. Tomatoes trained to stakes in the South . . 35 

13. Three-sash hotbed 52 

14. Cross-section of hotbed 53 

15. Cold-frames on hill-side 54 

16. Transplanting tomatoes under cloth-covered frames 56 

17. Spotting-board for use in cold-frames . . 61 

18. Spotting-board for use on flat . . . .62 

19. Tomatoes sown and allowed to grow in hotbeds . 69 

20. Planting tomatoes on a Delaware farm . . 75 

21. Training tomatoes in Florida to single stake 

22. Tomato plant trained to single stake . 

23. Method of training to three stems in forcing-house 

and out of doors ....•• 83 
?4. Training on lino in greenhouse ... 84 




25. Ready to transplant in greenhouse ... 85 

26. Training young tomatoes in greenhouse at New 

York experiment station .... 86 

27. Tomatoes in greenhouse at the Ohio experiment 

station ........ 87 

28. Forcing tomatoes in greenhouse at New Hamp- 

shire experiment station ..... 88 

29. Florida tomatoes properly wrapped for long ship- 

ment ........ 93 

30. Greenhouse tomatoes packed fur market . . 95 

31. Buckeye State, showing lung nodes and distance 

between fruit clusters ..... 98 

32. Stone, and characteristic foliage ... 99 

33. Atlantic Prize, and its normal foliage . . 101 

34. Dwarf Champion ...... 103 

35. A cutworm and parent moth ..... 124 

36. Flea-beetle .125 

7)1. Margined blister beetle ..... 125 

38. Tomato worm ....... 126 

39. Tomato stalk-borer ...... 127 

40. Characteristic work of the tomato fruit worm . 128 

41. Adult moth, or parent of tomato fruit worm . 129 

42. Proper way to make Bordeaux . . . .137 

43. Point-rot disease of the tomato • . . .. 140 


Botany of the Tomato 

The common tomato of our gardens belongs to 
the natural order Solaiiaccac and the genus Lycopcr- 
siciini. The name from lykos, a wolf, and persica. 
a peach, is given it because of the supposed aphro- 
disiacal qualities, and the beauty of the fruit. The 
genus comprises a few species of South American 
annual or short-lived perennial, herbaceous, rank- 
smelling plants in which the many branches are spread- 
ing, procumbent, or feebly ascendent and commonly 
2 to 6 feet in length, though under some conditions, 
particularly in the South and in California, they 
grow much longer. They are covered with resinous 
viscid secretions and are round, soft, brittle and hairy, 
when young, but become furrowed, angular, hard and 
almost woody with enlarged joints, when old. The 
leaves are irregularly alternate, 5 to 15 inches long, 
petioled, odd pinnate, with seven to nine short-stemmed 
leaflets, often with much smaller and stemless ones 
between them. The larger leaflets are sometimes en- 
tire, but more generally notched, cut, or even divided, 
particularly at the base. 

The flowers are pendant and borne in more or less 
branched clusters, located on the stem on the opposite 
side and usually a little below the leaves ; the first 
cluster on the sixth to twelfth internode from the 


groutul, with une on each second to sixth succeeding 
one. The flowers (Fig. 2) are small, consisting of a 
yellow, deeply five-cleft, wheel-shaped corolla, with a 
very short tube and broadly lanceolate, recurving pet- 
als. The calyx consists of five long linear or lanceo- 



( Drawn from a photograph by courtesy of Prof. L. C. Corbett) 

late sepals, which arc shorter than the petals at first, 
but are persistent, and increase in size as the fruits 
mature. The stamens, five in number, are borne on 
the throat of the corolla, and consist of long, large 
anthers, borne on short filaments, loosely joined into 
a tube and opening by a longitudinal slit on the in- 
side, and this is the chief botanical distinction between 


this genus and Solannm to which the potato, pepper, 
night shade and tobacco belong. The anthers in the 
latter genus open at the tip only. The two genera, 
however, are closely related and plants belonging to 
them are readily united by grafting. The Physalis. 
Husk tomato or Ground cherry is quite distinct, botan- 
ically. The pistils of the true tomato are short at first, 
but the style elongates so as to push the capitate stigma 



through the tube formed b\- the anthers, this usually 
occurring before the anthers open for the discharge 
of the pollen. The fruit is a two to many-celled berry 
with central lleshy placenta and many small kidney- 
shaped seeds which are densely covered with short, 
stiff hairs, as seen in Figs. 3 and 4. 

It is comparatively easy to define the genus with 
which the tomato should be classed botanically, but 
it is by no means so easy to classify our cultivated va- 
rieties into botanical species. We have in cultivation 
varieties which are known to have originated in gar- 
dens and from the same parentage, but which differ 


from each other so much in liabit of growth, character 
of leaf and fruit and other respects, that if they had 
been found growing wild they would unhesitatingly 
be pronounced different species, and botanists are not 
agreed as to how our many and very different garden 
varieties should be classified botanically. Some con- 
tend that all of our cultivated sorts are varieties of 
but two distinct species, while others think they have 
originated from several. 

Classification. — The author suggests the following 
classification, differing somewhat from that sometimes 
given, as he believes that the large, deep-sutured fruit 
of our cultivated varieties and the distinct pear-shaped 
sorts come from original species rather than from 
variations of Lycopersicum ccrasiformc: 

Currant tomato, Grape tomato, German or Raisin 
tomato I Lycopersicum piiiipiiicllifoliuni, L. racenii- 
forme) (Fig. 5). — Universally regarded as a distinct 
species. Plant strong, growing with many long, slen- 
der, weak branches which arc not so hairy, viscid, or 
ill-smelling, and never become so hard or woody as 
those of the other species. The numerous leaves are 
very bright green in color, leaflets small, nearly entire, 
with many small stemless ones between the others. 
Fruit produced continuous!}- and in great quantity on 
long racemes like those of the currant, though they 
are often branched. The\ continue to elongate and 
blossom until the fruit at the upper end is fully ripened. 
Fruit small, less than y^ inch in diameter, spherical, 
smooth and of a particularly bright, beautiful red 
color which contrasts well with the bright green leaves, 
and this abundance of beautifully colored and grace- 


fully poised fruit makes the plant worthy of more 
general cultivation as an ornament, though the fruit 
is of little value for culinary use. This species, when 


pure, has not varied under cultivation, but it readily 
crosses with other species and with our garden varie- 
ties, and many of these owe their bright red color to 
the influence of crosses with the above species. 

Cherry tomato I L. ccrasi forme) (Fig. 6). — Plant 
vigorous, with stout branches which are distinctly trail- 
ing in habit. Leaves Hat or but slightly curled. i^>uit 


BOTANY Ul- Till': roMATU 7 

very abundant, borne in short, branched clusters, globu- 
lar, perfectly smooth, with no apparent sutures. From 
y2 to ^ inch in diameter and either red or yellow in 
color, two-celled with numerous comparatively small, 
kidney-shaped seeds. Many of our garden varieties 
show evidence of crosses with this species, and by 
many it is regarded as the original wild form of all 
of our cultivated sorts. These, when they escape from 
cultivation and become wild plants, as they often do, 
from New Jersey southward, produce fruit which, in 
many respects, resembles that of this species in size 
and form ; but they are generally more flattened, globe- 
shaped, with more or less distinct sutures on the upper 
side, and I have never seen any fruit of these wild 
plants which could not be readily distinguished from 
that of the true Cherry tomato. 

Prof. P. H. Rolfs, Director of the Florida experi- 
ment station, reports that among the millions of volun- 
teer, or wild, tomatoes he has seen growing in the 
abandoned tomato fields in Florida, he has never seen 
a plant with fruit which could not be easily distin- 
guished from that of the true Cherry tomato. Again, 
one can. by selection and cultivation, easily develop 
from these wild forms plants producing fruit as large 
and often practically identical with that of our cul- 
tivated varieties, while I have given a true stock of 
Cherry tomato most careful cultivation on the best 
of soil for 20 consecutive generations without any 
increase in size or change in character of the fruit. 

Pear (not Plum) tomato (L. pyrifoniic) (Fig. 7). 
— Plant exceptionally vigorous, with comparatively few 
long, stout stems inclined to ascend. Leaves numerous, 


broad, flat, with a distinct bluish-green color noticeable, 
even in the cotyledons. Fruit abundant, borne in short 
branched or straight clusters of five to ten fruits. It 
is perfectly smooth, without sutures, and of the shape 
of a long, slender-necked pear, not over an inch in 
transverse by i^ inches in longitudinal diameter. 
When the stock is pure the fruit retains this form very 
persistently. The production of egg-shaped or other 


forms is a sure indication of impure stock. They are 
bright red, dark }ellow, or light yellowish white in 
color, two-celled, with very distinct central placenta 
and comparatively few and large seeds. The fruit is 
inclined to ripen unevenly, the neck remaining green 
when the rest of the fruit is t|uitc ripe. It is less juicy 
than that of most of our garden sorts ])nt of a mild 
and pleasant flavor. This is considered, by many, to 


be simply a garden variety, but I am inclined to the 
belief that it is a distinct species and that the contrary 
view comes from the study of the impure and crossed 
stocks resulting from crosses between the true Pear 
tomato and garden sorts which are frequently sold by 
seedsmen as pear-shaped. Many garden sorts — like 
the Plum (Fig. 8), the Egg, the Golden Nugget, Vick"s 
Criterion, etc. — are known to have originated from 
crosses of the Pear and I think that most, if not all, 
the garden sorts in which the longitudinal diameter 
of the fruit is greater than its transverse diameter owe 
this form to crosses with L. pyriformc. 

Cultivated varieties (L. esculentiim). — This is com- 
monly used as the botanical name of our cultivated 
varieties, rather than as the name of a distinct species. 
In western South America, however, there is found 
growing a wild plant of Lycopersicum which differs 
from the other recognized species in being more com- 
pact in growth, with fewer branches and larger leaves, 
and carrying an immense burden of fruit borne in 
large clusters. The fruit is larger than that of the 
other species but much smaller than that of our culti- 
vated sorts ; is very irregular in shape, always with dis- 
tinct sutures, and often deeply corrugated and bright 
red in colo:^ . The walls are thin ; the flesh is soft, with 
a distinct sharp, acid flavor much less agreeable than 
that of our cultivated forms of garden tomatoes. 

This has commonly been regarded by botanists as a 
degenerate form of our garden tomatoes, rather than 
as an original species, but I find that, like L. cerasiforme 
and L. pyriforme, it is quite fixed under cultivation, 
except as crossed with other s|)ecies or with our gar- 

Poma amoris, (Pomum aureum), {Lycopersicum) , 1581 

(From Morrison's "Historia Universalis," 1680) 


den varieties, and 1 believe it U) be the original speeies 
from which our cultured sorts have been developed, 
by crossing and selection. Such crosses probably were 
made either naturally or by natives before the tomato 
was discovered by Europeans. The earliest prints we 
have of the tomato (Figs. 9 and 10) are far more 
like the fruit of this plant than that of L. cerasiformc, 
and the prints of many of the earliest garden varieties 
and of some sorts which are still cultivated in south- 
ern Europe, for use in soups, are like it not only in 
size and form, but in flavor. These facts make it seem 
far more probable that our cultivated sorts have come, 
by crossing, between this and other species rather 
than by simple development from L. cerasiformc. 

Prof. E. S. Goff, of Wisconsin, who has made a 
most careful study of the tomato, expressed the same 
opinion, writing that it seemed to him that our culti- 
vated sorts must have come from the crossing of a 
small, round, smooth, sutureless type, with a larger, 
deep-sutured, corrugated fruit, like that of the Mam- 
moth Chihuahua, but smaller. However this may be, 
I think that it is wise to throw all of our cultivated 
garden sorts, except the Pear, the Cherry, and the 
Grape — which I regard as distinct species — together 
under the name of L. csciilentum, even when we know 
they have originated by direct crosses with the other 
species ; and it is well to classify the upright growing 
sorts under the varietal names, L. validum, and the 
larger, heavier sorts, as L. graudifolium, as has been 
done by Bailey. (Cyclopedia of Horticulture.) 



The garden vegetable known in this country as to- 
mato and generally as tomate in continental Europe, 
is also known as Wolf-peach and Love Apple in Eng- 
land and America, and Liebesapfel in Germany, Pomme 
d'Amour in France, Pomo d'oro in Italy, Pomidor 
in Poland. 

Origin of name. — The name tomato is of South 
American origin, and is derived from the Aztec word 
xitomatc, or citotoniafc, which is given the fruit of 
both the Common tomato and that of the Husk or 
Strawberry tomato or Physalis. Both vegetables 
were highly prized and extensively cultivated by the 
natives long before the discovery of the country by 
Europeans, and there is little doubt that many of the 
plants first seen and described by Europeans as wild 
species were really garden varieties originated with 
the native Americans by the variation or crossing of 
the original wild species. 

Different types now common, according to Stur- 
tevant, have become known to, and been described by 
Europeans in about the following order : 

1. Large yellow, described by Matthiolus in 1554 

and called Golden apple. 

2. Large red, described by Matthiolus in 1554 and 

called Love apple. 



3. Purple red, described by D"el Obel in 1570. 

4. White-fleshed, described by Dodoens in 1586. 

5. Red cherry, described by Bauhin in 1620. 

6. Yellow cherry, described by Bauhin in 1620. 

7. Ochre yellow, described by Bauhin in 165 1. 

8. Striped, blotched or visi-colored, described by 

Bauhin in 165 1. 

9. Pale red, described by Tournefort in 1700. 

10. Large smooth, or ribless red, described by 

Tournefort in 1700. 

11. Bronzed-leaved, described by Blacknell in 1750. 

12. Deep orange, described by Bryant in 1783. 

13. Pear-shaped, described by Dunal in 1805. 

14. Tree tomato, described by Vilmorin in 1855. 

15. Broad-leaved, introduced about i860. 

The special description of No. 10 by Tournefort in 
1700 would indicate that large smooth sorts, like Liv- 
ingston's Stone, were in existence fully 200 years ago, 
instead of being modern improvements, as is some- 
times claimed; and a careful study of old descriptions 
and cuts and comparing them with the best examples 
of modern varieties led Doctor Sturtevant in 1889 to 
express the opinion that they had fruit as large and 
smooth as those we now grow, before the tomato came 
into general use in America, and possibly before the 
fruit was generally known to Europeans. Even the 
production of fine fruit under glass is not so modem 
as many suppose. In transactions of the London Hor- 
ticultural Society for 1820, John Wilmot is reported 
to have cultivated under glass in 1818 some 600 
plants and gathered from his entire plantings under 


glass and in borders some 130 bushels of ripe fruit. 
It is stated that the growth that year exceeded the 
demand, and that the fruit obtained was of extraordi- 
nary size, some exceeding 12 inches in circumference 
and weighing 12 ounces each. Thomas Meehan states 
in Gardeners' Monthly for February, 1880, that on 
January 8, of that year, he saw growing in the green- 
houses on Senator Cannon's place near Harrisburg, 
Pa., at least 1 bushel of ripe fruits, none of which 
were less than 10 inches in circumference, — a showing 
which compares with the best to be seen to-day. 

Throughout southern Europe the value of the fruit 
for use in soups and as a salad seems to have been at 
once recognized, and it came into quite general use, 
especially in Spain and Italy, during the 17th century; 
but in northern Europe and England, though the plant 
was grown in botanical gardens and in a few private 
places as a curiosity and for the beauty of its fruit, 
this was seldom eaten, being commonly regarded as 
unhealthy and even poisonous, and on this account, 
and probably because of its supposed aphrodisiacal 
qualities, it did not come into general use in those 
northern countries until early in the 19th century. 

First mention in America, I find of its being grown 
for culinary use, was in Virginia in 178 1. In 1788 a 
Frenchman in Philadelphia made most earnest efforts 
to get people to use the fruit, but with little success, 
and similar efforts by an Italian in Salem, Mass., in 
1802, were no more successful. The first record I 
can find of the fruit being regularly quoted in the 
market was in New Orleans in 1812, and the earliest 
records I have been able to find of the seed being 


offered by seedsmen, as that of an edible vegetable, 
was bv Gardener and Hipburn in 18 18, and by Lan- 
dreth in 1820. Buist's -Kitchen Gardener" says: "In 
1828-9 it (the tomato) was almost detested and com- 
monly considered poisonous. Ten years later every 
variety of pill and panacea was 'extract of tomatoes/ 
and now (1847) almost as much ground is devoted to 
its culture as to the cabbage.'" In 1834 Professor 
Dunglison, of the University of Virginia, said: "The 
tomato may be looked upon as one of the most whole- 
some and valuable esculents of the garden." 

Yet, though the fruit has always received similar 
commendation from medical men, there has been con- 
stant recurring superstition that it is unhealthy. Only 
a few years ago there was in general circulation a 
statement that an eminent physician had discovered 
*hat eating tomatoes tended to develop cancer. This 
has been definitely traced to the playful question, asked 
as a joke by Dr. Dio Lewis, "Didn't you know that 
eating bright red tomatoes caused cancer?" In more 
recent years an equally unfounded claim has been 
made that tomato seeds were responsible for many 
cases of appendicitis and that it was consequently 
dangerous to eat the fruit. 

I give some quotations for tomatoes in Quincy Hall 
Market, Boston, with some for other vegetables, for 
comparison. The records show that during the week 
ending July 22, 1835, tomatoes were quoted at 50 
cents per dozen, cabbage at 50 cents per dozen. For 
the week ending September 22, 1835, tomatoes were 
quoted at 25 cents per peck, lima beans, i2>< cents 
per quart shelled, with comment that tomatoes are in 


much demand and a far greater quantity has been 
sold than in previous years. During the week ending 
July 22, 1837, tomatoes were quoted at 25 and 50 
cents per peck, and the note that they are of good 
size and were well ripened and came from gardens 
in the vicinity would indicate that they had at that 
time early maturing varieties and knew how to grow 
them. From about 1835 till the present time the culti- 
vation and use of tomatoes have constantly increased 
both in this country and in Europe, so that now they 
are one of the most largely grown of our garden 

A suggestion as to the extent they are now grown 
in America is the fact that a single seed grower saved 
in 1903 over 20,000 pounds of tomato seed — an amount 
sufficient to furnish plants for from 80,000 to 320,000 
acres, according to the care used in raising them, the 
larger quantity not requiring more care than the best 
growers commonly use. A careful estimate made by 
the American Grocer shows that in 1903 the packing 
of tomatoes by canners in the United States amounted 
to 246,775,426 three-pound cans. In addition t(' the 
canned tomato, between 200,000 and 250,000 barrels 
of catsup stock is put up annually, requiring the prod- 
uct of at least 20,000 acres. 

It is probable that the area required to produce the 
fruit that is used fresh at least equals that devoted to 
the production for preserving, which give us from 
400,000 to 500,000 acres devoted to this crop each 
year in America alone. The fruit is perhaps in more 
general use in America than elsewhere, but its culti- 
vation and use have increased rapidly in other coun- 


tries, particularly with the English speaking races. 
Large quantities are grown in x\ustralia, and immense 
and constantly increasing quantities are grown under 
glass in England and adjacent islands, while The 
Gardeners' Chronicle states that in 1903 between 600,- 
000 and 800,000 pounds of fresh fruit were imported 
into England from other countries. 


General Characteristics of the Plant 

In the native home of the tomato, in South Amer- 
ica, the conditions of the soil, both as regards composi- 
tion and mechanical condition, of the moisture both 
in soil and air, and those of temperature and sunlight, 
are throughout the growing season not only very 
favorable for rapid growth, but are uniformly and 
constantly so. Under such conditions there has been 
developed a plant which, while vigorous, tenacious of 
life, capable of rapid growth and enormously pro- 
ductive, is not at all hardy in the sense of ability to 
endure untoward conditions either in the character 
of soil, of w-ater supply, or of temperature. A check 
in the development because of any unfavorable con- 
dition is never fully recovered from, but will inevit- 
ably affect the total quantity and quality of the fruit 
produced, even if subsequent favorable conditions re- 
sult in the rapid and vigorous growth of the plant. 

I know of an instance where two adjoining fields 
belonging to A and B were set with tomatoes, using 
plants started in the same hotbed from the same lot 
of seed. The soil was of equal natural fertility and 
each field received about the same quantity of ma- 
nure, though that given A's was all well decomposed 
and worked into the soil, while that given B's was 
fresh and raw and simply plowed in. A's field was 



put into the best possible tilth before setting the plants, 
and the management of the plants and their culti- 
vation were such as to secure unchecked growth from 
the time they were pricked out into cold-frames and 
set in the field until the crop was matured. As long as 
the plants would permit, the soil was cultivated every 
few days and kept in a state of perfect tilth. 

B"s field when the plants were set out was a mass 
of clods, as it had been plowed, when wet, some time 
before and never harrowed but once. The plants had 
been crowded forward as rapidly as possible in the 
cold-frame, and when set in the field were much higher 
than A's, but so soft that they were badly checked 
in transplanting and a great many of them died and 
had to be reset. The field received but one or two 
cultivations during the entire season. The growth 
of the plants in B's field was irregular and uneven 
instead of steady and uniform as in A's, and though 
some of the fruits were quite as large, they were not 
as uniform as A's while the yield per acre was not 
more than half as much nor the fruit of as good gen- 
eral quality. B had difficulty in disposing of his crop 
and often had to sell below the market, while A had 
no trouble in disposing of his at the highest prices 
for the day. B's crop was a financial loss, while A's 
returned a most satisfactory profit. 

The key to the most successful culture of the tomato 
is the securing, from the start to finish, of an un- 
checked uniform growth, though it need not neces- 
sarily be a rapid one. The failure to do this is, in 
my opinion, the principal reason for the compara- 
tively small yield usually obtained, which is ver\ 


iiiLich less than it would be with better cultural man- 
agement. The tomato under conditions which I have 
repeatedly found it practicable to secure, not only in 
small plantings but in large fields, has proved capable 
of producing from i,ooo to- 1,200 or even more bush- 
els to the acre, and the possible yield per plant is 

As early as 1818 the Royal Horticultural Society 
of London reports the obtaining of over 40 pounds 
of fruit of marketable character from a single vine. 
An acre of such plants would give a yield of over 
1,800 bushels of fruit, and many similar yields, and 
even greater ones, have been recorded for single 
plants. The yield commonly obtained, even in favor- 
able locations, and by men who have grown tomatoes 
all their lives, is more often less than 200 bushels to 
the acre than more. The way to secure a better yield 
is to study carefully the nature and requirements of 
the plants and the adaptation of our cultural practice 
to them. 

Life habit of the plant. — The tomato could be de- 
scribed as a short-lived perennial, but its span of life 
is somewhat variable. Under favorable conditions 
it will develop from starting seed to first ripe fruit 
in from 85 to 120 days of full sunshine with a con- 
stant day temperature of from 75 to 90° F., and with 
one from 15 to 20° F. lower at night. The plants will 
ordinarily continue in full fruit for about 50 to 60 
days, after which they generally become so exhausted 
by excessive production of fruit and the effects of 
diseases to which they are usually subject that their 
root action and sap circulation become weaker and 


weaker until they die from starvation. From Phila- 
delphia southward gardeners expect that spring set 
plants will thus exhaust themselves and die by late 
summer, and they sow seed in late spring or early 
summer for plants on wdiich they depend for late sum- 
mer and fall crops. 

Under some conditions, particularly in the Gulf 
states and in California, tomato plants will not only 
grow to a much greater size than normal, but will con- 
tinue to thrive and bear fruit for a longer time. Such 
a plant grown in Pasadena, Cal., was said to have 
been in constant bearing for over lo months. Again, 
sometimes plants that have produced a full crop of 
fruits will start new sets of roots and leaves and pro- 
duce a second and even a third crop, each, however, 
being produced on new branches and as a result of 
a fresh set of roots, those which produced, the prece- 
ding crop having died and disappeared. The period 
of development, 85 to 120 days of full sunshine at 
a temperature above 75° F., has been given. The 
full sunshine and high temperature are essential to 
such rapid development, and in so far as there is a 
lack of sunshine from clouds or shade, or the day tem- 
perature falls below 75° F. the period will be length- 
ened, so that in the greater part of the United States 
the elapsed time between starting seed to ripened 
fruit is usually as much as from 120 to 150 days and 
often even longer. 

Characteristics of the root. — The roots of the 
tomato plant, while abundant in number, are short 
and can only gather food and water from a limited 
area. A plant of garden bean, for instance, is not 


more than half the size of one of the tomato, but its 
roots extend through the soil to a greater distance, 
gather plant food from a greater bulk of soil, seem 
better able to search out and gather the particular 
food element which the plant needs than do those of 
the tomato. This characteristic of the latter plant 
makes the composition of the soil as to the proportion 
of easily available food elements of great importance. 
Tomato roots are also exceedingly tender and incapa- 
ble of penetrating a hard and compact soil, so that the 
condition of the soil as to tilth is of greater impor- 
tance with regard to tomatoes than with most garden 

Another characteristic of the tomato roots is that 
the period of their active life is short. When young 
they are capable of transmitting water and nutritive 
material very rapidly, but they soon become clogged 
and inefficient to such an extent as to result in the 
starvation and death of the plant. If the branches of 
such an exhausted plant be bent over and covered with 
earth they will frequently start new roots and pro- 
duce a fresh crop of fruit, or if plants which have 
made a crop in the greenhouse be transplanted to the 
garden and cut back, a new set of roots will often de- 
velop and the plant will produce a second crop of 
fruit which, in amount, often equals or exceeds the 
first one. But such growths come only from new 
roots springing from the stem — never from an exten- 
sion of the old root system. 

Characteristics of the stem and leaves. — The 
growth of the stem and leaves of the young tomato 
plant is very rapid and the cellular structure coarse. 


loose and open. A young branch is easily broken and 
wlien this is done it shows scarcely any fibrous struc- 
ture — simply a mass of coarse cellular matter which 
while capable, when \oung-, of transmitting nutritive 
matter rapidly, soon becomes clogged and inert. This 
structure not only makes the active life of the leaves 
short, like that of the roots, but necessitates^ a fresh 
growth in order to continue the fruitfulness of the 
plant and renders the leaves very susceptible to injury 
from bacterial and fungous diseases. The rapid 
growth also necessitates an abundance of sunlight. 

Characteristics of the blossom. — The inflorescence 
of the tomato is usually abundant and it is rare that 
a plant does not produce sufficient blooms for a full 
crop. The flowers are perfect as far as parts are 
concerned (Fig. 2) and in bright, sunny weather 
there is an abundance of pollen, but sunlight and 
warmth are essential to its maturing into a condition 
in which it can easily reach the stigma. The structure 
and development of the flower are such that while ) 
occasionally, particularly in healthy plants out of doors, ' 
the stigma becomes receptive and takes the pollen as 
it is pushed out through the stamen tube by the elon- 
gating style, it is more often pushed beyond them be- 
fore the pollen matures, so that the pollen has to reach 
the stigma through some other means. Usually this 
is accomplished by the wind, either directly or through 
the motion of the plants. 

Under glass it is generally necessary to assist the 
fertilization either directly by application or bv mo- 
tion of the plant, this latter only being effective in 
the middle of a bright sunny day. In the open ground 


in cold, damp weather the flowers often fail of fer- 
tilization, in which case they drop, and this is often 
the first indication of a failing of the crop on large, 
strong vines. I have known of many cases where the 
yield of fruit from large and seemingly very healthy 
vines was very light because continual rains prevented 
the poUenization of the flowers. Such failures, how- 
ever, do not always come from a want of pollen but 
may result from an over or irregular supply of water 
either at the root or in the air, imperfectly balanced 
food supply, a sapping of the vitality of the plants 
when young, or from other causes. Insects rarely 
visit tomato flowers and are seldom the means of their 

Characteristics of the fruit. — The fruit of the orig- 
inal species from which our cultivated tomatoes have 
developed was doubtless a comparatively small two to 
many-celled berry, with comparatively dry central 
placenta and thin walls. In some species the cells were 
indicated b}' distinct sutures, forming a rough or cor- 
rugated fruit. It has improved under cultivation by 
increase in size, the material thickening of the cell 
walls, the development of greater juiciness and richer 
flavor and a decrease in the size and dryness of the 
placenta, as well as the breaking up of the cells by 
fleshy partitions resulting in the disappearance of the 
deep sutures and an improvement in the smoothness 
and beauty of the fruit. (Fig. ii.) 

The quality of the fruit is largely dependent upon 
varietal difl^erences, to be spoken of later, but it is 
also influenced by conditions of growth — such as the 
proportion of the nutritive elements found in the soil. 


the proper supply of moisture, the degree and uni- 
formity of temperature and, most of all, the amount 
of sunlight. Sudden changes of temperature and mois- 
ture often result in cracks and fissures in the skin 
and flesh, which not only injure the appearance but 
affect the flavor of the fruit. 

Contrast with Figs. 9 and 10 



Essentials for Development 

Sunlight. — Abundant and unobstructed sunlight is 
the most essential condition for the healthy growth of 
the tomato. It is a native of the sunny South and will 
not thrive except in full and abundant sunlight. I 
have never been able to grow good tomatoes in the 
shade even where it is only partial. The entire plant 
needs the sunlight. The blossoms often fail to set 
and the fruit is lacking in flavor because of shade, 
from excessive leaf growth, or other obstruction. 

The great difficulty in winter forcing tomatoes under 
glass in the North comes from the want of sunlight 
during the short days of the winter months. Were it 
not for the short winter days of the higher latitudes 
limiting the hours of sunshine, tomatoes could be 
grown under glass in the northern states to compete 
in price, when the better quality of vine-ripened fruits 
is considered, with those from the Gulf states. Grow- 
ers are learning that tomatoes can be profitably grown 
under glass during the longer spring days, and con- 
sumers are beginning to appreciate the superior qual- 
ity of fruit ripened on the vine over that picked green 
and ripened in transit. At no time is this need of 
abundance of light of greater importance than when 
r the plants are young and, if they fail to receive it, no 
subsequent favorable conditions will enable them to 
recover fully from its ill effects. It is not so much 


liSSKN'lIALS I'OR l)h:\'i:i.()l'.MENT 2() 

the want of room for the roots as of Hght for the 
leaves that makes the plants which have been crowded 
in the seed-beds so weak and unprofitable. ' 

1 once divided lOO young" tomato plants, about 2 
inches high, into four lots of 25 each, numbering them 
I, 2, 3 and 4. The plants of lots No. i and 2 were 
set equal distance apart in box A, and those of lots 
Xo. 3 and 4 in the same way in box B ; both boxes 
being about 16 inches wide, 40 inches long and 4 inches 
deep. The two boxes were set together across the 
side bench of a greenhouse with the outer edge against 
a board wall some 2J/2 feet high, so that the plants at 
the end of the box near the wall received much less 
light than those at the other end. They remained 
there about five weeks and then were taken out and 
the plants set in the open ground. During the five 
weeks box .\, containing lots Xo. i and 2, was 
changed, end for end, ever}- da\- so that those two 
lots of plants received nearly an equal amount of sun- 
light, but box B was not changed so that lot No. 3, 
at one end of the box. was constantly near the walk 
and in the full light, while lot No. 4, at the other end 
of the box, was constantly near the wall and in partial 
shade. The effect on the growth of the plants was 
very marked. The plants of lot No. 4 were nearly 
twice as high, but with much softer stems and leaves 
than those of lot X^o. 3. The plants received equal 
care when set side by side in the open ground and 
at the time the first fruit was gathered seemed of 
equal size and vigor, but the total yield of fruit of 
lots Xo. 1, 2 and 3 was very nearly the same and in 
each case at the rate of over 100 bushels an acre more 


than that from lot No. 4. This is but one of the 
scores of experiences which have led me to appre- 
ciate, in some degree, the necessity of plenty of sun- 
light for the best development of the tomato. 

Heat. — The plant thrives best out of doors in a 
■^dry temperature of 75 to 85° F., or even up to 95° F., 
if the air is not too dry and is in gentle circulation. 
The rate of growth diminishes as the temperature 
falls below 75° until at 50° there is practically no 
growth ; the plant is simply living at a poor dying 
rate and if the growth, particularly in young plants, 
is checked in this way for any considerable time they 
will never produce a full crop of fruit, even if the 
plants reach full size and are seemingly vigorous and 
healthy. The plant is generally killed by exposure 
for even a short time to freezing temperature, though 
young volunteer plants in the spring are frequently 
so hardened by exposure that they will survive a 
frost that crusts the ground they stand in ; but such 
exposure affects the productiveness of the plant, even 
if it subsequently makes a seemingly vigorous and 
healthy growth. Under glass, plants usually do best 
in a temperature somewhat lower than is most de- 
sirable out of doors. I think this is due to the inevit- 
able obstruction of the sunlight and the lack of per- 
fect ventilation. 

Moisture. — Although the tomato is not a desert 
plant and needs a plentiful supply of water, it suffers 
far more frequently, particularly when the plants are 
young, from an over-supply than from the want of 
water. Good drainage at the root and warm, dry, 
sunny air, in gentle motion, are what it delights in. 


Good drainage is essential not only to the best growth J 
of the plant but to the production of any fruit of good 
quality. So important is this feature that though it 
can be readily proved that, other things being equal, 
the tomato will give larger yield and better fruit on 
well drained clay loam than on sandy soil, yet it is 
more generally and more successfully planted on sandy 
lands simply because they are usually better drained 
and on this account give better crops. While excess 
of water in the soil is most injurious to the young 
and growing plant, an abundance of it at the time 
the fruit swells and ripens is very essential, and a want 
of it at that time results in small and imperfect fruit 
of poor flavor. Excessive moisture in the air is just 
as injurious as at the root. In my personal experience 
I have known of more failures in tomato crops, at 
least in the northern states, to come from a season of 
persistent rains and damp atmosphere at the time 
when the plants should be in bloom and setting fruit 
than from any other climatic cause. 

Food supply. — The tomato is not a gross feeder 
nor is the crop an exhaustive one, but the plant is very 
particular as to its food supply. It is an epicure ^ 
among plants and demands that its food shall not only 
be to its taste in quality but that it be well served. In 
order for the plant to do its best, or even well, it is 
essential that the food elements be in the right pro- 
portions and readily available. If there is a deficiency 
of any single element there will be but a meager ' 
crop of fruit, no matter how abundant the supply of 
the others. An over-supply of an element, especially 
nitrogen, is hardly less injurious and wnll actually les- 


sen the yield of fruit though it may increase the size 
of the vine. Not only must the food be in right pro- 
portions but in such condition as to be readily avail- 
able. Tomato roots have little power to wrest plant 
food from the soil. The use of coarse, unfermented 
manure is even more unsatisfactory with this than 
with other crops. The enormous yields sometimes 
obtained by English gardeners from plants grown 
under glass result from a supply of food of the right 
proportions and in solution, instead of incorporating 
it in a crude condition with the soil. 

Cultivation. — The tomato is grown in all parts of 
the United States and under very different conditions, 
not only as to climate and soil but as to the facilities 
for growing and handling the crop and the way in 
which it is done. What would be ideal conditions of > 
soil and the most advantageous methods under some 
conditions would not be at all desirable in others. In "/. 
some cases the largest possible yield an acre, in oth- 
ers fruit at the lowest cost a bushel, or at the earliest 
possible date, or in a continuous supply and of the 
best quality, is the greatest desideratum. It is im- 
possible to give specific instructions which would be 
applicable to all these varying conditions and re- 
quirements ; so I give general cultural directions for 
maximum crops with variations suggested for spe- 
cial conditions and requirements, and then the reader 
may follow those which seem best suited to his indi- 
vidual conditions. 


Selection of Soil for Maximum Crop 

Large yields of tomatoes have been, and can be, 
obtained from soils of varying composition from a 
cumbo prairie, a black marsh muck, or a stiff, tena- 
cious clay, to one of light drifting sand, provided 
other conditions, such as drainage, tilth and f ert ht> 
are favorable. The Connecticut experiment station 
and others have secured good results from plants grown 
under glass in a soil of sifted coal ashes and muck 
or even from coal ashes alone, the requisite plant food 
being supplied in solution. But a maximum crop 
could never, and a full one very seldom, be Produced 
on a soil, no matter what its composition, which could 
not be, or was not put into and kept in a good state 
of tilth, or on one which was poorly drained, sodden 
or sour, or which was so leachy that it was impossible 
to retain a fair supply of moisture and of plant food 
Of the lo largest yields of which I have personal 
knowledge and which ran from to 1,200 bushels 
of fruit (acceptable for canning and at least two- 
thirds of it of prime market quality) an acre, four 
were grown on soils classed as clay loam, two on 
heavy clay-one of which was so heavy that clay for 
making brick was subsequently taken from the very 
spot which Yielded the most and best fruit-one on 
vvhat had been a black ash swamp, one on a sandy 
muck, one on a sandy loam and one on a light sana 



made very rich by heavy annual nianurhig for sev- 
eral years. They w^ere all perfectly watered and 
drained, in good heart, liberally fertilized with ma- 
nures of proved right proportions for each field, and 
above all, the fields were put into and kept in perfect 
tilth by methods suited to each case ; while the plants 
used were of good stock and so grown, set and culti- 
vated that their growth was never stopped or hardly 
checked for even a day. These conditions as to soil 
and culture, together with seasons of exceptionally 
favorable weather, resulted in uniformly large crops 
on these widely different soils. 

The composition of the soil, then, as to its propor- 
tions of sand or clay is of minor importance as regards 
a maximum yield or as to quality of the fruit, except 
as it afifects our ability to put and keep the soil in good 
physical condition. The tomato crop, however, par- 
ticularly when the plants are trimmed and trained to 
stakes, as is the usual practice in the South, as seen 
in Fig. 12, with crops grown for early shipment, neces- 
sitates in the trimming and training of the plants and 
the gathering of the fruit when it is in the right degree 
of maturity for shipment a great deal of trampling of 
the surface regardless of whether it is wet or dry. 
Consequently if the surface soil has any considerable / 
proportion of clay there is danger of compacting and 
even puddling it by working when wet, to the great ^ 
detriment of the crop. Again, a more or less sandy 
surface soil can be much more easily worked than one 
with a large proportion of clay. For these reasons ( 
our choice of a soil for the lowest cost a bushel and 
probably for a maximum yield should be a rich sandy 


or sandy loam surface soil overlying a well-drained 
clay sub-soil. I would prefer one which was originally 
covered with a heavy growth of beech and maple tim- 
ber, though I should want it to be "old land" at the 
time. Tomatoes do not succeed as well on prairie 
soils, particularly if the\" arc at all heavy, as they do 
on timbered lands, but one need not despair of a 
profitable crop of tomatoes on any soil which would 
give a fair crop of corn or of cotton. 

For early-ripening fruit. — Sometimes the profit and 
satisfaction from a tomato crop depend more largely 
upon the earliness of ripening than upon the amount 
of yield or cost of growing. In such cases a warm, 
sandy loam, or even a distinctly sandy soil, is to be 
preferred, as this is apt to be warmer and the fruit 
will be matured much earlier on it than on a heavier 
soil. It is essential, however, that it be well drained 
and warm. Often lands classed as sandy are really 
colder than some of those classed as clay, and such 
soils should be carefully avoided if early maturity 
is important. 

For the home garden. — Here we seldom have a 
choice, but no. one need despair and abandon efifort, 
no matter what the soil may be, for it is quite possible 
to raise an abundant home supply on any soil and that, 
too, without inordinate cost and labor. Some of the 
most prolific plants and the finest fruits I have ever 
seen were grown in a village lot which five years before 
hatl been filled in to a depth of 3 to 10 feet with clay, 
coal ashes and refuse from a brick and coal yard. In 
another instance magnificent fruit was grown in a 
garden where the soil was originally made up chiefly 


of sawdust mixed with sand, drawn on a founda- 
dation of sawmill edgings so as to raise it above the 
water of a swamp. Where one has to contend with 
such conditions he should make an effort to create 
a friable soil with a supply of hunms by adding the 
material needed. A very few loads, sometimes even 
a single load, of clay or saaid will greatly change the 
character of the soil of a sufficient area to grow the 
one or two dozen plants necessary for a family supply. 
In the two cases mentioned, the owner of the first 
named garden used both sand and sawdust to lighten 
his soil, while the second drew a great many loads of 
clay on his. 

Growing under glass. — I would make up a soil 
composed of about three parts rotted sod, two or 
three parts of well-rotted stable manure (and it is very 
important that it be well decomposed) and one part 
either of coarse, sharp sand, sandy loam or clay loam, 
according as the sod soil is light or heavy, the aim 
being to form a rich, light, open soil rather than one 
which is as heav\- and compact as desirable for some 
plants. If sod soil is not available, of course, garden 
loam can be substituted, but it is very important that 
the soil be thoroughly mixed, and desirable that it be 
l^repared sometime before it is to be used. Some 
growers use the same soil for several crops, simply 
adding some fresh manure ; but, if so used, it is im- 
portant that it be stirred and thoroughly re-mixed and 


Exposure and Location 

In sections where there is danger of the plants 
being killed by early fall frosts before they have 
ripened their entire crop, exposure of the field is 
sometimes of importance in determining the market- 
able }'ield. 

A gentle inclination to the south, with a protection 
of higher land or timber on the sides from which 
frost or high winds are most likely to come, is the 
best. A steep descent to the south, shut in by high 
land to the east and west, so as to form a hot pocket, 
is not favorable for a maximum crop although it may 
give a smaller yield of early ripening fruit ; nor is a 
small field entirely surrounded by forest desirable. 

I once knew of a field, of about two acres, sloping 
to the south and entirely surrounded by heavy timber, 
on which two or three tomato crops were failures when 
other fields on the same farm gave large yields, but 
after the timber on the south and east had been cut 
away this field generally gave the largest yield in the 

Location. — While exposure is in some cases an im- 
portant factor in determining the total yield an acre, 
and so the cost, the location of the field as regards 
distance from marketing point and the character of 
the roads between them is of far greater importance 
in determining the cost and profit of crop, but one 



which is very often disregarded. The marketable 
product of an acre of tomatoes weighs from 3 to 30 
tons, which is not only more than that of most farm 
crops, but the product is of such character that its 
value is easily destroyed by long hauls over ordinary 
roads. It has to be marketed within a day or two of 
the time it is in prime condition, regardless of the 
conditions of the roads or weather ; so that it is quite 
deceptive to estimate the cost of delivery at the same 
rate a ton, as for potatoes or wheat, for it always costs 
more, and sometimes several times more, to deliver 
tomatoes than it would to deliver the same weight of 
less perishable crops. In most cases the cost of pick- 
ing and delivery is one of the most important factors 
in determining profit and loss, particularly when the 
crop is grown for canning factories, where one often 
has to wait for hours for his team to unload. These 
conditions make it very important that the field be 
located within a short distance of, and connected by 
good roads with the point of delivery. 

Early maturing fruit. — Where early maturity is 
the great desideratum the exposure of the field is 
often very important. It should, first of all, be such 
as to secure comparative freedom from spring frosts 
so as to permit of early setting of the plants and the 
full benefit of the sunshine as well as protection from 
cold winds. There is often a great difiference in these 
respects between fields quite near each other. Profes- 
sor Rolfs, of Florida, mentions a case where the toma- 
toes in a field sloping to the southeast and protected 
on the north and west by a strip of oak timber were 
uninjured by a spring frost that killed not only all 


the plants in neighboring tields. but those in the same 
field farther away from the protecting timber. Such 
spots should be sought out and utilized, as often they 
can be used to great advantage. Immediate prox- 
imity to large bodies of water is sometimes advanta- 
geous in the South, but in the North it is often disad- 
vantageous for early fruit because of the chilling of 
the air and the increased danger of spring frosts, al- 
though affording protection from those of early fall. 
Here, too, proximity of field to shipping point and 
distance and transjjortation rate to market are very 
important factors aft'ecting profit on the crop. 

The home garden. — The south side of buildings or 
of tight fences and walls often furnishes a most de- 
sirable place for garden tomatoes, but the plants 
should be set at least 6 to lo feet from the protec- 
tion and not so as to be trained upon or much shadeil 
by them, as the disadvantage of shutting oft' the light 
and circulation of the air, even from the north, would 
more than overbalance anything gained by the 

Growing under glass. — In this country tomatoes 
are seldom grown under glass except during the darker 
winter months and the exposure of the house ; the 
form of the roof and the method of glazing which 
will give the greatest possible light, are of importance, 
for tomatoes can not be profitably grown in a dark 
house. Just how the greatest amount of light may 
be made available in any particular case will depend 
upon local conditions, but ever\ eft'ort should be made 
to secure the most unobstructed sunlight possible and 
for the greatest number of hours each day. 


Previous crop and condition. — In field culture to- 
matoes should not follow tomatoes or potatoes. Both 
of these crops make use of large quantities of pot- 
ash, and although a small part of that used by the 
plants is taken from the field in the crop, they in- 
evitably reduce the proportion of this element in the 
soil — that is, in such condition as to be readily avail- 
able for the succeeding crop. It is true that the 
deficiency in potash may be supplied, but it is not so 
easy to supply it in a condition in which it is possible 
for the roots of the tomato to take it in. Unlike pota- 
toes, tomatoes do not do w^ell on new land, whether 
it be newly cleared timber lands or new breaking of 
prairie. Clover leaves the land in better condition for 
tomatoes than any other of the commonly grown farm 
crops, w^hile for second choice I prefer one of peas, 
beans, corn, or wheat in the order named. 

One of the most successful tomato growers I know 
of, whose soil is a rich, dark clay loam, prepares for 
the crop, as follows : Very late in the fall or early 
in the spring he gives a clover sod a heavy dressing 
of manure and plows it under. In the spring he pre- 
pares the ground by frequent cultivation and plants 
it with early sweet corn or summer squash. At the 
time of the last cultivation of these crops he sows clo- 
ver seed, covering it with a cultivator having many 
small teeth, and rarely fails to get a good stand and 
a good growth of young clover before the ground 
freezes. In the spring he plows this under, running 
the plow as deep as possible and following in the fur- 
row with a sub-soiler which stirs, but does not bring 
the sub-soil to the surface. He then g-ives the field a 


heavy dressing with wood ashes and puts it into the 
best possible tilth before planting his tomatoes. This 
grown usually harvests at least 500 bushels to the acfe 
and has made a crop o£ over 1,000 bushels. 

Early market. — In some sections of the South where 
the soil is light and the growers depend almost wholly 
on the use of large quantities of commercial fertil- 
izer, they seem to meet with the best success by using 
the same field for several successive crops, but in some 
places they succeed best with plantings following a 
crop of cowpeas or other green soiling crops plowed 
utjder, with a good dressing of lime. 



The experiences and opinions of different garden- 
ers and writers vary greatly as to the amount and 
kind of fertiUzer necessary for the production of the 
maximum crop of tomatoes. If the question were as to 
the growth of vine all. would agree that the more fer- 
tilizer used and the richer the sod, the better. Some 
crowers act as if this were equally true as to frm , 
while others declare that one can easily use too much 
fertilizer and get the ground too rich not only for a 
maximum but for a profitable crop of fruit. I find 
that the amount an acre recommended by successful 
orowers varies from 40 tons of well-rotted stable 
manure, supplemented by 1,000 pounds of complete 
fertilizer and 1,000 pounds of unleached ashes, to one 
of only 300 pounds of potato tertihzer. 

In my own experience the largest yield that I can 
recall was produced on what would be called rich 
land, and the application of fertilizer for the tomato 
crop was not in excess (unless possibly of potash) 
of that of the usual annual dressing. I think that 
in preparing a soil for tomatoes, as m selecting so- 
cial accpiaintances, the -new rich" are to be avoided. 
\ soil which is rich because of judicious manuring 
and careful cropping for many years can scarcely be 
too rich, while one that is made rich by a single appli- 
cation of fertilizer, no matter how well proportioned. 

44 . TOMATO cri/iTKi-: 

may give even a smaller yield of fruit because of its 
excessive use. Again, the proportions of the various 
food elements vary greatly in different locations. 

Professor Halstead finds that in his section of New 
Jersey the liberal use of nitrate of soda increases the 
yield and improves the quality, while in some localities 
of Xew York, Ohio, and the West, growers find that 
the yield of first-class fruit was actually lessened by 
its use. In some sections of the South liberality in 
the use of phosphates determines the amount and the 
quality of the crop, while at other points it seems to 
be of little value. In my own experience the liberal 
application of potash, particularl\' in the form of wood 
ashes, has more often given good results than the ap- 
plication of any other special fertilizer. 

If called upon to name the exact quantity and kind 
of manure for tomatoes, without any knowledge of 
the soil or its previous condition, I would say 8 to lo 
tons of good stable manure worked into the soil as 
late as possible in the fall or during the winter and 
early spring and 300 to 600 pounds of commercial 
fertilizer, of such composition as to furnish 2 per cent, 
nitrogen, 6 per cent, phosphoric acid and 8 per cent, 
potash scattered and worked into the row about the 
time that the plants are set. The use of a large pro- 
portion of nitrogen tends to rank growth of vine and 
soft, watery fruit. The use of a large proportion of 
phosphoric acid tends to produce soft fruit with less 
distinctly acid flavor : of potash, to smaller growth of 
vine and firm but more acid fruit. 

I think that even more tkan with most crops it will 
be well for the farmer to experiment to determine the 

fertilizi:rs 45 

best and most economical fertilizer lor his soil, set- 
ting aside five to ten plots of 1 to 4 square rods each 
and apply nitrate of soda, muriate of potash, wood, 
ashes, and phosphate alone and in different combina- 
tions. The results will suggest the combination which 
he can use to best advantage. In the majority of 
cases, however, where the soil is reasonably rich, ex- 
penditures for putting the ground in the best possible 
state of tilth will give larger returns than those for 
manures in excess of that which the land has usually 
received in the regular rotation for ordinary farm 

For the home garden. — Usually a dressing of wood 
ashes up to a rate of i bushel to the square rod, well 
worked into the soil before the plants are set, and oc- 
casionally watering with liquid manure, will generally 
give the best returns of any special fertilization, it 
being assumed that the garden has been well enriched 
with stable manure. 

Tomatoes under glass. — Some growers recommend 
frequent waterings with -liquid manure ; others a sur- 
face dressing of sheep manure ; still others a mulch of 
moderately well decayed stable manure. Plants grow- 
ing under glass, particularly in pots or boxes, seem 
to be benefitted by so heavy a dressing that if applied 
to plants growing outside it would be likely to give 
excessive growth of vine with but little fruit. 


Preparation of the Soil 

The proper preparation of the soil before setting 
the plants is one of the most essential points in suc- 
cessful tomato culture. The soil should be put into 
the best possible physical condition and to the greatest 
practicable depth. How this can be best accomplished 
will vary greatly with different soils and the facilities 
at the command of the planter. My practice on a 
heavy, dry soil is to plow shallow as early in the 
spring as the ground is fit to work, and then work 
and re-work the surface so as to make it as fine as 

If I am to use any manure which is at all coarse, 
it is well worked in at this time. A week or lo days 
before I expect to set the plants I again plow, and to 
as great a depth as practicable, without turning up 
much of the sub-soil, and if this has not been done 
within two years, follow in the furrows with a sub-soil 
plow which loosens, but does not bring the sub-soil to 
the surface. Then I work and re-work the surface, at 
the same time working in any dressing of well-rotted 
manure, ashes or commercial fertilizer that I want to 
use. I never regret going over the field again, if by 
so doing I can improve its condition in the least. On a 
lighter soil it might be better to compact rather than 
loosen as much as would give the best results with 
clay, but always and everywhere the soil should be 



made fine, friable and uniform in condition, to the 
greatest depth possible. 

One of the most successful growers has said that 
if he could afford to spend but two days' time on a 
patch of tomatoes he would use a day and a half of 
the two days in fitting the ground before he set the 
plants. It is my opinion that any working of the 
ground that serves to get it into better mechanical 
condition, if done economically, will not only increase 
the yield, but to such an extent as to lower the cost a 
bushel. T. B. Terry's teaching of the necessity for 
working and re- working the soil, if one would have 
the largest crops of potatoes of the best quality, is 
even more applicable to the culture of tomatoes. 

Home garden. — Here there is no excuse for setting 
plants in hard, lumpy soil. It should be worked and 
re-worked, not simply once or twice, but once or twice 
after it has been thoroughly worked. In short, the 
tomato bed should be made as friable as it is possible 
to make it and to as great a depth as the character of 
the subsoil will permit. 

Under glass. — I would strongly advise that soil for 
tomatoes, whether it is to be used in solid beds or in 
pots or boxes, be thoroughly sterilized by piling it not 
over 15 inches deep or wide over iron pipes perfo- 
rated with two lines of holes about one-sixteenth inch 
in diameter and 2 inches apart and filled with steam 
for at least a half hour. It can be sterilized, but far less 
effectively, by thorough wetting with boiling water. 
It should always be well stirred and aired before the 
plants are set in it. 

Starting plants. — From about the latitude of New 


fork city southward, it is possible to secure large 
yields from plants grown from seed sown in place in 
the field, and one often sees volunteer plants which 
have sprung up as weeds carrying as much or more 
fruit than most carefully grown transplanted ones 
beside them. In many sections tomatoes are grown 
in large areas for canning factories, and as a farm 
rather than a market garden crop, individual farmers 
planting from 10 to I GO acres ; and to start and trans- 
plant to the field the 25,000 to 30,000 plants necessary 
for a ten-acre field seems a great undertaking. To- 
mato plants, however, when young, are of rather 
weak and tender growth, and need more careful cul- 
ture than can be readily given in the open field; and, 
again, the demand of the market, even at the canning 
factories, is for delivery of the crop earlier than it can 
be produced by sowing the seed in the field. 

For these reasons it is almost the universal custom 
of successful growers to use plants started under glass 
or in seed-beds where conditions of heat and mois- 
ture can be somewhat under control. I believe, how- 
ever, that the failure to secure a maximum yield is 
more often due to defective methods of starting, hand- 
ling and setting the plants than to any other single 
cause. In sections where tomatoes are largely grown 
there are usually men who make a business of starting- 
plants and offering them for sale at prices running 
from $1 or even as low as 40 cents, up to $8 and $10 
a 1,000, according to their age and the way they are 
grown ; but generally, it will be found more advan- 
tageous for the planter to start his plants on or near 
the field where thev are to be grown. 


Tomato plants from cuttings may be easily grown, 
but such plants, when planted in the open ground, do 
not yield as much fruit as seedlings nor is this apt 
to be of so good quality ; so that, in practice, seed- 
lings only are used for outside crops. Under glass, 
plants from cuttings do relatively better and some 
growers prefer them, as they commence to fruit earlier 
and do not make so rank a growth. 

Seedlings can be most easily started and grown, at 
least up to the time of pricking out, in light, well- 
ventilated greenhouses, and many large growers have 
them for this specific ]uirpose. Houses for starting 
tomato plants should be so situated as to be fully ex- 
posed to the sun and not shaded in any way ; be pro- 
vided with heating apparatus by which a night tem- 
perature of (k) and up to one of 80° F. in the day 
can be maintained even in the coldest weather and 
darkest days likely to occur for 60 to 90 days before 
the plants can be safely set out in the open field ; and 
the houses should be well glazed and ventilated. 

Houses well suited for this purpose are often built 
of hotbed sash with no frame but a simple ridge-board 
and sides i or 2 feet high, head room being gained by 
a central sunken path and the sash so fastened in place 
that they may be easily lifted to give ventilation or 
entirely removed to give full exposure to svnishine. 
or for storing when the house is not needed. Hotbed 
sash 3x6 feet with side-bars projecting at the ends 
to facilitate fastening them in place are usually kept 
by dealers, w'ho ofifer them at from $1.50 to $3 each, 
according to the quality of the material used. 

A hot water heating apparatus is the best, but often 


one can use a brick furnace or an iron heating stove, 
connected with a flue of sewer or drain-pipe that will 
answer very well and cost much less. It requires but 
6 to lo square feet of bench to start plants enough for 
an acre, and a house costing only from $25 to $50 
will enable one to grow plants enough for 20 acres up 
to the stage when they can be pricked out into sash 
or cloth-covered cold-frames in which they can be 
grown on to the size best suited for setting in the 
field. When a grower plants less than 5 acres it is 
often better for him to sow his seed in flats or shallow 
boxes and arrange to have these cared for in some 
neighboring greenhouse for the 10 to 20 days before 
they can be pricked out. 


Hotbeds and Cold-frames 

Plants can be advantageously started and even 
grown on to the size for setting in open ground in 
hotbeds. In building these of manure it is important 
to select a spot where there is no danger of standing 
water, even after the heaviest rains, and it is well to 
remove the soil to a depth of 6 inches or i foot from 
a space about 2 feet larger each way than the bed 
and to build the manure up squarely to a hight of 
2 to 3 feet. It is also very important that the bed of 
manure be of uniform composition as regards mix- 
ture of straw and also as to age, density and mois- 
ture, so as to secure uniformity in heating. This can 
be accomplished by shaking out and evenly spreading 
each forkful and repeatedly and evenly tramping down 
as the bed is built up. Unless this work is well and 
carefully done the bed will heat and settle unevenly, 
making it impossible to secure uniformity of growth 
in different parts. 

Hotbed frames should be of a size to carry four to 
six 3x6-foot sash, and made of lumber so fastened 
together that they can be easily knocked apart and 
stored when not in use. They should be about 10 
inches high in front and 16 or 18 inches at the back, 
care being taken that if the back is made of two boards 
one of them be narrow and at the bottom so that the 
crack between them can be covered by banking up 



with manure or earth. In placing them on the manure 
short pieces of board should be laid under the corners 
to prevent their settling in the manure unevenly. I 
prefer to sow the seed in flats or shallow boxes filled 
with rich but sandy and very friable soil, and set these 
on a layer of sifted coal ashes covering the manure 
and made perfectly level, but many growers sow on 
soil resting directly on the manure; if this is done the 


soil should be light and friable and made perfectly 
level. A perspective view of a three-sash hotbed is 
given in Fig. 13, and of a cross-section in Fig. 14. 

In some sections, particularly in the South, it is not 
always easy to procure suitable manure for making 
hotbeds, so these are built to be warmed by flues un- 
der ground, but I think it much better where a fire is 
to be used that the sash be built into the form of a 
house. A hotbed of manure is preferred to a house 
by .some because of its supplying imiform and moist 
bottom heat — and one can easily give abundant air ; 



but the sash can be buih into the form of a house 
at but Httle more expense, and it has the great advan- 
tage of enabling one to work among the plants in any 
weather, while, if properly built, any desired degree 
of heat and ventilation can be easily secured. Except 
when very early ripening fruit is the desideratum, 
plants started with heat but pricked out and grown 
in cold-frames without it, but where they can be pro- 
tected during cold nights and storms, will give better 


results than those grown to full size for the field in 
artificial heat. 

Cold-frames. — In locations where tomatoes are much 
grown large areas are devoted to cold-frames covered 
either by sash or cloth curtains. Sash give much bet- 
ter protection from cold and on this account are more 
desirable, particularly where very early fruiting is 
wanted, but their first cost is much greater and the 
labor of attending to beds covered by them is much 
more than where cloth is used. Sash-covered beds 
should be of single width and run east and west, but 



if the beds are covered with cloth it is better that they 
be double width (12 feet) and run north and south. 
The front of the single and the sides of the double 
width beds should be 8 to 10 inches high, held firmly 
erect by stakes and perfectly parallel, both horizon- 
tally and vertically, with the back or with the central 





support. This should be 6 inches higher than the 
front. The cross strips, when sash are used, should 
be made of a 3-inch horizontal and a i^-inch vertical 
strip of I -inch lumber nailed together very firmly in 
the form of an inverted T, the vertical pieces project- 
ing I inch at each end and resting on the front and 
back of the bed and forming supports and guides for 
the sash. Some growers use vertical strips as heavy 
as 2x3 or 4 inches for stepping across the beds. When 


the plants are to be taken to the field, the sash and 
guides can be easily removed. (Fig. 15.) 

Ground to be covered with cold-frames should be 
made very friable and rich by repeated plowing and 
working in of a liberal dressing of well-rotted stable 
manure and wood ashes. In southwestern New Jer- 
sey, where immense areas of early tomatoes are grown, 
the soil of the beds for a depth of about 6 inches is 
removed and a layer 3 to 5 inches deep of well-rotted 
stable manure is placed in. That made of a mixture 
of manure from horses, cattle and hogs is preferred. 
It is important that the manure be so well rotted that 
it will not heat, and so dry that it will not become 
pasty when tramped into a firm, level layer. On this 
they place a layer of nearly 3 inches deep of rich, 
friable, moderately compact soil and prick out the 
plants into this. The roots soon bind the manure and 
soil together and by cutting through the manure so as 
to form blocks one can carry the plants to the fields 
with but very little disturbance of the root. 

Cloth covers for beds should be made of heavy, un- 
bleached sheeting or light duck, and it is better that 
the selvage run up and down the bed rather than 
lengthwise. The cloth is torn into lengths of about 
13 feet and then sewn together with a narrow double- 
stitched flat seam so as to form a sheet 13 feet wide 
and about 8 inches longer than the bed. The edges are 
tacked every foot to the strips about 2 inches wide by 
^ inch thick with beveled outside edges and laid per- 
fectly in line. A second line of strips is then nailed 
to the first so as to break joints with it and so that the 
two will form a continuous roller about a foot longer 



than the bed with the edge of the curtain firmly fas- 
tened in its center. The center of the curtain is se- 
cured to the central rid^e of the bed by strips of lath. 
When rolled up, the rollers are held in place by loops 
of rope around their ends and when they are down 



(Photo by Prof. W. G. Johnson) 

they are held by similar loops to the notched tent-pins 
driven into the ground or to wooden buttons fastened 
to the sides and ends of the frame as shown in Fig. iC). 
Cloth covers are sometimes dressed with oil, but 
this is not to be recommended, though it is an advan- 
tage to have them wet occasionalh with a weak solu- 
tion of copper sulphate or with sea water as a preser- 

110'l'IU:i)S AM) COl-D-l-KAMES 57 

vative and to i)rt'Vfnt mildew. Such covers, well 
cared for. may last five }ears or be of little use after 
the first, depending" upon the care given them. They 
can be made from 50 to 200 feet long- and two men 
can roll them up or down very quickl\-. 

When cloth covers are used the supporting cross- 
strips should not be over 3 inches wide nor more than 
3 feet apart ; sometimes the strips are made to bind the 
sideboard and ridge together b\- means of short pieces 
of hoop iron or of barrel hoop. These are so placed 
and nailed as to hold the upper edge of sideboards and 
of the central ridge flush with the cross-strips, thus 
forming a smooth surface for cloth to rest on and 
enabling one easily to "knock down" and remove the 
frames to facilitate the taking of the plants from the 
bed to the field and the storing of the frames for 
another season. 

Flats for starting seeds. — Any shallow box may be 
used or the plants sown directly in the beds without 
them, but flats of a uniform size are to be preferred — 
these will pack well on tlie greenhouse shelves ; or 
in the hotbed we make them with ",s inch thick ends 
and Yz inch thick sides and bt)ttom. the latter if of a 
single board having four half-inch holes for drainage 
and in any case having two narrow strips about ^ 
inch thick nailed across their bottoms so as to allow 
drainage water to escape freely when the boxes are 
set on hard, cool floors. Two or three such boxes, 
351/ inches long, 12 inches wide and 3 inches deep, 
will be sufficient to start plants enough for an acre. 
1 like to use similar boxes only 4 inches deep for grow- 
ing the plants after they are pricked out, particularly 


if this is to be done in a greenhouse, as by turning 
them we can equahze exposure to Hght and thus dis- 
tribute the plants in the field where they are to be set 
with the least possible disturbance. One would need 
nearly 60 such boxes for plants enough for an acre. 
On account of the lessened necessity for watering 
when plants are set in beds rather than in boxes, 
many growers prefer to grow their plants in that way. 


Starting Plants 

This has been the subject of a vast amount of horti- 
cultural writing, and the practice of different grow- 
ers, and in different sections, varies greatly. I give 
the methods I have used successfully, together with 
reasons for following them, but it may be well for the 
reader to modify them to suit his own conditions and 

Largest yield. — Some 45 to 50 days before plants 
can be safely set in the open field the flats in which 
the seed is to be sown should be filled with light, rich, 
friable soil, it being important that its surface be made 
perfectly level, and that it be compact and quite moist, 
but not so wet as to pack under pressure. Sow the 
seed in drills ^ inch deep and 2 to 3 inches apart at 
the rate of 10 to 20 to the inch ; press the soil evenly 
over them, water and place in the shade in an even tem- 
perature of 80 to 90° F. As soon as the seeds begin 
to break soil, which they should do in three to four 
days, place in full light and temperature of 75 to 80°, 
keeping the air rather close so as to avoid necessity 
of watering. After a few days reduce the tempera- 
ture to about 65° and give as much air as possible. 
Some growers press a short piece of 2-inch joist into 
the soil of the benches, so as to form trenches 2 inches 
wide and about ^ inch deep, and so spaced as to be 
under the center of each row of glass, their sash being 



mostly made of five-inch glass. In this, by using a 
little tin box with holes in the top, like those of a pep- 
per-box, they scatter seeds so that they will be nearly 
^ to 34 inch apart, over the bottom of the 2-inch 
wide trench, and then cover. This has the advantage 
of evenly spacing the plants and so locating the rows 
that the plants will be little liable to injury from drip. 
Young tomato plants are ver}- sensitive to over-sup- 
ply of water and some of the most successful growers 
do not water at all until the plants are quite large and 
then only when necessary to prevent wilting. In lO to 
15 days, or as soon as the central bud is well started, 
the plants should be pricked out, setting them 3 to 6 
inches apart, according to the size we expect them to 
reach before they go into the field ; 5 inches is the most 
common distance used. I think it better to set the 
full distance apart at first, not to transplant a second 
time. It is very important that this pricking out should 
be done when the plants are young and small, though 
many successful growers wait until they are larger. 
The soil in which they are set, whether it be in boxes 
or beds, should be composed of about three parts gar- 
den loam, two parts well-rotted stable manure and one 
part of an equal mixture of sand and leaf mold, though 
the proportion of sand used should be increased if 
the garden loam is clayey. The soil in the seed-boxes 
or in the beds, when the seedlings are taken up, should 
be in such condition, and the plants be handled in 
such a way that nearly all the roots, carrying with 
them many particles of soil, are saved. The plants 
should be set a little, and but a little, deeper than they 
stood in the seed-box and the soil so pressed about the 



roots, particularly at their Icnvc-r end. that the plants 
can not be easily pulled out. 

Where plants are set in beds the work can be facil- 
itated by the use of a "spotting-board" ( Fig. 17). This 
should be about i foot in width, and have pegs about 
3 inches long, ^ inch in diameter at the base and taper- 
ing to a point, fastened into the board the distance 
apart the jilants are to be set. It should also have 
narrow projectic^ns carrying a single peg nailed to the 

A . L-, L, L-, L. L. L. L-. L-. L 


top of board at each end, so that when these pegs are 
placed in the end holes of the last row the first row 
of pegs in the "spotting board" will be the right dis- 
tance from the last row of holes or plants. By stand- 
ing on this, while setting plants in one set of holes, 
holes for another set are formed. If the conditions of 
soil, air and plants are right and the work is well done. 
the plants will show little tendency to wilt, and it is 
better to prevent their doing so by shading, rather than 
by watering, though the latter should be resorted to if 
necessary. \\'hen plans are set in beds, some growers 
remove the soil to a depth of about 6 inches and put 
in a laver of about 2 inches of sifted coal ashes, made 
perfectly level, and then replace the soil. This con- 
fines the roots to the surface and enables one to se- 
cure nearly all of them when transplanting. The 



plants should be well established in 24 hours and 
after this the more light and air that can be given, 
»vithout the temperature falling below 40° F. or sub- 
jecting the plants to cold, dry wind, the better. 

One can hardly overstate the importance to the 
healthy growth of the young tomato plant of abundant 
sunshine, a uniform day temperature of from 60 to 
80° F., or of the ill effects of a variable temperature. 


(From W. G. Johnson) 

particularly if it be the result of cold, dry winds, or 
of a wet, soggy soil, the effect of over- watering. 
These points should be kept in mind in caring for the 
plants, and every effort made to secure, as far as pos- 
sible, the first named conditions and to avoid the lat- 
ter. The frames, whether they be covered with sash 
or cloth, but more particularly if with sash in sun- 
shine and with curtains in dull da\s. should be opened 
so as to prevent their becoming too hot, and so as to 
admit air. And in a greenhouse full ventilation should 


be given whenever it is possible to do so without ex- 
posure to too low a temperature. If the plants are 
in boxes and on greenhouse shelves, it is important 
that these be turned end for end every few days to 
equalize exposure to light and give full exposure to 
the sun. The plants should be watered only when nec- 
essary to prevent wilting, and the beds should be cov- 
ered during heavy rains. A "spotting-board" for use 
on flats is seen in ¥ig. i8. 

The most unfavorable weather conditions are bright 
sun combined with a cold wind, and cold storms of 
drizzling rain and frosty nights. Loss from the latter 
cause may often be prevented by covering the beds 
with coarse straw, which should always be provided 
for use in an emergency. Many growers provide a 
second curtain — an old one answers very well — to 
throw over the straw-covered beds. Beds so covered 
will protect the plants from frost in quite severe 
weather. Watering should especially be avoided for 
nearly three days before setting in fields ; but six to 
twelve hours before it is well to water thoroughly, 
though not so as to make the soil at all muddy. About 
five days after pricking out and again about five days 
before the plants are to go into the field and five days 
after they are set, they should be sprayed with Bor- 
deaux mixture. 

Early ripening fruit. — Here the aim is to secure, by 
the time they can be set in the field, plants which have 
come by an unchecked but comparatively slow rate 
of growth to the greatest size and maturity consistent 
with the transplanting to the field without too serious 
a check. The methods by which this is accomplished 


vary greatly and generally differ materially from those 
given above. The seed is planted much earlier and 
60 to 90 days before it is at all safe to set plants in 
the open field ; while a steady rate of growth is de- 
sirable, it should be slow and the plants kept small by 
a second and even third and fourth transplanting, and 
especial care taken to avoid the soft and irregular 
growth resulting from over-watering or over-heating. 
An\- side shoots which ma\- appear should be pinched 
out and a full pollination of the first cluster of the 
blossoms secured, either by direct application of pollen 
or by staking or jarring the plants on bright days ; 
and finally, special eft'orts made to set the plants in 
the field as earl\- and with as little check as possible. 
Growers are often willing to run considerable risk 
of frost for the sake of early setting. 

When one has sandy land a very profitable crop 
can sometimes be secured by sowing the seed very 
early, and growing the plants on in beds until the first 
cluster of fruit is set, then heeling them in, much 
as nursery trees are. but so close that they can be 
quickly covered in case of frost. As soon as it is at 
all safe to do so, they are set in the open ground, very 
close!}', on the south side of ridges, so that only the 
upper one-third of the plant is exposed, the remainder 
being laid nearly level and covered with earth. 

So treated the plants will ripen the upper one or 
two clusters very early but will yield little more until 
late in the season, and it is generally more profitable 
to plow them up and put in some other crop as soon 
as the first clusters of fruit have ripened. Others 
pinch out the central bud as soon as it is well formed. 


usually within lo days from the sowing of the seed. 
When this is done a great proportion of the plants 
will start branches from the axils of the cotyledons ; 
these usually develop blossoms in the third to the fifth 
node and produce fruit much lower than in a normal 
]:)lant. It is questionable if there is any gain in time 
from seed to fruit by this method, but it enables one 
to get older plants of a size which it is practicable to 
transplant to the field. 

In most cases it will be found more profitable and 
satisfactory so to grow the plants that by the time 
they can be safely set out of doors they will be in vig- 
orous condition, about 6 to lo inches tall, stout, healthy 
and well hardened ofl^. Such ])lants will ripen fruit 
nearly, and often quite as early as older ones and will 
produce a constant succession of fruit, instead of ripen- 
ing a single cluster or two and then no more until 
they have made a new growth. 

For late summer and early fall. — It is generally 
true in the South and often equally so in the North, 
that there is a more eager local demand for tomatoes 
in the late summer and fall months, after most of the 
spring set plants have ceased bearing, than in early 
summer. In ^Michigan I have often been able to get 
more for choice fruit in late October and in November 
than the best Floridas were sold for in May or early 
June, and certainly in the South the home use of fresh 
tomatoes should not be confined to spring set plants, 
l-'or the fall crop in the South seed may be sown in 
late spring or i\p to the middle of July, in beds shaded 
with frames, covered with lath nailed 3 to 4 inches 
apart and the plants set in the field about 40 days from 


sowing, the same care being taken to put the ground 
into good condition as is recommended for the spring 
planted crop. 

A second plan, which has sometimes given most 
excellent results, is to cut back spring set plants which 
have ripened some fruit but which are not completely 
exhausted, to mere stubs, and spade up the ground 
about them so as to cut most of the roots, water thor- 
oughly and cover the ground with a mulch of straw. 
Most of the plants so treated will start a new and vig- 
orous growth and give most satisfactory returns. 

Fruit at least expenditure of labor. — When this is 
the great desideratum, many growers omit the hotbed 
and even the pricking out, sowing the seed as early 
as they judge the plants will be safe from frost, and 
broadcast, either in cold-frames or in uncovered beds, 
at the rate of 50 to 150 to the square foot and trans- 
planting directly to the field. Or they may be advan- 
tageously sown in broad drills either by the use of the 
pepper-box arrangement suggested on page 60, or a 
garden drill adjusted to sow a broad row. In Mary- 
land and the adjoining states, as well as in some places 
in the West, most of the plants for crops for the can- 
ners are grown in this way and at a cost of 40 cents 
or even less a 1,000. The seed should be sown so that 
it will be from j/i to y^ inch apart and the plants 
thinned as soon as they are up so that they will be 
at least ^2 inch apart. Where seed is sown early with 
no provision for protection from the frost it is always 
well to make other sowings as soon as the last begins 
to break ground in order to furnish reserve plants, if 
the earlier sown lots be destroyed by frost. Others 

STARllNc; ri>ANTS 67 

even sow the seed in place in the held, thinning out 
to a single one in a hill when the plants are about 
2 inches high. Some of the largest yields I have ever 
known have been raised in this way, but the fruit is 
late in maturing and generally the method is not so 
satisfactory as starting the plants where they can be 
given some protection, and transplanting them to the 

Plants for the home garden. — These may be grown 
in pots or boxes set in the sunniest spot available and 
treated as has been described. In this way plants, 
equal to any, may be grown without the aid of either 
hotbed or greenhouse. It will generally be more satis- 
factory, however, to secure the dozen or two plants 
needed from some one who has grown them in quan- 
tity than to grow so small a lot by themselves. In 
selecting plants, take those which are short, stiff, hard, 
and dark green in color with some purple color on 
the lower part of the stem rather than those which 
are softer and of a brighter green, or those in which 
the foliage is of a yellowish green ; but in selection 
it must be remembered that varieties differ as to the 
color of foliage, so that there may be a difference in 
shade which is not due to conditions. 

Plants under glass. — If to be grown in pots or 
boxes, "prick out," when small, into three-inch pots 
and as they grow re-pot several times so that when 
set in the pots or beds in which they are to fruit, they 
are stout plants 12 to 16 inches high. Plants propa- 
gated from cuttings give much better returns rela- 
tively under glass than out of doors. 


Proper Distance for Planting 

The best distance apart for the plants to be set in 
the field varies greatly with the soil, the variety, the 
methods of cultivation and other conditions. Plants 
set as close in rich clay soil as would give the best 
results in a warm, sandy one. or those of a strong 
growing sort, like l>ucke\e State, set as close as would 
be desirable for sorts, like Atlantic Prize or Dwarf 
Champion, \\ould give little but leaves and inferior 
fruit. In field culture I like to space the plants so as 
to facilitate gathering the fruit, and recommend the 
following arrangement : Set the plants according to 
soil and the variety 2J/2 to 4 feet apart in the row. 
omitting two or three in every 75 or 100 plants so as 
to form driveways across the rows. Set the first and 
second and the third and fourth rows. etc.. 2j/ to 33/2 
and the second and third and the fourth and fifth row\s 
5/'2 to 6 feet ai)art. As the plants grow, those of the 
first and second and those of the third and fourth 
row^s. etc., are thrown together and in many cases it 
will pay to have a pair of narrow horizontal strips or 
wires nearly 18 inches from the ground upon which 
they can be thrown. 

This arrangement of the jjlants allows us to con- 
tinue to cultivate the wider s])aces between the second 
and third and fcnirth and fifth, etc., rows, much longer, 
and tends to confine the necessary tramping and pack- 

' 68 

I'R0pi:k DisiANci-: kok i-laxtixg 


ing of the soil when gathering the fruit chiefly to these 
rows — an important point in case the soil is wet. The 
rows can be marked out the day before, but it is better 
to set the plants in the cross-rows and that these be 
marked out just ahead of the setters. In this arrange- 
ment the distances are equivalent to from 2j,j.x4 feet, 


requiring 4.300 plants to the acre, to 4x5 feet, requir- 
ing but about 2,100 plants. The latter distance is that 
most commonly used by Xew Jersey growers. 

In the home garden. — It will usually be more satis- 
factory to give each plant plenty of space, setting them 
5 or 6 feet apart each way, except in the case of the 
dwarf sorts, which should be from 3^/2 to 3 feet apart. 
.\ few plants at these distances will usually be much 
more satis factor}- than more set nearer together, but 



tlic larger growing sorts should have at least 3 feet 
and the dwarf sorts 2 feet. When one has a hotbed 
or cold-frame it is often an advantage to set a row 
of tomato plants nearly 18 inches apart at the back 
end much earlier than they could be safely set in the 
open ground, and if these are allowed to grow on in 
place, as shown in Fig. 19, being pruned and tied to 
stakes, they will give some very early fruit. 

In the greenhouse. — Experience and practice differ 
as to the most desirable distance apart for plants under 
glass. But 2 feet apart, where quality is the main con- 
sideration, and 18 inches when quantity, if fair, is of 
more importance than extra quality. 

Setting plants in the field. — The economical and 
successful setting of plants in the field is an important 
element of successful tomato culture and is very de- 
pendent upon soil and weather conditions. It is as- 
sumed that the soil of the field has been put into the 
best possible condition of tilth, but its condition as to 
moisture is also very important. The worst condition 
is when it is wet and muddy, especially if it is at all 
clayey — not only is the cost of setting greatly in- 
creased, but plants set in such soil can seldom, by any 
amount of care, be made to do well, especially if a 
heavy beating rain or dry windy weather follows im- 
mediately ; the condition is less unfavorable if a warm 
gentle rain or still moist weather follows. A dry cold 
wind, even if the day is cloudy and the soil in good 
condition, is also unfavorable, particularly if the roots 
of the plants are exposed. 

Wet soil, cold, dry air and wind are the conditions 
to be avoided. Moist, not wet, soil and still, warm air 


are to be desired ; whether the day is sunny or not is 
less important. There is a certain definite time, which 
does not usually extend beyond a few days, when any 
lot of plants is in the best condition for setting in the 
field. It is hardly possible to describe this condition 
more than to say it is when the plants are as large as 
they can be without crowding and are in a state where 
they can best stand the shock of removal. 

It will always be a matter of judgment as to how 
long it is best to hold plants, which are in condition 
for setting, for favorable weather conditions. They 
can sometimes be held a few days, by scant watering 
and full exposure, or in some cases by taking from the 
bed and heeling in. as nurserymen do trees ; but it is 
better to set when the weather is unfavorable or to 
run some risk from frost rather than to hold them in 
this way too long. The wise selection of time for set- 
ting is an important factor in securing a good and 
profitable crop. 

The South Jersey growers, to whom early ripening 
fruit is the great desideratum and who have a very 
warm soil, and grow plants so they are quite hardy 
and can be transplanted with little check, set them in 
the field very early, some seasons by the last of April ; 
and if the plants can be got out so as to have two or 
three days of favorable weather to get established be- 
fore it comes, they seem to be little hurt even bv a 
quite severe frost. The first essential to successful 
transplanting is to have well-grown, healthy, hardy 
plants ; the second is that they be in good condition for 
setting, which can be secured by giving them, for a 
few days before planting, a scant supply of water and 


fullest possible exposure to air and sun, and then a 
thorough wetting a few hours before they are to be set. 

The South Jersey plan of growing and setting plants 
gets them into the field in the best condition of any 
method I know. Two to five days before they expect 
to plant, the growers go over the beds and, by means 
of a hoe that has been straightened and sharpened to 
form a sort of spade, they cut through the soil and 
manure so as to divide the plants into blocks of six. 
A few hours before they are to plant, they saturate the 
bed with water. By means of a flattened shovel they 
can take up the blocks of plants and place them in a 
cart or low wagon so the soil is scarcely disturbed at 
all, the roots in the manure serving to bind the whole 
together. In the meantime furrows are opened along 
the rows and the cart driven to the field ; the plants 
in the blocks are cut apart with a butcher knife placed 
in the furrow and the earth drawn about them. 

Plants set in this way often do not wilt at all, even 
in hot sunshine. When plants are grown in boxes 
these can be taken to the field and plants taken from 
them in much the same way and so that they will be 
disturbed but little. In setting the plants it should 
always be borne in mind that while sunshine on the 
leaves of a plant rarely does any injury, it is very in- 
jurious to the roots, and the exposure of the roots to 
the sun or to cold, dry wind, should be avoided in 
every practicable way, such as by carrying the plants 
to the field laid on the sides of a box. which is then 
carried with its bottom toward the sun so as to have 
the plants in the shade, always handling the plant in 
the shade of one's body, etc. It is well worth while 


to walk to the end of the row to commence work in 
order to secure this. It is attention to such details 
that distinguishes one whose plants nearly always do 
well from one who loses a large proportion of those 
he handles. 

Fruit at the least expenditure of labor. — The plants 
are prepared for setting by scant watering, and are 
taken up so as to secure as much root as possible 
with little soil adhering to them. Great care should 
be taken in taking the plants from the bed, and in 
handling them, to avoid twisting the stems, as to do 
so very seriously injures the plants, often to such an 
extent that they will fail to grow, no matter how care- 
fully set out. Some growers dip the roots in a very 
thin clay mud, hardly thicker than thin cream, but 1 
have not found this of advantage except, sometimes, 
when the roots are to be exposed for a longer period 
than usual and I do not recommend it for general use. 
In setting, holes are made Qither with a long dibble, 
in the hands of the one who distributes the plants, or 
b}- a short one, in the hands of the setter ; the plants 
are dropped into them a little deeper than they had 
stood in the bed, the earth closed about the roots, by 
pressure from the side. Especial care should be taken 
that this is well done, particularly at the bottom ; the 
earth should be so firmly pressed to the root that the 
])lant cannot be easily pulled from the soil. In some 
sections transplanting machines { Fig. 20) are used 
and liked, but most planters prefer to set by hand and 
the additional cost is not great. An expert with one 
or two boys to assist in handling the plants can put 
out as many as 3,000 plants in a day. A machine re- 


quiring" more help to run it can set from 15,000 to 

In the home garden, when hut a few plants are to 
be set, it will be better to put them in after 4 P. M. 
and use water in setting, but the wet soil should be 
covered with some dry earth to prevent its caking. 

In the greenhouse. — Plants are better set in the 
places where they are to fruit just before their first 
blossoms open and should be set in accordance with, 
the suggestions given for transplanting to the field. 




For maximum crop. — As soon as plants are set 
the ground should be well cultivated to the greatest 
depth practicable. We should remember that the to- 
mato needs for its best development a very friable 
soil, while the tramping necessary in setting out the 
plants and gathering the fruit tends to compact and 
harden the soil. Often transplanting has to be done 
when the soil is wet, and we need to counteract the 
injury from tramping by immediate cultivation; but. 
at the same time, we must avoid the disturbing of the 
plants any more than is necessary, and all of our cul- 
tivation should be done with these points in mind. 
Just how it can be done best will vary not only with 
the location and the facilities available, but with the 
weather conditions, so that it is not well to attempt 
to give explicit directions any further than that one 
can hardly cultivate too deeply for the first seven 
days nor too often for the first 30 days after the 
plants are set, provided he avoids turning the soil 
when it is too wet. Even walking through the field 
when the soil is wet is injurious and should be avoided, 
in proportion as the soil is a clayey one. 

At least expenditure of labor. — I hardly need 
add to or change the suggestions given above for to- 
inatoes at least cost, for any cultivation wisely given 
will probably do as much to reduce cost per bushel by 



increasing the yield per acre as any other expen- 
diture. In the garden it is advisable that from the 
time the plants are set until the fruit ripens, the sur- 
face soil about them be stirred every evening when 
it is not actually wet. 

In the greenhouse. — The surface of the soil should 
be kept open by frequent stirring or, as is the practice 
of some successful growers, it may be covered with a 
nuilch of partially rotted manure. The plants should 
be watered only as needed to prevent wilt, and special 
pains taken to guard against too much moisture either 
in the soil or in the air, particularly on dark days. The 
night temperature should be uniformly about 60° F. 
while in the day it should be 75°, and if it be bright 
and sunny it may go to 90° or even higher. Air 
should be given freely whenever feasible to do so with- 
out too greatly reducing temperature. A moderate 
degree of moisture should be maintained in the air, 
care being taken that it does not become too moist, 
especially during dark days. There is more danger 
from the air becoming too moist than from its be- 
coming too dry, though either extreme is injurious. 

Pollinating. — The structure and relations of the 
parts of the tomato flower are such that while perfect 
pollination is possible, and in plants grown in the open 
air usually takes place without artificial assistance, 
it is not so likely to occur when plants are grown 
under glass, particularly in the winter months, and 
it is usually necessary to secure it by artificial means. 
With vigorous, healthy plants and on light, sunny 
days, it can be accomplished by jarring the plants near 
midday. This generally throws enough pollen into the 


air so that an abundance of it reaches each receptive 
stigma. With less vigorous plants and on dark days 
it is necessary to hand pollinate the flowers. This is 
done by gathering the pollen by means of jarring the 
plants, so that it falls into a watch crystal or other re- 
ceptacle secured at the end of a wand, and then press- 
ing the projecting pistils of other flowers into it so 
that they may become covered with the pollen. 

Some growers transfer the pollen with a camel's- 
hair-brush; others by pulling ofif the corolla and ad- 
hering anthers and rubbing them over the stigma of 
other flowers. Fruit rarely follows flowers that are 
not pollinated, and if it is incomplete the fruit will 
be unsymmetrical and imperfectly developed. As to- 
mato flowers secrete but very little, if any, honey and 
are not attractive to insects, it is of no advantage to 
confine a hive of bees in the tomato house in the way 
which is so useful in one where cucumbers or melon? 
are growing. 


Staking, Training and Pruning 

Under favorable conditions of soil and climate, 
plants of most varieties of tomatoes will, in field cul- 
ture, yield as much fruit if allowed to grow naturally 
and unpruned as if trained and pruned. This is espe- 
cially true of the sorts of the Earliana type and on 
warm, sandy soils, while it may not be true of the 
stronger growing sorts or on rich clay lands or where 
the fertilizer used contains an excess of nitrogen. In 
any case more fruit can be grown to the acre on 
pruned and staked plants because more of them can 
be gotten on an acre ; and it is an advantage to grow 
them in that way l>ecause it enables us, by later culti- 
vation, to keep the ground in good tilth longer ; also 
it facilitates the gathering of the fruit; and last, but 
not least, it generally enables us to produce better 
ripened and flavored fruit. 

Staking and pruning used to be the almost univer- 
sal practice in the South, but in many sections grow- 
ers have abandoned it, claiming that they get as good 
or better results without it. In the North it is rarely 
used in field culture, though often used in private gar- 
dens and by some market gardeners, and both staking 
or tying up and pruning are essential to the profitable 
growing of tomatoes, under glass. In the South, stout 
stakes from i to 2 inches in diameter and 4 to 5 feet 
long are driven into the ground so that they can be 



depended upon to hold the plants erect through the 
heaviest storms, as seen in Fig. 21. This is gener- 
ally and wisely done as soon as the plant is set, though 
some growers delay doing so until the fruit is well 
set. claiming that the disturbance of staking, tying 
and pruning tends to hasten the ripening of the fruit. 
The plant is then tied up, the tying material being- 
wrapped once about the stake and then looped about 
the plant so as to prevent shipping on the stake or 
choking the stem of the plant as it enlarges. Raffia 
is largely used and is one of the best tying materials, 
but short pieces of any soft, cheap string can be used. 
The tying up will need to be repeated as the stem 
elongates, which it will do very rapidly. 

In pruning the tomato we should allow the central 
shoot of the young plant to grow, and remove all of 
the side shoots which spring from the axils of the 
leaves and sometimes even from the fruit clusters, as 
seen in Fig. 22. It is very desirable that this be done 
w^hen the branches are small, as there is then less 
danger of seriously disturbing the balance of the grow- 
ing forces of the plant, and also because there is less 
danger of careless workmen cutting off the main shoot 
in place of a lateral, which would seriously check the 
ripening of the fruit. It is especially important that 
any shoots springing from the fruit cluster be removed 
as early as possible, h'or these reasons it is important 
that, if the plants are to be pruned at all, the field be 
gone over every few days. If the ])runing is not well 
done it is a disadvantage rather than a help. 

Some growers allow two or three (Fig. 23) instead 
of one shoot to grow, selecting for the second the most 

< r. 


< PH 

^ c 

< . 
o . 






vit^orous of the shoots starting from below the first 
ckister of fruit. In some locations they stop or pinch 
out the main shoot just above the first leaf above the 


third or fourth cluster ; in some soils it is an advantage 
and in others rather a disadvantage to do this. I 
have seldom ])racticed it. When fruit at the lowest 
cost a bushel is the desideratum, neither pruning nor 
staking is desirable. 


For home gardens. — lu the home garden trelUsing 
and pruning are often very desirable, as they enable 
us not only to produce more fruit in a given area but 

(Redrawn from photo by New York Experiment Station) 

of better quality. Many forms of trellis have been 
recommended. Where the plants are to be pruned 
as well as supported, as the}- should always be in gar- 
dens, there is nothing better than the single stake, as 
described above. For a trellis without pruning, one to 

" 4*"- J'- y^-M 

rj _U 


three stout hoops supported b\" three stakes so as to 
surround the plant which is allowed to grow through 
and fall over them, or two or more parallel strips sup- 
ported about a foot from the ground on each side of 
a row of plants answer the purpose, which is simply 

(Photo by courtesy of C. W. Waid) 

to keep the plant up from the ground and facilitate 
the free circulation of the air among leaves and fruit. 
I have seen tomatoes grown very successfully by 
the side of an open fence. Two stakes w^ere driven 
into the ground about 6 inches from the fence and 
the plant, but slanting outward and away from each 
other. The tops of the stakes were fastened to the 
fence by wooden braces, and then heavy strings fas- 
tened to the fence around the stakes and back to the 



fence, tlie whole with tlie fence forming a sort of in- 
verted pyramidal vase about 3 feet across at the top. 
In this the plant was allowed to grow, but it would be 
essential to success that the fence be an open one. 
In the greenhouse. — Here i)runing and training 




(Photo by courtesy of Prof. H. F. Hall) 

are essential. The plants may be supported by wires 
or strings (a coarse wool twine will answer), twist- 
ing the string about the plant as it grows. The 
growth is usually confined to a single shoot, though 
some growers allow two ( I^g. 24) ; the method of 
pruning does not dififcr from that given for field cul- 


ture, but it is more important tliat the plants be gone 
over often and the branches removed when small. If 
allowed to do so, branches would spring from the axil 
of each leaf and the plant would become a perfect 
thicket of slender branches and leaves and produce 
but little fruit. The main stem is sometimes pinched 
out after three or four clusters of fruit are set and 
the branch from the axil of the first leaf above is 
allowed to take its place. This tends to hasten the 
maturing of the fruit clusters already set. After sev- 
eral clusters have matured, or the main stem reaches 
the top of the house, some growers allow a shoot from 
the bottom to grow and as soon as fruit sets on it the 
first stem is cut away and this takes its place. Others 
prefer to remove the old plant entirely and set in 
\oung ones. A plant ready for transplanting is shown 
in Fig. 25. In figures 26, 27 and 28 are shown interior 
views of greenhouses at the New York station at Ge- 
neva, the Ohio station at Wooster, and the New- 
Hampshire station at Durham. Note the strong, vig- 
orous plants in Fig. 26; the method of utilizing tile 
for watering in Fig. 27; and the ground-floor bed- 
ding in Fig. 28. 


Ripening, Gathering, Handling and Marketing 
the Fruit 

Tomatoes ripen and color from within outward and 
they will acquire full and often superior color, partic- 
ularly about the stems, if. as soon as they have ac- 
quired full size and the ripening process has fairly com- 
menced, they are picked and spread out in the sun- 
shine. The point of ripeness when they can be safely 
picked is indicated by the surface color changing from 
a dark green to one of distinctly lighter 'shade with 
a very light tinge of pink. Fruit picked in this stage 
of maturity may be wrapped in paper and shipped 
i,ooo or 2,000 miles and when unwrapped after two 
or ten days" journey will be found to have acquired 
a beautiful color, often even more brilliant than that 
of a companion fruit left on the vine. Enclosing the 
fruit while on the vine and about half grown in paper 
bags has been recommended, and it often results in 
deeper and more even coloring and prevents injury 
from cracking, but the fruit so ripened, while more 
beautiful, is not so well flavored as that ripened in 
the sun. But Americans are said to taste with their 
eyes, so that in this country, fruit of this beautiful 
color will often out-sell that which is of better flavor 
though of duller color. 

The tomato never acquires its full and most perfect 
flavor except when ripened on the vine and in full 



sunlight. Vine and sun-ripened tomatoes, like tree- 
ripened peaches, are vastly better flavored than those 
artificially ripened. This is the chief reason why to- 
matoes grown in hothouses in the vicinity are so much 
superior to those shipped in from farther south. Aft- 
er it has come to its most perfect condition on the 
plant the fruit deteriorates steadily, whether gathered 
or allowed to remain on the vine, and the more rapidly 
in proportion as the air is hot and moist. That it be 
fresh is hardly less essential to the first quality in a 
tomato than it is to such things as lettuce and cu- 

Gathering. — As is the case with most horticultural 
products, the best methods of gathering, handling and 
marketing the fruit vary greatly with the conditions 
under which the fruit was grown and how it is to 
be used, and it requires the best of judgment to gather 
it in the stage of maturity in which it will give the 
best satisfaction, under the conditions and for the 
purposes for which it is to be used. It is impossible 
to give exact rules for determining when the fruit is 
in the best condition. This can only be learned by 
experience, guided by a know^ledge of the ripening 
habit of the fruit, which not only varies somewhat 
in different localities, but with dififerent varieties. In 
the extreme South, fruit is picked for shipment be- 
fore it shows more than the slightest tint of color at 
the blossom end ; the depth of color which is con- 
sidered as indicating shipping condition deepens as 
we go north and nearer market. 

Generally the fruit should be left on the vine no 
longer than will permit of its becoming fully ripe 


by the time it reaches its destination and is exposed 
for sale. When the fruit is to be shipped any dis- 
tance the field should be gone over frequently, as 
often as every second or third day or even every day 
in the hight of the season, and care taken to pick 
every fruit as soon as it is in proper condition. When 
it is to be sold in nearby markets or to a cannery the 
exact stage of maturity, when picked, is not so im- 
portant, although it is always an advantage not to 
gather until the fruit is well colored and before it 
begins to soften. Some growers for canneries make 
but three or four pickings, but in this case it is well 
to gather the ripest fruit separately. 

In picking and handling great care should be taken 
not to mar or bruise the fruit, and the stems should 
be removed as the fruit is picked to prevent bruising 
in handling. A bruise or mar may not be as conspic- 
uous in a tomato as in a peach, but it is quite as 
injurious. It is a great deal better for pickers to use 
light pails rather than baskets, the flexibility of the 
latter often resulting in bruises. It is an advantage 
to have enough of these so that the sorting can be 
from the pail, but if this is not practical the fruit 
should be carefully emptied on a sorting table for 
grading. It should first of all be separated with re- 
gard to its maturity. A single fruit w^hich is a little 
riper or greener than the remainder may make the en- 
tire package unsalable. It should also be graded as to 
freedom from blemishes or cracks, and as to size, 
form and color. It is assumed that the fruit for each 
package is to be of the same variety, but often there 
is quite a variation in different fruits from even the 

RlPRXIXr.. (.A 

lli:Ul.\t;, IIA.NDI.INC AM) MAUKI.IIM. Mj 

same vine : the more uniform in all respects the fruit 
in a package is the more attractive and salable it 
becomes. There is no fruit where careful grading 



(Photo by courtesy of American Agriculturist) 

and packing have more influence on the price it will 

I know of a certain noted peach-grower in northern 
Michigan who grew, each year, some 2 to 5 acres 
of tomatoes for the Chicago market. It was his cus- 
tom to pick out about one-tenth of the best of the 
fruit, i)utting it into small and attractively labeled 


packages; the remainder of the crop was sorted over 
and from one-tenth to one-fifth of it rejected and fed 
to stock or sold to a local cannery. The remainder 
was sent to Chicago with his selects, but as common 
stock, and usually brought more than his neighbors 
received for unsorted fruit ; but the check he received 
for his selects was usually as large as that for his 
commons, thus giving him about 33 1-3 per cent, 
more for his crop than his neighbors received for 
their equally good, but unsorted, fruit — to say noth- 
ing of w^hat he received for the rejected fruit and the 
saving of freight which, he said, was usually enough 
to pay the actual cost of sorting. 

Tomatoes are usually classed as vegetables but, 
when ripe, they require as careful handling as the 
most delicate fruits and are as easily and seriously 
injured by bruising and jarring, just how this can 
be avoided and the fruit gotten from the vine to the 
possiblv distant consumer in the best condition will 
vary in different cases. Tomatoes from the South 
(Fig. 29) are generally marketed in carriers which, 
though varying somewhat, are essentially alike and 
consist of an open basket or boxes of veneer holding 
about 10 pounds of fruit. When shipped, tw^o, four 
or six of these are packed in crates made of thin 
boards, so as to protect the fruits but give them plenty 
of air. 

Packing. — Most of the fruit sent to New York 
and riiiladelphia markets from New Jersey and other 
northern states is in boxes or crates holding about 
^i of a bushel and so made as to facilitate ventilation 
when piled in cars or warehouses. hVuit for the 


£N1XG. GATlll-RIXG. llANUf-lNc; AM) MAKKl-TlNG 95 

canneries is usually picked and handled u. bushel 
crates of lath. These various packages are usually 
sold in the flat and the grower puts them together as 
is convenient before the crop comes on; but m many 
sections where there are large shipments they are 
often put together by the package dealers. Fig. 30 

(By courtesy Ohio Experiment Station) 

Shows tomatoes as packed by the Ohio experiment 

station. . 

Fruits after frost.— Sometimes when there is a 
..reat quantitv of partially ripe and full grown green 
fruit on the vines which is liable to be spoiled by an 
earlv fall frost, it can be saved by pulling the vines 
and' placing them in windrows and covering them 
with straw. Of course the vines should be handled 
carefullv to shake off as little fruit as possible. If 
the freeze is followed by a spell of warm, dry weather 


the fruit will ripen up so as to be quite equal to that 
shipped in from a distance. A second plan is to pull 
the vines and hang them up in a dry cellar or out- 
house, or lay them on the ground in an open grove of 
trees, or beneath the trees of an adjoining orchard. 

Still another plan is to gather the green fruit and 
spread it not more than two to four fruits deep m hot- 
bed frames, which are then covered with sash. Local 
grocers are usually glad to pay good prices for this 
late fruit, and in seasons of scarcity I have known 
canners to buy thousands of bushels so ripened at bet- 
ter prices than they paid for the main crop. 


Adaptation of Varieties 

Whatever may be their botanical origin, the modern 
varieties of cukivated tomatoes vary greatly in man\ 
respects, and while these differences are always of 
importance their relative importance differs with con- 
ditions. When the great desideratum is the largest 
possible yield of salable fruit at the least expenditure 
of labor, the qualities of the vine may be the most 
important ones to be considered, while in private gar- 
dens and for a critical home market and where closer 
attention and better cultivation can be given, they 
may be of far less importance than qualities of fruit. 

Habits of growth. — \Miether it be standard or 
dwarf, compact or spreading, is sometimes of great im- 
portance as fitting the sorts for certain soils and meth- 
ods of culture. On heavy, moist, rich land, where 
staking and pruning are essential to the production 
of fruit of the best quality, it is of importance that 
we use sorts whose habits of growth fit them for it ; 
while on warm, sandy, well-drained land, staking and 
pruning may be of little value, and a different habit of 
growth more desirable. We have sorts in which the 
vine is relatively strong growing with few branches, 
upright, with long nodes and small fruit clusters well 
scattered over the vine. They are usually very pro- 
ductive through a long season but generally late in 
maturing. Stocks of this type are sometimes sold, 


98 'lO.MAlO ( rL'fl'RE 

i think improperly, as giant climbing, or Tree tomato. 
The Buckeye State is a good type of these sorts. 

(Fig- 3I-) 
Other varieties make a stout and vigorous but 


shorter growth, with more and heavier branches, 
shorter nodes and many small medium-sized clusters 
of fruit well distributed over the plant and which 
mature through a fairly long season. These sorts are 
usually very productive and our most popular varie- 
ties generally belong to this type, of which the Stone 
(Fig. ^2) is a good representative of the more com- 
pact and the Beauty of the»more open growing. 

Other varieties form many short, weak, sprawling 

FIG. 3 



branches, with usuall}- large and sometimes very 
large clusters of fruit produced chiefly near the cen- 
ter of the plant and which mature early and all to- 
gether. Plants of this type will often mature their 
entire crop and die by the time those of the first type 
have come into full crop. The Atlantic Prize (Fig. 
;^^) and Sparks Earliana are examples of this type. 

In sharp contrast with the above is the tomato De 
Laye, often called Tree tomato. This originated about 
1862 in a garden at Chateau de Laye, France. In this 
the plant rarely exceeds 18 inches in hight, is single- 
stemmed or with few very short branches, the nodes 
very short, the fruit clusters few and small. From 
this, by crossing with other types, there has been de- 
veloped a distinct class of dwarf tomatoes which are 
of intermediate form and character and are well rep- 
sented by the Dwarf Champion ( Fig. 34 ) . Early ma- 
turity is sometimes the most important consideration of 
all, though, because of increasing facilities for ship- 
ping from the South, it is less commonly so than for- 
merl\-. For shipping and canning it is generally, 
though not always, desirable that the crop mature as 
nearly together as possible, that it may be gathered 
with the fewest number of pickings and advantage 
taken of a favorable market ; while for the home 
garden and market a longer season is desirable. 

Foliage. — Abundant, broad and close, or scanty 
cut and open foliage is sometimes of importance, ac- 
cording to whether the location, season and other con- 
ditions make it desirable that the foliage protect the 
fruit from the sun or admit the sunlight, with as 
little obstruction as possible, to the center of the plant. 


^ ^^^M * V Vf^'^^ 




1— \ 






In different sorts, we have gradations frqm those in 
which the leaves are so deeply cut as to have a fern- 
like appearance, to those like the Magnus, or potato- 
leaved, in which the margin of each leaflet is entire, 
and from those in which the leaflets are so few and 
small as to scarcely shut out the light at all to those 
in which they are so numerous that the light can hardly 
penetrate to the center of the plant. The Atlantic Prize 
is an illustration of the scanty foliaged sorts, and the 
Royal Red or Buckeye State of those in which it is 
more abundant. As to color, the foliage varies from 
the dark blue-green of the Buckeye State to the light, 
distinctly yellowish-green of the Honor Bright. 

Varietal differences as to fruit. — These are often 
more important than those of vine. For canning, for 
forcing, and some other uses and for certain markets, 
a medium and uniform size is a very important qual- 
ity, while in other cases uniformity is not important 
and the larger the individual fruits, provided they be 
well formed, the better. We have different sorts in 
which the size of the fruit varies from that of the 
Currant, which is scarcely i inch in circumference, 
to that of Ponderosa, of which well-formed specimens 
over 20 inches in circumference have been grown. 

Shape. — It is always desirable that the outline of 
the vertical section shall be a flowing line with a broad 
and shallow, or no depression at the stem end and as 
little as possible at the opposite point ; but the relative 
importance of this, or whether the general outline 
shall be round or oval, cither vertically or horizon- 
tally, forming a round, long or flat fruit, is largely 
determined bv how the fruit is to be used, and bv in- 


104 TO.MATO CTl.TURl-: 

dividual taste. .V round fruit is best for canning; a 
long one is the most economical for slicing, though 
some prefer a flat one for this purpose. It is always 
desirable that the outline of the horizontal section shall 
be smooth, flowing and symmetrical, and if there be 
any distinct sutures that they shall be shallow and 
broad ; bvit the relative importance of this, and whether 
the outline be round or oval, is wholl\ a matter of 
individual taste. Some people and markets prefer 
one shape and others a very different one. Size and 
smoothness of fruit are the factors which control price 
in some markets, while in others these points are quite 
secondary to color and character of flesh. 

We have sorts which vary from the perfectl}' spher- 
ical ones of the grape and cherr}-, to those in which 
the vertical diameter is less than a third of that of 
the horizontal section, and the pear-shaped in which 
the vertical diameter is tw'ice or thrice that of the long- 
est horizontal section, and from those in which the 
outline of both the vertical and horizontal sections 
is smooth and flowing to those in which the vertical 
section has a deep indentation at both the stem and 
opposite ends, and those in which the horizontal sec- 
tion is broken by deep indentures and sutures often 
disposed with great irregularity. 

For shipping long distances, for the rough handling, 
and for the easy preparation for the fruit for canning, 
a thick, tough skin is desirable, while for home use 
it is objectionable. Freedom from blemish or skin 
crack is also often an important quality, and we have 
sorts which vary greatly in tliese respects. The color 
of the skin, whether purple, red, yellow or white, is 


a matter of taste. In some markets the choice is given 
to purple fruit, like the Beauty, while in others it can 
only be sold at a reduced price. There are few who 
would care to use either yellow or white fruit for can- 
ning or cooking in any way, but many prefer them 
for slicing, or like to use them with the red for this 
purpose ; we have sorts showing every gradation from 
white or light yellow in color through shades of red 
to dark purple-red, and still others which show dis- 
tinct colors in sj)lashings and shadings. 

Character of flesh. — Many consider that the greater 
the number of cells and the larger the proportion of 
flesh to that of pulp and seed the better. This may 
be true of itself, but the fruit-like acid tomato flavor 
which most people value is found chiefly in the pulp, 
and the fruit which has not a due proportion of pulp 
and flesh seems to be insipid and tasteless. Again, the 
division into many small cells is often connected with 
a large and pithy placenta and unevenness in maturity 
and coloring, which faults often more than overbal- 
ance any advantage from small cells and thick flesh. 
The size and character of the placenta are important 

In some sorts it is large, dry, pithy and hard, ex- 
tending far into the fruit even to below the center ; 
and sometimes seems to divide into secondary or 
branch placentas or masses of hard cellular matter, 
while in other varieties it is small and so soft and juicy 
as scarcely to be distinguished from the flesh. Usu- 
ally, but not invariably, the large and pithy placenta 
is correlated with large-sized fruit having many cells ; 
where this is the case it practically necessitates the 


cutting away and wasting of a large proportion of 
the fruit in preparing it for canning, so that the can- 
ners usually prefer round, medium-sized fruits. 

The character of the interior of the fruit varies 
greatly in different varieties. Both the exterior and 
divisional walls vary in thickness and in consistency. 
In some varieties they are comparatively thin, hard 
and dry; in others, thicker, softer and more juicy. 
In some cases there is but little interior wall, the fruit 
being divided into but few — even but two — cells of 
even size and shape, while in others there are many 
cells of varying size and shape. \'arieties also differ 
greatly as to the amount, consistency and flavor of the 
pulp and the number of seeds. It requires from 300 
to 500 pounds of ripe fruit to furnish a pound of seed 
of Ponderosa, while with some of the smaller, earlier 
sorts one can get a pound of seed from 100 to 200 
pounds of fruit. 

Coloring and ripening. — Uniformity and evenness 
in coloring and ripening are an important quality. 
Tomatoes generally color and ripen from within out- 
ward, and from the point opposite the stem upward, 
but varieties differ in the evenness and rapidity with 
which this takes place. It is always desirable that 
the ripening be as even as possible and that there be 
no green and hard spots either at the surface or in 
the flesh, but often perfection in this respect is corre- 
lated with such lack of size and solidity as to counter- 
balance it. Rapidity in ripening, in a general way, is 
desirable for fruit to be used at home, and undesirable 
in that which is to be shipped. 

The time a tomato fruit will remain in usable con- 


dition and the amount of rough handUng it will endure 
without becoming unsalable are most important com- 
mercial qualities depending largely upon the combined 
efifects of the form and structure of the fruit, solidity 
and firmness of the flesh and ripening habit. In all 
these resepcts we have varieties which dififer greatly, 
from the Honor Bright, wdiich requires as much time 
to ripen, and when ripe is firm-tieshed and will re- 
main usable as long as a peach, to those which 24 
hours after reaching their full size are fully colored 
and ripe, and in 24 hours more are so over-ripe and 
soft that they will break oj^en of their own weight. 

These are only some of the varietal differences of 
the tomato. Are such differences of practical import- 
ance? I think they are, and that a wise selection of 
the type best suited to one's own particular conditions 
and requirements is one of the most essential requisites 
of satisfactorx- tomato culture. How important it 
seems to practical tomato growers may be illustrated 
by an actual case. 

In a certain section of Xew Jersey the money-ma- 
king crop is early tomatoes, and they are grown to 
such an extent that from an area with a radius of 
not exceeding 5 miles they have shipped as much as 
15,000 bushels in one day, and the shipments will 
often average 8,000 bushels for days together. They 
have tried a great number of sorts, but have settled 
upon a certain type of a well-known variety as that 
best suited to their conditions and needs. Seeds of 
this variety which are supposed to produce plants of 
the exact t_\pe wanted can be bought from seedsmen 
for 10 cents an ounce and at much lower rates for 


larger quantities, but when one of the most success- 
ful growers of that locality, because of change of oc- 
cupation, offered seed selected by him for his own 
use for sale at auction, it brought $3 an ounce. 
This price was paid because of the confidence of the 
bidders that the seed could be depended upon to pro- 
duce plants of the exact type wanted for their con- 
ditions ; and I was assured that the use of this high- 
priced seed actually added very largely to the profits 
from every field in that vicinity in which it was used, 
but the use of some of the same lot of seed by planters 
in Florida resulted in financial loss because the type 
of plant produced was not suited to their conditions 
and requirements. 

A wise answer can only be given after a study of 
each case, and no one can do this so well as the 
planter himself. He should know, as no one else can 
know, his own conditions and requirements, and should 
be able to form very exact ideas of just what he wants, 
and the doing so is, in my opinion, one of the most 
important requisites for satisfactory tomato growing. 
I also believe that it is as impossible for a man to 
answer offhand the question, "What is the best va- 
riety of tomato?" as for a wise physician to answer 
tlie queston, "What is the best medicine?" 

Varietal names and descriptions mean something 
quite different in the case of plants like the tomato, 
which are propagated by seed, from what they do with 
plants like the apple and strawberry, which are prop- 
agated by division. In the latter case all the plants 
of the variety are but parts of the primal origination, 
and so are alike. A description is simply a more or 


less complete and accurate definition of what a cer- 
tain immutable thing really is, but in the case of plants 
propagated by seed the variety is made up of all the 
plants which accord with a certain ideal. Bailey says, 
-Of all those which have more points of resemblance 
than of difiference."' and a description of the variety 
is of that ideal which in common practice is not fixed, 
but may and generallx- does vary not only with differ- 
ent people but from time to time. The only founda- 
tion for varietal names in plants of this class is an 
agreement as to the ideal the name shall stand for. 
Under modern horticultural practice when anyone has 
been able to secure seed most of which he is reason- 
ably sure will develop into plants of a distinct type 
different from that of any sort known to him. he has 
a distinct variety, so that it is not surprising that we 
should find that American seedsmen offer tomato seed 
under more than 300 different names, and those of 
Europe under more than 200 additional, so that we 
have more than 500 varietal names, each claiming to 
stand for a distinct sort. Xow it is quite possible— 
indeed, it is certain— that we might have 500 tomato 
plants each different in some respect, either of vine, 
leaf, habit of growth, or character of fruit, from any 
of the others and that these differences might make 
plants of one type better suited to certain conditions 
and uses than any other; but it is very certain that 
these 500 names do not stand for such differences. It 
is doubtless true that a portion— though I think but 
a small portion— of these different sorts exist simply 
as a matter of commercial expediency; but by far a 
greater part of them exist because one has found that 


plants of a certain character were better suited to some 
set of conditions and requirements than any sort with 
which he was acquainted, and having secured seed 
which he thought would produce plants of that char- 
acter, has offered it as of a distinct sort. 

It is probable that a better acquaintance with sorts 
already in cultivation would have prevented the naming 
of many of these stocks as distinct varieties. What is 
of far more practical importance, the same name does 
not always stand for precisely the same type with dif- 
ferent seedsmen, or even with the same seedsmen in 
different years ; nor are the seedsmen's published de- 
scriptions such as would enable any one to learn from 
them just what type he will receive under any par- 
ticular name, or which sort he should buy in order to 
get plants of any desired type. Seedsmen's catalogs 
are published and distributed gratuitously at great 
expense, and are issued, primarily, for the sake of 
selling the seeds ^hey offer. They answer the purpose 
for which they are designed, in proportion as they 
secure orders for seeds. Will this be measured by 
the accuracy and completeness of their descriptions? 
I think that it needs but slight acquaintance with the 
actual results of advertising to answer in the negative, 
and whatever your answer may be, the answer given 
by the catalogs themselves is an emphatic no. 

In a recent case I looked very carefully through the 
catalogs of 125 American seedsmen who listed a cer- 
tain variety which is very markedly deficient in a 
certain desirable quality, and found that but 37 of 
the 125 mentioned the quality in connection with the 
variety at all and of these but 7 admitted the defi- 


ciency, while 30 told the opposite of the truth. Even 
if a complete, exact and reliable description of a vari- 
ety was published by disinterested persons, one could 
not be sure of getting seed from seedsmen which 
would produce plants of that exact type, since there 
is no agreement or uniformity among them as to the 
exact type any varietal name shall stand for. 

One way of getting seed of the exact type wanted 
is to do as the South Jersey growers did : go to work 
and breed up a stock which is uniformly of the type 
wanted ; but this involves more painstaking care than 
many are willing to give, though I think not more 
than it would be most profitable for them to expend 
for the sake of getting seed just suited to their needs. 

A second and easier way is to secure samples of the 
most promising sorts and from the most reliable 
sources and grow them on one's own farm ; select 
the stock which seems best for him and buy enough 
of that exact stock for several years' planting, and in 
the meantime be looking for a still better one. Toma- 
to seed stored in a cool, dry place will retain its vital- 
ity for from three to seven years. 


Seed Breeding and Growing 

The potentialities of every plant and its limitations 
are inherent, fixed and immutable in the seed from 
which it is developed and are made up of the balanced 
sum of the different tendencies it receives in varying 
degree from each of its ancestors back for an indefi- 
nite number of generations. A very slight difference 
in the character or the degree of any one of the ten- 
dencies which go to make up this sum may make a 
most material difference in the balance and so in the 
resulting character of the plant produced. Dift'erent 
plants, even of the same ancestry, vary greatly in 
prepotenc}' or in the relative dominance of the influ- 
ence they have over descendants raised from seed 
produced by them. 

In some cases all the plants raised from seed pro- 
duced by a certain plant will be essentially alike and 
closely resemble the seed-bearing plant, while seed 
from another plant of the same parentage will develop 
into plants differing from each other and seemingly 
more influenced by some distant ancestor or by vary-, 
ing combinations of such infiuences than of those of 
the plant which actually produced the seed from which 
they were developed. Successful seed breeding can 
only be accomplished by taking advantage of these 
principles of heredity and variation, and by a wise 
use of them it is possible to produce seed which can 


be depended upon to produce plants of any type possi- 
ble to the species. 

The first essential for breeding is to have a clear 
and exact conception of precisely what, in all re- 
spects, the type shall be and then the securing of seed 
which has come from plants of that exact character 
for the greatest possible number of generations, care- 
fully avoiding the introduction by cross-pollination of 
tendencies from plants differing in any degree from 
the desired type. Secondly, seed should be used from 
plants which have been proven to produce seed, which 
will develop into plants like themselves or are strongly 
prepotent. A practical way to accomplish this in the 
tomato is as follows : 

By experiment and observation form a very clear 
conception of precisely the type of plant and fruits 
which is best suited to your needs. This may be done 
by the study of available descriptions of sorts, by 
conference with those who have had experience in 
your own or similar climatic an. soil conditions and 
in raising fruit for the same pui poses and, best of all, 
by trials of samples of different sorts and stocks on 
your own grounds. Having formed such a concep- 
tion, write out the clearest possible description of ex- 
actly what you want and the ideal plant you are aim- 
ing at, stating as fully and minutely as possible every 
desirable quality and also those to be avoided. 1 
consider not only the formation of an exact ideal, 
but the writing out of a most minute and exact de- 
scription of precisely what in every particular the 
ideal plant should be and the rigid adherence to that 
exact ideal in selection, as the most important ele- 

114 TOMATO CTT/rL-Rl-: 

ments of successful seed breediug. Without it one 
is certain to vary from year to year in the type se- 
lected and in just so far as he does this, even if it 
be toward what might be called improvements or in 
regard to an unimportant quality, he undermines all 
his work and makes it impossible to establish a strain 
which can be relied upon to produce an exact type. 

With this description in hand, search out one or 
more plants which seem the nearest to the ideal. In 
doing this it should be kept in mind that the charac- 
ter of t he s eed is determined by the plant rather than 
by the individual fruit. Therefore, a plant whose 
fruit is most uniformly of the desired type should be 
chosen over one having a small proportion of its fruits 
of very perfect type, the others being different and 
variable. Save seed from one or more fruits from 
each of the selected plants, keeping that from each 
fruit, or at least each plant, separate. Give it a i. tim- 
ber and make a record of how nearly, in each partic- 
ular, the plant and fruit of each number come to the 
desired ideal. I regard the saving of each lot sepa- 
rately and recording its characters as very important, 
even when all have been selected to and come equally 
close to precisely the same ideal. Quite often the 
seed of one plant will produce plants precisely like it, 
while that of another, equal or superior, will produce 
plants of which no two are alike and none like that 
which produced the seed, so that often the mixing of 
seed from different plants of the same general type, 
and seemingly of equal quality, prevents the establish- 
ment of a uniform type. 

The next year from to to lOO plants raised from 


aach lot are set in blocks and labeled. As they develop 
the blocks are studied and compared with the original 
description of the desired type and that of each plant 
from which seed was saved, and the block selected in 
which all the plants come the nearest to the desired 
type, and which show the least variation. From it 
plants are selected in the same way and to the same 
type as the previous year. It is better to make selec- 
tions from such a block than to take the most supe- 
rior plants from all of the blocks, or from one which 
produced but one or but a few superlative ones, the 
rest being variable. 

It is also well to consider the relative importance of 
different qualities in connection with the degree to 
which the different lots approach the ideal in these 
respects. Such a course of selection intelligently and 
carefully carried out will give, in from three to five 
years, strains of seed greatly superior and better 
adapted to one's own conditions than any which it is 
possible to purchase. A single or but a very few se- 
lections may be made each year, and the superior 
value of the seed of the remainder of the seed blocks 
for use in the field will be far more than the cost of 
the whole work. 

Growing and saving commercial seed. — The ideal 
way is for the seedsman to grow and select seed as 
described above and give this stock seed to farmers 
who plant in fields and cultivate it, much as is rec- 
ommended for canning, and save seed from the entire 
crop, the pulp being thrown away. Only a few pick- 
ings are necessary and the seed is separated by ma- 
chmes worked by horse power at small cost, often not 


exceeding lo cents a pound. They secure from 75 
to 250 pounds per acre, according to the variety and 
crop, and the seedsmen pay them 40 cents to $1 a 
pound for it. Some of our more careful seedsmen 
produce all the seed they use in this way ; others buy 
of professional seed growers, who use more or less 
carefully grown stock seed. In other cases when the 
fruit is fully ripe it is gathered, and the seeds, pulp 
and skins are separated by machinery ; the seed is sold 
to seedsmen, the pulp made into catsup, and only the 
skins are thrown away. Still others get their supply 
by washing out and saving the seed from the waste 
of canneries. Such seed is just as good as seed saved 
from the satnc grade of tomatoes in any other way, but 
the fruit used by the canneries is, usually, a mixture 
of different crops and grades, and even of different 
varieties, and consequently the seed is mixed and en- 
tirely lacking in uniformity and distinctness of type. 

Generally from 5 to 20 per cent, of the plants pro- 
duced by seed as commonly grown either by the far- 
mer himself or the seedsmen, though they may be 
alike in more conspicuous characteristics, will show 
varietal differences of such importance as to affect 
more or less materiall\' the value of the plant for the 
conditions and the purposes for which it is grown. 
In a book like this it is useless to attempt to give long 
varietal descriptions even of the sorts commonly listed 
by seedsmen, since such descriptions would be more 
a statement of what the writer thought seed of that 
variety should be rather than of what one would be 
likelv to receive under that name. 


Production for Canning 

Growing for canning has many advantages over 
growing for market. Some of these are that it is 
not necessary to start the plants so early, that they 
can be grown at less cost, and set in :he field when 
smaller and with less check, and on this latter account 
are apt to give a large _. ield. It is not necessary to 
gather the fruit so often, nor to handle it so carefully, 
while practically ail of it is saleable. For these rea- 
sons the cost of production is lower and it is less 
variable than with crops grown for market. Still 
farmers and writers do not agree at all as to the ac- 
tual cost. It is claimed by some that where the fac- 
tory is within easy reach of the field the cost of grow- 
ing, gathering and delivering a full yield of tomatoes 
need not exceed $12 to $18 an acre, while others de- 
clare they cannot be grown for less than $40. Nearly 
one-third of this cost is for picking and delivering, 
and varies more with the facilities for doing this easily 
and promptly and with the }ield than with crops 
grown for market. A large proportion of the crops 
grown for canning are poorly cultivated and unwisely 
handled, so that the average yield throughout the en- 
tire country is very low. hardly exceeding 100 bushels 
an acre. But where weather and other conditions are 
favorable, and with judicious cultivation, a yield of 



300 to 800 bushels an acre can be expected. I have 
known of many larger ones. 

A large proportion of the tomatoes grown for can- 
ning are planted under contract, by which the farmer 
agrees to deliver the entire yield of fruit fit for can- 
ning, which may be produced on a given area, at the 
contract price per bushel or ton. The canner is to 
judge what fruit is fit for canning and this often re- 
sults in great dissatisfaction. To the grower it seems 
in many cases as though the quantity of acceptable 
fruit paid for was determined quite as much by the 
abundance or scarcity of the general crop as by the 
weight hauled to the factory. The prices paid by the 
factories for the past 10 years run from 10 to 25 cents 
a bushel, while canning tomatoes in the open market 
for the same period have brought from 8 to 50 cents 
a bushel, which, however, are exceptional prices. In 
all but two of the past 10 years uncontracted tomatoes 
could generally be sold, in most sections, for more than 
was paid on contract. I have given the price a bushel, 
though canning tomatoes are usually sold by the ton. 
The cost of the product of a well-equipped cannery 
is divided about as follows : fruit, 30 pei* cent. ; hand- 
ling, preparing and processing the fruit, 18 per cent. ; 
cost of cans, labels, cases, etc., 43 per cent. ; labeling, 
packing and selling, 0.035 per cent. ; incidentals, 0.055 
per cent. 

Canning on the farm. — While as a general propo- 
sition such work as canning tomatoes can usually be 
done at less cost in a central plant, yet in many cases 
the grower can profitably do this on the farm, thus 
saving not only the expense of delivery at the factory, 


but the dissatisfaction with weights credited and de- 
lays in receiving the fruit. But very Httle special 
apparatus or machinery (more than some form of 
boiler for supplying steam) is needed, and this and 
the cans can be readily obtained of dealers in canners' 
supplies. In Maryland and neighboring states many 
dealers furnish all necessary machinery, cans and 
other requisites and contract for the crop delivered 
in cans. 

An advantage of canning on the farm is that it 
can be done with less w^aste of fruit The hauling 
to the factory and delay in working the fruit result 
in a great deal of waste. The average cannery does 
not obtain more than 1,200 pounds of product from 
a ton of fruit, there being 800 pounds of waste, while 
with sound, ripe, perfectly fresh fruit, it is entirely 
practical to secure from i,6oo to i,8oo pounds of 
canned goods from a ton, and this saving in waste 
would more than counterbalance the gain from the 
use of the better machinery possible in the factory. 

The process of canning is simple and consists first 
of rinsing off the fruit, then in wire baskets or pails 
dipping it into boiling hot water to start the skins, 
which will require but two to four minutes. While 
they are still hot they should be peeled and imper- 
fections cut out, then promptly placed in the cans, 
which should be fully filled. Place in a hot box for 
three to five minutes until heated through, wipe top 
of can clean and drop perforated cap in place, add 
flux and solder, seal cap in place with round capper, 
close perforation in cap with drop of solder- Place 
in box or kettle and steam or boil for 20 to 40 


minutes. If the tomatoes were all ripe and none 
over-ripe, and have been kept hot from the time they 
went into the scalding kettle until the sealed cans 
are in the kettle, 20 minutes' cooking will make them 
surer to keep than 40 minutes would with fruit such 
as is commonly received at factories, or that which 
has been allowed to cool once or twice while in 


Cost of Production 

There are a few vegetables or fruits where the cost 
of production and the price received are more varia- 
ble than with the tomato. The cost per acre for rais- 
ing the fruit varies with the conditions of soil, facili- 
ties for doing the work economically and with the 
season, while that of marketing the product varies 
still more. Under usual conditions, the growing of 
an acre of tomatoes and the gathering and marketing 
of the fruit will cost from $i8 to $90, of which from 
15 to 40 per cent, is spent in fertilizing and preparing 
the ground, 5 to 10 per cent, for plants, 20 to 30 per 
cent, for cultivation, and 25 to 40 per cent, for gath- 
ering and handling the fruit. The last item, of course, 
varies somewhat with, but not in proportion to, the 
amount of the crop, as it costs proportionately less to 
gather a large than a small crop, and for canners' use 
than for market. 

The expense of shipping and marketing the crop 
varies so greatly according to the conditions and 
methods that I do not attempt to state the amount. 
The total yield of fruit runs from 200 to 600 or 700 
bushels to the acre, a 200-bushel crop of tomatoes com- 
paring as to amount with one of 25 bushels of wheat 
and a 700-bushel crop of tomatoes with one of 60 
bushels of wheat ; with the best and wisest cultivation 
and under the most favorable conditions one can as 



reasonably hope for one as for the other. Of this total 
yield, from lo to 25 per cent, of the fruit should be 
such as, because of earliness and quality, can be sold 
as extras, and there is usually from 5 to 10 per cent., 
and sometimes a much larger per cent., which should 
be rejected as unsalable. The selected fruit should 
net from $1 to $5 a bushel, the common from 30 to 
75 cents — making the returns for a 200-bushel yield 
well sold in a nearby market $70 to $350, and propor- 
tionately larger, for a better yield. In practice I have 
known of crops which gave a profit above expenses of 
over $1,000 an acre. This came, however, from ex- 
ceptionally favorable conditions and skilled marketing, 
and I have known of many more crops where, though 
the fruit was equally large and well grown, the profit 
was less than $100. 

In this country a greenhouse is seldom used solely 
for the growing of tomatoes, but other crops — such 
as lettuce — are grown in connection with the tomatoes, 
so that it is impracticable to give the cost of produc- 
tion. As grown at the Ohio state experiment station — 
and the crop ripened in late spring or early summer 
and sold on the market of smaller cities — greenhouse 
tomatoes have yielded about two pounds a square foot 
of glass and brought an average price of 12 cents per 
pound. In other cases yields as high as 10 pounds a 
foot of glass and an average price of 40 cents a 
pound have been reported. 

Insects Injurious to the Tomato 

By Dr. F. H. Chittenden 
Biireau of Entomology, U. S. Department of Agriculture 

From the time tomato plants are set in the field 
until the fruit has ripened they are subject to the 
attacks of insects which frequently cause serious in- 
jury. On the whole, however, the tomato is not so 
susceptible to damage as are some related crops — 
such as the potato. 

Cutworms. — Of insects most to be feared and of 
those which attack the plants when they are first set 
out are cutworms of various species. The grower is 
as a rule quite too familiar with these insects, and no 
description of their methods is necessary, beyond the 
statement that they cut off and destroy more than 
they eat and re-setting is frequently necessary. The 
best remedy is a poisoned bait, prepared by dipping 
bunches of clover, weeds, or other vegetation in a 
solution of Paris green or other arsenical, i pound to 
lOO gallons of water. These baits are distributed in 
small lots over the ground before the plants are set, 
the precaution being observed that the land is free 
for two or three weeks from any form of vegetation. 
This will force the hungry "worms" to feed on the 
baits, to their prompt destruction. A bran-mash is 
also used instead of weeds or clover, and is prepared 




by combining one part by weight of arsenic, one of 
sugar, and six of sweetened bran, with enough water 
added to make a mash. The baits are renewed if they 
become too dry, or they can be kept moist by placing 
them under shingles or pieces of board. 

Flea-beetles attack the plants soon after they are 

FIG. 35 — CUTWORM AND PARENT MOTH (Feltia subgothica) 

(From Chittenden, U. S. Department of Agriculture) 

set, and their injuries can be prevented by dipping 
the young plants before setting in a solution of arse- 
nate of lead, about i pound to 50 gallons of water, 
or Paris green, i pound to 100 gallons. If this pre- 
caution has not been observed a spray of either of 
these arsenicals used in the proportion specified will 
suffice, repeating if the insects continue on the plants. 
In the preparation of the spray a pound of fresh lime 
to each pound of the arsenical should be added; or, 
better yet, Bordeaux mixture should be employed as 
a diluent instead of water. This mixture has some 
insecticidal value, is a most valuable fungicide, and 

j.\si-:c "IS ixiikiors lo riiK io^mato 

12 = 

is also a powerful deterrent of flea-beetle attack, act- 
ing to a less degree against other insects which are 
apt to be found on the tomato. In applying any spray 
a sprayer costing not less than $7 is a positive necessity. 


Does great injury to young 
plants. Much enlarged. Ac- 
tual size shown by line at 
right. (From Chittenden) 


(From t'liittenden) 

The Colorado potato beetle, or ''potato bug," some- 
times injures tomatoes, but not as a rule when pota- 
toes are available. This suggests the use of pota- 
toes as a trap crop, planted in about three rows com- 
pletely around the field of tomatoes. The arsenicals 
used in the same proportion as for flea-beetles will 
destroy the potato beetle. It is necessary to keep the 
trap potatoes well sprayed to prevent them from breed- 
ing on these plants and migrating to the tomatoes. 
Potato beetles can also be controlled by jarring them 
from the affected plants into large pans containing 
a little water on which a thin scum of kerosene is 

Blister beetles may be controlled, under ordinary 



circumstances, by the same method employed against 
the Colorado beetle. When they are present in great 
numbers a good remedy consists in driving them with 
the wind from the cultivated fields into windrows of 
straw or similar dry material previously prepared 

FIG. 38 — TOMATO WORM (Protoporce sexta) 

(0) Adult moth; (b) full-grown larva; (c) pupa — all reduced 
(After Howard, V. S. Dept. Agr.) 

along the leeward side of the field, where they will 
congregate and can be burned. 

The tomato worms, of which there are two com- 
mon species closely resembling each other, are often 
abundant and destructive on tomato foliage, partic- 
ularly southward. The arsenicals will kill them, or 
they can be held in check by hand-picking, a little 



experience enabling one to detect their presence read- 
ily. Turkeys are utilized in destroying these worms 
in the South. 

The stalk-borer, as its name implies, attacks the 

FIG. 39 — TOMATO STALK-BORER (Papaipemo nitela) 

(a) Female moth; (b) half-grown larva; (c) mature larva in injured 

stalk; (rf) lateral view of abdominal segment; (e) pupa — all somewhat 

enlarged. (From Chittenden, U. S. Dept. Agr. ) 

Stalk, and is an intermittent pest, though quite annoy- 
ing at times. It is difificult to combat, but its injuries 
may be prevented by care in keeping down, and by 
■promptly destroying, the weeds after they are pulled 
or hoed out during the growing season. If weeds 
are left to dry the striped caterpillar of this species 



will desert them and enter cultivated plants. Rag- 
weed and burdock are the principal foods of this in- 
sect, and special attention should be given to erad- 
icate them where tomatoes are planted. Crop rota- 
tion is advisable where this can be conveniently prac- 
ticed, and such plants as cabbage, radish and the like, 
onions, beets, asparagus and celery are suggested as 



{Hcliothis obsolcta) 
(Redrawn by Johnson from C. V. Riley) 

alternates. When the plants are sprayed with arsen- 
icals for other insects this will operate to a certain 
extent against the stalk-borer. 

The tomato fruit worm (Fig. 40) known as the 
bollworni of cotton and the ear worm of corn, is fre- 
quently the cause of serious trouble to tomato growers, 
especially in the southern states, due to its pernicious 
habit of eating into and destroying the green and 
ripening fruit. For its control it is advisable not to 


plant tomatoes in proximity to old corn or cotton 
fields, nor should land be used in regions where this 
species is abundant until it has been fall or winter 
plowed. Sweet corn planted about the field before 
the tomatoes are set will serve as a lure for the parent 
moths to deposit their eggs, corn and cotton being 
favorite foods of this species and preferred to toma- 
toes. The fruit worm feeds to a certain extent on the 



(From Chittenden, U. S. Department of Agriculture) 

foliage before penetrating the fruit, and it is possible 
to keep it in subjection by spraying with arsenicals 
as advised for the flea-beetles. It is suggested that 
arsenate of lead, being more adhesive than other 
arsenicals, should be used for the first sprayings, be- 
ginning when the fruit commences to form, repeating 
once or twice as found necessary, and making a last 
spraying with Paris green within a few days of ripen- 
ing. This last poison will readily wash ofif and there 
is no danger whatever of poisoning to human beings, 
as has been conclusively proved in numerous similar 
cases. For the perfect success of this remedy the 


last spraying is essential, as those who have sprayed 
with an arsenical and have reported only partial good 
results have discontinued within about two weeks of 
the time of the ripening of the first fruit. 

White fly or aleyrodes. — These minute insects are 
familiar to most growers who raise tomatoes under 
glass. They can be held in control by vaporization 
or fumigation with tobacco or nicotine extracts, or 
by spraying with kerosene emulsion or the so-called 
whale-oil (fish-oil) soap. Care is necessary in using 
the extracts that the smudge does not become too 
dense and injure the plants. Before applying this 
remedy on a large scale a preliminary trial should be 
made following the directions on the packages, and 
reducing the amount if any ill results follow. Hydro- 
cyanic acid gas, properly used, is also an excellent 
remedy for aleyrodes, aphides, "mealy-bug," and 
other soft-bodied insects which are sometimes troub- 
lesome on greenhouse tomatoes. 

For a complete account of the methods of making and 
handling hydrocyanic acid gas, see Professor Johnson's book 
entitled "Fumigation Methods," published by Orange Judd 
Company, of New York. Sent postpaid for $i. — [Author. 

Tomato Diseases 

By W. A. Orton 
U. S. Department of Agriculture 


The health of tomato plants is to a large extent 
dependent on the conditions under which they are 
being grown. The character and physical condition 
of the soil, the supply of water and plant food, the 
temperature and amount of sunlight, are all factors 
of the greatest importance in the growth and devel- 
opment of the crop. When there are variations from 
the normal in the case of any of these the plant adapts 
itself to the change as far as possible, but its func- 
tions may be so disturbed as to result in ill health or 
disease. It is in many cases difficult to draw a line 
between a natural re-action of the plant to its environ- 
ment and a state of disease. For example, the trouble 
described in the next paragraph seems to fall into the 
first class. 

Shedding of blossoms, — The tomato is very liable 
to drop its buds and blossoms and in some instances 
partial or total crop failures have resulted. The prin- 
cipal causes are an over-rapid growth, due in many 
cases to an excess of nitrogenous fertilizers, unfavor- 
able weather conditions, especially cold winds, contin- 
ued rainy or moist weather, which hinders pollina- 



tion. lack of sunlight, or extremely hot weather. Such 
shedding can be partially controlled by pruning away 
the lateral branches as soon as formed and topping 
the plants after the third cluster of fruit has set, and 
by a reduction in the use of nitrogenous fertilizers. 
A failure to set fruit in the greenhouse is often due to 
lack of pollination, which must be remedied by hand 

Cracking of the fruit. — The formation of cracks 
or fissures in the nearly mature fruit is due to varia- 
tions in the water supply and other conditions affect- 
ing growth at this stage. If after the development of 
the outer portion of the fruit has been checked by 
drought there follows a period of abundant water 
supply and rapid growth, the fruit expands more rap- 
idly than its epidermis and the latter is ruptured. 
Some varieties of tomatoes are nuich less subject to 
this trouble than others and should be given prefer- 
ence on this account. The grower, so far as lies in 
his power, should seek to maintain an uninterrupted 
growth by thorough preparation of the land, by culti- 
vation or by mulching. If the half-grown fruits are 
enclosed in paper bags, cracking may be prevented, 
but at the risk of loss of flavor in the ripened fruit. 

Leaf curl. — The effect of pruning is to stimulate 
growth and to increase the size of the leaves, the 
effort of the plant being to maintain a balance between 
roots and foliage. With rapidly growing plants, espe- 
cially in the greenhouse and garden where both high 
manuring and pruning have been practiced, more or 
less curling and distortion of the leaves may result 
AitliQut developing into serious trouble if the grower 


takes the hint and modifies his methods so as to per- 
mit a more balanced growth. On the other hand, the 
ill effects of over-feeding and pruning may reach a 
])oint where the i)lant is seriously crippled. 

Edema. — Under certain conditions plants in green- 
houses or even in the open field, may absorb water 
through the roots faster than it can be transpired 
through the leaves, with the result that dropsical swell- 
ings or blisters occur on the leaves and more succulent 
stems. There is also a deformation of the foliage, 
much like the leaf-curi produced by over-feeding. 
This trouble, known as edema, occurs when the soil 
is warmer than the air, or during periods of moist, 
warm, cloudy weather, which checks transpiration. 
The grower should cease pruning, and withhold water, 
and in the field cultivate deeply. In the greenhouse, 
adequate ventilation should be given, keeping the house 
dry rather than moist. 

Mosaic disease. — The tomato is occasionally sub- 
ject to a trouble allied to the mosaic disease of tobacco. 
It is characterized by a variegation of the leaves into 
light and dark green areas, usually accompanied by 
distortion and reduction in size. In severe cases a 
whole field may become worthless. While the nature 
of this malady is not fully vinderstood, it is known to 
be due to a disordered nutrition of the young leaf-cells. 
It can be produced by severe pruning or by mutila- 
tion of the roots in transplanting, both of which should 
be carefully avoided. It is more likely to occur in 
seedlings that have made a soft, rapid growth on ac- 
count of an excess of nitrogenous fertilizer or too high 
temperature. Close. cla\ey soils, on account of their 


poor physical condition, also favor the development 
of the disease after transplanting. 

Western blight (Yellows). — In the North Pacific 
and Rocky ^Mountain states, serious losses are an- 
nually caused by a disease apparently unlike any east- 
ern trouble. It is marked by a gradual yellowing of 
the foliage and fruit. Development is checked, the 
leaves curl upward and the plant dies without wilting. 
The nature and cause of this disease is as yet unknown. 
It appears to be worst on new land. Experiments 
that have been made indicate that in older cultivated 
fields thorough preparation of the soil, manuring and 
cultivation, combined with care in transplanting to 
avoid injuring the roots and checking growth, will 
greatly restrict the spread of this blight. 


There are several fungous parasites of tomatoes, 
which, for the readers convenience, may be briefly men- 
tioned and the treatment of all discussed together. The 
first three are indeed somewhat difficult to tell apart 
without a microscope, as they produce a similar effect 
on the leaves and all yield to the same treatment — 
thorough spraying with Bordeaux mixture. 

Leaf spot {Scptoria lycopersici Speg.) has been 
widely prevalent and injurious during recent years. 
It produces small, roundish dark-brown spots on leaves 
and stems. The lower leaves are attacked first and 
gradually curl up, die and fall ofif. The vitality of the 
l)lant is reduced and it is only kept alive by the young 
leaves formed at the top. 


The fungus that causes early bhght of potatoes 
{Alterjiaria solaiii (E. & AI.) J. & G.) occurs on to- 
matoes also, sometimes doing much injury. The spots 
formed are at first small and black, later enlarging 
and exhibiting fine concentric rings. 

A somewhat similar leaf-blight results from a spe- 
cies of Cyliiidrosporiiini, and other fungi may occur 
on diseased leaves. 

Leaf mold {Cladosporiiiui fiilvuin Cke.) is quite 
distinct from the foregoing in appearance. It does 
not cause such distinct spots but occurs in greenish 
brown, velvety patches of irregular outline on the un- 
der side of the leaves. The lower leaves are first at- 
tacked, and as the disease progresses they turn yellow 
and drop off. This is the principal fungous enemy of 
greenhouse tomatoes, but also does injury in gardens, 
particularly in Florida and the Gulf region. It is read- 
ily controlled by spraying. In the greenhouse care 
should be taken to ventilate well, without, however, al- 
lowing cold drafts to strike the plants. 

■&owny mildew { Pliytopfhora iiifcstaiis DeBy.), the 
cause of the late blight of potatoes, will attack toma- 
toes during cool and very moist weather, which greatly 
favors its development. Such outbreaks sometimes 
occur to a limited extent in New England and serious 
losses are reported on the winter crop in southern 
California, but the disease has never been troublesome 
in other sections of the country, as it cannot develop 
in dry or hot weather. It affects the tomato as it does 
the potato, forming on the leaves dark, discolored 
spots, which spread rapidly under favorable condi- 
tions, killing the foliage in a few days. The fruit is 


also attacked and becomes covered with the mildew- 
like spore-bearing threads of the fungus. Bordeaux 
mixture properly applied is an efficient preventive. 

Spraying tomatoes. — It should be the invariable 
l)ractice of the tomato grower to spray with Bordeaux 
mixture to prevent injury from any of these leaf- 
l)lights. This should be done while the plants are still 
healthy, as if put oft until the disease appears the 
battle is half lost. Make the first application to the 
young plants in the seed-bed a few days before trans- 
planting. Spray again within a week after the plants 
are set in the field, and repeat at intervals of ten days 
or two weeks until the fruit is full grown. Success in 
spraying depends mainly on the thoroughness of the 
work. The aim should be to cover every leaf with a 
fine mist. Do not drench the foliage but pass to the 
next plant before the drops run together and off the 
leaf. Use a nozzle that gives a fine spray and main- 
tain a high pressure at the pump. 

Preparation of Bordeaux mixture. — Formula: Cop- 
per sulphate ( bluestone ) , 5 pounds ; lime, 5 pounds ; 
and water, 50 gallons. The copper sulphate may be 
either in crystals or pulverized. Dissolve by suspend- 
ing the required amount in a coarse sack near the top 
of the water a few hours before it will be needed. The 
lime must be fresh stone lime of good quality. Slake 
thoroughly by the addition of small quantities of water 
at a time as needed, stirring until all small lumps 
are slaked. Strain both the lime milk and the cop- 
per sulphate or bluestone solution through a brass 
strainer of t8 meshes per inch and dilute each with 
half the water before mixing together. Do not use 



Bordeaux left over from the previous day. An old 
mixture or one made from the concentrated solutions 
has a poor physical condition. It settles more quickly, 
tends to clog the nozzle and does not adhere so well 
to the foliage. I""ailure to use the strainer results in 
endless trouble in the field from clogged nozzles. 

(From W. G. Johnson) 

When much spraying is to be done it is more con- 
venient to keep the bluestone and lime in separate 
permanent stock solutions, as shown in Fig. 42, con- 
taining 2 pounds to the gallon of their respective in- 
gredients. These will keep indefinitely, if the water 
evaporated is replaced, and may be used from as 

Spraying apparatus. — Tomato growers having only 
a small area to spray may use one of the numerous 
forms of hand-pumps or bucket sprayers now on the 


market. For larger fields it will be necessary to em- 
ploy a barrel sprayer. This consists of a hand-pump 
mounted in a barrel or tank and equipped with two 
leads of ^ inch hose 25 feet long, each with a four-foot 
extension made from ^ inch gas pipe, and a double 
Vermorel nozzle. The barrel should be carried in an 
ordinary farm wagon. Three men do the work. One 
is expected to drive and pump, while the other two 
manipulate the nozzles. The outfit is stopped while 
the plants within reach are sprayed, then driven for- 
ward about 30 feet and stopped again. On an average 
in actual field practice 3 to 4 acres a day can be 
sprayed in this way, applying 100 <:o 200 gallons of 
Bordeaux per acre. To keep the long hose ofif the 
plants two poles about 10 feet long may be pivoted to 
the bed of the wagon so as to swing at an angle over 
the wheel and carry the hose. The pump for this out- 
fit should be of good capacity, with brass valves. A 
"Y" shut-off discharge connection on the pump is a 
convenience for stopping the spray at any time. The 
most satisfactory nozzles are those of the Vermorel 
type. It is cheapest in the long run to buy the best 
grades of pumps on the market. This outfit is excel- 
lently adapted for spraying small fields of potatoes and 
for general orchard work, and is invaluable on the 
average farm. 

Phytoptosis. — This disease is known to occur only 
in Florida, where it is sometimes common enough to 
require remedial treatment. The affected portions of 
the foliage are more or less distorted and covered with 
an ashy white fuzz. The general vigor and fruitful- 
ness of the plants are greatly reduced. The name 


applied to this trouble denotes its cause, an extremely 
small mite {Phytoptus calacladopliora Nal.), which 
by its presence on the leaves or stems so irritates them 
as to result in the abundant development of modified 
plant hairs, which shelter the mites and form the 
fuzzy covering characteristic of the disease. A rem- 
edy for phytoptosis is available in the sulphur com- 
pounds. The following" one is particularly recom- 
mended by Prof. P. H. Rolfs, to whom our knowledge 
of the disease is due : 

Preparation of sulphur spray. — Place 30 pounds 
of flowers of sulphur in a wooden tub large enough to 
hold 25 gallons. Wet the sulphur with 3 gallons of 
water, stir it to form a paste. Then add 20 pounds of 
98 per cent, caustic soda (28 pounds should be used 
if the caustic soda is 70 per cent.) and mix it with the 
sulphur paste. In a few minutes it becomes very hot, 
turns brown, and becomes a liquid. Stir thoroughly 
and add enough water to make 20 gallons. Pour off 
from the sediment and keep the liquid as a stock so- 
lution in a tight barrel or keg. Of this solution use 
4 quarts to 50 gallons of water. Apply with a spray 
pump whenever the disease appears, and repeat if re- 
quired by its later reappearance. The use of dry sul- 
phur is also recommended. 


Point-rot. — This trouble, called also "blossom-end 
rot," and "black-rot," occurs on the green fruit at 
various stages of development, as shown in Fig. 43. 
It begins at the blossom end as a sunken brown spot. 


which graduaUy enlarges until the fruit is rendered 
worthless. The decayed spot is often covered in its 
later stages by a dense black fungous growth {Alter- 
iiaria fasciculata (C. & E.) J. & G. syn. Macrosporium 
tomato Cke.), formerly thought to be the cause of the 

(Redrawn from N. Y. Expr. Sta. No. 125) 

rot, but now known to be merely a saprophyte. Point- 
rot sometimes occurs in greenhouses, but is more com- 
mon in field culture. It is one of the most destructive 
diseases of the tomato, but its nature is not fully 
worked out, and a uniformly successful treatment is 
unknown. It has been thought to be due to bacte- 
rial invasion, but complete demonstrations of that fact 


have not yet been published. The physiological con- 
ditions of the plant appear to be important. The dis- 
ease is worst in dry weather and light soils, where the 
moisture supply is insufficient, and irrigation is bene- 
ficial in such cases. Spraying does not control point- 
rot so far as present evidence goes. 

Anthracnose — ripe-rot — (CoUetotrichiiin phomoides 
( Sacc. ) Chest. ) . is distinguished from the point-rot 
by the fact that it occurs mainly on ripe or nearly 
ripe fruits, producing a soft and rapid decay. Wide- 
spread losses from this cause are not common, but 
when a field becomes infected a considerable propor- 
tion of the crop within a limited area may be destroyed 
if humid or rainy weather prevails. Preventive meas- 
ures only can be employed. These should consist in 
collecting and destroying diseased fruit and in sta- 
king and trimming the vines to admit light and air to 
dry out the foliage. Bordeaux mixture applied after the 
development of the disease would be of doubtful effi- 
ciency and would be objectionable on account of the 
sediment left on the ripe fruit. 


Damping off. — Young plants in seed-beds often 
perish suddenly from a rot of the stem at the surface 
of the ground. This occurs as a rule in dull, cloudy 
weather among plants kept at too high a temperature, 
crowded too closely in the beds or not sufficiently ven- 
tilated. Several kinds of fungi are capable of causing 
damping off, under such conditions. 

Preventive measures are of the first importance. 


Since old soil is often full of fungous spores left by pre- 
vious crops, it is the wisest plan to use sterilized soil 
for the seed-bed. When the young plants are growing, 
constant watchfulness is required to avoid conditions 
that will weaken the seedlings and favor the damping 
ofif fungi. 

Watering and ventilation are the two points that 
require especial skill. Watering should be done at 
midday, to allow the beds to drain before night, and 
only enough water for the thorough moistening of the 
soil should be applied. Ventilation should be given 
every warm day as the temperature and sunshine will 
permit, but the plants must be protected ■ from rain 
and cold winds. Work the surface of the soil to per- 
mit aeration and do not crowd the plants too closely 
in the beds. If damping off develops something can 
be done to check it b}' scattering a layer of dry, warm 
sand over the surface, and by spraying the bed thor- 
oughly wdth weak Bordeaux or by applying dry sul- 
phur and air-slaked lime. 

SBacterial wilt (Bacterinni solanaeeantm Erw. Sm.). 
— This disease, which also attacks potatoes and egg- 
plants and some related weeds, is one of the most 
serious enemies of the tomato. It is known to occur 
from Connecticut southward to Florida and westward 
to Colorado, but is most prevalent in the Gulf States, 
where it has greatly discouraged many growers. 

Its most prominent symptoms are the wilting of the 
foliage and a browning of the wood inside the recently 
wilted stems. An affected plant wilts first at the top, 
or a single branch wilts, but later the entire plant yel- 
lows, wilts and dies. Young plants wilt more sud- 


denly and an up. The disease progresses more rapidly 
in plants that have made a succulent, luxurious growth, 
while those with hard, woody stems resist it somewhat. 

The disease is due to the invasion of bacteria, which 
enter the leaves through the aid of leaf-eating insects, 
or through the roots. They plug the water-carrying 
vessels of the stem, shutting off the water and food 
supply of the plant. If the stem of a plant freshly 
wilted from this disease be severed, the bacteria will 
ooze out in dirty white drops on the cut surface. 

Remedial measures entirely satisfactory for the 
control of bacterial wilt have not yet been worked out. 
The best methods to adopt at present are the following : 

(i) Rotation of crops. — The field evidence is that 
this disease is in many cases localized in old gardens 
or in definite spots in the field. It appears also that 
the infection left by a diseased crop can remain in the 
soil for some time. It is therefore advised that tomato 
growers should always practice a rotation of crops, 
whether any disease has appeared or not, and that in 
case bacterial wilt develops they should not plant that 
land in tomatoes, potatoes, or eggplants for three or 
four years. The length of rotation necessary to free 
the soil is not known, but will have to be worked out 
by the individual grower. 

(2) Destruction of diseased plants. — The bactena 
causing wilt not only spread through the soil but are 
carried by insects from freshly wilted to healthy plants. 
Diseased plants thus become dangerous sources of in- 
fection, and it is evident that all such should be pulled 
out and burned. This is particularly important at the 

144 TOMATO cir/ruRK 

beginning of the trouble when the eradication of a 
few wilting plants may save the remainder. 

(3) Control of insects. — To lessen the danger from 
spread of wilt by insects, the measures advised in the 
next chapter for the control of leaf-eating insects 
should be adopted. In this connection it should be 
mentioned that the use of Bordeaux mixture for leaf 
blights, as previously recommended, has an additional 
value in that the coating on the leaves is distasteful 
to insects and helps to keep them away. 

(4) Seed selection. — Work done at the Florida ex- 
periment station indicates that resistant varieties may 
be secured, but there are as yet none in commercial 
use. This is an important line for experimenters to 
follow up. There is no proof that the disease is spread 
through seed from diseased plants. 

"Fusarium wilt. — This disease and the one follow- 
ing resemble the bacterial wilt so closely, as far as ex- 
ternal characters go, that they are difficult to tell apart. 
The parasites, however, differ so materially in their 
nature and life history that the field treatment is quite 
different. There are also differences in geographical 
distribution that are important, for while the Fusarium 
wilt occurs occasionally throughout the southern states, 
it is known to be of general commercial importance 
only in southern Florida and southern California. 

The symptoms of the disease are a gradual wilting 
and dying of the plants, usually in the later stages of 
their development. Young plants die, however, when 
the soil infection is severe. There is a browning of 
the woody portions of the stem, and when a section 
of this is examined under a compound microscope the 


vessels are found to be tilled with fungous threads, 
which shut off the water supply. 

The infection in the Fusariuni wilt appears to come 
entirely from the soil. Little is known of its manner 
of spread, except that the cultivation of a tomato crop 
in certain districts appears to leave the soil infected 
so that a crop planted the next year will be injured or 
destroyed. The fungus does not remain in the soil 
for a very long time in sufficient abundance to cause 
serious harm. A rotation of crops that will bring 
tomatoes on the land once in three years has been 
found in Florida to prevent loss from Fusariuni wilt. 

This fungus does not attack atiy other crop than 
tomatoes, so far as known, though it is very closely re- 
lated to species of Fusariuni producing similar dis- 
eases in cotton, melon, cowpea, flax, etc. Fusarium 
wilt has not been found in fields and gardens in the 
northern states, but tomatoes in greenhouses there are 
sometimes attacked by it or a related Fusariuni, which 
also occurs in England. When greenhouse beds are 
infected the soil for the next crop should be thoroughly 
sterilized by steam under pressure. 

Sclerotium wilt. — This disease resembles the two 
preceding in its effect on the plant, which w'ilts at the 
tip first, and gradually dies. Its geographical range 
is more restricted. It seems to be confined to north- 
ern Florida and the southern part of Georgia and Ala- 
bama, where it occurs in gardens and old cultivated 
fields. The fungus causing this wilt attacks the root 
and the stem near the ground, working in from the out- 
side. There is not the browning of the wood vessels 
characteristic of the two preceding diseases. If an 


affected stem is put in a moist chamber made from 
a covered or inverted dish, there will develop an ex- 
ceedingly vigorous growth of snow-white fungous my- 
celium which, after a few days, bears numerous round 
shot-like bodies, at first light-colored, then becoming 
smaller and dark-brown. These are the sclerotia or 
resting bodies of the fungus. This fungus, called 
Sclerotium sp., or "Rolf's Sclerotium," is noteworthy 
because it attacks potatoes, squash, cowpea, and a long 
list of other garden vegetables and ornamental plants. 
The only satisfactory means of control is rotation of 
crops, using corn, small grain, and the Iron cowpea, a 
variety immune to this and other diseases. Suscep- 
tible crops should be kept from infected fields for two 
or three years. 

Root-knot {Heterodera radicicola (Greef) Miil.) 
attacks tomatoes in greenhouses and is in some cases 
an important factor in southern field culture. It is 
caused by a parasitic eelworm or nematode, of minute 
size, which penetrates the roots and induces the for- 
mation of numerous irregular swellings or galls, in 
which are bred great numbers of young worms. The 
effect on the plant is to check growth and diminish 
fruitfulness, in advanced cases even resvilting in death. 

The remedy in greenhouse culture is thorough soil 
sterilization. In the open field this is impracticable 
and recourse must be had to a rotation with immune 
crops, which will starve out the root-knot. It must now 
be borne in mind that the root-knot worm can attack 
cotton, cowpea, okra, melons and a very large number 
of other plants. The only common crops safe to use 
in such a rotation in the South are corn, oats, velvet 



beans, beggar weed, peanuts, and the Ir- -wpea 
The use of other varieties of cowpea than the Iron 1 
particularly to be avoided, on account of the danger o 
stocking the land with root-knot. Fortunately, the 
disease is serious only in sandy or light soils. 

Rosette {Corticium vagum (B. & C.) var solam 
Burt ) is a disease of minor importance, which occurs 
in Ohio, Michigan, and scatteringly in other states. 
The fungus causing it {Rhiaoctoma) attacks the roots 
and base of the stem, forming dark cankers The et- 
. feet on the plant is to dwarf and curl the leaves and 
to restrict productiveness. The potato suffers more 
severely from the same trouble. Rotation of crops 
and liberal application of lime to the soil are advised 
for the control of rosette in tomatoes. 



Adaptations of varieties . . 97 

as to habit 97 

as to foliage 100 

as to fruit 102 

Botany 1 

Canning, cost of 118 

on the farm 118 

Essentials for successful . .119 

Catalog descriptions incomplete 110 

Characteristics of blossom . . 25 

Claracteristics of fruit . . 26 

Development from original 

form 26 

Effect of conditions on . . 26 

Quality 26 

Characteristics of plant . . 20 
Checking of growth, effect 

upon 20 

Natural environment . . 20 
Uniform growth, importance 

of 21 

Characteristics of root ... 23 
Characteristics of stem and 

leaves 24 

Classification 4 

Cherry 5 

Cultivated varieties . . . 10 

Currant 4 

Pear 7 

Cold-frames, construction . . S3 

Commercial importance of crop 18 
Cost of crop, per acre . . .121 
as grown for canners . .117 

Covers for plant beds ... 55 

Cultivation 76 

Care and thoroughness neces- 
sary 76 

in greenhouse 77 

in home garden , . . . "7 



Diseases 131 

Bacterial wilt 142 

Blight, early 135 

Blight, leaf 134 

Blight, Western . . . .134 

Cracking of fruit .... 132 

Damping off 141 

Edema 133 

Fusarium wilt 144 

Leaf curl 132 

Leaf mold 135 

Leaf spot 134 

Mildew, downey .... 135 

^Mosaic disease 133 

Phytoptosis 138 

Point rot 139 

Root knot 146 

Sclerotium wilt .... 145 

Yellows 134 

Diseases, remedies for . . . 131 
Bordeaux mixture, prepara- 
tion of 136 

Preventatives of ... . 143 

Spraying apparatus . . . 137 

Spraying, importance of . 136 

Sulphur spraying .... 139 

Distances for setting plants . 68 

in field ....... 68 

in greenhouse 70 

in home garden .... 69 

Drainage, importance of . . 31 

Essentials for best development 28 

Cultivation 32, 76 

Effect of shade .... 28 
Food supply .... 31, 43 

Heat 38 

Aloisture 30 

Sunlight 28 




Exposure 38 

for early croji 39 

for greenhouse .... 40 

for home garden .... 40 

Fertilizers 43 

Amounts 43 

Character 44 

Experiments with . . . .45 

for general application . . 44 

for greenhouse .... 45 

for home garden .... 45 

Flats, construction . . . .57 

Gathering fruit 91 

Habit 22 

Handling fruit 92 

History 14 

Hotbeds, construction . . . 51 

Hotbeds, growing fruit in . . "0 

House, construction .... 49 

Insects injurious to tomatoes . 123 

Blister beetle 125 

Colorado potato beetle . .125 

Cut worm 123 

Flea-beetle 124 

Stalk-borer 127 

Tomato fruit worm . . .128 

Tomato worm 126 

White fly 130 

Location of field as determining 

profit 38 


Fall dressing 41 

for cold-frames . . . .55 

for greenhouse soil ... 37 

for hotbeds 51 

in preparing ground ... 46 

Origin . ...... 10 

Origin of name 14 

Packing 94 

Pollenating TJ 

Pollenation .... 
Prices obtained 

at canneries 

for hothouse fruit . 

for select field grown fru 
Profits on crop 
Propagation of plants . 

from cuttings 

from seed .... 

in cold-frames . 

in hotbeds .... 

in temporary greenhouses 

Ripening on the vines 
Ripening after frost 

Sash, cost .... 
for hotbeds , 
for cold-frames 
Seed breeding 

Essentials to success 
Growing and saving commer 
cial seed 
Methods followed 
Prices received 
Yields obtained 
Importance of breeding f 

individual plants 
Importance of exact ideal 
Methods recommended 
Principles underlying 
Setting plants 

Conditions favorable and 

in field .... 
in greenhouse 
in home garden 
New Jersey method 
Other methods . 

Composition, importance of 
Conditions essential 

Preparation 41 

for greenhouse . 
for home garden 

48, 49 


















Soil Preparation 

for main crop .... 46 

Importance of 




for early crop 


for greenhouse 


for home garden 


for main crop 


Previous crop 


Sorting .... 


Staking .... 


Starting plants 


Effect of shade 


for early fruit 


for forcing 


for home garden 


for late crop 


in flats .... 


in greenhouse . 


Pricking out 


Right conditions 

6 2 

Spotting boards 


Unfavorable condition; 




With least labor . 


Succession, practice in tlic 




Training 79 

for greenhouse , . . , SH 

for home garden .... 85 

Types 14 

\'alue, development of ... 16 

in foliage 100 

in fruit 102 

Coloring 106 

Flesh 105 

Ripening 106 

Shape 102 

in habit 97 

Varietal differences 

as to foliage 100 

as to fruit 102 

as to growth 97 

\'ariety names 108 

Sources 109 

X'arying aiiplication . . .110 

\\'atering, danger in . . 30, 60 

Yielding capacity 22 

Yield per acre ... 117, 121 
Yield per foot of greenhouse 

bench 122 



University of British Columbia Library 


\* • 

ACT 1 V 

OCT 17 

IV^Ah w :^ - 

r o 1 7 recd 

1 ■' '', - '■ ^' 

AUG ii ^f^" 


FORM 310