The tomato cultivation in Murcia makes the Community the third largest tomato producer in Spain, after Extremadura and Andalusia, with some 290,000 tons per year. Especially the Murcian orchard region for its climate and soil composition.
Tomato is one of the most cultivated and consumed plants worldwide. Its multiple applications stand out in fresh, natural preserves, concentrated preserves, juices, processed foods, etc.
Objectives for tomato cultivation in Murcia
In recent times, marketing has prevailed over quality.
We have all said that tomatoes no longer taste like tomatoes. In the Murcia region they are aware of this and are working to recover the traditional flavor, in addition to the quality and presentation of the product.
In collaboration with the IMIDA (Murcian Institute of Agrarian and Agricultural Development) research is being carried out on the seeds of traditional crops exclusive to certain areas, better acclimatized and therefore produce better quality fruits. The objective is to recover the traditional flavors, maintaining the high production and presentation of the product.
Ways to grow tomatoes in Murcia
Vineyard-type greenhouses with gabled waters is where the largest amount of tomato is produced in Murcia, with drip irrigation.
The tomato is planted in damp soil and is steered as it grows. It is pruned and its humidity and temperature are controlled throughout its development.
Hydroponic cultivation has been being implemented since Torre Pacheco studied this type of soilless tomato cultivation. In this case, the roots of the plant are nourished by essential substances dissolved in water.
One advantage is that tillage of the land is eliminated. The pH and conductivity should be assessed frequently. Irrigation is done several times a day with the necessary nutrients.
Ideal soils for tomatoes
Tomato adapts well to all types of terrain, but those with a frank texture benefit it more light, airy and permeable.
If the soil is too sandy, it does not retain water and endangers its development. The clayey and silty do not have aeration and will be more prone to the development of fungi that attack the plant.
The warm and stable climate, with few variations in temperature, favors tomato cultivation in Murcia. The grounds are deep and within the following scheme.
Temperatures that affect tomato
|Freezes||Less than -2º C|
|Their growth is paralyzed||Between 10º and 15º C|
|Favorable growth||Between 20º and 24º C|
|Favorable germination||Between 25º and 30º C|
|Minimal germination||Between 15º and 25º C|
|Maximum germination||Between 30º and 35º C|
|First shoots||12º C|
|Flowering||Between 13ºC at night and 24º C during the day|
|Fruit set||Between 14º C at night and 25º C during the day|
|Tomato ripening||Between 15ºC and 25ºC|
Tomato irrigation in Murcia
The tomato has a main root reinforced by other branched ones that support the plant. They reach approximately 50 centimeters deep and to this extent the sensor is installed.
The drip irrigation system forms damp bulbs around the root of the plant that the sensor monitors at all times.
The bulbs (humid areas) are formed depending on the terrain, which must be deep as we already indicated.
An excess of humidity does not suit it because it favors the appearance of fungi. Nor does dry land favor it, it retards growth.
Temperature and humidity control is therefore very important.