Greenhouse Tomato Essential Production Requirements

The greenhouse must have moveable shade that can be pulled over the plant canopy when radiation intensity is high. Conditioned air flow must be only up through the plant canopy, air whose carbon dioxide content is constantly maintained at the ambient level and relative humidity less than 50% at all times. Conditioned air is best obtained from an adjacent air handling facility that collects the canopy air from the greenhouse gable for conditioning. Supplemental lighting is only needed to extend the daylight hours. The hydroponic growing system must be a sub-irrigation system that maintains constant water and nutrient element availability. The plant nutritional status requires constant monitoring to ensure that nutrient element sufficiency is being maintained. Attachment to the plant support system, suckering, cluster pruning, and removal of senescing leaves must be done daily, with plant material collected immediately removed from the greenhouse. Pollination is by the use of bumblebees. Harvest fruit that maintains a constant number of developing fruit on the plant.

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Dr. J. Benton Jones has written extensively on the topics of soil fertility and plant nutrition over his professional career. After obtaining a B.S. degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Illinois, he served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for two years. After discharge from active duty, he entered graduate school, obtaining M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Pennsylvania State University in agronomy. For 10 years, Dr. Jones held the position as research professor at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster. During this time, his research activities focused on the relationship between soil fertility and plant nutrition. In 1967, he established the Ohio Plant Analysis Laboratory. Joining the University of Georgia faculty in 1968, Dr. Jones designed and had built the Soil and Plant Analysis Service Laboratory building for the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, serving as its Director for 4 years. During the period from 1972 and his retirement in 1989, Dr. Jones held various research and administrative positions at the University of Georgia. Following retirement, he and a colleague established Micro-Macro Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, a laboratory providing analytical services for the assay of soils and plant tissues as well as water, fertilizers, and other similar agricultural substances. Dr. Jones was the first President of the Soil and Plant Analysis Council and then served as its Secretary-Treasurer for a number of years. He established two international scientific journals, "Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis" and the "Journal of Plant Nutrition", serving as their Executive Editors during the early years of publication. Dr. Jones is considered an authority on applied plant physiology and the use of analytical methods for assessing the nutrient element status of rooting media and plants as a means for ensuring plant nutrient element sufficiency in both soil and soilless crop production settings.

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