Tutoring Manual for Solanaceae
Download FREE Tutoring Solanaceae MANUAL: optimize your crop with HORTOMALLAS
How to train your vegetable trellises with trellis nettingIntroduction
Domestication involves selecting plants with certain desirable characteristics. Plants cultivated under this type of selection pressures display domestication syndrome which has the following characteristics: increase in the size of the fruit, increased succulence, reduced ability to disperse seeds and reduced ability for the plants to sexually reproduce (1).
Solanaceae (or nightshades) are herbaceous, shrubs and subshrubs, with alternate leaves. This plant family is scattered all over the world, apart from Antarctica. The highest number of Solanaceae species are found in South and Central America. Within this family are found:
* The Solanum genus such as: tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and eggplants, or aubergines (Solanum melongena).
* The Capsicum genus (chilis or peppers) such as: green chilis (Capsicum annuum), bell peppers or sweet peppers, Jalapeños, habanero chilis, etc.
* The Physalis genus such as: husk or green tomatoes (Physalis ixocarpa), all of great horticultural importance(2).
Nowadays, crops are tutored, in order to increase the surface area sown and also to improve the quality of the fruits produced. Tutoring your crops allows the plants to be more evenly distributed, as well as better exposing the leaves allowing them to absorb more sunlight, which doesn’t happen when the crops are allowed to grow without any tutoring. Crops like tomatoes, chilies and peppers need a good tutoring system because the weight of their fruits can cause the branches of the plant to bend and buckle allowing the fruits to touch the moist ground and develop fungal disease, bacteria or a virus. On the other hand, traditional tutoring methods (rods and raffia) demand a lot of manpower which brings with it a high degree of handling of the plants by the workers. On average 66 to 70 kg of raffia is used to tutor a hectare of tomatoes in open fields, depending on the quantity of plants per meter squared and the height that the plants are allowed to grow to.
In Europe during the 60s, polypropylene netting begun to be manufactured, which improved tutoring methods. Tutoring systems which use support netting are durable and provide better support for the crops. In recent years we have seen crops lost all too often due to climatic changes: strong winds which causes the plants to bow and heavy rain that destroys their leaves and flowers, significantly damaging production and the quality of the crops, eroding the farmer’s income. These losses can be prevented by using a good tutoring method.
HORTOMALLAS manufactures and markets crop support nettings (trellising and tutoring as alternatives to the raffia twine labor intensive traditional system) that increase crop quality. Our Mission is to: INCREASE VEGETABLE CROP YIELD AND PROFITABILITY TO ALL THOSE VEGETABLES THAT NEED TUTORING AND SUPPORT USING NETTING INSTEAD OF RAFFIA. Since 1994 we help professional growers and farmers improve their cucumber, tomatoes, melon, zucchini, bean, chile, peppers crops where trellises and supports are needed. HORTOMALLAS is the ideal system for cucurbitacea and solonacea to improve their phytosanitary conditions, while increasing the solar exposure and the brix degrees. Besides the obvious labor costs savings, the use of HORTOMALLAS increases the life span of the plant, allowing longer periods of harvests and of a greater quality. Call us, our crop specialists will help you with specialized attention in the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula!