by Teklay Tessfay, Ethiopia
I am from Ethiopia, and I got your seeds in Shara. I have some questions about Shanty treatment, if you please.
1) What should be the rate of fertilizer application, especially in relation to growth stages? The area is severely deficient.
2) Some pointers about how & when to prune.
3) Some photos of Shanti tomato production, if available.
4) I am going to transplant Shanty Tomato seedlings. What is the appropriate spacing and how should I arrange the stakes for support?
I will try to provide you with useful answers about Shanty treatment, although I am far away.
1) Regarding fertilization, at the beginning, seedlings should be transplanted into rich soil. This means, if possible, to fertilize the soil in 3-4 months in advance by adding 50-60 m3/Hectare of treated cow manure. This treatment will provide a very good starting fertilizer. About Chemical fertilizers, The phosphor (P) must be, at minimum 30 ppm, and the potassium (K) about 60 ppm. Nitrogen (N) is required at a small quantity (50 pure N/one Hectare) because the majority of the quantity will be fertilized within the season.
The main fertilization should be carried out during the season. You need to begin applying the fertilizer a week after transplanting, with equal balanced N:P:K 1500 gr. from each /Ha/day. Every week you need to increase the quantity, until the 1-2 cluster fruit set. When you reach full size fruits, and most of the yield is already on the plant, you need to begin to fertilize with about N 4 kg/ha/day and 6 kg of K/day/Ha. To ensure very good fruit quality & yield continue until 2-3 fruit pickings. When there begins to be less fruits on the plant, you can reduce the fertilizer quantity, in the last two weeks of picking, no need to fertilize.
This is the best method for fertilizing Shanty as a semi-determinant variety I can provide you from far away.
2) Pruning pointers: 3 weeks after transplanting, when the plant has 5-7 main branches, you can prune it down and leave to 3 branches. Later, there is no need to prune any more, all the pruning comes to insure ensure big fruits in the second half of the season, in the upper plant fruit set.
3) Transplanting Shanty tomato seedlings. For growing stacked Shanty tomatoes, the best distances between the lines is 160-170 cm, and between the plants 40-50 cm – I prefer 50 cm. The stacks must be 2 meters and up, a minimum of 50 cm and up in the soil. The distance between the stacks should be 2.5 meters. The line must be as straight as possible.
At the beginning and the end of the line, you need to fix and strengthen the first and the last stack with short sticks inserted at 45 degrees into the soil, and the first stack and the short one should be connected using a thick iron wire.
About 3 weeks after transplanting, when the plants reach a height of about 30 cm, you need to begin to stretch two wires along the lines on both sides of the stacks. It should be stretched tightly from both sides. The first wire must be made of iron, and placed at a height of 25 cm above the soil. The iron wire must be 1 mm thick. The distance between one wire and the other should be 20 cm. The two parallel wires must be attached to the stack firmly, with another attachment in the middle between each to stacks.
It is important to attach the wires very firmly and in time, before the branches are too long and stretched out of the two parallel wires.
If you have any more questions, I will be happy to answer them.
Wishing you good growing and best regards,