Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is a commonly grown vegetable crop in Sri Lanka. As in many other vegetables, lack of good quality seeds is a major constraint in tomato cultivation as there is a deficiency in technologies to obtain high quality seeds under Sri Lankan farming conditions. Therefore, the present study was conducted to find a suitable method of canopy management and fruit cluster pruning for high seed quality. Tomato variety Thilina was used for the experiment and plants were established in a replicated field trial. Three levels of cluster pruning and canopy management were employed namely,; no pruning and fruit thinning, pruning with thinning up to 2 fruits/cluster and 5 fruit clusters per plant, pruning with thinning up to 5 fruits/cluster and 5 fruit clusters per plant. Treatments were evaluated in terms of fruit yield, seed purity, 1000 seed weight, seed germination, seed viability and seedling vigour. Pruning with thinning up to 2 fruits/cluster and 5 fruit clusters per plant yielded larger fruits compared to the fruits produced by the other plants. Pruning along with fruit thinning had increased the seed weight compared to the control treatment. The cluster pruning had no advantage on seed germination however, seedling vigour was greatly benefited. The highest shoot length was observed in pruning with thinning up to 2 fruits/cluster and 5 fruit clusters per plant compared to other treatments. The results revealed that canopy management and fruit thinning are good practices for improving the seedling vigour of the resultant seeds.
Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 25 (2): 171 – 179 (2014)