A Cold Shower for Hot Tomatoes

By Susan Littlefield

We all know that tomato plants growing in the garden are heat-lovers. So it may come as a surprise to find that, for young plants, using cold irrigation water results in the sturdiest plants.

Recent research in Taiwan found that seedlings watered with 41°F water had sturdier stems, increased dry weight and higher concentrations of chlorophyll and were more compact than ones watered with 50°F or 59°F water. Cold water irrigation was begun when the seedlings were about an inch high and continued either every day or every other day for three weeks.

Previous trials showed that cold water irrigation produced more compact cabbage seedlings, and researchers speculate that this technique could be used with similar effect on a variety of seedlings.

For an abstract of this research, go to: The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology.

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