Planting tomatoes in the Ohio heat
PlantTape conducts a successful tomato planting trial in Ohio
On May 20, 2021, PlantTape conducted a tomato transplanting trial in Northwest Ohio. Planting in the heat, and with no irrigation, PlantTape successfully planted 3 acres of tomato seedlings, using sub-surface water injection to the plant roots.
Quality Tomato Transplants
Jason Kelly of S.A.L.’s Vegetable Transplants was PlantTape’s nursery partner for the trial (S.A.L.’s was also the nursery partner for our lettuce transplanting case study involving Rothert Farm). He grew a uniform, hardened-off tomato plant perfect for Ohio’s hot conditions and also for the PlantTape automated transplanting system, which favors a shorter, stockier tomato seedling.
Planting tomatoes with underground water injection
For the transplanting trial, a hydraulic pump injected water below-ground from two tractor-mounted tanks. A hose attached to a nipple on the hollow planting shoe allowed for water to be delivered directly to each seedling’s roots. Using 400 gallons to the acre, the water was injected directly to each plant’s root zone, creating a good seal and minimizing evaporation. The transplants were able to establish quickly and start growing. In the five days immediately after the planting, temperatures remained high and the plants received no additional water. No wilting was observed, and all plants remained vibrant. On the sixth day, it rained.
The PlantTape system proven for no-irrigation tomato transplanting
Considering that much of the American Midwest does not utilize irrigation in tomato agriculture, PlantTape needed to demonstrate planting viability for no-irrigation tomato growing operations. Our May tomato trial did just that, showing that tomato seedlings remain hardy for several days post-planting due to our delivery of water to the seedling root zone.
Previous PlantTape tomato trials in California had already proven the viability of the PlantTape system for tomato agriculture with irrigation; now, its viability for planting tomatoes in the absence of irrigation has been demonstrated.
Read next: PlantTape follows up with the Ohio tomato trial, measuring crop yield and other key factors.
PlantTape represents an entire automated transplanting system.
- Sowing: it all begins with our automated sowing system, which seeds our tape.
- Nursery: PlantTape empowers high-yield nursery operations by more than doubling greenhouse throughput.
- Transplanting: our 3-point planter is the fastest, most efficient transplanter on the planet.
The entire process, from sowing through greenhouse operations through transplanting, is enabled by our trademark plant tape: a biodegradable tape that holds seeds, and later seedlings, through the entire cycle.
Growers of vegetables, tomatoes, and hemp have revolutionized their operations with PlantTape’s precision agriculture solutions. Our customers have reduced labor costs by as much as 80%, increased crop yield, and introduced other efficiencies to their operations.