- Tree tomatoes grow well in areas that are well-drained and receive adequate sunlight. The soil should be well-aerated to allow root penetration.
- They should also ensure that the crops remain healthy through continuous fertiliser application during the growing period.
- The crop is relatively resistant to diseases. However, it is affected by powdery mildew, which makes leaves whitish and eventually fall off.
- The tree tomato is also affected by pests such as thrips, whiteflies, and aphids that suck the sap. All these pests can be controlled organically by continuous application of neem extracts, chilies and marigolds.
Tree tomato, also known as tamarillo, is a small, half woody plant with shallow roots. The tree grows to an average height of about 3.5-5 metres, depending on the variety.
The crop takes about nine months to mature and its peak production is usually in the first to second year.
The varieties grown in Kenya include Goldmine, Ruby Red and Solid Gold. One should choose a variety to grow in line with their ecological conditions, resistance to pests and diseases and customers’ preferences.
The tree yields 50-60 fruits per year and is eaten raw, unlike the normal tomatoes that can also be cooked.
Tree tomatoes grow well in areas that are well-drained and receive adequate sunlight. The soil should be well-aerated to allow root penetration.
Well-drained soil is important as waterlogged areas result in the death of fruits. The trees grow well in pH of about 5-8.
The spacing is usually three-by-three metres for the inter-row and inter-crop distance. During transplanting, one should mix well-decomposed farmyard manure and 200g of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP).
They should also ensure that the crops remain healthy through continuous fertiliser application during the growing period.
Foliar organic fertilisers are essential in enhancing faster and stronger growth of crops.
After two months, farmyard manure mixed with water to form a slurry should be applied to supply nutrients to the plants.