Cultivar selection

The first decision that must be made is whether to grow a red-fruited or a pink-fruited cultivar This decision is normally based on market conditions, but it could also be influenced by the growing conditions and by the availability of cultivars. In general, the selection of red-fruited cultivars is greater than that of pink-fruited cultivars. However, a shortage of red-fruited cultivars with resistance to fusarium crown and root rot disease is often encountered. Canadian farmers have grown the followingcultivars, which have received commercial acceptance.

Red-fruited cultivars

Michigan-Ohio hybrid

This cultivar produces medium-size fruit. It is very vigorous and occasionally difficult to pollinate. The Michigan-Ohio hybrid is not recommended for fall production or production under plastic and is susceptible to leaf mold. Once widely grown, this cultivar is now commercially insignificant, although seed is still commerically available.

Vendor

This cultivar ripens uniformly Its fruit size is small, mainly because fruit is set readily, which results in overloading. Fertilizing should start earlier than for other recommended cultivars. Vendor is recommended as a spring or a fall crop under glass but can be especially valuable as a short spring crop under plastic. This cultivar produces excellent-quality fruit, even under slightly cooler greenhouse conditions than normal, but unfortunately its usefulness has been limited by its susceptibility to leaf mold and its lack of resistance to tomato mosaic virus (TMV) and to fusarium crown and root rot disease.

Dombito

This large-fruited cultivar has vigorous growth and high fruit production. It has good general disease resistance but lacks resistance to fusarium crown and root rot disease.

Caruso

Although large-fruited, Caruso is not as vigorous as Dombito; however, its fruit production is as good or better. This cultivar has good general disease resistance but lacks resistance to fusarium crown and root rot disease.

Dombito and Caruso were the most important red-fruited cultivars at time of writing. New red-fruited cultivars with resistance to fusarium crown and root rot disease have been introduced and tested recently with some success. Although their development is still being pursued actively by several seed companies, the cultivar Trend has already gained considerable commercial acceptance.

Pink-fruited cultivars

Ohio MR-13

This cultivar ripens uniformly, producing medium to large fruit. It resists cracking and requires heavy feeding after fruit set is well under way. Ohio MR-13 is relatively free from blotchy ripening but is susceptible to leaf mold and blossom-end rot. It can be grown as a spring or fall crop when leaf mold is kept under control. This cultivar is TMV-resistant. Once widely grown in Ontario and Ohio, its usefulness and cropping fell drastically when fusarium crown and root rot became a problem.

Ohio CR-6

This large-fruited cultivar, with resistance to fusarium crown and root rot disease, has extremely vigorous growth requiring delicate nutritional and environment control to ensure fruit set. Fruit on first clusters has a rough shape. Some improvement in fruit quality is normally achieved by raising the air temperature and feeding low nitrogen. Ohio CR-6 produces fruit a week later than most other cultivars, with the first cluster appearing too high on the main stem.

KR-1 5 and KR-381

These two closely related cultivars have resistance to fusarium crown and root rot disease.

Ohio CR-6 was the most important pink-fruited cultivar for some time previous to writing, but after extensive testing, the KR lines are now receiving wider commercial acceptance. As the development and testing of new red and pink cultivars are continuing research activities, consult the local adviser on horticultural crops for the latest cultivar recommendations before starting a crop.

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