Tomatoes are the most important greenhouse vegetable crop in Canada. They are grown in spring or fall, with conditions and problems varying for the two seasons. The spring crop is normally seeded in the first or second week of November, set in the greenhouse the first week of January, and harvested from mid March to July, with some plantings extended to the fall. Because of the short and dull days of winter, this crop gets a slow start and demands superior handling from the grower, who must ensure maximum use of available light and minimum waste of available photosynthates. Failing to maintain a good balance between vegetative and reproductive growth during the first 2-3 months of this crop results in either excessive growth with little fruit-setting or in overbearing of fruit on hardened plants that grow very slowly. Longer and brighter days that occur later in the season cannot compensate for lost early, premium-priced production, resulting in an uneconomical crop for the grower. Despite its difficulties, the spring crop has always been the most important of the two because of higher prices received and the longer season. The fall crop, on the other hand, is seeded around the end of June, set in the greenhouse during the first week of August, and harvested from the beginning of October to the middle of December. Fall tomatoes, in contrast to the spring crop, get an excellent start under the bright and relatively long days of August and September, but they mature during the short days of late fall and winter:
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