Print version ISSN 0102-0536
SILVA, Laércio J da et al. Basal defoliation and their influence in agronomic and phytopathological traits in tomato plants. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp. 377-381. ISSN 0102-0536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362011000300020.
The incidence of leaf diseases is one of the main factors limiting the tomato crop production, increasing the production cost due to excessive pesticide application. The basal leaf removal could reduce inoculum sources, disease severity and contribute to reducing the use of pesticide. Aiming to evaluate the efficiency of this practice on the reduction of tomato leaf diseases and the effect in the quality and in the productivity of the tomato plants for in natura consumption, two experiments were carried out to test four levels of basal leaf removal. Basal leaves removal, at fruit harvesting, is efficient in reducing the infected plant area by disease, what can mean smaller disease severity and least inoculum source in the field. Also, the all basal leaf removal does not affect yield and quality of the tomato fruits. Other studies are necessary to evaluate the effect of adopting this practice in different planting dates, spacing, varieties, successive plantings and the financial viability of adopting this practice.
Keywords : Lycopersicon esculentum; defoliation; plant disease; cultural management.