Effect of Intra-Row Spacing on Growth and Development of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Variety Roma-VF under the Irrigated Conditions of East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia
A field experiment was conducted on Nitrosol at Debremarkos University research field during March to June 2016 under irrigated conditions. The objectives were to identify the effect of intra-row spacing on growth and development of tomato plant and to determine the optimum intra-row spacing that gives comparatively the best growth and development. The experiment was therefore carried out using a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications using one commercial variety Roma-VF with four treatments combination of 20, 25, 30 and 35cm spacing between plants having a constant inter-row spacing of 50cm. Data were collected on plant height, number of flowers plant , number of primary braches plant and 1 1 leaf area plant . The analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that there were highly significant differences 1 among the measured parameters except number of flower plant which was not significant at 5% probability 1 level. The result revealed that tomato variety Roma-VF planted at intra-row spacing of 25cm had comparatively higher in two measured growth parameters i.e. number of primary branches and number of flower plant . 1 The highest plant height was recorded from lowest intra-row spacing (20cm) due to the severe competition among plants in the row looking for light and air. The result also indicated that the largest leaf area plant was 1 obtained from the intra-row spacing of 35cm which was the widest spacing among the treatments due to reduced competition for nutrients and water. Thus, based on the results of this experiment, the optimum intra-row spacing for better growth and development performance was obtained from the treatment combination of 25cm by 50cm intra and inter row spacing, respectively. Finally, this research is done using only one variety in one season, thus further research should be done including additional varieties over time and space to determine the best intra-row spacing.