By further exposing greenhouse tomatoes to the natural plant hormone ethylene, overall uniformity in ripeness will be enhanced. Additionally, accelerating the ripening of final tomatoes saves energy and decreases waste accrued from less mature tomatoes stuck in the mix of more mature harvests. In summary, applying added ethylene results in better color and final quality for greenhouse tomatoes.
- Ethylene: 1.5 –5 ppm
- Number of generators typically needed per hectare to achieve 5 ppm: approximately 0.5 to 1 generator per hectare. The actual number of generators depends on the tightness of the greenhouse, ventilation practices, etc.
- Application: To achieve ripened fruit, a typical operation is for 3 – 4 weeks; ethylene is applied overnight for 10- 12 hours. In the morning, the space is vented during the day to remove the buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) and to replenish Oxygen (O2).
- Ethylene sensors: Best practice is to use sensors to monitor both ethylene and CO2 levels; automatic control of the ethylene generator and ventilation is possible but not necessary for good results.
These recommendations for greenhouse tomato ripening were amassed from a diverse number of sources for use by clients of Catalytic Generators, LLC. While we have made great effort to provide accurate and current ripening techniques, Catalytic Generators makes no warranties regarding these recommendations or the applicability of such information to a particular ripening operation. Please note that we do not provide these recommendations as a replacement for technical ripening experts; if having ripening problems or starting a ripening program, we suggest that professionals be consulted.