Supplementary Far-Red Light Did Not Affect Tomato Plant Growth or Yield under Mediterranean Greenhouse Conditions
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, via Amendola 165/a, 70126 Bari, Italy
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council of Italy, 70126 Bari, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(12), 1849; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121849
Received: 2 November 2020 / Revised: 17 November 2020 / Accepted: 23 November 2020 / Published: 24 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New and Emerging Technology for High Quality and Sustainable Horticultural Production)
In the Mediterranean region, tomato plants are often cultivated in two short cycles per year to avoid the heat of summer and the low solar radiation of winter. Supplementary light (SL) makes it possible to cultivate during the dark season. In this experiment, a tomato F1 hybrid cultivar DRW7723 was cultivated in a greenhouse for a fall-winter cycle. After transplant, light emitting diode (LED) interlighting, with two light spectra (red + blue vs. red + blue + far-red) was applied as SL. Plant growth, yield, gas exchange, nutrient solution (NS) consumption, and fruit quality were analyzed. In general, the effects of adding far-red radiation were not visible on the parameters analyzed, although the yield was 27% higher in plants grown with SL than those grown without. Tomatoes had the same average fresh weight between SL treatments, but the plants grown with SL produced 16% more fruits than control. Fruit quality, gas exchange and NS uptake were not influenced by the addition of far-red light. Interlighting is, therefore, a valid technique to increase fruit production in winter but at our latitude the effects of adding far-red radiation are mitigated by available sunlight.