Pruning tomato plants more can not only reduce the energy required for growing, but can also increase crop yield according to recently presented work by Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture and research partner Proeftuin Zwaagdijk.
The work was conducted as part of the wider Kas Als Energiebron project which investigates using greenhouses as a source of energy. During an open day last month Arie de Gelder or Wageningen said that in trials, removing 55% of the leaves had increased yields by around 1 kg/m2 and saved some 1 m3/m2 more gas compared to the control. So far continuing the new regime has not resulted in declining yields.
The system has also been tried in two commercial systems, both of which have reportedly seen increased yields, although it was stressed that too much leaf picking can counter some of the effects.