Monday, September 15, 2008
Tomato and Lettuce research experiments in Tropical Belize.
Here we are in the downstairs nursery, experimenting with different kinds of tomato varieties for the Government of Belize, Central Farm Research Station, Director. This batch got wiped out in mid summer, due to overwarm night time temperatures. We have found in Tropical Belize that the thermostat for vegetables has to be very close. Most imported seeds for temperate zone vegetables require ten or fifteen degrees farehheight differential, between warm summer days and colder nights. When they fail to get that temperature of coolness at night, the growing biological trigger goes into non-stop overdrive and the plants spiral out of control. There are plants with very close temperature biological switches, and some that do not care at all. Finding these for Belizean summer conditions ( April, May, June & July and sometimes most of August ) is the problem at present. This plot eventually got wiped out by THRIPS and then MOSAIC VIRUS in continuous planting and tomato cropping. Currently this same plot is now growing lettuce and testing varieties for the FALL and Winter season, which do have a cooler night time temperature differential.