The best time to plant tomato in Nigeria is the dry season months of October – February; this is due to the low humidity at this time. Planting between October – February can make the tomato farmer harvest in the rainy season when the prices of tomatoes are very high.
Planting tomato in the dry season is advantageous because of the lesser incidences of fungal diseases like tomato blight disease. Tomato blight disease changes the colour of tomato leaves from green to brown and yellow, this affects photosynthesis and negatively impacts yield.
The best time to plant tomato in Nigeria should be based on factors like temperature, level of rainfall, the availability of irrigation, pests and diseases and availability of labour etc.
The best time to plant tomato across the climatic zones of Nigeria
The best time to plant tomato across the climatic zones of Nigeria is discussed below:
Mangrove Swamp Forest Zone
The best time to plant tomato in the swampy forest zone like Delta and Bayelsa is early November to early March. During the months of Novemeber – March, humidity level is low, this can reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
Rain Forest Zone
The best time to plant tomato in the rain forest zone like Ondo and Ekiti is late October to early March. Plant fungal diseases are not common in these months.
Guinean Savannah Zone
The best time to grow tomato in the Guinean savannah zone like Kogi and Abuja is late October to early March. These months present a low risk for plants’ fungal diseases.
Sudan Savannah Zone
The best time to plant tomato in the Sudan savannah zone like Niger State and Northern part of Nasarawa is late October to early March. This is due to the low incidences of fungal diseases in these months.
Sahel Savannah Zone
The best time to plant tomato in the Sahel savannah zone like Jigawa state and Borno state is late October to early March. Fungal diseases are not usually common between the months of October and March because of low humidity.
Factors that can affect the time to plant tomato in Nigeria
The following factors can affect the time to plant tomato in Nigeria:
The availability of water
Irrigation allows farmers to grow crops anytime of the year, tomato responds to irrigation favourably. However, it is better to plant in the dry season because of the lesser incidences of fungal diseases.
Water can determine when to plant your tomato crop.
Intensity of pests and diseases
The rainy season months often come with high humidity; this can increase the risk of your tomato plants contracting fungal diseases like tomato blight. Tomato blight is a common fungal disease that can significantly reduce the yield of tomato.
The dry season months also have its own share of diseases and pests as insects and viral diseases are common in the dry season. Insects can be effectively managed with the use of insecticides.
Availability of labour
The availability of labour can have impacts on the best time to plant tomato in Nigeria. At a particular time of the year, the availability of labour can be very high while at some other time, labour can be scarce.
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