This research was carried out for 120 days in the horticulture area of the Universidad Nacional de Concepción, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias to evaluate how morphological and productive characteristics of tomato plants were influenced by the distance between plants and the pruning of axillary buds. The design used in the experiment was the randomized block method with factorial arrangement (3x3); factor A was the pruning of axillary buds (no pruning, pruning between 1 and 5 cm, pruning between 6 to 10 cm of sucker length) and factor B was the distance between plants (40, 59 and 60 cm). Three repetitions were carried out. Plant height, fruits per bunch, polar and equatorial fruit diameters, and fruit yield per plant were determined. The results indicated significant differences of pruning of axillary buds for all determinations carried out. Only fruit yield per plant showed a significant difference by planting density. Pruning of axillary buds (6 to 10 cm sucker length) gave the best morphological and productive results. It is shown here that pruning of axillary buds has a significant influence on tomato production.
Key words: Lycopersicum esculentum, sucker length, fruit yield.
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