The LSU AgCenter will conduct a free seminar on growing tomatoes in greenhouses on March 2 from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Red River Research Station.

Topics to be covered by Hanna Y. Hanna, LSU AgCenter horticulturist, will include growing viable transplants, variety selection, innovative ideas for profitable production, and pests and physiological disorders.

Hanna said innovations coming out of research at the station will be demonstrated including the production of grafted and nongrafted tomato plants from the same seedling.

“By cutting the tops for grafting, we were able to produce productive plants from sprouts generated on the bottoms,” he said. “The new plants from the bottoms were as productive as plants from seeds.”

Research also resulted in a system of continuous release of a pressurized air flow at the base of tomato plants to keep the foliage free of moisture and condensation. “This economic and effective system allowed us to grow tomatoes without fungicides in the past 10 years, and using this system with warm air during the cold months also reduced heating costs.”

A project to disinfect perlite as a root medium for growing tomatoes has allowed the station to use the same material for 16 years without any negative impact on yield.

The seminar will end with a tour of the station’s greenhouses.