Characteristics Annaïsa produces a strong, uniformly growing, bushy crop with large leaves. It has good endurance and regeneration capacity and it is fairly easy to steer its generative development. The plants look robust, but their heads are fairly slender and generative. They will become heavier as they grow, especially those planted between 1 June and 1 September. You may well have to remove a leaf from the top of the plant during certain parts of the year, certainly from the time of flowering of the 3rd or 4th cluster up to the time when it is evident from the crop’s development that it is no longer necessary. Important characteristics are the product’s presentation, external quality and, above all, its excellent taste. Annaïsa has a high Brix value and wonderful taste early in the season already – a major advantage over reference varieties. The tomatoes are uniform in terms of size, with a year-round average weight of around 40 to 42 grams. The fruits have a striking glossy, bright red colour with attractive green parts. Another major advantage is the flat truss shape, making it easy to harvest, process and pack the trusses. Rootstock and propagation Annaïsa quickly grows into sturdy plants. A little elongation may occur during propagation in trays, so it is important to graft and prick out the young plants on time. In principle, we advise you to use a vigorous rootstock, though that will of course depend on your cultivation system, type of greenhouse, etc. As we propagate our plants in a fairly light environment we advise you to halve the first leaf after grafting, to avoid the risk of strong vegetative development. It is important to ensure adequate generative growth, especially during propagation periods before 1 September. Plants will usually have to be transplanted to around 2.5 plants/m². Preferably increase the plant distance to 2.9 to 3.2 plants/m² when you pinch out the first shoot. This will of course depend on the planting date and your lighting capabilities. Start of the season We advise that you start with a slab EC of 3.8–4.0 mS/cm. In practice, conditions are sometimes controlled for 3 to 6 days after the planting, but we advise you not to do that. Conditions immediately after planting will often be warm and light; root growth and water absorption must not be hindered in any way during this phase. Climate Ensure high 24-hour temperatures, if possible with a day/night difference of 5 ˚C to 7 ˚C, from the second day after planting to promote generative development and the formation of well-balanced plants. This may be difficult to realise in crops planted between 1 April and mid-September, when surplus light may restrict your options. This will also be the case with crops planted after mid-September, but more important with these crops will be to ensure humidity is adequately controlled. Annaïsa needs an airy climate promoting an active crop. We tend to regard the thicker stems and long, large leaves of plants planted after 20 September as “vegetative”. In the case of Annaïsa we advise you to accept the large size of your plants around the time of the formation of trusses 5 or 6 (depending on the planting date) and to focus solely on the quality of the clusters. You may well have to lower the 24-hour temperatures earlier than you’d think. If you continue with high 24-hour temperatures for too long in the hope of obtaining “slender” plants you will often end up with weak trusses of tomatoes with a (too) low weight in late December and January. It is important with this variety to ensure an airy climate and an active crop, to gradually raise the temperature to the day value and to ensure sufficient humidity control (but without having to take extreme measures). You must – literally – invest enough energy in it. An early morning temperature of 17 ˚C-18 ˚C (+0.5 ˚C light) will usually suffice. If the crop’s temperature is too high early in the morning you will have to vent close to the heating temperature. Venting, and a climate promoting an active crop are your most important tools in the first cultivation phase. But don’t overdo things, because too much venting causing the greenhouse temperature to drop too much will involve a risk of cold heads and leaf margins. Invest sufficient energy in heating your greenhouse to promote active plant development. Raise the temperature slowly to the daytime value on days with low outdoor light intensities.