Disputes about how to grow tomato seedlings, do not subside for decades. Every breeder and gardener has his own planting rules, which they follow from year to year. What planting of tomato seedlings can be considered the right thing to consider when choosing seeds, dishes and soil for tomatoes, as well as methods of caring for seedlings - in this article.
How to plant tomatoes on seedlings
Growing tomatoes consists of several stages, one of which is the sowing of seeds for seedlings and caring for them. The goal of any gardener or summer resident is to get a good harvest of tasty and fragrant tomatoes. In order to achieve an excellent result, you will have to go through several stages:
- Choose seeds and varieties of tomatoes.
- Buy or build containers for tomato seedlings.
- Mix the soil.
- Prepare the seeds for planting.
- Sow seeds in the ground.
- Dive tomatoes.
- Prepare the seedlings for transfer to a permanent place.
On each of the stages of growing seedlings of tomatoes need to tell more.
Tomato seed selection
First of all, the landlord must determine the variety of tomatoes. In this case, several factors must be taken into account:
- Terms of ripening tomatoes. So, for open ground it is better to prefer early-ripening and medium varieties of tomatoes, and late tomatoes are suitable for greenhouses.
- The height of the bushes. As a rule, tall tomatoes are grown in greenhouses or hotbeds - there they save space, give good yields. While on the beds it is more convenient to care for low-growing tomatoes, because you do not have to tie them on the trellis, protect from the wind and drafts, regularly pinch and pinch.
- The region in which tomatoes will be grown is also very important in choosing a variety. There are tomatoes, selected specifically for the climate of Siberia or the Urals. Such varieties will not be able to develop normally in the hot south, because they were developed for a humid and cool climate. Also, thermophilic varieties of tomatoes will not give a good harvest in cold regions - the plants will be spoiled by late blight, they will die from night frosts or will wither from lack of sun.
- Very much depends on the fact that tomatoes are grown in the greenhouse or in the open field. Greenhouse crops are more capricious, they like a wet microclimate, regular maintenance, a comfortable, stable temperature, but they delight the owner with abundant crops of beautiful fruits. But garden tomatoes are less capricious, their fruits are more fragrant and tastier than greenhouses, these tomatoes tolerate nightly low temperatures and a small drought.
- Not only the taste, but also the appearance of the fruit plays a big role in the choice of variety. After all, there are tomatoes for salting, they have medium size, rounded shape, dense skin. There are also tomatoes intended for salads, they are distinguished by their large size, sugary flesh, excellent taste and smell. To decorate dishes they use cocktail varieties or cherry tomatoes, which resemble cherries: they are just as small and round. Another feature is the color of the fruit. After all, tomatoes are not only red, there are even black and purple tomatoes, not to mention more standard green and yellow fruits.
All this needs to be analyzed at the preparatory stage. Only having decided on the opportunities and requirements to tomatoes, choose a concrete grade.
Tip! To diversify your summer menu and be able to not only canned tomatoes, but also enjoy the taste of fresh fruits, it is better to choose several varieties at once.
Well, if the ripening time of tomatoes will be different - then the family will be able to eat fresh vegetables from mid-summer until the end of autumn.
Buying seeds through the Internet, you need to pay attention to the number of seeds in one bag: there are professional and amateur seed packaging. For lovers, tomatoes with 10-12 seeds in a package are suitable, and for professional cultivation you need to purchase large quantities - from 500 to 1000 pieces in a package.
Dishes for tomato seedlings
How can you grow tomato seedlings without pots and boxes? Containers for tomatoes are sold in a huge range, you can find the usual plastic pots, wooden boxes, and peat cups, tablets, cups with a removable bottom, snails and much more.
In order not to spend extra money, containers for tomato seedlings can be easily found in your farm or built from improvised means. After all, everyone will be able to put together a box of unnecessary dostochk, what to say about "snails" or "diapers" that are folded out of dense polyethylene.
To plant seedlings tomato is only necessary in sterile dishes. Therefore, even purchased brand new cups will have to be sanitized. For this it is convenient to use a strong solution of manganese: the container for seedlings is simply immersed in a liquid for several minutes, after which they are allowed to dry.
As cups, you can use cut-off tetrapacks from juice or milk, glasses from under yogurt or children's curds. In general, everything will fit in the house. The exception is the dishes from metal - in such containers it is wrong to grow seedlings.
Prepared and sterile containers must be filled with primer for seedlings. It must be remembered that planting tomato seedlings, should be in a weak acid loose soil capable of retaining moisture.
Ideal for tomatoes soil obtained by combining two parts of humus and one part of black soil. If there is no fertile land on the plot, it can be replaced with any commercial mixture for seedlings.
Another "recipe" suitable for tomato mixture: humus, sand and turf ground, which can be found in the garden under the trees or in the area with weeds. To disinfect the soil and prevent the weeds from growing together with the seedlings, you can use one of the methods:
- freezing of land in the freezer or outside in winter
- roasting soil in the oven or in the microwave
- watering the earth poured in a container of boiling water
- soil impregnation with a solution of manganese (done a few days before sowing the seeds, so that they do not burn).
Important! To prevent rotting of the roots of tomatoes and infection of seedlings with a “black leg,” it is necessary to drain the containers.
In the bottoms there must be holes for water drainage, install glasses and drawers better than the stand in order to provide better ventilation. The drainage layer at the bottom of the tank is very effective; it can be laid out from small pebbles or broken shells.
Tomato seed preparation
Of course, the seed of good agrarian firms will rise without preliminary preparation. After all, such seeds go through several stages of processing: from decontamination to hardening and feeding.
But homemade seeds collected by yourself or donated by neighbors, you need to pre-process before planting in the soil:
- Inspect the seeds and discard uneven, deformed, darkened specimens.
- Dip tomato seeds in salted water, stir with a spoon and remove all sunflower seeds that floated to the surface. These seeds are empty, they will not germinate.
- Disinfect seeds in one of various ways. One such method of disinfection is soaking tomato seeds in water with the addition of hydrogen peroxide (3 ml of hydrogen peroxide per 100 ml of water).
- After disinfection, you can proceed to germination. Before that, you can still treat the seed with growth stimulants or place them for a day in an aqueous solution of wood ash (a few tablespoons of ash per liter jar of boiled water). You need to germinate seeds on a damp cloth or cosmetic cotton wool sponges. This stage will take several days.
- Germinated seeds can be placed for a day in the fridge - it hardens the seedlings, making it easier to acclimatize after diving and transplanting into the ground.
Many gardeners do not germinate tomato seeds, considering that fragile shoots are very easy to damage when planted.Attention! The planting of dry, unprocessed tomato seeds can also be quite successful - much in the cultivation of seedlings depends on the quality of the seed and the composition of the soil.
How to plant seeds in the ground
If tomato seeds are previously germinated, they need to be transferred to the soil very carefully. For this it is very convenient to use tweezers. Each seed must be placed vertically, directing the sprout up. On top of the seeds gently sprinkle with dry earth and do not press down. Watering the seedlings is not necessary, you can sprinkle the earth from the spray gun with warm water separated during the day - this will somewhat condense the soil.
For swollen or dry seeds, any sowing method is suitable. In wooden boxes or common containers, seeds are conveniently sown in prepared grooves. To do this, use a wooden stick or a dull knife to draw stripes on the ground: the depth is about a centimeter, the distance between the lines is about 4 cm.
Tomato seeds are placed in the grooves with an interval of 2-2.5 cm. More dense planting will cause the seedlings to be weak and frail, the plants will not have enough nutrients and moisture.Important! It is necessary to water the land before sowing seeds.
Ideally, if the gardener does not have to irrigate the seedlings before the appearance of the first shoots. In extreme cases it is allowed to slightly irrigate the dried earth from the spray gun.
Seeds sprinkled with a centimeter layer of soil and slightly compacted, pressing down with your fingers. Now you need to cover the boxes with cellophane and put them in a warm place for several days (7-10).
When the green shoots begin to appear, the film must be removed immediately, otherwise the seedlings may "stop" and become yellow. The air temperature at all stages of growing seedlings of tomatoes should not be below 23 degrees.
Planting tomato seedlings is better with a dive stage. Tomatoes have a fairly strong root system, so they tolerate a transplant to a new location. The dive stage is imperative when tomato seeds are sown in a common container.
Also, a dive helps to harden the seedlings a little, to make it more squat and strong. At this stage, it is possible to slightly reduce the growth of tomato seedlings that are too long - the plants are simply buried in the soil along the cotyledon leaves.
Before diving tomato seedlings should be plentifully watered with warm water. You need to remove the plants with a knife or a small metal spatula. We must try to capture not only the plant itself, but also a clod of land between the roots.
Tip! If during the dive to a third pinch the central root, it is possible to stimulate the growth of the root system, thereby strengthening the plant, making it more powerful.
If weak or damaged tomatoes are found, they should be discarded. During a dive, the strongest and strongest plants are chosen. Plant tomatoes in separate containers, one or two plants each. If the pairing method is chosen, at the stage of formation of the fourth and fifth leaflets, it will be necessary to pinch a weaker tomato, and to tie the stems of both plants with a nylon thread. In this way it will turn out to grow stronger seedlings, which will give a bountiful harvest.
Tanks with peaked tomatoes do not need to be placed under too bright sunlight.
While plants are acclimatizing, it is better to use artificial lighting or arrange the seedlings on dimly lit window sills.
Care for tomato seedlings
Growing seedlings yourself, you can be confident in its quality. But for a good result, you will have to work a little:
- Water only tomato seedlings with soft water. It can be distilled, boiled, melt water, which is heated or kept near heating appliances. Water temperature for watering seedlings should be about 20 degrees.
- Fertilizing seedlings is not always necessary. Tomatoes can be enough nutrients, especially if high-quality seeds were used, they were fed, and fertile soil with a balanced composition was prepared for the seedlings. About the lack of trace elements will tell sluggish appearance of tomatoes, drooping or yellowed leaves, marble spots on the foliage, a weak and thin stem. In this case, you need to make dressing, after diluting the fertilizer in water for irrigation.
- Before moving to a permanent place, seedlings should be hardened slightly. 10-14 days before disembarking, they begin to open a window in the room, later they take out boxes for a few minutes on the balcony, and then you can leave the tomatoes outside, shading plants from the scorching sun.
It is possible to plant seedlings in a greenhouse or on a garden, when 6-7 true leaves appear on each plant, there are first buds, tomatoes have reached a height of more than 15 cm, have a strong stalk and bright green foliage.
The result of the work on the cultivation of tomato seedlings will be the planting of plants to a permanent place. Before transferring the seedlings do not need to be watered for several days, after which the earth in the cup will shrivel and the tomato can be easily removed after the container is turned over.
A tomato bush planted on a bed does not need to be watered during the first week.
Excessive soil moisture only hurts the tomato, the plant will be more difficult to get used to the new environment.
It remains to regularly water the tomatoes and fertilize - and an excellent harvest is just guaranteed! And we have already figured out how to plant tomatoes for seedlings correctly.