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It is always pleasant to harvest a crop grown by yourself. But what if there is no land plot for the realization of desires?
There is a way out - growing tomatoes on the balcony in plastic bottles is an interesting and effective way to get tomato harvests without leaving your home and without spending a lot of money.
The article describes in detail the method of growing tomatoes in bottles: how to plant, how to care for such seedlings, and what pests are dangerous. In the photo you can see this method clearly.
Can tomatoes be grown this way?
A plastic bottle is not only an economical option for a container for planting tomatoes, but also the most optimal one, since the material is considered breathable, which is very important for the root system. Also, the plastic bottle is light, so if you need to move the landings from place to place, it will not be difficult to do this.
Important! Small bottles can be used to grow seedlings, and grown seedlings can be transplanted into five liter bottles.
The disadvantages include, perhaps, only the fact that, due to its softness, a plastic bottle can sometimes deform under the pressure of the soil.
This is what tomatoes growing in plastic bottles on the balcony look like:
For growing tomatoes in bottles, balconies or loggias facing the southeast and southwest side are suitable. On the south side, plants can overheat and burn.so that this does not happen, you need to organize shading, if the balcony is located on the north side, for the full development of the plants, additional lighting will be required.
Considering that there is not a lot of space on the balcony, varieties with small fruits are suitable:
- Pearl Red;
Or any others that fit the stated requirement. When grown in a plastic bottle, it is better to abandon tall varieties, preferring undersized and dwarf varieties, which are distinguished by a compact bush and abundant fruiting.
The preferred bottle shape is cylindrical. It is this option that is most easily filled with the root system. The material of the container is plastic, but the dimensions must correspond to the size of the plant. If this is a seedling stage, the bottles can be small, if the bush is transplanted to a permanent place, the volume of the container should be at least five liters.
Each bottle contains one seedling.
Soil mixtures for planting tomatoes can be purchased ready-made in stores, or you can prepare the soil yourself. To do this, you will need to mix turf soil with humus in equal proportions, with the addition of peat and sawdust, which will improve the air permeability of the soil. At the bottom of the bottle for disembarkation, it is imperative to lay out drainage, which can be used as expanded clay.
- Before planting, tomato seeds are soaked in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for twenty minutes or in a solution of a growth stimulator for ten hours. This will help the seeds germinate faster and increase the number of shoots in consequence.
- The seeds are transferred to a container and covered with a damp cloth.
- After two to three days, the roots will appear, after which the seeds are transplanted into bottles with soil for seedlings, deepening them to one centimeter and observing an interval of three centimeters.
- Bottles with seedlings are covered with an opaque lid and placed in a warm place, after the first shoots appear, the seedlings can be moved to the balcony, closer to the light. At the same time, nighttime temperatures should not be below + 15, and the recommended daytime temperatures should be +22 +25.
Step by step care instructions
Watering and fertilizing
Frequent watering of balcony tomatoes is not required, are carried out as the earthen coma dries up, since, unlike plants planted in open ground, they do not receive so much solar heat. Before the ovaries have formed and during the formation of fruits, the soil must be kept moist, and when the tomatoes begin to ripen, it is not worth overmoistening the soil, this will promote rapid ripening.
It is better to use mineral fertilizing, apply according to the instructions, in no case exceeding the dose, otherwise the plant may begin to intensively gain green mass and not bear fruit.
Pruning, pinching and pinching
Shoots forming in the leaf axils drain tomato bushes, since all the energy is spent on the formation of a green mass. Stepping is carried out when the shoot reaches two to three centimeters. The stepchildren simply break off, and sprinkle the place of scrapping with wood ash or crushed activated carbon. The procedure must be carried out during the entire vegetative period.
The lower leaves are also cut off so that the air under them does not stagnate, increasing the risk of infectious diseases.
Supports and hanging
Considering that props are required mainly for tall varieties of tomatoes, and such options for growing in plastic bottles are not suitable, you can not be puzzled by the organization of supporting structures.
Tomatoes are a plant that tends to adapt to many conditions.so hanging, causing the brushes to fall out of containers with soil, is fine for growing.
The suspended structure is made according to the following scheme.
- The 2 liter plastic bottle is rinsed and the bottom cut off.
- The bottom is placed in the top of the bottle so that it points towards the cork.
- Next, you need to drill a hole in two parts of the bottle at once and several drainage holes in the bottom.
- The seedlings must be removed from the container in which they grew together with the earthen clod and covered with a coffee filter on the upper part.
- Gently pass the tomato sprout through the neck of the bottle.
- Pour the soil mixture into the bottle, turn it over and completely fill it with earth.
- Then insert the bottom and secure it with wire.
- The structure is ready, you can move it to the loggia and hang it in a convenient place - near the railing or on the wall.
Diseases and pests
- Blackleg - affects seedlings, the root collar turns black, becomes thinner and rots. The plant dies. To prevent the disease, watering should be moderate, and the crops should not be thickened. Before planting, Trichodermin can be added to the soil in a mixture with Ecogel.
- Root rot of tomatoes - the root collar of diseased plants rots, and they themselves wither. The top layer of soil should be removed and a new one should be poured, the soil should be disinfected and the tomatoes should be watered with the Zaslon solution.
- Gray rot - affects tomatoes in cold rainy weather. Small spots appear on green or ripe fruits, which, gradually increasing, become watery. Stems, leaves and flowers can also be covered with gray mold. Infected fruits must be removed and the air temperature raised, if the plant is severely affected, then it is destroyed, and the soil is disposed of.
- Fomoz - brown spots that appear on tomato fruits in conditions of high humidity and excess nitrogen. Internal tissues are subject to deep decay. Affected fruits must be destroyed.
- Fruit cracking - arises from sharp fluctuations in soil moisture. The control measure is a well-functioning irrigation scheme, they should be moderate at intervals.
- Top rot - occurs with an excess of nitrogen against the background of aridity. The solution to the problem is a moderate application of nitrogen fertilization and regular watering.
- Spider mite - affects the plant most often in dry air, feeds on cell sap. You can find the pest on the lower part of the leaves, it also gives out its presence, covering the leaves with a thin cobweb. If the damage is not strong, the insect can be fought with the help of an infusion of onion or garlic husks, if it is significant, use insecticidal preparations.
- Whitefly - a small insect. The defeat manifests itself in the form of sooty fungi. The leaves become covered with a black sticky coating, dry up and die. For the treatment of the disease, the plant is treated with insecticidal preparations.
Growing tomatoes on the balcony in bottles is an interesting method that does not require large expenses and special skills. Even a novice gardener can try his hand at this activity.