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Quite often, both in open ground and in a greenhouse, and in a container for seedlings, vegetable growers prefer to plant not dry, but already germinated tomato seeds.
In order for the process to be successful, you must first know and imagine all its stages, namely how to plant sprouted tomato seeds.
In this article, we will tell you about all the main intricacies of germinating tomato seeds and their subsequent planting in the soil, we will give tips on preventing mistakes.
Germination of tomato seed
First of all, you need to choose the right seed... Regardless of whether the seeds were purchased in a store, bought "off hand" or prepared for storage on their own, some lots will be the most viable, while others may have a high percentage of weakened and even so-called "empty". To check this, they are given a germination test, live are selected and calibrated (evaluated by size and appearance).
Then the seeds are processed: disinfected, hardened and fortified, after which they proceed directly to germination. To do this, you can use a cloth, gauze or, for example, cotton pads. Some growers use paper napkins.
Reference. Factory-made seeds, which are turquoise, blue or green, have already received all the necessary training and do not need additional processing.
A damp seed pad is placed in a plastic container or covered with polyethylene and left in a well-heated room for several days, usually 3-4. The appearance of small shoots means that the seeds are ready for planting.
Why is this done?
Germination of seeds is not required, but many growers resort to it, since it is of great importance:
- non-germinated tomato seeds are discarded in advance;
- the procedure significantly contributes to the acceleration of growth: the difference with non-germinated seeds can be from 2-3 days to 7 or more;
- the seeds eventually become much more seasoned and viable;
- seedlings appear evenly, and it is easier to care for seedlings at one stage of growth.
The germination rate when planting germinated seeds is much higher. Perhaps the only drawback of this method is that it requires special care and accuracy.
When the soil and seed have been prepared, the seeds are planted in a greenhouse or in seedling containers. The ground is mixed and then leveled - for this, as a rule, a thin piece of wood or, for example, a ruler is used.
After planting, containers with future seedlings are covered with a light-transmitting non-fabric film, for example, polyethylene.
The first way
- A wooden plank is pressed onto the soil, going 5-10 mm deep: thereby making lines, dividing the area into beds.
- The seeds are planted in a row at a distance of 1 cm; it is enough to make 2.5-3 cm between the beds.
- After that, they are sprayed and sprinkled with soil with a layer of 8 mm for low-growing varieties and 1.5 cm for tall varieties.
Advice. Instead of container boxes with beds, you can use plastic cups, cut plastic bottles, yogurt cups, etc.
- The soil surface is divided into 4 × 4 cm squares.
- A 1.5 cm depression is made in the center of each, into which 3 grains are placed, after which the layer is leveled and moistened with a hand sprayer.
In the daytime, it is necessary to maintain a temperature of + 20-24 ° С, at night - +18 ° С. The ideal temperature for tomatoes is + 25 ° С.
Landing in the soil
Before planting, you need to prepare the soil mixture or loosen the soil, disinfect and, if necessary, apply top dressing, make sure that the ambient temperature is suitable for the plant to grow and not "fall asleep", check the consistency and condition of the soil.
The soil mixture is bought or made independently from the calculation of equal parts of turf, peat land and humus. If the soil is being prepared for seedlings, it is recommended to include sawdust in the composition.
To make the soil not too heavy for sprouts, sand collected from the river bank is added to it in a proportion of 1/5 of the total amount.
You cannot take land that is located near irrigated fields and reservoirs: it may turn out to be toxic. The layer thickness of the seed mixture is 4-5 cm.
When the seedlings are planned to dive, top dressing is added to the soil, which should contain phosphorus, magnesium, boron, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, copper and nitrogen: 1 tbsp. a spoonful of mineral fertilizer for 10-12 kg of soil mixture.
Two days before planting the seeds, the soil is disinfected: Potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate) is dissolved in hot water and spilled.
The timing of planting seeds largely depends on where the grower plans to grow them. Planting in open ground should begin no earlier than mid-March, in a greenhouse or container for seedlings, it is carried out from February 18-20 to the 10-15 day of the next month. More accurate dates should be set based on other factors as well: tomato varieties, climatic features, external growing conditions.
Advice. In each case, it is advisable to adhere to the approximate planting time indicated by the manufacturer: usually this information is written directly on the seed bag or in the attached instructions.
When the first two leaves have emerged from the ground, the plants need to be provided with enough light. It is recommended to place containers with seedlings closer to the window.... If the planting was carried out in February, artificial lighting should be organized both for them and in the greenhouse.
In this case, within 5 days, the temperature should be from +14 to +16 ° C during the day and up to 12 ° C at night, after which it is increased to the previous level. After germination of all plantings, the plants should be fed, alternating between organic and mineral fertilizers in liquid form.
The grown seedlings dive: together with a lump of earth, they are transplanted into plastic containers (for example, cups), and they are then placed in pallets with sawdust with a layer of 2-3 cm and filled with a mixture in which the seeds germinated. After picking, the plants can be watered carefully.
If the leaves of the seedlings are dark, and the stem is slightly purple, the plants do not need feeding. Otherwise, fertilization is required seven days before transplanting.
Three days before planting in the ground, the lower leaves are removed... Wells 10-15 cm deep are pre-filled with nutrient soil and spilled with an aqueous solution of saturated purple potassium permanganate for additional disinfection.
Important. The distance between the holes and the beds is, respectively, for low-growing tomatoes 30-35 cm and 40-45 cm, for tall ones - 40-45 cm and 50-60 cm. Or 60-65 cm between plants when planting a ribbon type.
If the planting is planned for nesting, then in a square of 80x80 cm there are 2-3 low-growing plants or 2 tall plants.
You can also plant seeds in a greenhouse or in open ground for further growth and development of full-fledged plants without subsequent replanting. In this case, the distance between the holes and the seeds is maintained respectively 2-3 cm and 7-10 cm. In each hole the seeds are laid with a reserve, 2-3 grains. Saplings in one nest must be of the same variety.
Possible errors and warnings
- Sprouted seeds require a very careful attitude: when the root is damaged, the sprout will not appear. This must be remembered both during germination (make sure that the roots do not get tangled) and during planting.
- During planting, it is necessary to maintain the correct distance between holes and beds. Plants that are planted too tightly may not get enough nutrition, oxygen and water and become weakened. Or go into rapid growth in pursuit of light to the detriment of fruits.
- Don't land too early. It is necessary to wait for the ground and air to warm up enough, and frost does not come at night. If it is too cold, the plant will "fall asleep". Any delay in growth can subsequently affect the quantity and quality of the future crop.
- It is necessary to ensure that the seeds do not end up at an excessive depth, from where the sprouts will have to make their way upward for a long time and with difficulty. Watering the soil must be carried out in advance, before planting, so that the grains do not fall through. The moisture can then be adjusted by covering the crops or using a sprayer. It is enough not to bury small seeds, but simply sprinkle them with soil.
- If the soil is not decontaminated, it can lead to infection and disease of seeds and plants.
- In heavy soil, sprouts will grow more slowly, and in insufficiently dense soil, they may begin to develop weaker.
- Before and after disembarkation, it is required to monitor the condition of the soil. Oxygen is poorly supplied to an overly moist soil, which is fraught with growth retardation and even the death of seeds, and in dry and loose soil it will be difficult for them to get to the surface. Also, excess moisture can lead to mold. To avoid this, after disembarkation, it is necessary to air it once or twice a day, removing the cover.
- If the grains become bare after watering, you should fill up the soil with a layer of 1-1.5 cm. To avoid this, you can not water, but spray.
- If the plants are planted in open ground, at a temperature of +26 ° C and above, the film should be folded from the sides.
Tomatoes are a fairly easy crop to cultivate, which is readily used by both gardening experts and beginners.
We suggest watching a useful video on how to sow tomatoes from seeds: