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Such beloved tomatoes, of course, every gardener necessarily grows on his site.
After all, it is much more pleasant to pick a delicious juicy tomato for salad, grown with your own hands, than to use a store-bought one.
But in order to get a decent harvest and avoid numerous problems when growing this crop, you first need to provide yourself with high-quality strong seedlings. This is what will be discussed further.
Benefits of Healthy Strong Seedlings
Why, to whom, and for what purpose can strong tomato seedlings be needed? Outwardly, it looks like this:
- The color of the leaves and stem is deep green.
- The greens are all elastic.
- The stem and leaves are well developed, thick, even, without any bends.
Seedlings are ready for planting in the ground if the following indicators are present:
- The stem thickness has reached 1 cm.
- Plant height is approximately 25 - 30 cm.
- There are 8 - 10 leaves on the seedling.
The benefits of strong seedlings are obvious:
- It guarantees a high quality harvest.
- A strong, stocky seedling quickly takes root and begins to develop.
- Plants practically do not get sick.
Strong seedlings, of course, are very necessary for gardeners, especially those who appear in their summer cottages only on weekends, sometimes less often.
It is also very much needed by the owners of farms who are engaged in the cultivation of tomatoes on an industrial scale. Indeed, thanks to strong seedlings, an excellent result is always obtained.
What varieties of tomatoes are right for you?
The most suitable and popular varieties for growing strong seedlings are as follows:
It grows well both in greenhouse conditions and in the open field, the yield of one bush reaches 7 kg.
The fruit is rounded, scarlet in color with a juicy, sugary pulp.
Fruits are universal, bright red in color. The variety is very resistant to various diseases and easily adapts to adverse conditions.
Wonderful salad variety, low bush, medium-sized fruits, weighing about 200 g.
Seeds must be carefully prepared about a month before sowing, that is, a whole range of various activities must be carried out:
- Calibration - weed out all underdeveloped, small seeds, leaving only large ones, at least 2 - 2.5 mm in diameter. The germination capacity of such seeds will be excellent.
- Warming up - dry seeds (selected) must be kept at a temperature of 30 degrees for 2 days, then at a temperature of 50 degrees for 3 days and at the end warmed up at a temperature of about 70 degrees for 4 days. There is another option for warming up: wrap the seeds in a cloth and place them on a radiator about 2 months before sowing.
- Chemical disinfection - a bag of seeds must be kept in a 1% solution of potassium permanganate for about 20 minutes (the water temperature should be about 40 degrees). After that, the seeds should be placed under cold running water and rinsed thoroughly (hardening occurs at the same time).
- Processing with microelements (pre-sowing) - you need to prepare four solutions (the amount is indicated for 3 liters of water): succinic acid (0.1 g), boric acid (2 g), magnesium sulfate (3 g), copper sulfate (1 g). The prepared seeds must be dipped in each of the solutions for 15 minutes, after the last procedure, rinsed with clean water. Instead of these solutions, you can also use an ash solution for similar processing: 2 tablespoons per 1 liter of water.
- Soak - thanks to him, seeds begin to germinate much faster (compared to dry ones). Water for these purposes is best used thawed, heated to 20 degrees), it will perfectly start all important life processes. Two days are enough for this procedure (at room temperature).
After soaking, dry the seeds a little and can be sown.
- Hardening - thanks to this manipulation, fruiting will begin two weeks earlier. There are many options, the most popular are: place the swollen soaked seeds in the refrigerator (on the upper shelf) for 2 - 3 days or bury them in the snow outside (at a temperature of about 5 degrees below zero).
- Bubbling - thanks to this procedure, the seeds are saturated with oxygen. It is very simple to do this - put the seeds in a jar of water (temperature about 20 - 22 degrees) and lower the aquarium compressor there. You need to turn it on for about 12 hours.
Attention! Seeds must be pure-bred, harvested only from healthy fruits and not older than one year.
It is very important to create comfortable external conditions to obtain strong seedlings:
- As soon as the first shoots appear, you need to immediately organize good lighting in order to exclude stretching of the seedlings. It is most useful to make the backlight using a phytolamp.
- Temperature regime - night readings should be within 10 - 15 degrees, and daytime - no higher than 20 degrees. When the first true leaves begin to appear, the daytime temperature is raised to 22 degrees.
- It is imperative to harden the plants (at an outdoor temperature of at least 8 degrees). Due to this, the stem thickens and the leaves darken (become dark green).
The soil for seedlings should be loose, light, breathable. and contain enough nutrients. It is best to prepare such that the composition includes:
- Leafy and turfy land.
- Over-matured sawdust.
- It is useful to add vermicompost from the forest floor.
Attention! Before sowing seeds in the ground, it is very useful to moisten it with the addition of the Baikal EM-preparation.
How do I water?
Watering should be carried out observing certain rules:
- Freshly hatched sprouts should be irrigated very carefully, preferably with a spray bottle.
- You can not overmoisten the seedlings (otherwise it will stretch out or get sick).
- Watering should be done in the morning.
- Use warm water for irrigation (about 30 degrees). In no case should it be watered with cold water.
An excellent feed for seedlings will be an infusion of 0.5 kg of cow dung (or chicken droppings) and 100 g of dale per bucket of water. It is necessary to prepare such an infusion correctly as follows: manure (or droppings) is poured with water for a day, then mix everything well and add ash. When applying top dressing, you need to dilute 0.5 liters of infusion with 2 liters of water and water the plants. Repeat the procedure after 10 days.
You can also use the following solution for the first feeding:
- 20 g of potassium sulfate.
- 30 g superphosphate.
- 10 g of ammonium nitrate.
- 10 liters of water (warm).
For the second feeding you need to take:
- Superphosphate (40 g).
- Potassium sulfate (25 g).
- 10 liters of water.
Secrets and Tricks
In the process of growing tomato seedlings, various secrets and tricks are gradually accumulated to make it healthy and strong. For example, such:
- When the plant has five leaves, the bottom two must be removed - thanks to this simple technique, stretching will not occur.
- Top dressing should be applied only in liquid form.
- Be sure to provide plenty of light.
- If by the beginning of April no flower buds are observed, then it is necessary to cut off the stem above the second true leaf, then two strong stems are formed here.
- It is imperative to observe the timing of planting seedlings in the ground, you can do it very simply: from the specified planting date, count back 45 - 60 days and start sowing.
Do you need a pick?
Many are quite careful about picking, because this procedure seriously injures the root system of the plant and it takes time and energy to recover. They will begin to bear fruit 1.5 weeks later.
therefore the best option would be to sow the seeds in separate cups (with a volume of about 1 liter), due to this, when transplanting seedlings to a permanent place, it will immediately begin to develop, and not waste energy on recovery. Nevertheless, some successfully dive seedlings (with a clod of earth) and everything takes root well.
As a result, we can conclude that it is quite possible to grow strong tomato seedlings on your own, you just need to make some efforts for this. Attentiveness, care and thorough care will surely please with the desired result. And in the presence of strong seedlings, a good harvest will be ensured.