Growing tomato seedlings for the greenhouse: tips Ganichkina
If you want to plant tomatoes in the greenhouse in May, it's time to sow the seedlings and wait for the seedlings. How to water and feed the plants? What is hardened seedlings? Tips novice gardeners who decide to start growing tomato seedlings, gives Oktyabrina Ganichkina.
In Russia, tomatoes are known from the 18th century, but only from the middle of the 19th century they were grown in vegetable gardens as a vegetable.
Growth tomato types are:
- determinant (stunted), plant height is 30-80 cm in open ground and up to 1 m in the protected. The main stem stops growing after the formation of 3-5 flower-fruit brushes. These varieties are characterized by precocity, but a short ability to form inflorescences. They are grown in open ground, or in low greenhouses, or in shelters in open ground;
- semi-determinant (medium-grown) plants reach a height of 100-120 cm in open ground and a height of 150 cm in a protected one. From 6-8 to 10 brushes form on the main stem, after which it ends its growth. Varieties with such growth are well suited for greenhouses with a height of 2.0-2.2 m;
- indeterminate (tall) plants in open ground reach a height of about 2 m, in a protected their growth is limited by the height of the greenhouse.
Temperature, watering, light
Tomato plants in different periods of growth and development have different requirements for external conditions. They can grow and bear fruit with a long and even continuous daylight. A short day is required only for the growth of seedlings. The most favorable temperature for the growth, development and fruiting of tomato is 22-25 ° C during the day and 16-18 ° C at night. At a temperature of 30 ° C and above, the pollen becomes sterile, the flowers fall off, do not form fruit. A tomato can tolerate a short-term decrease in temperature to 3 ° C, but at such a low temperature it is necessary to warm the plants inside the greenhouse.
The need for water in tomato is quite high, especially necessary for moisture plants during the formation of buds and ovaries. However, this crop does not tolerate soils with closely located groundwater. It does not tolerate high humidity and prolonged rainy weather. Too humid air creates conditions for plant diseases with brown spot and late blight, makes fertilization difficult.
Tomato is very picky about light. With its lack of seedlings strongly stretched, it becomes light green, the internodes increase, the first brush is laid later, the number of leaves between inflorescences increases, almost no fruit is tied.
When grown in greenhouses, you need to monitor the humidity of the air (at high humidity, the fruit is not tied). The optimal humidity is 60-70%. In film greenhouses, it often rises to 80-90%. This humidity affects the pollination of flowers: pollen becomes sticky, does not fall on the pistil, because of this, the flowers fall off without tying any fruit.
Sowing tomato seedlings
Most gardeners prefer to grow their own seedlings. When too early sowing, seedlings outgrow, stretch, and then take root poorly. Therefore, it is necessary to accurately calculate the time of sowing seeds.
The optimal age of seedlings for planting in protected ground is 50-60 days. This is the time limit for determinant tomatoes, and for indeterminate tomatoes, add about 5 days for germination and sprouting. As a result, we get 65-70 days. Next, we determine the time of landing (it depends on the climatic conditions). The term of planting a tomato in an unheated film greenhouse is approximately from May 5.
Before sowing, seeds should be soaked in a nutrient solution (optional):
- in 1 liter of water dilute 2 g of growth stimulator "Bud";
- in 1 liter of water dilute 1 teaspoon of liquid fertilizer "Agricola Vegeta";
- 20 drops of the Energen liquid stimulator are diluted in 1 l of water;
- in 1 liter of water dilute 1 tbsp. spoon "Effecton".
Seeds in tissue bags are soaked in one of the solutions (solution temperature not lower than 20 ° C) for 24 hours. Then put the wet cloth bag with the seeds in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator (but not in the freezer) for hardening for 1-2 days. The cooled seeds are immediately sown in the soil. As a result, they give fast friendly shoots.
The soil should be slightly moist. On the day of sowing, it is poured into cups, pots or boxes of 10 × 10 cm in size, compacted slightly, poured with warm (35-40 ° C) growth bud solution (1 g of the drug per 1 l of water) or any other solution for soaking seeds. Then, in each cup in the center, two pits with a depth of 1 cm are made, in each one 1 seed is laid and covered with soil mixture.
Containers with sown seeds are placed in a warm (air temperature 24-25 ° C) bright place. To quickly emerge shoots (after 5-6 days), film caps are put on the containers. Immediately after the appearance of the first shoots, the film is removed.
Tomato seedling care
In the first 20 days after emergence, the leaves grow slowly. In the next 20 days, the growth becomes more noticeable. In order for the seedlings not to stretch, the lighting should be sufficient, it is important to monitor the temperature and conduct hardening. Within 7 days after emergence of shoots, the temperature is maintained during the day at 16–18 ° C and at night at 13–15 ° C. Then it is raised to 18-20 ° C during the day and up to 15-16 ° C at night. This mode is observed until the second and third true leaflets appear on the sprout. This usually occurs 30-35 days after germination. During this time, the seedlings are watered and fed 2 times, which allows even in a period of low light (March) to get a strong seedlings.
The first time, if the soil is dry, water the seedlings that appear. Water should be at room temperature (20 ° C) and be sure to stand or boiled. Young seedlings preferably watered at the root, so that the water does not fall on the leaves and they are not rotten.
Boxes with seedlings need to be turned daily by the other side to the window glass - this will prevent the seedlings from being pulled in one direction. It is impossible to put containers directly on the window sill, it is better to use any kind of stand so that the air access to the root system is not limited.
After 5-6 days after emergence of seedlings, a weaker plant is removed from the pot, and a strong one is left.
When the seedlings have 1 true leaf each, they make the first root feeding: in 1 liter of water, dilute 1 tsp of liquid fertilizer "Agricola Vegeta" and root growth stimulator "Cornerost". This dressing enhances the development of seedlings and strengthens the root system.
The second dressing is done when the third true leaf appears: in 1 l of water dilute 1 tbsp. spoon drug "Effecton-O". Pour over the solutions very carefully so that the solution does not get on the leaves.
Water the seedlings in pots once a week until the soil is completely wet. By the next watering, the soil should dry out a bit, but at the same time it is necessary to ensure that there are no long breaks in the watering.
Before planting seedlings in the greenhouse, you can spend three more feeding at regular intervals:
- 10 liters of water take 1 tbsp. spoon "Agricola for tomato, pepper and eggplant." Spend about 1 cup on 2 pots;
- 10 liters of water diluted 1 tbsp. spoon nitrofoski and 1 tbsp. spoons of liquid organic fertilizer "Effecton-O".
- 10 liters of water diluted in 1 tbsp. a spoonful of growth stimulant "Kornerost", nitrophoska, consumption of 1 cup of solution for 1 plant.
In April, the seedlings are quenched, that is, the window is opened both during the day and at night. On warm days (from 12 ° C and above), seedlings are taken out to the balcony and opened for 2-3 hours for 2-3 days, and then taken out for the whole day, even left overnight, but they are covered with covering material from above. In the case of lowering the temperature (below 8 ° C), seedlings must be brought into the room. Well-seasoned seedlings have a bluish-purple hue. During the quenching period, the soil must be watered, otherwise the plants will wither.
The seedlings, ready for planting in the greenhouse, should reach a height of 15-35 cm, have 12 well-developed leaves and formed inflorescences (one or two).
Often gardeners buy on the market seedlings grown without compliance with the rules of agricultural technology, that is, densely sown at a later date. The plants themselves will tell you this: they are pale green in color, with large internodes, thin, long and without flower buds. Such a thin, loose, easily broken seedling always gives a late and meager harvest, as a rule, is affected by fungal diseases, especially late blight.
Next time we will talk about caring for tomatoes after planting in the greenhouse.