Tomato seedlings: cultivation and care

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Tomato seedlings: cultivation and care
Tomato seedlings: cultivation and care

Tomatoes are by far the most popular vegetable. They have a great taste, thanks to which they can be eaten both raw and used to preserve and prepare a wide range of dishes, ranging from ordinary salads to amazing gastronomic masterpieces. Tomatoes are sold in almost any grocery store, but they will be much he althier and tastier if you grow them yourself in your own garden. That is why many vegetable growers are engaged in growing tomatoes. Despite the fact that this process is not particularly difficult, nevertheless, in order to harvest a high quality crop, it is necessary to adhere to a certain technological process. Every novice gardener should know when to sow tomatoes for seedlings. Let's try to understand all the features of growing tomatoes at home.

Preparing seeds for planting

seedling cultivation

So what do you need to know about this? When growing tomatoes, it is very important not only to know in which season to sowtomatoes for seedlings, but also have an idea about the preparation of planting material. Both the yield of vegetable crops and the percentage of seed germination depend on this. It should be noted right away that this will have to spend a certain amount of time and effort, but the result will certainly please you.

Most novice vegetable growers collect seeds from ripe tomatoes, dry them in the sun, and this is where all the preparation of planting material ends. Some of them will germinate, but the yield will be low, and the quality of vegetables will be poor.

In order for seedlings to be strong and he althy, highly resistant to pests and various diseases, experienced gardeners recommend adhering to the following recommendations:

  1. Seeds should be selected only from ripe fruits that are not affected by any ailments. They should be dried not under the sun, but in a separate room with good air circulation and lighting. It is not recommended to leave planting material in direct sunlight.
  2. In order to select only high-quality seeds, they must be briefly placed in a special solution, for the preparation of which one teaspoon of ordinary table s alt is dissolved in warm water and infused for 10 minutes. Seeds that float to the surface can be thrown away, as they are unlikely to germinate, and tomato seedlings will not be of high quality.
  3. Pay attention to the size of the planting material. The larger the seeds, the more vitamins and nutrientsthey contain. Such planting material is considered the best.
  4. After you select and dry the seeds, they must be packaged in plastic bags. Storage should take place at room temperature, protected from light. If the planting material has been in the cold for a long time, then a few days before sowing it needs to be warmed up. To do this, wrap the seeds in a cloth and place them on the battery.

Only following these tips, you can grow high-quality seedlings and harvest a rich, tasty and he althy harvest.

Technological process

tomato seedling

What does it include?

Planting tomatoes for seedlings is carried out in the following sequence:

  • drying seeds;
  • selection of planting material;
  • decontamination;
  • soaking;
  • germination;
  • hardening.

The most important stages are disinfection and hardening of planting material. The thing is that the largest number of diseases to which tomatoes are susceptible takes root on seeds. At the same time, ailments are able to survive even in difficult climatic conditions for a long period of time. Therefore, in order for tomato seedlings to be of high quality at home, the seeds must be disinfected. To do this, use a one percent solution of potassium permanganate, preheated to 40 degrees. Planting material is simply immersed in it for a few minutes, on average 3 to 7 will be enough.

Experiencedagronomists also recommend soaking the seeds in a special solution with high nutritional properties the day before sowing. Similar funds are sold in any specialized store. If you do not want to spend money, then you can use freshly squeezed potato juice.

Preparing seeds for sowing

This is one of the main stages. In order for tomato seeds for seedlings to germinate faster, it is recommended to soak them for 10 hours before sowing in ordinary settled warm water. The planting material is evenly distributed over the gauze, rolled up in several layers, and immersed in the liquid. After half the time, the water is changed and the procedure is repeated one more time.

It is not recommended to immediately sow seeds in a greenhouse or garden bed, since the likelihood of germination in this case is minimal. They should first be germinated at room conditions. For this, a small container is taken, on the bottom of which wet gauze is placed. Planting material is evenly distributed on it, and the dishes are placed near the battery or in a warm place. It is very important that the temperature at which the seeds will germinate is around 20 degrees. As a rule, the first sprouts break through after 5 days. Throughout this time, you need to make sure that the gauze remains moist.

In order for tomato seedlings in the Urals or in any other region of Russia with a harsh climate to grow and develop normally, and not be afraid of temperature changes and night frosts, it is recommended to harden it. For this, planting material is placed in the refrigerator for several days at night, if any, incompartment for vegetables. It should be noted that hardening will not only increase the resistance of tomatoes to negative environmental factors, but will also significantly increase the yield.

Soil preparation

planting tomato seedlings

Planting tomatoes for seedlings is carried out regardless of the type of soil, since this vegetable crop is unpretentious and feels good in any area. However, to increase the taste and nutritional properties of tomatoes, it is better to grow them on special substrates that you can buy at the store or make yourself. Peat soil types are ideal.

To prepare the substrate with your own hands, you will need to mix loamy soil with humus and add any organic fertilizers to them. Tomato seedlings have a very delicate root system, so they will grow much better if the soil is more fluffy. To do this, you can add some ordinary sawdust to the substrate.

As for purchased soils, it is better to give preference to coke mixtures. They are rich in nutrients and also prevent root rot. In addition, modern know-how, which shows high efficiency in growing seedlings of various vegetable crops at home, are special peat tablets. If you germinate the seeds with their help, then it will not be necessary to dive tomatoes when transplanting to the garden.

A few words about seedling containers

seedling care

Sowing tomatoes onseedlings should be carried out in the right containers, since a lot depends on this. Best for sowing seeds:

  • wooden boxes;
  • plastic trays;
  • flower pots;
  • peat tablets;
  • plastic cups.

It is important to understand here that each type of dishes has certain advantages and disadvantages. Drawers and trays are more practical. They are just perfect for growing seedlings in large numbers. In addition, they have compact dimensions and are well transported if necessary, and their cost is relatively low. However, there is one drawback. Such containers have a shallow depth, and there is not enough space in them for the normal formation of a he althy root system, so the seedlings need to dive. But you have to be very careful when doing this, because it is rather problematic to separate the roots of different sprouts without damaging them.

It will be much easier if tomato seedlings at home are grown in special cassettes with partitions that greatly simplify the dive process. But when buying these containers, be careful. Do not purchase those made of PVC, as it contains toxic substances that are harmful to he alth.

The best option that combines high efficiency, affordable cost and practicality will be flower pots and disposable cups. In them, tomato seedlings can grow until transplanted to the garden. The main disadvantage of suchcontainers is that they take up a lot of space, and it is also problematic to transfer them from place to place. If you decide to use such dishes, then at the bottom you need to make small holes to remove excess moisture.

Peat tablets are the ideal option recommended by most agronomists. They develop a powerful and he althy root system, so the seedlings are of the highest quality, giving an excellent harvest. However, their cost is quite high, so this container is not the most economical.

Sowing seeds

Many beginner gardeners are wondering when to plant tomatoes for seedlings. It is best to do this in mid-March, around 15-20. The first sprouts will appear in about a week, and the growing season will come in two months. After another 7 days, it will be possible to dive, and already in early June, the seedlings will be completely ready for planting in the garden.

Sowing seeds is carried out to a depth of one centimeter in pre-moistened soil. It is necessary to leave 5 centimeters between them so that the root system of each sprout develops normally and does not intertwine with each other. The dishes in which the seeds were sown are covered with glass or plastic wrap, and then placed in a warm room. The air temperature in it should not fall below 20 degrees. Under these conditions, the seeds will sprout in a week.

It is worth noting that planting tomatoes for seedlings according to the lunar calendar will also be very effective. Scientists have long proven that productivityvegetable crops very much depends on what phase the celestial body is in. This opinion is shared by many professional agronomists involved in the cultivation of tomatoes on an industrial scale.

Proper care of vegetables

tomato seedlings in a pot

After the seeds germinate, the pot with seedlings should be moved to a cool room with a good level of light. The air temperature in it should be between 14 and 16 degrees Celsius. If the room is located in the northern part of the house and a small amount of sunlight penetrates into it, then it is necessary to make artificial lighting with lamps. The temperature regime must be observed throughout the week. This time the seedlings will be enough to get stronger. The plants are then returned to the living quarters, which are maintained at a constant temperature of 20 degrees.

Tomato seedlings need timely watering, but it should not be too plentiful. At first, once a week will be enough, but then the number of times gradually increases. To do this, use water at room temperature. Before the first sprouts appear, the soil is sprayed with a spray gun.

Tomato Dive

seedlings in the open field

This process is a mandatory procedure for growing tomatoes at home, necessary for the formation of the root system of the plant. After its implementation, the seedlings take root better on the open ground and quickly adapt to new conditions.habitat.

Dive should be approximately 10 days after seed germination. However, there are no universal tips here, since growing tomatoes requires an individual approach and taking into account many factors. Experienced gardeners say that it is necessary to plant seedlings in separate containers after the first full-fledged leaf has formed on it.

During a dive, you need to carefully sort out the planting material. Only the best and he althiest seedlings of tomatoes are selected, and all sluggish shoots are thrown away, because not only will they not give a good harvest, but they may simply not survive.

A few days before the proposed transplant, the soil is slightly moistened. This will allow you to effortlessly get seedlings out of the ground without damaging the root system. For diving, larger dishes are used. For example, plastic bottles that have their necks cut off are great.

Seedling hardening

So, what is this process? So that the culture does not die from the cold when transplanted to the garden, it must be hardened. If seedlings are grown in February, it is not recommended to take tomatoes into the hallway of the house, as there will be a strong temperature drop that they may not be able to endure. In this case, you can put the tomatoes in the refrigerator for several hours, as mentioned earlier. If you sowed the seeds in mid-March, and in April the weather outside is already more or less favorable, then the seedlings are watered and put outside for a short time. But this is only permissible if the thermometer is at least 10 degrees higherzero. At the same time, it is forbidden to leave containers with sprouts in direct sunlight, since they simply bake. At night, the seedlings are brought back into the room. Temper should be at least two weeks.

Disease prevention

So, we have already talked about when to sow tomatoes for seedlings. Now it remains only to consider the main preventive measures that will reduce the likelihood of damage to tomatoes by various diseases. The most common among them are viral and fungal diseases. To reduce the likelihood of their development, tomatoes must be treated with fungicides. In addition, it is necessary to periodically loosen the ground, remove darkened leaves in a timely manner, and also, before transplanting into open ground, add a little solution of copper sulfate and spray the seedlings with a 5% brown liquid. Having completed all these preventive measures, you will certainly grow a quality crop that everyone will envy.

how to fertilize tomato seedlings

So, as it turned out, planting tomatoes is not so difficult. To get a good harvest, first of all, you need to choose a variety suitable for the region. In addition, the plants should definitely be given proper care, namely, protected from sunlight, watered and fed in a timely manner.

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