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Video: Planting Tomato Seedlings And Caring For It
Read the previous part. ← Growing tomatoes: preparing greenhouses, soil and seedlings
Planting tomato seedlings at the earliest possible date
As a rule, in the conditions of the Middle Urals, gardeners planted tomato seedlings in greenhouses no earlier than mid-June. It is very late, because we have a very short growing season. On heated biofuel, provided additional shelters are installed and in the presence of strong seedlings, plants can be planted much earlier, around mid-May.
By this time, the first buds should already appear on the seedlings (the presence of fruits in the seedling stage is undesirable, since this often leads to the depletion of plants). Therefore, at the first signs of the formation of fruits on the seedlings, it is necessary to urgently start planting it, and if the weather conditions and the degree of heating in the greenhouse of the soil allow, then it is better to do this even earlier.
The technology of planting seedlings does not present any difficulties. The plants are watered abundantly, and then carefully removed from the pots and planted in prepared holes, laying them almost horizontally and slightly raising the tops - the first inflorescence should be above the soil level so that there is a chance to put plywood under the fruits that are later formed there. Such a horizontal planting is beneficial from two positions: on the one hand, it allows you to achieve the formation of a more powerful root system, and on the other, it makes more efficient use of the light space of greenhouses, the height of which is limited. After planting, the plants must also be watered well.
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When planting, I do not add anything to the wells, but on insufficiently fertile soils, this, of course, is necessary, since this culture requires very fertile light soils with a neutral reaction of the environment, containing organic matter in the form of humus. Indeed, on insufficiently fertile soils, a large harvest of tomatoes cannot be obtained. A possible option for additional fertilization in the wells can be semi-rotten compost mixed with a complex mineral water (Kemira and others). Better yet, lay a sachet of Apion under each bush - this long-acting fertilizer will provide constant nutrition for the plants throughout the growing season, which will avoid tedious weekly feeding.
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In principle, I do not adhere to the tomato planting schemes recommended by agronomists, since this is a very plastic crop that can grow without any schemes, however, provided the required level of lighting is provided. However, in standard greenhouses, it is most convenient to place the bushes on a ridge in two rows on one side of the aisle and in two rows on the other.
I would like to draw your attention to one more subtle nuance: when planting seedlings, I place the root system and the trunk very close to the soil surface (so that I can simply sprinkle the roots). Of course, such a depth for tomatoes is completely unacceptable, but I plant it very early, when it is still very cold, and the soil, even with biofuel, has not yet warmed up very much. The top layer of the soil is already more or less warm, and deeper the roots are cold, so you can't put them there yet. After about 10-14 days, cover the entire surface of the ridge with warm soil. We take it from the compost heap - put it in buckets and put it in them for warming up in the greenhouse. When the soil in them warms up, sprinkle the roots of tomatoes and the entire surface of the ridges with it. Naturally, this operation is laborious, but it is worth it, since the plants do not suffer from insufficiently heated soil in the depths of the ridges,They quickly start growing and do not pay attention to weather surprises outside the walls of the greenhouse.
In our conditions, at the time of planting seedlings, daytime and nighttime temperatures are still too low, and we have frosts until June 17-18. Therefore, you need to immediately build additional shelters inside the greenhouse in the form of arcs covered with thick covering material. On warm sunny days, we temporarily fold the covering material from the arches, and carefully return it to its place at night. It is usually possible to clean our inner shelters only after 20 June. And in other zones of risky farming, I think, about the same conditions and terms.
Further care of tomatoes - only for "five plus"
If we forget about our harsh climate, then tomatoes in general are quite grateful culture. True, without taking into account its individual characteristics, of course, one cannot do.
First,what you need to know: all modern highly productive tomato hybrids are intensive type hybrids, that is, they can give large yields, subject to the introduction of increased doses of fertilizers. This means that you need to ensure a regular supply of fertilizers to the plants. For this purpose, ordinary gardeners can follow the time-tested path: weekly root top dressing with complex fertilizers and foliar dressing with them, but in smaller doses. Another option is also possible: to establish a drip irrigation system with regular supply of weak solutions of complex fertilizers to it, however, this is quite expensive. And the worst thing is that it is necessary to organize the supply of very clean water to such a system. If this is not done, then the normal water supply is quickly disrupted due to clogged nozzles, so this option is not suitable for everyone.
Another option is the use of long-lasting compound fertilizers, such as Apions, which provide a continuous supply of nutrients, which allows you to make the most of every day of the short growing season. Such fertilizers are quite expensive, but labor costs when using them are significantly reduced, which is important for many.
The second thing is important: the root system of tomatoes does not tolerate a lack of air. As a rule, there is not enough air due to soil compaction, which can occur both due to regular watering and due to insufficiently breathable soil. As a result, the development of plants is delayed, and the yield decreases markedly. Therefore, the greenhouse soil must always allow sufficient air to flow to the roots.
How can this be ensured? It is very simple: on the one hand, initially form a sufficiently structured soil by introducing loosening additives (sawdust, hay, chopped bark, etc.), and on the other hand, do not forget about mulching the soil in the greenhouse (foliage, leaf litter, straw or humus layer in 3-5 cm). As for loosening the soil, this operation is undesirable due to the superficial location of a significant part of the roots.
Thirdfeature of tomatoes: it is theoretically assumed that these plants are relatively drought-resistant, for example, in comparison with the same pepper. Indeed, outwardly, they tolerate irregular watering and some lack of moisture quite firmly, but all this affects the volume and quality of the crop. In particular, insufficient moisture during the period of mass fruit setting leads to a decrease in yield and its quality, and sometimes to significant loss due to shedding of flowers. In addition, irregular watering, especially in dry weather, causes the fruits to develop apical rot and crack. Of course, watering can only be done with warm water and only under the root, and not by sprinkling - watering with cold water causes stress in plants, and their development is inhibited, which again affects the harvest not in the best way. However, excessive waterlogging is also dangerous.as it provokes the development of diseases.
The fourth thing to remember is that thermophilic tomatoes can have big problems with pollination in severe weather conditions. Therefore, it is better not to wait for the ovaries to fall, but to regularly spray the plants with fruit-forming stimulants ("Bud", etc.) - these preparations will provide almost complete pollination in any weather conditions.
The fifth thing to consider: whatever one may say, but our Ural climate, like the climate of other risky zones, tomatoes are clearly not to their taste - plants experience constant stresses that reduce their vitality, make them more susceptible to all kinds of diseases. The only way to relieve such stress is to regularly sprinkle tomatoes with growth and development stimulants - there are a lot of them on the market today. True, when choosing this or that drug and spraying it, you need to very strictly adhere to the instructions, since spraying with a part of this kind of stimulants in high doses is fraught with results directly opposite to those expected.
The sixth feature of modern hybrids: they bring a tangible yield, which is quite difficult for plants to sustain. In order to avoid breaks in the places where the brushes are attached to the shoots, it is necessary to additionally tie the brushes - I usually tie them to thick, closely spaced shoots, vertically stretched ropes or to pegs (here you have to act according to the circumstances). In addition, plywood or planks should be placed under the fruits located close to the ground to protect them from rot.
Memo on general agricultural technology
- Tomatoes are planted horizontally, covering the lower part of the stem with soil. After planting, the seedlings must be watered. If the soil is not fertile enough, half a bucket of compost or one handful of complex fertilizer ("Giant vegetable", or "Breadwinner", or "Bogatyr"), 2 tablespoons each, is added to the holes when planting on each bush of tomatoes. superphosphate and one glass of ash, or one bag of Apion or a similar long-lasting fertilizer is placed.
- Approximately 10-14 days after planting, the plants are sprinkled with compost to a height of at least 3-4 cm, and then mulched with foliage.
- Three weeks after planting, the plants are tied up and begin to form.
- If Apions were not brought under the bushes, then the first three weeks the plants are not fed, provided that fertile soil has been formed in the greenhouse. Then carry out weekly root and foliar feeding. For root dressing, first, ordinary complex fertilizers are used, from the beginning of July, the dose of potash fertilizers is increased and MagBor fertilizer is added to the usual complex fertilizers.
- Since the beginning of flowering plants, once every two weeks, they are sprayed with preparations for fruit formation (Gibbersib, or "Ovyaz", or "Bud").
- Water the bushes only with warm water (+ 33 … + 35 ° С).
Read the next part. Tomato formation, disease control →
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