Table of contents:
- How to choose a variety and grow compact indoor tomatoes in an apartment and in a greenhouse in the country
Video: Indoor Tomatoes In The Apartment And In The Greenhouse
How to choose a variety and grow compact indoor tomatoes in an apartment and in a greenhouse in the country
There are no difficulties when growing indoor tomato plants. They can be grown not only at home on a windowsill, but also in a summer cottage in a greenhouse as a compacting crop, in flowerpots or flowerpots, among low-growing ornamental plants.
Someone may say: "Why grow them in a greenhouse, if their fruits are small, and the plants themselves are undersized?" It would seem that everything is correct: it is one thing to grow such tomatoes on the windowsill in the case when there is no garden plot. But I get a solid increase in the harvest from such plants - hundreds of tasty and sweet fruits.
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I grow indoor tomatoes in a greenhouse as a bulking crop next to tall plants. I plant their seedlings between tall tomatoes, but not in the same row with them, but along the retaining wall of the ridge on the south side (my ridges are located from west to east). It turns out that indoor tomatoes grow in front of tall ones - so they are not shaded by tall brothers and are better illuminated.
To get a very early harvest of fruits, I sow indoor tomato seeds in mid-February. Sow so early to get an early harvest, despite the fact that the seed producers in the bags advise to do this in early April, since mostly indoor tomatoes are early varieties or hybrids in terms of ripening. From germination to the beginning of fruiting, they take about 100 days.
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I sow the seeds in dead soil, consisting of a mixture of coconut substrate, fine river sand and vermiculite. This soil is very loose, and the seeds sprout quickly in it. In addition, in such a substrate, where there is river sand, there will be no rot. I spread the seeds on the surface of the wet soil with an interval of 2 cm between plants and rows. Then I sprinkle it with the same substrate. I put the containers with the seeds in a plastic bag so that the soil does not dry out quickly. I take them out of the bag after sprouting. I put the plants on a seedling rack, where I illuminate them with fluorescent lamps for 14 hours.
I plant the seedlings in separate containers filled with the already prepared nutrient mixture, after the appearance of a second true leaf in them, deepening the stem into the ground to the first true leaf to build up an additional root system.
In mid-March, when the temperature reaches + 10 ° C on the glassed-in balcony, I take out the seedlings there for hardening. At such low temperatures, the seedlings do not stretch, but they receive natural sunlight.
In a greenhouse (made of cellular polycarbonate) I plant seedlings of indoor tomatoes at the same time as tall ones - in mid-April. I have been preparing hot beds in greenhouses since autumn. I plant it so early, because it is not yet hot in the greenhouse, and the seedlings take root well. Sometimes indoor tomatoes have already bloomed by this time. If it's still cold outside, then cover the plants with spunbond.
I begin to remove ripe fruits from these plants at the beginning of June. In total, I usually plant at least 30 indoor tomatoes in a greenhouse. The first harvest is significant. For example, last season they collected a 15-liter basket of ripe red fruits at once. And this is already at the beginning of June - at a time when some gardeners are just planting tomato seedlings in plastic greenhouses. During the season, I remove at least four harvest waves from indoor tomatoes in the greenhouse.
Indoor tomatoes have many advantages. They take up little space in the greenhouse: their height is 25-30 cm, the root system is compact and is not a competitor for tall tomatoes. In addition, they occupy a squat niche in the greenhouse, where, as a rule, nothing grows.
There is no need to spawn such plants, but I form them. I remove the stepchildren that form inside the bush. I do this so that the plants are ventilated, and various rot does not form inside the bush. After all, they were planted early, and due to low temperatures outside at this time, leaves inside the bush may rot.
The fruits of indoor tomatoes are small, weighing 30-75 grams, but at least 25-35 of them ripen at the same time. They are ideal for canning. In addition, their fruits ripen much earlier than tall and low-growing early tomatoes.
Indoor tomatoes bear fruit before frost. By this time, the main harvest from tall tomatoes is usually already removed. In late September - early October, I cut a few stepchildren from low-growing tomato plants and take them home. I put them in water for rooting. It is advisable to do this while the heating season has not yet begun in the city - this is how the plants take root better. If you bring your stepsons after the start of the heating season, they can wither due to the sharp transition from low temperatures outside to high temperatures in the house. To prevent this from happening, I put the tomato stepsons on the glassed-in balcony. The door to the balcony is always open. After a week, you can move them indoors.
After the roots appear on the stepsons, I plant them in flower pots. By the New Year, you can get a gift from them - a few ripe fruits. The next crop on these plants will appear by early April. In addition, at this time, additional seedlings can be prepared from them, removing from the bushes and rooting the appeared stepsons. I also put them in jars of water. Then, after rooting, I plant them in containers with earth. In mid-April, I take them and plant them in a greenhouse. Themselves overwintered indoor plants in pots will bear fruit all summer long in a city apartment on a glassed-in balcony.
There is a very large assortment of indoor tomatoes with red, yellow and orange fruits on sale. I have grown the following varieties and hybrids: Indoor Minibel, Pinocchio, NK, Bonsai, Bonsai micro F1, Balconi Elo F1, Balconi Red F1.
But the most delicious, in my opinion, are the indoor tomatoes that I purchased and grew last season: Pearl yellow and Pearl red. Their fruits are very sweet, which is very important for tomatoes. They are very productive - at least 25 fruits ripened on the plant at the same time! They are also very decorative.
I advise all gardeners to also take a closer look at indoor tomatoes, and not only as an ornamental crop, but also as a reservoir for increasing yields. For those townspeople who do not have a summer cottage, but have a craving for plants, I simply recommend trying to grow these tomatoes. If you have young children, they will be delighted to taste the very sweet and beautiful tomatoes. Moreover, caring for them can also be entrusted to children, instilling in them a respectful attitude to nature and a love of work.
Olga Rubtsova, Candidate of Geographical Sciences, St. Petersburg
Photo by the author