Is it possible to cut off the tip of overgrown tomato seedlings?
Insufficient lighting, violation of planting dates and non-ideal microclimate often lead to tomato seedlings stretch outgrow. It is best to plant these seedlings as soon as possible to a permanent place.
But, as a rule, this problem occurs when weather conditions do not allow it. Therefore, it is necessary to save the seedlings directly on the home window sill. There are several ways to stop the growth of tomatoes. One of them is to divide the plant into two parts. As a result of home experiments, vegetable growers have found that the tops of the cut off tomatoes give good roots and a full-grown plant can grow from them.
The essence of the method
Elongated internodes, pallor of green mass, stem height more than 30 cm - all these are signs that seedlings outgrow. Inaction in this case may lead to a loss of the future harvest. Seedlings with a height of more than 50 cm is considered to be already overgrown. Such tomatoes are poorly adapted in the new conditions. The ability to form ovaries is lost, all the forces weakened seedlings are allowed to survive. An even more pessimistic outlook for overgrown tomatoes that have entered the flowering phase at home. Flowering seedlings after transplant often die.
Save dying seedlings can be a radical method such as trimming the tops. The essence of the method consists in the division of a sapling into two parts. To do this, cut the upper third of the stem and put it in the water. A few days later, when the tops of the roots are given, they can be planted back into the tank with the ground. In order for the root formation process to take place in a shorter time, drugs that stimulate root growth can be added to the water. For example, "Kornevin" or "Heteroauxin".
From the bottom of the trimmed seedlings, you can also get full seedlings. A few days after trimming "hemp" will give stepchildren. When new shoots reach 5-7 cm, you need to choose two of the strongest stepsons, and remove the rest. Thus, the bushes which are already formed in two stalks will turn out. Subsequent care for them is watering, feeding and removing side shoots.
It is recommended to use the method of trimming the apex if the height of seedlings exceeds 40 cm. For slightly overgrown seedlings (30-35 cm), alternative methods of growth retardation can be used.
Advantages and disadvantages of the method
At first glance, the method of cutting seedlings into two parts seems blasphemous. Not every one will mercilessly cut more recently greening sprouts. In fact, do not worry. Tomatoes are a crop that can be propagated by cutting. The roots of the representatives of the nightshade develop throughout the growth. The appearance of aerial roots is also characteristic of them. Which start growing as soon as they come into contact with the soil. Therefore, both the top of the crown and the bottom of the trimmed part perfectly take root.
According to agricultural technicians, the method has a number of positive consequences:
- Growth point cropping stimulates root development. Therefore, cut tomatoes will have a strong root system by the time they are transplanted into the ground;
- since from one sapling two is obtained, the total number of seedlings will double. Some gardeners use this method exclusively to increase the number of seedlings;
- part of the seedlings will continue to grow in one stem, and the other half will be formed in advance in two stems. So work on the garden plot will decrease;
- manages to gain time and wait for the warm weather.
Of the disadvantages, you can select only one: the fruiting time will move for a couple of weeks. This is explained by the fact that the formation of roots and a set of new green mass will take time.
In order to cut the part of the tomatoes rather started up in growth, seedlings can be fed with nitrogen fertilizer. For this, the usual liquid ammonia is well suited. In ammonia, nitrogen is found in an easily digestible form for tomatoes. To prepare the working solution, 10 ml per liter of water is enough. One plant is enough 1-2 tablespoons of the composition.
If you find the first signs that the seedlings are stretched, you can try to slow down its growth. There are several methods to do this. The most effective ones are:
- move seedlings to a cooler room. When the temperature of the air and soil is 15-16 degrees, the growth of tomatoes will stop;
- reduce watering. Excessive moisture causes greasing and rapid growth of seedlings. To stop the growth of watering should be carried out only as the drying of the soil in tanks;
- transplant seedlings with depth to the first pair of leaves. The adaptation after transplanting plants will take time. During this period, growth will slow;
- treat with retardants. Under the action of these substances, growth stops, and the stem and shoots thicken. The plant becomes strong, the color changes to dark green with a bluish bloom. Such substances include biostimulator "Athlete".
In order not to face the problem of overgrown seedlings, it is necessary to responsibly plan the entire process of growing tomatoes. It is better not to sow the seeds ahead of time, in the hope of an early harvest. Agrotechnics explain that let seedlings of tomatoes be better young and low than old and exhausted.