Tomatoes from the garden are more fragrant and tender. But to get a good harvest of large and tasty fruits, you need to plant strong seedlings. In a large assortment of planting material is available on the market, but often the desired seedlings are thin and elongated. The best option is to grow seedlings at home, especially since it is easy to do this, knowing how and when to water it, at what temperatures and lighting to contain, in what soil to sow the seeds.
Causes of pulling seedlings
Tomato is a popular vegetable from the family of Solanaceae. Today, breeders bred many hybrids, the seeds of which can be sown in open ground. However, even when choosing such a variety, this method is acceptable only for warm regions with a mild climate. The main way to grow tomatoes is through seedlings. The latter, for beginners, are often drawn out, which negatively affects the future harvest.
The main causes of stretching:
- lack of lighting - photosynthesis is responsible for the normal development of plants, and when there is a shortage of sunlight, the process is slower;
- violation of the temperature regime - after the emergence of shoots, the mercury column should fall below the 16 ° C mark, which is not always possible in residential conditions;
- improperly selected soil - seedlings are drawn on poor and heavy soils.
Conditions for growing strong seedlings and care
For a bountiful harvest of tasty and organic vegetables need to plant strong and healthy seedlings. It is best to expel it at home: it guarantees good rooting of planting material, as well as its compliance with the variety.
Acquire seeds in garden stores. Varieties must be zoned in the agro-climatic zone where cultivation is planned. On the packaging, they look at the production time to ensure seed germination, as well as the length of the growing season. More experienced growers choose several varieties at once to continue to pick the one they like and pick the seeds themselves.
Prepare the substrate before sowing for 7-10 days, mixing turf ground, humus, compost and loam in a ratio of 1: 1: 1: ½. In order to increase the fertility of the soil, 5 grams of superphosphate and potassium sulfate are added to it at the drafting stage. The substrate is necessarily calcined in the oven or spilled with a solution of manganese for disinfection, otherwise pathogenic organisms can destroy the whole seedling.
In order for planting material to quickly take root in the beds, a previously decontaminated garden soil is necessarily added to the substrate.
Box with seedlings located near the windows of the south. If these are absent, additional light sources should be used. Alternatively, you can sow the seeds in such a way that the seedlings are not thickened - the plants will not compete in the "struggle" for light.
Immediately after sowing, the container is placed in a warm room with a temperature of 22-24 ° C. As soon as the first shoots appear, the container is moved to a cool room with a temperature of 12-16 ° C, where it is kept for about a week. After a specified period of time the box is returned. This is an important condition that will not allow seedlings to stretch.
First, moisten the seedlings with a spray. When she gets stronger, you can use a watering can for indoor flowers. Watering is carried out only after the top layer dries to prevent moisture overload. The water must be separated and warm, otherwise the development of fungal diseases may begin.
The procedure is carried out after the development of one pair of true leaves - 16-18 days after emergence of shoots. Pre-seedlings are watered and, using a teaspoon, one seedling is removed, planted in separate pots or a larger box according to the 6 x 6 cm scheme. Previously, the roots are shortened by ⅓.
To grow strong seedlings, it is necessary to carry out three dressings (provided that the sowing was carried out in a fertile substrate):
- After picking, for rapid rooting the planting is poured with a solution of 10 l of water, 12 g of ammonium nitrate, 40 g of superphosphate and 10 g of potassium sulfate.
- After 10 days, the second dressing is carried out using a complex mineral fertilizer - nitroammofoski.
- 8 days before disembarking on the beds, seedlings are fed for the third time, using a composition almost similar to that for the first feeding, with an increase in the amount of potassium sulfate up to 60 g.
Having correctly made the ground, having provided all the conditions for optimal growth, it is easy to grow strong seedlings. The main thing is to study in detail all the nuances of forcing the seedlings and the need to go after them to the market will not arise.