Preparing soil for seedlings
Before the season starts, let’s talk about such a thing as growing tomato seedlings at home or in a greenhouse.
We prepare the soil for planting in advance. This is either a mixture of 2 parts humus plus one part of turf, sawdust and peat chips, or is it just good garden soil, or a mixture of earth, a small amount of sand and wood ash (1/2 cup per bucket of mixture). Drawer 8- deep10 cm, width and length are arbitrary.
When to plant, dive and plant plants, every summer resident correctly determines for himself. Before sowing, we wrap the seeds in gauze and lower them for 15-17 minutes (no more) in a weak solution of potassium permanganate, then rinse thoroughly under running water.
Tomato seed preparation
Then we leave the seeds for a day in a saucer with water – for swelling, and then you can sow them in a box. Press the earth with a small ruler to a depth of no more1 cm – cut strips at a distance 3 cm, we spread the seeds through 1 cmfrom each other and sprinkle with earth. We slightly compact the soil, water it, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place.
After 4-5 days (sometimes after a week), shoots loops appear. We immediately rearrange the box on the lightest window sill. Periodically open the window slightly, since the loops need a temperature in the range of 17-200C.
Now comes the most important thing in growing tomato seedlings at home – not to let the seedlings stretch out. They are drawn out most often at night, so we maintain the temperature at night in the greenhouse or on the windowsill within the range of 12-150C. When the plant grows a little stronger, the box can be taken out to the balcony (but only if the air temperature is not lower than 8 ° C), be sure to protect it from the wind with some kind of shield. As soon as the first real leaf appears, we sharply increase the daytime temperature – up to 20-22C, choosing the lightest and warmest places in the apartment. But we continue to carry out the box to the balcony from time to time, tempering the seedlings. We rarely water – only when there is a need for it.
When 2-3 true leaves appear in the seedlings, a dive begins: abundant watering and using a fork or peg, carefully remove the plants from the ground and plant them in a box over long distances, covering them with earth until the cotyledon leaf. Then we water and put in a shaded place, and two days later – again on the windowsill. After the pick, the plants form a new root system. They grow noticeably, so you can add earth and every 10 days they will need feeding with mullein solution (1:10) after fermentation or ammonium nitrate -2 g on the 1 l water, as well as infusion of ash – 70-80 g on the 1 lwater. After 2 months, the seedlings can be planted.
So, when to plant and how to grow tomatoes, so that the tomato seedlings do not stretch out, be strong, 25-30 cm, with a stem thickness of 5-7 mm, with two flower clusters, 8-9 leaves:
- avoid crowding in the landing containers;
- supplement lighting. Arrange bright lighting on top of the box as soon as shoots appear, so that photosynthesis begins to work at full strength. When the seedlings get stronger, the backlight can be removed and a reflective screen installed;
- water only when there is an urgent need for it, since watering pulls out the plants;
- observe the temperature regime. And here is what J. Mittlider advises:
- as soon as the tomato seedlings reach 10 cmand 3-4 true leaves appear, they do a haircut: close to the stem, they cut off the leaves with scissors, leaving 2 apical ones. What does this give: the plants cease to stretch upward, all forces go into the stem. After this operation, it is necessary to water the plants abundantly – either with Mittlider seedling mixture, or with full mineral fertilizer. After 2-3 weeks, the plants will again have 4 leaves – strong, green. After that, proceed to the second pick.
Seedlings are abundantly watered with seedlings, the soil layer with plants is removed from the box, the plants are separated one by one with a lump of soil and placed on the bottom of pots 11-12 cmwith the obligatory holes for water drainage and fall asleep to the brim with soil, thus deepening the stem. What does such a planting give: the seedlings again cease to stretch upward, and all their strength is spent on the formation of new roots – strong and strong. Water the seedlings in pots daily, and, of course, harden them.