Plants with bright, extremely tasty fruits have long gained worldwide popularity. Now, few people recall that they were exported from South America in the 16th century, and at first served as decoration of the gardens and parks of sovereigns of European countries. There were beautiful fruits then no one risked: it is obvious that someone had spread a villainous rumor about their supposedly poisonous properties. The plants got their name from their native, Aztec "tomato“Transformed into pan-European”tomato“. The Italians decided to be the first to try the dangerous fruits and, delighted with the marvelous taste, gave the new products the second name “pomodoro” - “tomato” or “apple made of gold”. Since then, the victorious procession of tomatoes in the cuisines of the whole world began.
These herbaceous plants from the nightshade family are divided into three large groups: Peruvian, hairy, and ordinary.
In turn, ordinary tomato is divided into cultural, semi-cultural and wild species. There are more than 2000 of its varieties.
Tomato is an annual plant with an erect or lodging pubescent or bare stalk and unpaired pinnate leaves. Inflorescence is a simple, uncomplicated or polysyllabic curl. Inflorescences can be small or large in various shades of yellow. Ovaries come in different sizes and shapes: round, elongated, smooth and ribbed. Fruits - large or small berries of a round, elongated, ellipsoid, pear-shaped, oval shape. The color of the fruit can be extremely diverse: white, all shades of yellow, orange, red and even black and red. Tomatoes contain soluble sugars, organic acids, pectin, vitamins and minerals.
Sowing and seedling care
Tomatoes are heat-loving plants that die when the temperature drops sharply. Seeds germinate at a temperature of 20-25 degrees C. Seedlings should be maintained for a week at a temperature of 10-12 degrees C during the day and 8-10 degrees C at night. Plants begin to bloom at a temperature of about 20 degrees C. The most optimal conditions for good growth and development are at least 25 degrees C with air humidity of 50% and 70% of the total moisture capacity of the soil. Tomatoes can be grown on fertile, loose soil with an acidity of about 4.5.
In the southern regions of Russia, tomatoes are grown by sowing in the ground. In other regions of the country, in greenhouses and greenhouses on insulated beds, it is customary to plant seedlings, which are then planted in the ground.
Seeds can also be planted in peat pots and cubes. Seedlings should be dived regularly. 6-8 weeks after germination, seedlings can be planted in open ground in a square or square-nesting manner on ridges or ridges. We also recommend reading an article about growing tomatoes and tomatoes in a greenhouse.
Early Care Culture
Tomato care is carried out by regular loosening of the soil, weeding of weeds, top dressing, bush formation, systematic watering, pest control. The most common diseases: macrosporiosis, septoria, late blight, vertebral rot, strick and columnar. Pests: bears, scoops, wireworms, gall nematodes, whiteflies.
Soil for tomatoes
Tomatoes are grown on soils consisting of a mixture of several components. The soil should be porous (up to 70-75%), with the lowest moisture capacity of about 50%, air capacity of 20-25%, and density - 0.4-0.6 g / sq. cm.
In greenhouses, the culture can be grown in soil and rockwool. The same results in different climatic conditions cannot be guaranteed. However, this information may be useful for practitioners.
Seedling cultivation: 250-350 pcs. (number of seeds per 1 g); seed consumption - 25.000-30.000 pcs / ha; maximum germination temperature - 25 degrees C.
In winter, seedlings should be grown for 9 weeks, in the spring - 6 weeks; in the summer - 5 weeks. Before the flowering stage of the first brush, the seedlings must be healthy and well developed.
A separate area should be used for sowing. The nursery must be sanitized and provided with lighting, ventilation and temperature control. It is best to separate part of the greenhouse with a film. A constant microclimate can be achieved with a double film.
If cassettes are used for seedlings, they should be with drainage holes at the bottom. Several types of seed are used. The most popular is compost from a mixture of peat and sand. Seeds are best sown on greenhouse racks.
If water is delayed in the garden due to insufficient drainage, seedlings can be infected with a black leg.
When seedlings are sown directly into the soil, the seeds should not be sown too densely so that the seedlings are not too thin and weak. Sowing is best done in rows to maximize the use of lighting.
Immediately before sowing, the substrate should be thoroughly moistened. After sowing, the substrate should be covered with a 5 mm layer of vermiculite, sand or peat crumbs and a film to maintain soil moisture. If necessary, the plastic film can be replaced with paper or jute.
To prevent overheating, the beds can be covered with white polystyrene plates.
Heated young landings
It is recommended to place trays and boxes for sowing seeds on open racks above heating appliances. Between the racks and heating appliances there should be a fairly large distance (at least 0.5 m) in order to prevent overheating. Using racks, you can maintain a uniform temperature. Prior to the appearance of the first shoots, it is necessary to maintain a temperature of no more than 23 degrees C. The film from the garden bed must be removed immediately after the appearance of sprouts. In order not to expose seedlings to excessive evaporation, the film should be removed in the afternoon.
The beds should not be overfilled with water when watering. The moisture content of the soil is best checked by hand, lifting cylinders or soil-humus cubes. It should be watered only with a very finely sprayed stream. So that the seed film does not remain on the seedlings, drying of the soil should not be allowed.
Planting tomato seedlings in open ground
Seedlings are transplanted into soil-humus cubes, peat pots or plastic pots 10-14 days after sowing. During this period, the first true leaf reaches 0.5 cm in length.
It is best to transplant seedlings into soil cubes 10x10 x 10 cm in size. You cannot transplant plants before noon: in the morning they are too fragile and can be damaged. If, however, planting is done in the morning, then seedlings on the night before are better not to water.
When transplanting, it is necessary to raise part of the earthen coma together with the plant, supporting it from below with a hand, loosen the soil and place it in the soil cube. Do not pull the bush out of the soil. After placing the seedlings in the soil cube, the soil should be carefully grounded by hand so that the roots are properly in contact with the ground.
When transplanting seedlings from cassettes, it is better to remove the soil lump with a bush using substrates from spikelets.
If the seedlings are too dense, and the light falls only from above, the seedlings can stretch too much. In order for the seedlings to be low and strong, it is necessary that the light fall on the sides of the stem. Therefore, 2-3 weeks after the pick, it is necessary to arrange the seedlings when the plants are distributed in 20-30 pcs per 1 sq.m.
When to start planting seedlings?
Tomatoes should be planted in a permanent place after the appearance of the first flower brush. The plant should have 7-8 leaves, a powerful root system and about 30 cm in height. It should be transplanted to a permanent place vertically. The stem can not be covered with earth.
Tall varieties of tomatoes are planted in a two-line way: 100 + 60 + 45 (50) cm, plant density 2.5 pcs / sq. Bushes not exceeding 100-120 cm can be placed thicker: 3-3.5 pcs / sq.m. After planting, plants must be watered.
A few days after planting, the tomatoes should be tied to twine, stretched vertically. This operation should be performed at least once a week. Having tied up a seedling, it is necessary to immediately begin to form a plant.
After 1.5-2 months after planting, it is necessary to begin the gradual removal of the lower leaves of the seedling, which cause air stagnation in the surface zone, which subsequently can lead to the occurrence of diseases. This operation is performed at least once a week. No more than 3 leaves can be removed at a time. 24 hours after the procedure, the plant must be watered.
When 7-9 brushes are formed on the plant, it can reach the length of the upper trellis, but the growth of some varieties of tomatoes can continue. One of the most popular ways to form a seedling is to throw it through a trellis. After that, it should be carefully lowered and tied to the stems of neighboring plants.
The number of leaves on the bush
A plant with a high degree of vegetative development should have at least 15 leaves and 8 brushes with fruits. The normal frequency is the formation of 1 brush per week. Between brushes should grow at least 3 leaves. A bush is considered overloaded if more than 8 brushes bloom on it. In this case, enhancing the generative development of the plant should be avoided.
There is another way of forming. On the trellis with the help of special coils, vertical twine must be attached. A growing stalk is lowered onto a net or staples. In this case, the lower leaves must be removed. We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the gardener's calendar in order to select the most accurate date for planting in the ground.
Growing tomatoes vertically (video)
Before fruiting, ideal conditions for the normal development of the plant are up to 25 degrees C on a sunny day, 18-22 degrees C in cloudy weather and not lower than 15 degrees C at night.
Fertilization of the flower occurs at a temperature of 23-32 degrees C. If the temperature drops below 15 degrees C - the tomato will not bloom, at a temperature below 10 degrees C - growth stops. Too high a temperature is also unfavorable for growth and development - pollen grains do not germinate and photosynthesis is inhibited.
The ideal relative humidity is 60-65%. During pollination, the air must be dry, because tomatoes are a self-pollinating crop, and moist pollen cannot separate from the stamens.
There are two ways to water. Irrigation irrigation is traditional but outdated.
A more modern way - watering using drip irrigation systems. In this case, watering and feeding plants occur simultaneously, since fertilizers are added to the nutrient solution. The advantages of this method of irrigation are as follows: water enters for a long period of time and does not cause a sharp fluctuation in soil moisture; the set humidity level is not violated; water does not stagnate on the surface of the soil, and this reduces the risk of contracting fungal diseases.
Do not forget that excessive watering to tomatoes is very harmful. Water should be at room temperature. Amateur summer residents are advised to water in the evenings and not to water the plantings on a hot sunny day. If tomatoes are grown indoors, then you can water through a pan. It is necessary to ensure that water does not fall on the leaves and trunk and does not cause burns.
Preparation of nutrient solutions
Nutrient solution for tomatoes should be prepared on the basis of concentrated mother liquors. The working solution enters the plant through a drip irrigation system. Fertilizers are selected so that the individual components do not precipitate.
- Stock solutions (kg / m3)
- Stock solution A:
- Calcium nitrate - 63.7;
- Potassium nitrate - 10.0;
- Ammonium nitrate - 4.0;
- Iron Chelate (9%) 0.56.
- Stock solution B:
- Potassium nitrate 30.4;
- Potassium phosphate 20.4;
- Potassium sulfate 4.4;
- Magnesium sulfate 18.5;
- Manganese sulfate 0.16;
- Boric acid 0.12;
- Zinc sulfate 0.11;
- Copper sulfate 0.012;
- Ammonium molybdate 0.012.
The consequences of a lack of elements
The concentration of elements should not be disturbed, since tomatoes require a certain number of elements, the lack of which negatively affects the ovary and the development of the fruit.
Lack of nitrogen causes discoloration of foliage, stem and tomato fruits. The leaves become small, yellowish, the veins on the underside of the leaf become red-blue, the fruits grow small and hard.
With a lack of phosphorus, the leaves are wrapped inside.
A lack of potassium causes curliness of young leaves and a burn of old ones.
With a lack of calcium, young leaves become covered with yellow spots, old ones increase in size and become dark green. Often in these cases, plants undergo vertebral rot, especially with high humidity.
In cases of sulfur starvation, the leaves first turn pale green, then turn yellow or even turn red. Sulfur starvation appears first on young leaves. The stems become too fragile and brittle.
A lack of boron causes blackening of the stem growth point. New leaves begin to grow in the lower part of the stem, cuttings of young leaves are fragile. The fruits are affected by brown spots.
With a lack of molybdenum, the tomato leaves turn yellow and twist up, the entire plate is affected by chlorosis.
With a lack of iron, tomatoes stop growing. Young leaves are affected by chlorosis. In the most severe cases, the leaves may become completely white. A lack of zinc causes the appearance of small pale leaves.
Growing Tomatoes (video)
Harvest fruits at maturity should be daily. It is recommended to pick tomatoes in a pink degree of maturity, as red fruits accelerate the maturation of the brush. Fruits are better to collect without stalks.
For lovers of indoor plants
Tomatoes can be grown in the apartment: on the windowsill or on the balcony. For the windowsill, it is better to choose low-growing varieties, on the balcony you can put a rather large flowerpot and grow tall and large-fruited plants, for example: Bull's Heart, De Barao and Carlson.