Cheat sheet for growing tomatoes - step by step instructions from a specialist
HOW TO GROW A RICH HARVEST OF TOMATOES WITH MINIMUM COSTS
© Author: Yulia Starodubova
After winter slowly passes for half, every gardener involuntarily thinks that the time for sowing seeds will soon come. The further life of the plants and the future harvest will depend on how high-quality and healthy seedlings we manage to grow. Every little thing counts in this business.
Seedlings are planted in the ground at the age of 60-65 days (this is an average). To be more precise, for tall varieties this period is 70 days from germination, for undersized and growing in open ground - 50-55 days. Remember that it is not recommended to keep seedlings on the windowsill for more than 70 days, because overgrown plants take root worse.
I plant tomatoes in the greenhouse in early May, in open ground after June 10th. Attached are my approximate sowing dates. Late-ripening large-fruited varieties for the greenhouse - from February 20-28, tall mid-season main greenhouse varieties - March 1-10, early - March 11-25, varieties for open ground - April 1-15.
I want to pay attention to the timing of sowing tomatoes of the Gnomes series: they are a little slow-witted, their seedlings are strong, not prone to stretching, and it is advisable to sow them as early as possible, in early February.
LUNAR CALENDAR AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH TOMATOES
Do I use the lunar calendar? As a rule, no, but I avoid the days of the new moon and full moon. I spend crops mainly on women's days (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday) and pay attention to what day of the week the Annunciation fell on: my grandmother taught me this. In 2022, it was a Thursday. Therefore, during the year on Thursdays until the next Annunciation in 2023, I do not plan crops.
It is not recommended to keep seedlings on the windowsill for longer than 70 days, since overgrown plants take root worse.
See also: Planting tomato seedlings in open ground beds - my method + 5 tips for a gardener
PURITY IS A GUARANTEE OF THE HARVEST
It is necessary to thoroughly wash the window sills, windows, walls with detergent. You can use a steam generator. It is advisable to spray all indoor plants with a solution of insecticides: for example, Acta-roy against insect pests.
A container is prepared in advance in which sowing is carried out: first of all, everything is washed in running water, then soaked for 1 hour in any biofungicide solution (Eminext, Fitosporin-M, Trichodermin, Baktofit).
The mechanism of action of biofungicides is designed so that at the right time, the spores of beneficial bacteria / fungi in their composition wake up and begin to destroy harmful microorganisms, thereby not injuring the plant and without having a detrimental effect on the microbiological composition of the soil.
Soil for seedlings a month before sowing is shed with any microbiological preparation (biofungicide). This will ensure disinfection and good soil quality, its healthy microflora, which will help accelerate root formation naturally by converting nutrients into an accessible form for the roots.
For sowing seeds, I use the Agrobalt blue substrate mixed with vermiculite. I do it by eye: up to 1/4 of vermiculite from the total volume of soil is allowed. Agrobalt is enough for the first time: while the seeds germinate, while the cotyledons unfold, the seedlings do not need food; they at this time live at the expense of stocks of a seed and cotyledons. But I spend the picking and transshipment into larger glasses already in more fertile soil sold in stores (Terra Vita, Plan Terra, Ecohouse, etc.), not forgetting about disinfection.
SOIL FOR SEEDLING ONE MONTH BEFORE SOWING IS SPILLED WITH ANY MICROBIOLOGICAL PREPARATION.
If you decide to prepare the soil yourself, then it should consist of soil from the garden, purchased soil for seedlings (universal) and sand (perlite, vermiculite) in a ratio of 1:1:1.
TOMATO SEEDS PROCESSING
The next step is preparing our seeds for planting, soaking. This is an important stage, on which the result of all subsequent works largely depends. We make soaking in a solution of any of the following drugs: Fitosporin-M, Trichodermin, Eminext, Baktofit. Other methods of "sterilization" of seeds are bad in that they kill any microflora in general, and the seed becomes defenseless when it enters the soil. Therefore, to equip it with a special shell of good bacteria is the most important measure in the fight against diseases.
I soak the seeds overnight in Eminext in a ratio of 1 to 1 (a glass of Eminext to a glass of warm water). To do this, I use a bag of bandage, which I fold 3-4 times. I prepare small plastic glasses in advance, I paste pieces of paper with variety numbers on them.
I sow in the prepared container immediately, without washing. It is convenient for me to sow tomatoes in 100 g cups (disposable glasses). Then I dive them in containers of 200 g, and only then in 0 liters. When sowing, I immediately put a disposable plastic knife into the cup, on which I write the number and name of the variety with a permanent marker.
Reference by topic: Transplanting tomato seedlings in open ground in Siberia - secrets and tips
GROWING SEEDLINGS OF TOMATOES ON THE WINDOW SILL - VIDEO
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