A large number of vegetable crops are grown in seedlings. This allows you to get early harvests. The gardeners begin the preparation process in March, and sometimes even earlier (if it is planned to plant the plants in heated greenhouses). Let’s try to figure out how much a tomato seedling transplant is needed, when and how to do it.
- Why Tomatoes are Transplanted
- First pick
- When to transplant
- What to plant
- How to transplant
- Features of seedling care
- Second pick
- Conclusion <
Why transplant the tomatoes
It is not necessary to make picks when growing tomatoes in seedlings. You can sow seeds in a large glass where the seedlings are located before planting, they are most often sown in trays or cassettes: on the one hand, this saves space on the window sill, balcony or in a small greenhouse, on the other, it creates the most favorable conditions for obtaining strong seedlings.
Growing seedlings when the plants are placed too close usually delays the start of the first harvest, which leads to a partial loss of the advantage of the seedling method.
Advantages of tomato transplantation:
- clipping of small lateral roots stimulates the growth of the root system of the seedling;
- a gradual increase in the area of plant nutrition contributes to increased yield;
- diseased, damaged plants are removed;
- costs at the initial stage of growing tomatoes are minimized.
There are also disadvantages: illiterate or untimely picking leads to a long adaptation of transplanted plants, and therefore, to delay fruiting.
Growing seedlings in large containers also has flaws. The soil, not developed by the roots of the plant, acidifies. For tomatoes, neutral soils are most suitable, acidic ones help to reduce immunity.
In vegetable growing, there is such a thing as the coefficient of deployment of an area when picking. This is a number that shows how many times the area will be occupied by plants after a dive compared to the one they occupied before. For example, for cabbage this coefficient is 5-7, and for tomato, pepper and eggplant 8-10.
When to transplant
A tomato transplant is performed when the seedlings form the first pair of true leaves. This usually occurs 15-17 days after germination. Gardeners recommend to withstand a few more days, so that the plant stem becomes stronger and the root system becomes more powerful.Most often this happens by day 18-12.
Missing deadlines is undesirable, because booming seedling roots are intertwined. When transplanted, they are seriously damaged – growth delays can be a week or more.
Each person will have a calendar for sowing seeds and transplanting tomato seedlings into the ground. It depends on where the tomatoes are planted (in open ground without shelter or under temporary shelter or in a greenhouse); what are the climatic conditions of the place of residence.
The calculation is simple: early tomatoes have a vegetation period of 90-100 days. Tomato seedlings need to be transplanted to a permanent place at the age of 50 days. If you plan to plant tomatoes in a greenhouse at the end of April, you need to sow in early March (count 50 days plus a week for seed germination).
During a dive, seedlings are dipped deeper into the ground than they were growing. Additional roots quickly form from the submucosal knee.
What to plant
You can use ordinary disposable plastic glasses with a volume of 150-170 ml when diving. Glasses with a drainage hole are placed on a pallet.
Pure garden soil in its pure form is not recommended.Soil for seedlings is specially prepared:
- mix peat, sand and rotted compost, taken in equal proportions;
- to improve the soil, re-sift through a large sieve;
- disinfect the mixture by steaming in the oven, in a water bath or freezing;
- to increase soil fertility add a pinch of superphosphate and potassium sulfate, a little biohumus (sold in the trading network).
A good result is the use of a hydrogel, a polymer chip, which absorbs moisture when watering, and then gradually gives it away. If you add a little hydrogel under the roots of the seedling during transplantation, you can not be afraid of stagnation of water or drying out of the soil, reduce the number of irrigation to a minimum.
How to transplant
In a day or two, before transplanting seedlings of tomatoes, it is watered. If this is not done, the dry earth will not stay on the roots, and they will take longer to take root. When the soil is moistened immediately before the procedure, the soil forms heavy lumps, which, breaking off, also damage the root system. The best option is when the seedling is moved to a new place with a small lump of earth, which is easily held by the roots.
To carefully extract the plants from the common tray, use a toothpick (small knife), with which the bush is separated from the ground. It is better to hold the plant closer to the root lobe, so as not to damage the green part.A glass for young tomatoes is filled with 2/3 of the earth, a well is made, a water is poured into it, and then a seedling is placed there.
There is another option. It is necessary to make a large depression in the soil: place a pencil in the center of the glass and make circular motions several times, increasing the diameter of the circle, transfer the seedling and only then pour water. In this case, a stream of water straightens the roots, deepens the bush, it remains only to condense the earth around the stem.
As the bush grows, the soil can be sprinkled, creating conditions for the formation of additional roots. They do it in another way: the stem is buried to the cotyledon leaves.
Should I pinch the central root of the tomatoes when transplanting seedlings? Some recommend pinching out the third part to stimulate the growth of the root system. Others believe that the root at the age of 18-20 days is too thin and in the vast majority of cases is damaged and without much effort.
Trimming cotyledon leaves is not very necessary, because they dry themselves at a certain stage of plant growth. Trimming creates additional difficulties in the adaptation period.
Features of seedling care
After the first transplant, tomatoes need special conditions:
- temperature conditions: the optimum day temperature is 18- 22 ° С, night – not lower than 16 ° С;
- sufficient lighting, (lack of it will cause the plant to stretch out and the flower brush will form not after 5-6 leaves, but later, which will delay the beginning fruiting);
- timely watering (the first – not earlier than a week after the pick, it is important not to overdo it, because excess moisture leads to oxygen starvation, slow development).
A small capacity over time can lead to inhibition of seedling growth. If two transfers were planned before landing on a permanent place, you need to make the second on time. In order not to miss the deadlines, at the first dive, 2-3 control bushes are immediately planted in large containers. If the bulk of the seedlings has stopped growing, lags behind the control, it is time to hurry with transplanting into large dishes or to a permanent place.
Tomatoes fertilize after transplanting in 10-14 days. For feeding use nitrofosku (nitroammofosku): 1 tbsp. l diluted in 10 liters of warm water.
Recommended dive a second time 3 weeks after the first: this way you can avoid stretching and form a powerful root system of tomatoes.
The main recommendations:
- transfer to a container that is twice as large as the original container;
- use the transfer method (this does not injure the roots, does not waste adaptation time);
- do not place plants in direct sunlight during the first days.
Watering and fertilizing are carried out in the same way as after the first pick. Rooted plants necessarily harden. To do this, they take outside for 3 hours daily if the air temperature does not drop below 12 ° C.
You have to spend a lot of time and money on a pick. Therefore, it is not advisable to grow tomato seedlings with double picks.
When are transplanted tomato seedlings in open ground? Optimal dates: early – at the age of 45-50 days, the rest – 55-60.External signs of readiness: a thick stem, a powerful root system, the first flower brush formed. There is an opinion that blooming tomatoes cannot be replanted: they will grow poorly, but such bushes will not get worse during transshipment.
It is believed that transplanting tomatoes in containers of different volume has a beneficial effect on their growth and development. In order to guarantee a high and early harvest, you need to carry out all the procedures on time and correctly from preparing the soil to the appearance of the first fruits.