In our climate, tossing frosts "still" in May and "already" in September, you can grow good tomatoes only through seedlings. Thanks to this method, the "childhood" of tomatoes passes in acceptable conditions and they get into the ground strong and prepared.
Growing seedlings of tomatoes. Planting seeds.
First of all, it is necessary to determine the time of planting the seeds. Counting is from the moment when the seedlings are planted in the ground. The optimum age of bushes produced in life is 50-60 days from the emergence of seedlings. That is, if there is certainly no frost in your area at the end of May, then the seeds are planted at the end of March.
Soak the seeds. To do this, place them on a wet napkin (you can use gauze or fabric), on top also cover with a wet napkin. Seeds should not float in water, but should be well moistened. The container with soaked seeds is placed in a warm place (20-25 degrees) and wait for the seeds to come through.
We prepare the landing site. This can be a tray with earth, or individual plastic cups. The volume of the tray depends on the number of seeds. One seed should have 1-2 square. Cm of land. The depth of the layer is 7-10 cm.
It is easiest to buy a seed for a seedling in a specialized store. Before pouring the mixture into the tray, it makes sense to ventilate it. To do this, it is sufficient to hold the packet with the ground open for several hours.
We pour the earth into trays or cups, lightly tamped and evenly moistened.
As the seeds are pecked (the process lasts 2-4 days), we transplant them into the soil. Do it better with a moistened wand, trying not to touch the seeds with your hands.
On top of the seeds sprinkled with a layer of dry earth (1-1.5 cm) and wait for the emergence of seedlings.
Growing seedlings of tomatoes. Hardening.
Approximately two days after seed sowing, the first sprouts of tomatoes should appear from the ground. From this moment the seedlings need good lighting, so we move the trays to the window sill. If the light is not enough, the plant will stretch, expending all its small forces on the development of the stem. The root will remain undeveloped, which in the future will have a bad effect on the yield of the bush.
After the shoots are strengthened, straightened and grow, at the base of their cotyledon leaves there will be the rudiments of real tomato leaves. In this state, the cultivation of tomato seedlings should be slightly "slowed down" by moving the trays to a cooler place (16-20 degrees). This will force plants to focus on the development of the root system.
The lighting should remain the same. Watering - moderate. Overpowing can provoke diseases of tomato seedlings.
Growing seedlings of tomatoes. Picks.
Pickling of tomato seedlings takes place at the age of 2-3 weeks. Exposure to this procedure can be plants that have 2-3 normal leaves. Picks are made in order to provide seedlings with normal growth conditions. In other words, the plants are planted so that the root system of each of them has enough space. In this case, weak, diseased or damaged sprouts are rejected.
Seedlings carefully move to a new location, trying not to damage the roots and stalk. It is best to transplant seedlings, keeping a clod of earth around the root system. The transplant should be made with gloves, as the temperature of human hands is too high for tender young plants.
Seedlings are transplanted into small pots (plastic cups). As the growth of seedlings once again transplanted into the pots a little more. It is important to ensure that the roots of tomatoes do not outgrow the amount given to them.
After the pickling of tomato seedlings, it is necessary to continue tempering the tomato, arranging plants with "cool walks".
To the temperature hardening, we add solar, gradually accustoming the seedlings to direct exposure to ultraviolet rays. For this it is necessary to periodically take out pots with seedlings on the street. We start with 30-40 minutes of sun baths, then gradually increase their duration.
It is possible to begin both temperature and solar hardening after there is a certainty that the picking is safely experienced by the plant. Usually it takes 2-4 days.
Ideal for planting in the ground is a seedling of tomatoes, approached by the time of the formation of buds. It should not be lethargic or stretched.
And in conclusion a few words about watering the seedlings of tomatoes. The land should not be waterlogged. The most suitable option is a generous infrequent irrigation.