Many novice gardeners are hesitant to start growing vegetables in a greenhouse, considering it a difficult and troublesome thing. In fact, it is not much more difficult than growing a plant in the open field.
One of the most crucial stages in the cultivation of greenhouse tomatoes is the planting of seedlings. Mistakes made when transplanting to a permanent place can significantly affect the yield.
Types of shelters
Most often, the following types of shelters are used for growing tomatoes:
- Capital glazed greenhouses, usually heated;
- Polycarbonate greenhouses, can be heated or without heating;
- Covered with plastic wrap, with or without heating;
- Temporary shelters, as a rule, film is used, heating is not used.
The preferred type of greenhouse determined on the basis of goals. For example, for the winter cultivation of tomatoes use a glazed or polycarbonate heated greenhouse. To save tomato seedlings from spring frosts, use a temporary film cover.
To reduce costs, for the temporary shelter of tomato seedlings from night frost, polyethylene film is stretched over the arcs. You can use metal or plastic. The film is stretched onto the arcs dug into the ground, fixed. It is advisable to cover the ends of the film with soil so that the film is not blown away by a gust of wind. When stable warm weather is established at night, the shelter is removed and removed for storage until autumn.
Terms of planting seedlings
To determine when planting tomato seedlings in a greenhouse, it is necessary to take into account one general rule - the soil temperature should not be below 15 degrees Celsius.A warning! Many novice gardeners make a mistake by measuring the temperature of the soil a little bit deepening the thermometer.
This is wrong, because the roots of tomatoes will develop at a depth of about 35-40 cm, and the temperature of this layer must be measured.
Terms of planting tomato seedlings in the greenhouse depend not only on the region, but also on the number of sunny days. In cloudy weather, the earth warms up much slower. To speed up the time of planting tomato seedlings in the greenhouse, you can additionally warm the soil. To do this, use several methods.
If a heated greenhouse is used, it is not difficult to warm the soil, but it must be borne in mind that it is impossible to get tomatoes and fruits in the conditions of a short day. If you plant seedlings in a greenhouse, when the day is still short, it is necessary to provide additional lighting for the tomatoes, the total number of light hours should be at least 14 per day.
To warm the soil in an unheated greenhouse, you can cover the ground with black film. Black color attracts the sun's rays, so you can raise the temperature by 4-5 degrees. Also for these purposes, you can impose a greenhouse with bottles of water. Water keeps heat longer, gradually giving it away to the environment. Using this method can increase the temperature in the greenhouse by 2-3 degrees.
Another way is to decompose wet straw or other organic matter on the soil. In the process of decay of organic matter, heat is released. In this way, you can increase the temperature of the soil in the greenhouse by 3-6 degrees, depending on the amount of organic matter.A warning! Using organic substances, it is possible to add pathogens of various diseases and weed seeds to the greenhouse. It is necessary to treat the organics with disinfectants.
Consider night temperatures, which can significantly cool the air in the greenhouse. For normal development, tomatoes need a temperature of about 18 degrees. A short-term cold snap to 12–15 degrees will endure the planted tomatoes without loss, but lower temperatures can cause irreparable harm to the planted tomatoes.
Preparation of the greenhouse for spring planting of tomato seedlings should be started in advance. Tip! It is advisable to dig up the soil in the greenhouse in the fall and apply complex fertilizers, as well as to treat the land with pesticides, destroying harmful insects and pathogens of infectious diseases.
If the greenhouse is not used for the first season, it must be thoroughly cleaned from the inside and outside using disinfectants. From within on the greenhouse walls, causative agents of various diseases could remain, which later together with condensate can get on the leaves of tomatoes and cause unpleasant consequences.
Outside, the coating must be washed to clean it from dust and dirt, which significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the seedlings of tomatoes. If tomatoes do not get enough sunlight, the growth and development of the bushes slows down, the formation of ovaries stops.
Before planting tomato seedlings in a greenhouse, you should check the operability of windows and doors, and lubricate moving parts if necessary. In wooden greenhouses, after wintering, they may become damp and increase in size of the base of the window frames; they must be repaired and dried. If you can’t open them, you can remove some of the cover to allow air access.
Tip! It is advisable to make holes for seedlings of tomatoes in advance, no less than a week before planting. This will allow the soil to warm up deeper, which, in turn, will help tomato seedlings to accelerate development.
Soil in the greenhouse
Special attention in preparing the greenhouse for planting tomatoes should be given to the ground. Tomatoes prefer light soils with acidity closer to neutral. The soil with high acidity must be treated with deoxidizing agents, for example, lime, dolomite flour, ash. In addition, the ash contains a large amount of potassium, essential for tomatoes.
Often, when laying the greenhouse, the top layer of soil is removed to a depth of 40-50 cm. In the resulting depression, straw or manure is laid, which, when decomposed, raise the ambient temperature by 2-4 degrees.A warning! Decomposing organic matter releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide. It is useful for plant development, but can be dangerous to humans.
The first symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning are dizziness, burning in the eyes. If you feel dizzy, you need to leave the room as soon as possible. To avoid poisoning, it is necessary to regularly air the greenhouse.
If fertilizers were not applied in the fall, it is imperative to add nutrients when planting tomato seedlings. You can use ready-made fertilizer for seedlings. They can be applied dry matter in the hole, irrigation under the root or spraying the green parts of tomatoes. Many gardeners oppose the use of chemicals in the cultivation of tomato seedlings, preferring natural fertilizers. From natural nutrients use:
- Humus - contains a significant amount of nitrogen;
- Manure - a source of nitrogen compounds, magnesium, sulfur, calcium;
- Ash - contains a large amount of potassium, manganese, magnesium;
- Tinctures of organic substances - contain all the necessary nutrients.
Natural fertilizers are applied to the planting hole, mixed with the ground to avoid burn of the roots of tomatoes. You can use several fertilizers at the same time.Important! Do not use wood ash obtained from burning oak wood. Oak contains special substances that hinder the development of plants.
If tomatoes were grown in the same soil for several years in a row, it is advisable to change the upper fertile soil layer. The depth of this layer is about 40 cm. To avoid this complex process, one can plant a greenhouse with green manure for one season.
Proper preparation of tomato seedlings for planting in the greenhouse is very important. Unprepared seedlings will take a long time to recover, significantly delaying the time of fruiting.
To reduce the level of stress from transplanting, it is necessary to harden the seedlings of tomatoes before the horse system is disturbed. To do this, seedlings of tomatoes for 1-2 weeks are placed in conditions as close as possible to those in which the tomatoes are to grow. This is especially important for seedlings that were grown in the apartment on the windowsill.
If possible, the seedlings of tomatoes are placed in a greenhouse, where she will grow for several hours, gradually increasing the residence time. After one week, it is advisable to leave the tomatoes at night so that the seedlings can get used to lowering the temperatures at night.Important! If in the first days of the seedlings of tomatoes in the greenhouse on the street the sun shines brightly, it is necessary to shade the seedlings to avoid leaf burn.
After 3-4 days the plant will get used to the bright light, the shading cover can be removed.
If it is not possible to place the seedlings of tomatoes in the greenhouse in advance, you can start hardening in the apartment, using a balcony or other well-lit room with a low air temperature.Important! For seedlings of tomatoes, which were grown in the same greenhouse, where she will continue to grow, hardening is not necessary.
Age of seedlings
The ideal age of seedlings for planting in the ground depends on the varietal peculiarities of tomato bearing. Experienced growers recommend the following terms:
- Ultra-ripened tomatoes - 25-30 days;
- Early ripening - 30-35;
- Early and mid-early 35-40;
- Middle late and late 40-45.
Often it is difficult for novice gardeners to determine the age of purchased tomato seedlings, sometimes the variety of tomatoes does not correspond to the declared one. In this case, you can focus on the number of leaves.Attention! Well-developed tomato seedlings have 6-8 well-developed leaves, a strong stem, an extensive root system.
If there are flowering buds on it, it means that the seedlings of tomatoes have slightly overgrown, adaptation of such plants is difficult.
Sometimes it is impossible to accurately follow the recommended landing time. In this case, you must follow the rule: "Better sooner than later." Planted before the recommended period, the tomatoes get used to the new conditions quickly enough, easily restore intensive growth.
Overgrown tomato seedlings require a whole range of activities aimed at restoring the seedlings and facilitating adaptation to a new place.
There are two ways of planting tomato seedlings - in the dirt and in dry soil. For the first method, the wells are poured with water, the seedlings are placed in a well filled with water, and powdered with soil. Tomato seedlings continue to be poured until the ground is homogeneous, all lumps should dissolve.
For the second method of planting tomato seedlings in the greenhouse, the wells are left dry, watered with an earthy bed, in which the tomato seedlings were grown before transplanting. Watering tomatoes is carried out a week after transplantation. The advantage of this method is that the dry earth easily passes oxygen, which is necessary for the development of the root system of tomatoes.
In any case, it is desirable to water the seedlings in the greenhouse only with warm water, the temperature of which should not be lower than 15 degrees. Watering with cold water can significantly reduce the temperature of the soil. A drip irrigation system can solve this problem. During the time until the water reaches the roots of tomatoes, it will have time to warm up.
The wells in the greenhouse are prepared in advance about a week before planting. The depth of the hole should correspond to the root system of the seedlings. If a tomato is planted with a length of about 40 cm, it is possible to deepen the stem by 10-15 cm, the hole should be about 40 cm in depth. In this case, the seedlings are planted vertically. Width can be 20-30 cm.Important! When deepening the stem of tomatoes, it is necessary to cut off the lower leaves. Placed under the ground, they begin to rot and can infect the entire bush.
If overgrown tomato seedlings are planted in a greenhouse with a length of more than 40 cm, it is recommended to arrange the stem of the plant obliquely in order to form additional roots. In this case, the hole is made smaller, but wider. Enough 30 cm deep and 40 cm wide.
The distance between the holes is determined, given the size of the adult tomato bush. Planted too close the tomatoes will give significantly less fruit. If the bushes are too far away, the ground in the greenhouse is wasted.
Recommended distance for different tomato varieties:
- Stunted - 40 cm;
- Medium - 45 cm;
- Tall - 50-60 cm.
The holes are made in a checkerboard pattern, not forgetting to leave a passage through every two rows. To care for tomatoes, a distance of 60 cm is sufficient.
You should not place the hole too close to the edge of the greenhouse, adult tomatoes will not have enough space to grow.Tip! It is better to engage in planting tomato seedlings in the evening or in cloudy weather. Under these conditions, the evaporation of moisture by leaves slows down and it will be easier for a tomato to get used to a new place.
The rules of planting seedlings of tomatoes in the ground is easy to fulfill, the main thing is the desire and attention to plants. All efforts will pay off excellent, early harvest of tomatoes.