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Cherry tomatoes: growing seedlings at home + photo

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The consumer has already become accustomed to the endless variety of varieties and hybrids of tomato, which the horticultural market is filled with nowadays, but still you always want something new, unusual. It seems that cherry tomatoes cannot be called a novelty, many got acquainted with them closer not only during the festive meal, but also trying to grow them on their own. Well, many just get accustomed to them closer, and no, no, yes, and the thought flashes, and not try to grow them on your site.

Moreover, among these amazing kids there are varieties that can be grown at home, on the windowsill or on the balcony. But wherever you are going to grow them in the future, seedlings of cherry tomatoes must decorate your window sills, if you decide to do this crop. After all, cherry tomatoes - even the most early ripening varieties - cannot be sown directly in the ground in our short summer. They just do not have time to mature. Therefore, it is necessary to get acquainted with the features of growing seedlings of these crumbs.

What is cherry tomatoes

Among the variety of small varieties, many even experienced gardeners sometimes do not see the difference between cherry tomatoes, cocktail and currant tomatoes. Or even for simplicity, they are all called cherry tomatoes. But this is not entirely correct, since these types of tomatoes differ not only in size, but also in their internal content.

Currant - the smallest of tomatoes, weighing literally 5-10 g, grow in long brushes with 40-60 fruits each and really resemble clusters of currant berries. Fruits taste sweet and sour and they only vaguely resemble tomatoes.

Cocktail - are the newest direction of selection. They are larger in size than cherry tomatoes, from 30 to 60 g, and have a delicious taste, due to the increased content of fructose and quite a strong aroma.

Cherry Tomatoes - are located midway between the two types mentioned above, fruits from 10 to 30 g. But the most important thing that distinguishes them from all other tomatoes, including large ones, is the double concentration of dry nutrients and sugars in the cell sap. And breeders managed to bring cherry tomatoes with the flavors of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and melons. Therefore, by many they are perceived more as fruits than as vegetables. And the most diverse coloring of the fruits of cherry tomatoes also contributes a lot to this.

Selection of planting dates

So, you decided to grow this miracle vegetable-fruit and to please your loved ones with the exotic taste of cherry tomato fruits. To determine the approximate dates of planting seedlings of cherry tomatoes for seedlings, you must first decide on the choice of a particular variety. After all, if originally cherry tomatoes were created by plant breeders in Israel, as a result of an experiment on slow ripening in hot climates, and therefore differed in late ripening and extended fruiting, then many early ripe cherry varieties have been created.

In addition, you need to think about where you are going to plant seedlings of cherry tomatoes in the future. If the greenhouse - the choice of varieties is practically unlimited, if the garden beds - then you need to choose special varieties intended for cultivation in open ground.

Having decided on the variety of cherry tomato, find out its growing season length - usually it is indicated on the bag in the description. Then subtract this number of days from the date of the intended or desired harvest. By taking another 4-5 days (the average time for seed germination), get an approximate time for planting seeds of cherry tomatoes in seedlings.

Of course, there may be a desire to get a harvest of cherry tomatoes in May, and theoretically it is quite possible, but only with the use of constant additional lighting in the winter months of growing the seedlings and the presence of a heated greenhouse. Although, some gardeners have already mastered the technology of growing cherry tomatoes in room conditions - for this you need to choose only special room undersized varieties.

Tip! When grown in a greenhouse, even earlier planting of cherry tomato seedlings into the greenhouse soil is possible when using additional film shelters for seedlings.

The harvest will ripen earlier and will be even more abundant.

For most regions, sowing cherry tomatoes for seedlings in March will be optimal.

Capacities and soil for sowing

For growing seedlings of cherry tomatoes, there are two methods: without picking and picking. When using the first method, it is assumed that the seedlings will not be very much and the seeds, so you can sow directly in separate containers or pots. If you need a large number of seedlings of cherry tomatoes for sale, treats to friends or your large plot, it is best to sow cherry tomato seeds initially in one flat container, so that later you can pick them out in separate pots.

In the first case, ready-made plastic cassettes or so-called nursery beds are perfect for sowing. This is a set of several plastic containers - cups placed in one deep tray. They are convenient in case of uneven emergence of shoots - individual cups can be moved to lighter and cooler conditions, while the rest will remain to bask in the heat until germination. You can see the photo of such a nursery below.

Attention! Regardless of where the sowing of seeds of cherry tomatoes was made, for full development before planting into the ground, the seedlings will need to be transshipped / pickled into separate large containers.

In the garden markets and in specialized stores now presents a huge variety of various soils for planting for all occasions. For sowing seeds of cherry tomatoes, it is better to choose either a soil for tomatoes and peppers, or a soil for growing seedlings. When buying, it is best to focus on well-known manufacturers, although in any case it is advisable to calcine any soil in the oven or shed biofungicide solution (phytosporin or glyocladin) before sowing. If the earth seems to you too wet and dense, it is best to add baking powder like perlite or vermiculite to it.

Seed treatment before sowing

There are many operations that are carried out with the seeds of cherry tomatoes to increase their germination, disinfection, as well as increase the resistance and resistance to diseases of future seedlings. Below are the main ones - it does not mean that you need to apply them all. Choose a few that you think are the most suitable and simple and process your cherry tomato seeds before planting them.

  • Sorted in 3% saline solution - the surfaced seeds are discarded.
  • Warming in hot water - the seeds in a tissue bag are placed in a thermos with hot water (45 ° -50 ° C) for 20-30 minutes. Then immediately sent to cool under cold water for 2-3 minutes.
  • Soaking in nutrient solution - can be used for soaking as home remedies: honey, aloe juice, wood ash solution, and purchased bags with microelements and bio-fertilizers.
  • Growth stimulant treatment is the same soaking, only a variety of growth stimulants are used: Epin, Zircon, HB-101, Immunocytophyte, Energen, Succinic acid and many others. Instructions for obtaining a working solution is usually on the package itself.
  • Sparging is the treatment of cherry seeds in water that is actively saturated with oxygen or air. Usually carried out using an aquarium compressor, a hose which is placed in a jar of water.
  • Hardening - soaked seeds alternate in content for 12 hours at a temperature of + 20 + 25 ° С, then in a refrigerator at a temperature of + 2-3 ° С.
  • Germination - seeds of cherry tomatoes after all treatments are germinated in a damp cloth in a warm place, before the emergence of seedlings.

From sowing to first transshipment / picking

The day before sowing, the prepared soil should be well moistened, mixed and hidden in a plastic bag in order to be sure of uniform moisture before sowing the seeds.

On the day of sowing, fill the prepared containers with soil and plant the seeds to a shallow depth (about 0.5-1 cm), since the seeds of cherry tomatoes are slightly smaller than normal. With a large number of seeds and the use of separate containers for planting, it is recommended to sow 2 seeds in a cup. And later, after the emergence of shoots, choose one of them, the strongest and strongest, and the other to remove.

Comment! Never rip out a sprout with a root - there is a danger of damaging a nearby one. It is better to simply cut it at ground level.

After sowing seeds, containers should be covered with polyethylene or glass to create greenhouse conditions of high humidity and placed in a warm place (+ 22 ° + 27 ° С). Light at this stage, crops are not needed.

If the seeds of cherry tomatoes are fresh and have gone through at least some kind of preliminary processing, germination can begin within a day or two.

Check and ventilate an improvised greenhouse 2 times a day and with the appearance of the first shoots, create completely different conditions for them. They are placed in the brightest place and the temperature drops quite significantly, up to + 14 ° + 16 ° C during the day and preferably another 2-3 degrees lower at night. This technique allows you to prevent the stretching of seedlings and a beneficial effect on the development of the root system of young cherry tomatoes.

There is no need to fully disclose the first cotyledon leaves in watering seedlings. In general, when watering seedlings of cherry tomatoes should act the basic rule - it is better not to pour a little, than to pour. Although the onset of warm, and, most importantly, sunny weather, most likely, daily watering of seedlings will be necessary. But in cloudy weather, you need to check the soil every time before watering with your hand - if it is at least a little wet - there is no need for watering.

When opening the first two true leaves, seedlings of cherry tomatoes, if it is grown in one flat container, need an obligatory pick and plant in separate pots. Here, expert opinions diverge: some advise when transplanting to pinch the main root one third of the length, while others believe that this should not be done, since, on the contrary, this procedure slows down the development of plants. The choice is yours - both options are equally used in growing seedlings of cherry tomatoes at home.

When planting plants in new containers, they can and even need to be buried to the first cotyledon leaves. Tomatoes are very supportive of this procedure and are actively beginning to grow additional roots.

If cherry tomatoes were originally grown in separate cups or cells, then you also need to transfer them to large containers without disturbing the former root coma. But the timing of this procedure can be more stretched in time, from the first to 4-5 leaves. If the roots begin to appear from the bottom of the cups, the transfer of seedlings can no longer be postponed. Roots need freedom for the active development of plants.

From the first transplant to planting seedlings in the ground

About a week after the first transplant, seedlings of cherry tomatoes can be fed for the first time. Up to this point, the plants had enough nutrients in the soil. Moreover, it is advisable to put approximately one tablespoon of biohumus or other organic fertilizer together with the soil mixture at the first transplant into each new container. In this case, before the next feeding, you can wait another 2-3 weeks. If it seems to you that seedlings of cherry tomatoes are stunted or not satisfied with their appearance, for quick help it is best to use foliar feeding on the leaf. To do this, dilute any complex fertilizer with microelements according to the instructions in the sprayer (for cherry tomatoes, the presence of boron and iron are necessary) and spray the growing seedlings with this solution.

The effect of foliar top dressing is almost instantaneous, in contrast to the traditional one, since nutrients are immediately absorbed by the leaves and enter all parts of the cherry tomato plant.

Before planting seedlings in the ground it must be fed another 2-3 times. Or you can, if space permits on the windowsill, transfer it several times to large containers, each time filling up fresh ground mixed with organic fertilizers (biohumus, humus). In this case, fertilizing is optional.

Before planting in the ground, the age of seedlings of cherry tomatoes should be about 55-65 days, but, most importantly, it should have a strong thick stem, a pencil thick and up to 30 cm high. There should be at least eight true leaves. The photo below shows how strong and healthy cherry tomato seedlings should look.

Two weeks before the proposed landing, especially when it comes to open ground, the seedlings of cherry tomatoes must begin to harden. To this end, containers with tomato seedlings are exposed outside in good weather at temperatures ranging from + 16 ° C for several hours. Gradually, the residence time of the seedlings on the street is adjusted to 12 hours. Planted seedlings of cherry tomatoes in the ground, only when the average temperature reaches + 16 ° C. Therefore, it is recommended to grow cherry tomatoes in greenhouse conditions in the middle lane and to the north in order to fully enjoy the garlands of tasty fruits.

Conclusion

So sow the seeds, grow seedlings of cherry tomatoes and, gaining additional experience in growing these exotic tomatoes, delight your loved ones with tasty and varied dishes and preparations from very healthy, sweet and beautiful fruits.

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