Peppers and tomatoes - have long been the two most beloved and popular crops among gardeners, without growing which no man can imagine his garden, be it in the north or in the south. And both cultures, even when they are planted in the open ground, necessarily require the cultivation of seedlings so that in the conditions of our rather short summer, truly tasty and beautiful fruits can ripen.
And of course, every gardener dreams that the seedlings of tomatoes and peppers will be the best, strong and healthy. This article will help you take into account all the possible nuances in this difficult matter, reveal some secrets of growing these plants. In general, everything that you would like to know about seedlings of tomatoes and peppers, you can learn from this article.
General comparative characteristics of plants
Since both tomato and pepper belong to the same family of nightshade, both plants have much in common in cultivation and in the requirements for care. Both are very thermophilic, both are very fond of good lighting from the very first minutes of life, both need good watering and intensive nutrition. But these are only general requirements, characteristic of the majority of native tropical plants, by the will of fate abandoned in our northern edges.
The table below summarizes the main differences in the requirements of these crops. They will be discussed in detail in the course of the article below.
The term preservation of seed germination
From 5 to 10 years, depends on the variety
How many days germinate without soaking and germination before
From 3 to 10 days (on average 4-7 days)
From 7 to 25 days (on average 10 - 15 days)
Relation to light
Very demanding: preferably the sun from the first hours of life
Demanding: but compared to tomatoes can withstand light shading
Sprouting: is it necessary?
It is desirable, especially if the seeds are purchased, or they are more than 2 years old.
Seed germination temperature
+ 20 ° С + 25 ° С
+ 25 ° С + 30 °
Relationship to transplant
They easily survive both picking and transplanting, recovering in a few hours.
Badly worried, they may lag behind in growth up to two weeks. Nipping roots excluded
Relation to depth when landing
It is possible and even necessary to deepen, for the development of additional roots
Dredging is contraindicated, put on the same depth + - 5 mm
Temperature day / night after germination
+ 14 + 16 ° С / + 11 + 13 ° С
+ 16 ° С + 18 ° С / + 13 ° С + 15 ° С
How many days from germination to the appearance of 1 true leaves
Day / night temperature after the appearance of 1 true leaves and before transplanting
+ 18 + 20 ° С / + 14 + 16 °
+ 19 ° С + 22 ° С / + 17 ° С + 19 ° С
Age of seedlings before disembarkation
Depends on variety
Early 35-40 days
Average 45-60 days
Late 60-70 days
Depends on variety
Early 55-65 days
Late 65-80 days
The average number of leaves on seedlings planted in the ground
How many days from germination to technical maturity of the first fruits
Depends on variety
Depends on variety
The number of leaves on the plant, the relation to the nip
Be sure to remove the lower leaves when planting in the ground, further nipping and removal of stepsons is mandatory for tall varieties
Each leaf is invaluable, the more of them, the better and more successful will be the fruition, remove only the yellow and diseased leaves
Terms of sowing seeds for seedlings
The simplest and most effective way to find out when to plant peppers and tomatoes for seedlings is the following: determine for yourself the time of planting seedlings in the ground (for greenhouses and open ground, the difference can be a month or more).
Considering that both pepper and tomato are heat-loving plants, by that time all frosts should become a thing of the past in your area. Subtract from this period the average age of the seedlings of tomatoes and peppers before planting in the ground and the average time of germination of seeds. Get the same approximate term. But note that these figures are average and are designed mainly for fairly good conditions for growing seedlings: lots of light, heat, suitable containers, etc.
When exposed to at least one adverse factor, the delay in the development of seedlings of tomatoes and peppers can reach from two weeks to a month. On the other hand, preparing seeds for sowing, germination and subsequent processing with various stimulants can and accelerate the development of tomato and pepper seedlings of the week by 2-3. That is why very often in many manuals the average time for sowing seeds is indicated:
For pepper, as a rule, the end of February is the first decade of March. For tomatoes, usually the whole month of March and sometimes the beginning of April.Important! It is also necessary to take into account the requirements of the particular variety that you intend to sow.
After all, late-ripening indeterminate tomatoes for seedlings are sometimes sown even earlier than some early ripe peppers.
Selection of seeds, their preparation for planting
Seeds, which you buy in stores, should ideally correspond to GOST, and undergo the basic steps of presowing treatment. But in reality, what can not be found in bright, colorful-looking packages. Therefore, for the seeds of both crops, even if the seeds are homemade, it is necessary to carry out a number of procedures that will help to select the defective, obviously untouchable and enhance the energy of life in the others.
Selection of the best seeds
Prepare a 3% solution of table salt (30 g per 1 liter of water), lower into it successively the seeds of those varieties of tomatoes and peppers that you are going to plant, shake well with a spoon and wait 5-10 minutes. All those that emerge are weak; they are not suitable for sowing — it is better to throw them away. In the extreme case, if the seeds are small and you feel sorry for them, you can make a single mixture of defective seeds of all varieties and sow them into a separate container - suddenly something will come up.
Important! The remaining seeds do not forget to rinse well in water after saline, otherwise you can destroy them.
After washing with water, the seeds of tomatoes and pepper are scattered on paper and dried.
Immediately before sowing, the seeds are immersed in a 1% solution of potassium permanganate and kept there for 10-15 minutes. Must be rinsed after in running water and dried. This procedure is highly desirable for both pepper and tomato seeds. Since this treatment is the prevention of many diseases and infections, which can later damage the development of seedlings and especially of adult plants. If you cannot find potassium permanganate, a good phytosporine working solution will be a good substitute for it (diluted according to the package instructions). For many infections, it will be even more effective than potassium permanganate.
Processing with microelements and growth stimulants
The easiest option is to soak the seeds of tomatoes and peppers in a solution of wood ash, which contains about 30 different trace elements. To do this, dissolve 2 g of ash (an incomplete tablespoon) in a liter of water and infuse the solution for a day, stirring occasionally. Then the seeds placed in gauze bags are dropped into it for 3 hours, washed with water and dried.
Often use seed soaking in various growth promoters. You can use both home remedies: honey, aloe juice, and purchased ones: epin, zircon, energen, HB-101, humates, baikal-EM and others.
You can simply buy a ready-made set of trace elements, dilute it according to the instructions and soak the seeds in it for 12-24 hours. After this procedure, rinsing the seeds is optional, you can either dry them for sowing in a dry form (possibly for tomato seeds), or start germination (preferably for pepper seeds).
Soak and germination
This method is necessary only if you are somewhat late with the time of sowing, and want to speed up the emergence of shoots. In other cases, there is no need for germination for tomato seeds. For pepper seeds, especially if they are not the freshest (they are more than 2 years old), germination can help.
To do this, pickled and soaked in different solutions pepper seeds, placed in a moist environment. Wet cotton swabs can be used between which the seeds are laid out and placed in any plastic container with a lid or simply in a plastic bag. The temperature for germination should be at least + 25 ° C. Pepper seeds can germinate within a day. Tilted seeds are sown only in a wet substrate.
This procedure makes sense mainly for northern regions with unstable weather conditions. However, if you have a lot of free time and you want to experiment, you can harden the seeds even in more southern regions, so that you can later plant tomato and pepper seedlings earlier and in open ground. It is carried out in two ways.
- After dressing, seeds are soaked in warm water, and after swelling for 3-6 hours, placed in a cold place (+ 1 ° + 2 ° C) for 24 - 36 hours. After drying, the seeds are sown.
- A more complicated method is when the swollen seeds of tomatoes and peppers are exposed to variable temperatures for a week: they are kept for 12 hours at + 20 ° + 24 ° C, and for the next 12 hours at + 2 ° + 6 ° C.
When choosing the latter method, it must be remembered that it is impossible to harden the hardening because of the possible growth of sprouts.
Preparation of the substrate and tanks for sowing seeds
The decision of the question in which land mixture and in which containers to grow pepper and tomato seedlings is equally important both for the seedlings and for the gardener, who may have limited space on the windowsills.
If you are a beginner gardener and you do not have a lot of seedlings, then you can safely advise using peat tablets for the first time.
When using them, the problem is solved at the first stage at the same time with the tanks and with the soil. It is especially important to use peat tablets for planting peppers for seedlings, as this culture does not like picks.
Tomatoes, on the other hand, can be sown for the beginning in any flat containers, so that after the appearance of the first two or three true leaves, they should be unpacked into separate pots. As pots, you can also use any cardboard and plastic containers with a volume of 500 ml. Before filling it must be rinsed well and sanitized for 15-30 minutes in a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate. You can use peat tablets for planting a tomato, but it makes sense only for some very valuable varieties, the seeds of which you have literally a few pieces.
Attention! Peat tablets contain all the necessary nutritional and antibacterial substances for comfortable growth and development of seedlings of tomatoes and peppers in the first 2-3 weeks.
Tablets should be placed in a container-pallet, gradually moistened to a 5-6 fold increase in height, sow the prepared seeds in the grooves, cover with the substrate and close the container with a lid, place in a warm place.
If you have a large number of seedlings and enough experience, you can sow peppers in special plastic cassettes for seedlings and in individual cups, including even yourself made from paper or polyethylene.
In this case, you will need a primer. Of course, you can buy in the store any specialized soil for seedlings or for peppers and tomatoes. But even it is necessary to first ignite it before use in the oven, and then shed Baikal EM with the drug to restore the soil microflora.
If you want to make the soil yourself, then both for tomatoes and pepper, the substrate of the following composition is quite suitable: turfy land (land from a vegetable garden) - 1 part, leafy ground (taken in a park or forest from under any trees except oak and willow) - 1 part, humus - 1 part, sand (perlite, vermiculite) - 1 part. You can add a little wood ash and crushed eggshell. Before use, this soil mixture must also be processed in the oven.
From sowing seeds to germination
So, you have decided on the dates of sowing, even podgadali suitable day according to the lunar calendar, prepared the seeds for sowing, as well as the soil and the corresponding containers. You can start sowing. There is nothing complicated about this procedure. Sowing in peat tablets was discussed above. When using the soil, it is also advisable to shed it the day before sowing, in order to ensure uniform humidity. Fill all containers with soil and, having dredged, sow the seeds to the depth indicated above in the table, respectively, for tomatoes and peppers. The earth above is slightly compacted.
After this, the containers must be covered on top with plastic to create greenhouse conditions and placed in a warm place. Heat for the seeds sown is now the most important thing. They do not need light yet.
After a few days, tomatoes should be placed closer to the light in order not to miss the long-awaited sprouts. When the first loops of seedlings appear, the containers with tomato seedlings should be placed in the brightest place and it is desirable to highlight around the clock even in the first few days.
Pepper seedlings are also delivered 5-6 days after sowing. But compared to tomatoes, the peppers are not so urgently needed in the sun at the first stage, and therefore their sprouts can stand even second row on the windowsill. True, they will also treat the extra illumination favorably.Attention! Immediately after germination, the temperature for both pepper and tomatoes should be reduced.
A slight difference between day and night temperatures is also required.
The decrease in temperature during the first two weeks of seedling development, before the first true leaf opens up, allows the seedlings of tomatoes and pepper to get stronger, harden and not stretch. For specific values, see the table above.
Sometimes it happens that a seed coat remains on the sprouts emerging from the ground. This is usually due to insufficient seed penetration. It must be regularly and gently wetted with a spray bottle until it softens and bounces itself. Helping her undesirable, you can destroy the sprout.
From germination to planting in the ground
Additionally, it is undesirable to water the soil before opening the first sheet; at a cool temperature, in which the seedlings should be located during this period, the substrate should not dry out. But if it seems to you that it is completely dry - you can sprinkle it slightly on the sides of the landing tank.
In general, watering seedlings in the first weeks of life is a very delicate matter. This is especially true of tomatoes, which are often poured. The frequency of watering should be completely dependent on the temperature at which the seedlings are kept. In the future, on hot and sunny days, the frequency of irrigation can reach up to 2 times a day, on cloudy and cold days - it can be limited to irrigation 2-3 times a week. Peppers also need to be watered only when the top layer of the earth dries out.
When a tomato seedling releases 2-3 true leaves, it must be transplanted into separate containers. Land for transplantation can be taken with a high content of humus. Tomato seedlings are planted with depth to the cotyledon leaves and even deeper if it is still stretched. It is only important to remove the lowest leaves so that they do not touch the ground.
Pepper does not like picks and transplants, but even if you grow peppers for seedlings in peat tablets, when you see 2-3 true leaves (or even better, when the roots appear from the pills), you need to transfer them into large containers.
When installing a tablet with a plant in a new pot, practically do not fall asleep seedlings with earth.Tip! Pepper seedlings should not be buried.
You can take at once liter pots, and you can take half-liter, so that after three weeks we can pass them into even larger pots. Only in this case, seedlings of tomatoes and peppers will develop fully and will be able to give a good harvest later.
After picking, seedlings of tomatoes and peppers are preferably shaded from direct sunlight for several days. Two weeks after transplantation, seedlings can be fed with any complex fertilizer, preferably with a complete set of trace elements. Before landing in the ground you can feed another 2-3 times.A warning! For growing seedlings of pepper, the temperature of the land mixture is especially important - be sure to protect it from cold windowsills by placing it on a board or a layer of foam.
A few weeks before the deadline, when we want to plant seedlings of tomatoes and peppers in open ground, be sure to start hardening seedlings. On warm sunny days, take containers with seedlings to the street, at least on the balcony. You can start from 20-30 minutes a day at a temperature of + 15 ° C, further increasing the time that the seedlings of tomatoes and pepper stay in the open air until the whole day, bringing it into the house only for the night.
For planting seedlings in the ground is better to choose a cloudy warm day. As with transplantation, tomato seedlings are buried to the bottom leaf, and pepper seedlings are planted without any burial, in general. Planted plants best to immediately tie up to a suitable support.
With the landing in the ground ends the seedling stage of growing tomatoes and peppers and another story begins.