Growing tomato seedlings for experienced gardeners is a usual thing.
However, beginning vegetable growers are not always confident in their abilities. The most crucial stage in the care of tomato seedlings is considered picking. What is a picking of tomato seedlings? Why carry out this procedure, which is so scary garden garden novices? A dive, otherwise, the seating of tomato seedlings in a larger container is done for specific purposes. They do a picking in order to help the root system to develop well and gain strength before planting tomatoes for permanent residence.
According to the rules, a dive is the removal of the lower part of the taped central root in order to ensure the development of lateral roots.
Usually, diving tomato seedlings once, but experienced gardeners know that for tall varieties need to re-transplant tomato seedlings.
The optimal time for the picking is the appearance of two or three true leaves on the seedlings. Why do you need a dive of tomato seedlings? It allows you to:
- weed out diseased, damaged or weakened plants;
- select the strongest and healthiest seedlings;
- create optimal and comfortable conditions for their development.
The third leaf appears on seedlings 10 days after seed germination. At the time of spitting and sprouting of a tomato seedling, the root system is still very weak. Therefore, little seedlings enough quite a bit of space. Once the seedlings grow, the plant will need optimal conditions to form a complete root system and the aerial part. These conditions and create gardeners for their "wards". One of the most needed ones is the volume of the land in which tomato seedlings will grow and the stem will be shortened so that the plant does not stretch out.
When to transplant seedlings? Many gardeners compare their dates with the recommendations of the lunar calendar in order to minimally injure the plants. If the sowing of tomato seeds on seedlings was also carried out taking into account the lunar sowing calendar, then the picking time will coincide in all respects. Why do you need to meet deadlines? Up to 10 days old, a sapling has one tiny spine, which is very problematic to transplant without damage. Recovery will be delayed, and tomato seedlings will lag behind. At the age of more than 15 days, the roots of densely sown plants will have time to intertwine with each other. Pulling out one seedling, we damage the roots of neighboring ones, which also leads to a prolongation of the recovery period of the plant after picking.
Preparing tomatoes for picking
What needs to be taken into account in order for the pickling of a tomato seedling to bring it maximum benefit? First, the moistening of the soil.
Watering should be carried out four to ten hours before the pick. To transplant tomato seedlings immediately after watering is undesirable for certain reasons.
- Too wet ground becomes heavy. At the time of transplantation there is a risk of breaking the tender stalk of a tomato seedling or tearing up thin roots. And if you tighten with a transplant, the dry earth will fall off from the roots, leaving them bare and unprotected before damage. In addition, dry roots can be bent up when picking, which will even lead to the death of a tomato seedling.
- The second factor is the container for peaked seedlings. The volume of the planting pot should be sufficient for the normal development of the root system. Otherwise, when landing in the ground, the damage cannot be avoided, which will affect the survival rate of the seedlings and the timing of the harvest. Proper diving of tomato seedlings ensures shortening of the seedling by 1/3 of the length and transplanting the plant to a new large capacity.
Important! The soil in which tomato seedlings are diving should not differ in composition from the initial one taken for sowing seeds.
How to dive tomato seedlings? Let us dwell on the main stages and nuances of the procedure.
Dive tomatoes wisely and without loss
At the very beginning of the process we prepare everything necessary:
- Taru. For picking fit cups of any material - paper, peat, plastic. A great option is a nursery.
You can buy ready-made or do it yourself. Many gardeners cut used plastic bottles to the desired height and ditch tomato seedlings in them. Paper and peat cups are a special success. They do not require subsequent transplantation of tomato seedlings in open ground. Just place the seedling with the container in the ground and drop it. Paper decomposes easily in the soil, and the root system does not suffer when you move a tomato to a permanent place of residence. Plastic packaging is also easily cut without removing the seedling, which keeps a clod of earth around the roots. It is good to provide the container with a drainage or water drain hole.
- Priming. A great option if you prepare (at the time of sowing) in advance, prepare a larger amount of soil mixture. In this case, you will already be diving in tomato seedlings into the prepared land, without wasting time on its preparation. Before planting seedlings, spill the earth with a disinfecting solution (potassium permanganate, Fitosporin).
- A tool for diving.
A convenient peg, a teaspoon, a wooden spatula will do. Some do well with a toothpick. These devices are needed for undermining seedlings from the soil.
How to dive tomato seedlings to grow healthy seedlings?
Check the degree of humidity of the earth in the pot with seedlings and proceed to the picking.
We fill the new container with prepared soil. Its temperature should be at least 20 ° C. Land in the pot fall asleep to 2/3 volume. In the center they make a hollow with a pencil or a stick into which water is poured.
Then remove the seedling from the ground with a lump and place it in the hole made. Take a tomato seedling need for a radical ball. This method protects the stem from damage.
Carefully ensure that the roots do not curl. Immerse the seedling in the soil to the cotyledonary leaves, but no more. This will lead to the rapid formation of new side roots. Then compact the soil around the stem.
Another nuance. Many gardeners tend to pinch the root of a transplanted plant. And some consider such a technique optional. In both cases, pickled tomato seedlings grow lateral roots. Therefore, you can choose any option.Important! Pour water only into the hole. It is not necessary to water the entire surface of the earth in a pot.
This leads to the formation of a crust and makes it difficult for air to reach the roots.
How to dive tomato seedlings in new containers? During the procedure, you should try as little as possible to touch the tomato seedlings. If you can not take for a clod of earth, then use cloth gloves. In this case, take a sapling by the leaves. They are easier to restore than the edge of the stem.
When diving, a plan for planting tomato seedlings is maintained: for low-growing varieties of 8x8, for tall ones - 10x10. In a large planting capacity is better to place the rows in a staggered manner, then the seedlings will receive enough light. An excellent help for those who do this procedure for the first time will be a video explaining in detail the process of diving tomatoes:
How to care for tomato seedlings after picking
After an important procedure, plants need to adapt. The first 4-5 days pickled tomato seedlings do not water. Just do not forget to slightly rotate the container around the axis once a day, so that the seedlings grow evenly.
Then we resume regular watering. It is best to water seedlings no more than twice a week during this period.
Picked tomato seedling responds well to top dressing. Any complex fertilizer is suitable. Enough two fertilizing with periodicity:
- the first time 2 weeks after the picks;
- second time 15 days after the first.
Tips gardeners when picking tomato seedlings:
- Do not dig the seedlings above the growing point.
- Do not delay the dive. Small seedlings take root faster.
- Disinfect the land to help seedlings resist pathogenic bacteria.
- Do not rush to dressings immediately after picking. Wait for the required time.
Consider the recommendations of experienced gardeners and specialists, watch the video, read the specialized literature and apply this knowledge. Your seedlings will be the strongest and healthiest!