When to plant tomatoes?
A tomato, or a cultivated tomato, is an annual herb that produces crops in the first year of life. Under certain growing conditions, a tomato can be a perennial plant.
Selection and processing of seeds
All varieties and hybrids of this plant are divided into different groups, and since the growing season of varieties and hybrids is different, then the time of sowing the seeds is also different.
But, before you think about when planting tomatoes, you must purchase seeds. When choosing and buying seeds, it is worth exploring the list of zoned and promising varieties that are known, and have performed well in your area. Also, it is worth remembering that for sowing it is better to use the seeds from the harvest of previous years.
Before planting, the seeds must be treated with drugs such as Novosil, Zircon, Immunocytophyte. In one liter of water dissolves one gram of the drug. Seeds are placed in the solution for fifteen to twenty minutes. After that, the seeds are placed in the refrigerator for 4–7 days, at a temperature of three to five degrees above zero.
Usually, in the southern regions, seeds are sown for seedlings in the second decade of March, and when she turns thirty-five to forty-five days, they are planted outside, after the cold weather ends. Stable heat in the south is established in the first decade of May. In the central regions, sowing is done a month later. Also, seedlings are planted later in open ground, since the last return frosts occur in late May - early June.
Tomatoes are very thermophilic plants, therefore, it is worth waiting for the arrival of heat, by the time the tomatoes are planted. Plant shoots appear a week after sowing. The best temperature for the growth and development of tomatoes, is considered twenty-twenty-five degrees, above zero. If the growing temperature is close to thirty degrees Celsius, then the growth of plants slows down, and at a higher temperature - it stops.
We must remember that at a temperature below ten degrees the growth of seedlings stops, and, flowering occurs at a temperature not lower than fifteen degrees of heat. In addition, tomatoes are drought-resistant plants that do not tolerate excess moisture in the soil.
The growth period of tomatoes is long.Only half a month after sowing, the first true leaf appears, and a couple of months after the appearance of seven to nine leaves, a flower brush begins to be laid.
The idea of when to plant tomatoes, often comes to you when you want to get the earliest tomato production. After all, the weather, especially in the central regions, does not allow to plant these plants in open ground, before the end of the first decade of June.
For very early planting of tomatoes (ten days earlier than usual), seedlings are required that can tolerate adverse conditions. And what to do with frosts?
In order for the seedlings to be resistant to sudden cold snaps, it must be properly tempered. Therefore, when it is grown, the hardening of seeds and plants is of paramount importance.
To do this, tomato seeds are soaked in warm water for six to eight hours. After that, they are placed in a moist material in a warm place, at a temperature of twenty-two to twenty-five degrees, until the seeds germinate.
Put the seeds in a refrigerator for sixteen to eighteen hours, at a temperature close to zero.Then, they hold for six to eight hours, at a temperature of eighteen to twenty degrees, above zero. This lasts five to six days.
After that, the hardened seeds are sown in boxes with soil, which consists of humus and sod, and left in a room at a temperature of twenty-two to twenty-five degrees. When shoots appear, boxes are inserted into a bright place on a balcony, greenhouse or greenhouse, and they regulate the temperature: during the day, eighteen to twenty, and at night, six to ten degrees.
The seedling, in this case, does not stretch out, and begins to harden. In this mode, shoots are kept until the first pair of true leaves, or, fifteen days. It is at this time that the temperature and light hardening of seedlings occurs.
Subsequently, the night temperature is raised to sixteen degrees, and the day time is left at the same level. After the appearance of the second pair of true leaves, the seedlings are transplanted into pots or into the ground, according to the scheme - six centimeters by six centimeters, or seven centimeters by seven centimeters.
After the appearance of three - four pairs of leaves, the seedlings, again, quenched with low positive temperatures.In the afternoon, twenty to twenty-two degrees, at night, eight to ten degrees, for twenty days. At the end of this period, the temperature is raised again: in the daytime to twenty to twenty two degrees, and at night to fourteen to sixteen degrees.
Two weeks before the moment when it is necessary to plant tomatoes on the street, they carry out the last hardening of the plants. For this, the temperature is reduced to two to five degrees. Grown, thus, the seedlings are able to withstand short-term small frosts, and, it can be planted in the garden, ten days ahead of time.
In the night with frost, the plants should be covered with a special covering material or film, and the soil should preferably be fed with Baikal-M fertilizer.
Sowing time depends on the growth of varieties
When determining when to plant tomatoes, we must remember that the best age for seedlings of short growing varieties is forty-five to sixty days, and, for seedlings of tall varieties, more than sixty days.
In different years and in different regions, the time of sowing of seeds and transplanting is sufficiently different, and, in many respects, depend on climatic conditions.