Among tomatoes, ultra-early varieties and hybrids occupy a special place. It is they who provide the gardener with such a desirable early harvest. How pleasant it is to pick ripe tomatoes, while they are still in bloom at the neighbors'. To make this possible, you need not only to grow seedlings on time, but also to choose the right variety, or better - a hybrid.
Why a hybrid? They have a number of undeniable advantages.
Why hybrids are good
To get a hybrid tomato, breeders choose parents with certain traits, which form the main characteristics of the hatched tomato:
- Productivity - hybrids are usually 1.5-2 times more productive than varieties;
- Disease resistance - it increases due to the effect of heterosis;
- Evenness of fruits and harmonious return of the harvest;
- Good preservation and transportability.
If the first tomato hybrids differed in taste from varieties for the worse, now breeders have learned to cope with this drawback - the taste of a modern hybrid tomato is not worse than varietal.
Important! Tomato hybrids obtained without introducing genes unusual for them have nothing to do with genetically modified vegetables.
The assortment of hybrids is wide enough and allows the gardener to choose a tomato, taking into account all his own requirements. To make it easier to make a choice, we will help the gardener and present him with one of the promising ultra-early hybrids, Skylark F1, giving him a full description and characteristics and showing him a photo.
Description and characteristics
Tomato hybrid Lark F1 was bred in the Transnistrian Research Institute of Agriculture and is distributed by the seed company Aelita. It has not yet been included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements, but this does not prevent gardeners from growing it, their reviews about this tomato hybrid are mostly positive.
Features of the hybrid:
- tomato hybrid Lark F1 refers to the determinant type of tomato bush, tying 3-4 brushes on the main stem, it stops its growth, later the harvest is formed already on the stepsons;
- for a determinant variety, the height of the bush in the tomato hybrid Lark F1 is quite large - up to 90 cm, under not very favorable growing conditions, it does not grow above 75 cm;
- the first flower brush can be formed after 5 true leaves, the rest - every 2 leaves;
- the ripening time of the tomato hybrid Lark F1 allows us to attribute it to ultra-early ripening tomatoes, since the beginning of fruit ripening occurs already 80 days after germination - when planting ready-made seedlings in the ground in early June, already at the beginning of next month you can collect more than a dozen delicious tomatoes;
- tomato cluster Lark is simple, up to 6 fruits can be set in it;
- each tomato of the F1 Lark hybrid weighs from 110 to 120 g, they have a rounded shape and a rich bright red color, there is no green spot at the stalk;
- the fruits of the Lark have an excellent taste, since the sugars in these tomatoes are up to 3.5%;
- they have a lot of pulp, which is distinguished by a dense consistency, tomatoes of the Lark F1 hybrid are excellent not only for making salads, but also for any blanks; high quality tomato paste is obtained from them - the dry matter content in tomatoes reaches 6.5%. Thanks to its dense skin, the tomato Lark F1 can be stored well and transported well.
- hybrid Skylark F1 is distinguished by its ability to adapt to any growing conditions and to set fruits even in adverse conditions;
- the yield of this tomato hybrid is high - up to 12 kg per 1 sq. m.
It has one positive quality, which cannot be ignored, otherwise the description and characteristics of the tomato hybrid Lark F1 will be incomplete - excellent resistance to many diseases of nightshade crops, including such a dangerous disease as late blight.
In order for this tomato to completely give up the entire crop declared by the manufacturer and not get sick, it must be properly looked after.
Basic agricultural techniques
The seedless tomato hybrid F1 Lark can only be grown in the south. In the conditions of a long summer under the hot southern sun, this thermophilic culture will give its harvest in full, all the fruits will have time to ripen on the bushes. Where the climate is colder, growing seedlings is indispensable.
How to determine the timing of sowing? Seedlings of ultra-early varieties, including the tomato hybrid Lark F1, are ready for planting already at the age of 45-55 days. It grows quickly, by this time it has time to form up to 7 leaves, the flowers on the first brush can bloom. To plant it in the first decade of June, and by this time the soil is already warming up to 15 degrees and return frosts have ended, you need to sow seeds in early April.
How to grow seedlings
First of all, we prepare the seeds of the tomato hybrid Lark F1 for sowing. Of course, they can be sown without preparation. But then there will be no certainty that pathogens of various diseases of tomatoes did not get into the soil along with them. Unstimulated seeds take longer to germinate, and without the charge of energy that biostimulants give them, the sprouts will be weaker. Therefore, we act according to all the rules:
- we select for sowing only the largest seeds of the correct form of tomato Lark F1, they should not be damaged;
- we pickle them in Fitosporin solution for 2 hours, in the usual 1% potassium permanganate - 20 minutes, in 2% hydrogen peroxide heated to a temperature of about 40 degrees - 5 minutes; in the last two cases, we wash the treated seeds;
- soak in any growth stimulant - in Zircon, Immunocytofit, Epin - according to the instructions for the preparation, in an ash solution prepared from 1 tbsp. tablespoons of ash and a glass of water - for 12 hours, in melt water - from 6 to 18 hours.
Important! Melt water differs in its structure and properties from ordinary water, it has a beneficial effect on the seeds of any crops.
To germinate tomato seeds Lark F1 or not - the decision is made by each gardener independently. It must be remembered that such seeds have certain advantages:
- germinated seeds germinate faster.
- they can be sown directly in separate pots and grown without picking.
This will not only allow the seedlings to grow faster, since each transplant inhibits the development of the F1 Lark tomatoes for a week. In unpicked plants, the central root after planting grows to a greater depth, making them less sensitive to a lack of moisture.
If you decide to germinate, spread the swollen seeds on moistened cotton pads and cover with foil or put on a plastic bag. You need to keep them warm until pecking, from time to time opening them for ventilation, so as not to suffocate without access to air.
We sow the nailed seeds in loose air-permeable soil to a depth of about 1 cm.
Attention! Shallow-planted seeds often cannot shed the seed coat from the cotyledon leaves on their own. You can help in this case by spraying and carefully removing it with tweezers.
Under what conditions do you need to keep tomato seedlings Lark F1:
- In the first week, maximum lighting and temperature is not higher than 16 degrees during the day and 14 at night. Watering at this time is needed only if the soil is very dry.
- After the stalk has grown stronger, but not stretched out, and the roots have grown, they need warmth - about 25 degrees during the day and at least 18 - at night. Lighting should remain as high as possible.
- We water the seedlings only when the soil in the pots dries up, but without allowing it to wither. The water should be at room temperature or slightly warmer.
- Nutrition for hybrid tomatoes Lark F1 consists of two dressings with a soluble mineral fertilizer with a full set of macro- and micronutrient fertilizers, but in a low concentration. The first feeding is in the phase of 2 true leaves, the second is 2 weeks after the first.
- Only hardened tomato seedlings Lark F1 should be planted in the ground, so we begin to take it out into the street 2 weeks before moving to the garden, gradually accustoming it to street conditions.
Leaving after disembarkation
Seedlings of tomato hybrid Lark F1 are planted with a distance between rows of 60-70 cm and between plants - from 30 to 40 cm.
Warning! Sometimes gardeners try to plant tomatoes thicker in the hope of a bigger harvest. But it turns out the other way around.
Plants not only lack food space. A thickened planting is a sure way to the occurrence of diseases.
What tomatoes Lark F1 need outdoors:
- Well-lit garden bed.
- Mulching the soil after planting seedlings.
- Watering with warm water in the morning. It should be weekly before fruiting and 2 times a week after. The weather can make its own adjustments. In extreme heat we water more often, in rains we do not water at all.
- Top dressing 3-4 times per season with fertilizer intended for tomatoes. Dilution and watering rates are indicated on the package. If it is rainy weather, tomato plants Lark F1 are fed more often, but with less fertilizer. Rains quickly wash nutrients into the lower soil horizons.
- Formation. Low-growing determinant varieties are formed into 1 stem only for the purpose of obtaining an early harvest. For the rest, you can only cut off stepchildren growing below the first flower cluster, and in hot summer you can do without formation at all. Usually tomato Lark F1 does not form.
More information about growing tomatoes in open ground can be seen in the video:
If you want to harvest tasty tomatoes early, the Lark F1 tomato is a great choice. This unpretentious hybrid does not require much care and will give the gardener an excellent harvest.
I grow tomatoes in the open field. I visit the site only on weekends. Therefore, it is important for me that tomatoes are not capricious and do not suffer from such "unobtrusive" care. I chose several resistant varieties and hybrids for myself, among which the F1 Lark is one of the best. I like both the taste and the size, as well as the fact that the tomatoes are quietly waiting for my arrival, without over-ripening on the bush. I eat them in salads and put them on blanks. The harvest is always good.
Gennady, Art. Zelenchukskaya
I don't like messing around with tomato seedlings, too much hassle. Therefore, I choose super-early varieties and hybrids and sow directly into the ground as soon as the ground warms up. Over the summer, they have enough time to give up the entire harvest, which I am not complaining about. I was especially impressed by the F1 Skylark. It is good both in salted and in fresh salads. I will definitely plant more.