Tomato is a very useful vegetable for the body; you can cook a huge number of different dishes with it. All over the world, huge areas are allotted for its cultivation; tomato is the most widely cultivated vegetable.
In Russia, tomato cultivation begins with planting seeds for seedlings. The desire of gardeners to get a harvest as early as possible is quite understandable. So, the culture has a fairly long vegetative period.
Growing tomato seedlings is associated with certain difficulties. Which are quite successfully overcome by experienced gardeners, but gardeners without experience may even be left without a crop. Tomato seedlings are stretched out, becoming thin. It is not necessary to expect a rich harvest from such plants. There is another extreme, when tomato seedlings slow down in growth.
But, if you understand the reasons in time, take action, then young plants can be helped.
Tomato seedlings are pulled
The reasons why tomato seedlings are pulled out:
- Lack of lighting. If you planted seeds for seedlings too early, when the daylight hours are still too short, or your windows face north;
- The temperature is too high. Growing tomato seedlings in an apartment is a rather complicated matter, since a high temperature is required for seed germination, and much lower temperature for seedlings, and the air in the apartment is heated quite strongly;
- Frequent feeding. Excessive care in the form of a desire to often feed tomato seedlings also does not lead to anything good. An excess of nitrogen fertilizers acts especially badly on young plants, which cause the growth of green mass to the detriment of root formation;
- Abundant watering leads not only to pulling tomato seedlings, but also to the threat of such a dangerous disease as black leg;
- Thickening of plantings. There is little room for placing tomato seedlings, but I want to plant more, therefore some gardeners often sow seeds. And as a result they sprout like a dense forest. And from the first days of life, seedlings begin to fight for existence, for every ray of the sun, blocking each other. As a result, we get elongated seedlings.
The lack of lighting is solved by additional lighting of young plants. For this, fluorescent lamps, special phytolamps, LED lamps are used. Phytolamps are quite expensive and not affordable for all gardeners. But LED lamps are gaining popularity as they are affordable, save energy and are easy to use.
Attention! Do not use ordinary incandescent lamps for supplementary lighting.
They do not have the spectrum necessary for plants. Therefore, supplementary lighting with them is completely useless for tomato seedlings.
If you do not have the opportunity to organize additional lighting for tomato seedlings, then be sure to make reflective screens. Place mirrors, foil screens, or just plain white paper around the plants. Sunlight will bounce off shiny or white surfaces and plants will receive more of it.
Observe the temperature conditions to avoid pulling the tomato seedlings. As soon as shoots appear, reduce the temperature to +23 degrees. It is especially important to observe the temperature conditions in low light conditions, reduce the temperature. The critical point will be +15 degrees. Adjust the temperature by ventilating the area regularly. If you have the opportunity, then put the plants on the balcony or loggia. At low temperatures, the plants harden, never stretch, their stem is thick, the leaves are dark green, the bushes are squat, stocky.
Do not overfeed young plants. At first, they have enough food, which is contained in the planting soil.
Attention! Excess nitrogen leads to the formation of green mass. The roots in development will lag behind. There should not be too much humus or compost in the planting soil.
But, if you think that the soils are poor in microelements, then it is best to feed the tomato seedlings 10 days after the pick. Use complex mineral fertilizers for seedlings.
Do not tighten with a dive, especially if the crops are densely planted. Otherwise, pulling out the seedlings cannot be avoided. The small plant is separated from the main mass together with the earthy clod with a toothpick and placed in a new 0.5 liter container, in which drainage holes are made. Try to place the root system vertically, otherwise the development of the seedlings will slow down for a week. Elongated plants need to be deepened to the cotyledons.
Use warm water for irrigation when the clod is dry. High humidity will lead to diseases and seedlings pulling out. How to avoid pulling seedlings, look at the video:
If your actions do not lead to a slowdown in the development of tomato seedlings, then you can influence the plants with the "Athlete" preparation. It is a growth regulator. Slows down the development of the ground part of the plant due to the development of the root. The stem thickens, the leaves become wide. Following the instructions, you can correct the growth of tomato seedlings. But observe the number of treatments.
Tomato seedlings do not grow
Another common problem faced by gardeners is that the growth of tomato seedlings is slowing down. The reasons can be varied, in order to eliminate them, you should figure out why the problem occurred.
Improper care can lead to developmental arrest. Excess moisture or, conversely, lack of moisture. When there is a lot of moisture, the roots suffer from a lack of oxygen. It may be that the drain hole is clogged or missing. Clear the drain hole and gently loosen the topsoil. Don't try to keep your plants in permanently moist soil. Water the tomatoes in moderation.
High soil moisture can persist if your plants are densely planted. Then exit in the fastest pick. Moreover, these are preventive measures to exclude the disease of tomato seedlings.
Advice! Spray tomato seedlings with milk diluted with water (a glass of milk per liter of water) for disease prevention.
Perhaps the soil in which they are located did not fit the tomatoes. Then the way out is to transplant plants. Unfortunately, buying ready-made soil is not at all a guarantee that everything will turn out well. Here, as luck would have it. If you compose the soil mixture yourself, then pay attention to the following requirements for the composition of the soil for tomato seedlings.
- The soil should be light in structure and fertile;
- Should absorb moisture well and retain it;
- The soil should not contain worms, rotting parts of plants, which are a breeding ground for rot and pathogenic bacteria;
- Do not use clay when making up the soil mixture, which significantly deteriorates the composition of the soil;
- There should be no fresh manure or bird droppings in the soil, only compost. Actively decomposing components lead to an increase in temperature and loss of nitrogen, which will not affect tomato seedlings in the best way;
- The best soil composition for tomato seedlings: sod land, humus, sand. Take all the ingredients one piece at a time. Instead of sand, you can use vermiculite or perlite. If you are not sure of the quality of the garden soil, then collect it in the forest, grove.
With an incorrect pick, the seedlings freeze in growth. The reason for this is damaged roots, or they are bent or an air gap has been created as a result of the fact that the roots are poorly compressed.
Seedlings should not be overfed. Examine the plants carefully. By external signs, it is possible to determine which microelement is lacking in plants.
- When there is not enough nitrogen, the plants turn pale green, the stem becomes thinner, the leaf blades become smaller. Feeding with urea will solve the problem (1 tablespoon per bucket of water - 10 liters);
- Lack of phosphorus is expressed in the purple shade of the leaves on the underside, phosphorus-containing fertilizers will be required;
- Yellowing of the leaves and their twisting indicates a lack of potassium, use ash or potassium chloride - 1 tsp per liter of water;
- The lack of magnesium is expressed in the marbling of the leaves, they turn yellow, but through the yellowness, red and purple color appears. Spray with a solution of magnesium nitrate (1 tsp in a bucket of water);
- Chlorosis of the leaves occurs when there is not enough iron. The leaves turn yellow, but the veins remain green. If the situation is not corrected, the leaves will fall off and the roots will begin to die off. Spray plants with such preparations: Ferovit, Micro - Fe, Antichlorosis.
Pests are very fond of young plants. Examine your plantings carefully, as some insects are located on the back of the leaves. Aphids, spider mites, thrips are a threat to seedlings, as they suck out nutrients, and are carriers of viruses, spores and pathogenic bacteria. Watch the video:
Lack of lighting or too low temperature has a depressing effect on tomato seedlings. Especially the temperature is below +20 degrees.
Treat seedlings with growth stimulants. They work on natural ingredients: growth hormones. They improve not only the health and immunity of plants, but also form the future harvest, increase the resistance of plants to diseases and negative manifestations of the environment: lack of lighting, temperature extremes, transplantation. A growth stimulator that can be used if tomato seedlings are lagging behind in growth: "Epin", "Biostim", "Kornevin" and others.
A problem detected in time and its timely solution will save your crops from death. Observe agricultural techniques, especially do not be zealous with watering, harden the plants, feed and dive in a timely manner. And then your hopes for a harvest will come true.