How to grow healthy tomato seedlings

How to grow healthy tomato seedlings

I have to grow many hundreds of tomato seedlings every year. I will share my experience in growing such seedlings.

I have to grow many hundreds of them every year tomato seedlings... During this time, its own technology has already been developed, which allows you to successfully grow varieties of multi-colored and different-shaped tomatoes. I will share my experience in growing such seedlings.

So that your seedlings do not disappear in the bud, it is necessary from the very beginning (even from seeds) to use various preventive measures, including for seedling soils. I decontaminate all the soil intended for growing seedlings. I spill it with a strong solution of potassium permanganate and leave it for a day.

For better germination, I soak the seeds for 1-2 days in the preparations "Energen", "Zircon" or in any other growth stimulator. You can also soak them in aloe juice. It is advisable to harden the seeds in the refrigerator (in cotton wool, bandage) - this is necessary for the plant's resistance to cold in the future.

After the appearance of the first shoots, to protect against the black leg, it is necessary to shed the soil with Previkur-Energy according to the instructions. When the cotyledon leaves on tomato seedlings begin to stretch out, gently press the stem into the soil with your index finger until the leaves. As the seedlings stretch out, I recommend repeating this procedure. As a result, you will no longer need to pick plants.

The container in which you are growing the seedlings should be 15-20 cm high. Used disposable plastic half-liter cups are ideal for growing two plants in each of them. Illumination with lamps is required for 5-6 hours a day - energy-saving lamps will not hit your pocket hard.

So that there is no late blight on tomatoes, I strongly recommend that before planting seedlings in the ground in a permanent place, first bathe plants with a lump of earth in a solution of "Fitosporin". And then after abundant watering of the hole prepared for each tomato, pour half a teaspoon of copper sulfate at the bottom of it, but this must be done so that there is no contact with the plant. Copper sulfate is a poison, be careful with it! But still, out of two evils - the possibility of late blight disease in tomatoes or the careful introduction of vitriol - I choose a healthy plant, and not a bush that has dried up from the disease.

When in summer there will be sharp changes in day and night temperatures, and in the morning there is abundant dew, then it is worth starting spraying with "Photosporin" - this is a biologically pure preparation that helps very well against late blight on tomatoes. Do not wait for the plant to get sick, then it will be almost impossible to fix something.

If you take my advice and use them in your beds and greenhouses, then you will definitely not be left without a crop. I use all my many years of experience in practice, and every step I take brings excellent results.

I believe that the method described above for protecting tomato plants from diseases is by far the most effective. If someone has their own effective ways of growing tomato seedlings and protecting them from diseases, tell us about them, I will be very happy.

And everyone who wants to have the sweetest, largest, various shapes and colors of tomatoes, varieties of tomatoes that give excellent fruit yields, write, order. Do not forget to attach an envelope for your answer, I will send my free catalog, which now contains more than 1000 varieties of tomatoes. My address: 356240, Stavropol Territory, Mikhailovsk, p. Teplichny, st. Konstantinov, 4 quarter 2 - Kostenko Igor Viktorovich.

Igor Kostenko, experienced gardener

Photo by the author

The timing of the emergence of shoots in nightshades

After sowing, containers with seedlings are covered with foil and placed in a warm place.

The optimum temperature for the emergence of tomato seedlings is 24-26 ° С, for peppers and eggplants - 26-28 ° С. Tomato seedlings usually appear 3-5 days after sowing, but pepper and eggplant seedlings can be waited longer - up to 10 days. At the optimum temperature, seedlings will appear in 5 days, when the temperature drops to 20-22 ° C - in 10-14 days, and at temperatures below 17 ° C - in almost three weeks.

The film is removed as soon as the first shoots appear, even if they are single and these are just loops. If you wait for all the seedlings to appear, then the plants that emerged first will stretch out.

Care of tomato seedlings from picking to planting

1. Watering seedlings. The frequency of watering tomato seedlings depends on the volume of the container in which the plant grows, and the age of the plant that is in this container. If in the first days it is enough to water the seedlings once a week, then before planting on a permanent residence, you may have to water every day and more than once.

2. It is necessary to ensure that the soil does not dry out. Water the plant abundantly so that the earthy clod is completely saturated with moisture. And the next watering should be carried out when the soil begins to dry out, but not dry out to such a state that the plants begin to wither.

3. Frequent watering is harmful to plants. When the soil is constantly highly moistened, oxygen access to the root system is hampered, therefore it does not develop well, the plants stretch out, and such conditions can lead to plant diseases.

4. Water for irrigation should be warm, approximately + 22 degrees. Tap water, before watering, it is advisable to defend at least a day.

5. Top dressing of seedlings.If the soil for seedlings does not contain a sufficient amount of nutrients, and the plant, according to external signs, is experiencing a nutritional deficiency, then 10-12 after picking, the seedlings are fed with solutions of mineral fertilizers.

For 10 liters of water - 10-15 g of ammonium nitrate, 30-40 g of superphosphate, 10-15 g of potassium sulfate. If one feeding is not enough, then after 10-15 days the next feeding is carried out in the same proportions.

6. If you do not use mineral fertilizers, then know that nitrogen is contained in aquarium water. The plant can be fed slurry: for 1 part of the mullein, take 4-5 parts of water and insist for 3-4 days, stirring. Then half a liter of infusion is diluted in 10 liters of water and the seedlings are fed.

7.Phosphorus and potassium are found in ash. For feeding, 1 tablespoon of ash is diluted in 1 liter of water, mixed and until the insoluble part of the ash has settled, water the plants.

8. Light and temperature conditions... Failure to comply with the thermal and light regimes leads to improper plant development - this is one of the reasons for the elongation of seedlings. The duration of daylight hours for tomatoes should be about 12 hours. If the weather is cloudy or your windows face the north side, then the plant should be supplemented.

9. The air temperature for tomato seedlings should be within + 21-24 degrees. In the dark, the air temperature should be lowered to + 16-14 degrees, adjusting it with the help of a window. It is also necessary to lower the ambient temperature by 2-3 degrees during the day, if the weather is cloudy, and you do not have the opportunity to highlight the plants, so you will prevent the plants from stretching.

10. Plant hardening. Why is it needed. The fact is that by planting plants in open ground, we will not be able to regulate the air temperature and light as we did at home. Plants need to be prepared for the sharp temperature and light changes that occur in nature.

11. To do this, 10-12 days before planting tomato seedlings, you need to start hardening the plants by gradually lowering the temperature to + 14-16 degrees. Then it is lowered even more, in the last 4-6 pre-planting days, the seedlings should be taken out onto the balcony or on an open window sill. First for 2-3 hours, then for half a day, then for the whole day, and finally for a whole day, but without endangering the effects of frost.

12. Due to hardening, root development is enhanced, the stem thickens, overgrowth is inhibited, the leaves acquire an intense green color. If the seedlings are well seasoned, then they quickly take root, easily tolerate adverse weather conditions.

How to grow tomato seedlings for the first time

When I first decided to grow tomatoes on my site, I made a lot of mistakes. The harvest got so-so.

Only with experience has I found an approach to this vegetable culture. Now the process of growing tomatoes does not seem so laborious.

Usually, experienced summer residents share advice on the pages of printed and electronic publications and often miss such moments that could be very useful to a novice gardener. Therefore, remembering the beginning of her "summer career", I decided to write this article specifically for those who are just getting acquainted with garden science.

To make growing tomato seedlings as easy as possible, I will tell you about what you can do without, and what you need to do.

For example, you really need to first decide on the timing of planting seeds. This plant grows very quickly and is often stretched out. It is undesirable to overexpose seedlings at home for more than 45-50 days. By this age, it should be planted in a summer cottage. In our Leningrad region, the weather allows you to transplant tomatoes into an unheated greenhouse in mid-May, and into the ground in early June. Each region has its own terms and this must be taken into account.

In addition, the temperature regime in the room where the tomatoes will grow is important. For example, we have central heating in our apartment, and I can’t control its shutdown. The heat in the room is terrible in spring, and no matter how much I air it, my seedlings invariably fatten. Therefore, I shortened the period of growing seedlings, starting to sow them a week later than the due date.

For beginner tomato growers, I advise you to first plant low-growing varieties of early ripening.

It is better to plant standard plants that do not require pinching. Such tomatoes are distinguished by a friendly return of the harvest, early maturity, weakly branching and themselves stop growing after laying a certain number of inflorescences. They will not require significant care from you, compared to tall varieties that need the indispensable formation of the bush during the entire growing season.

And when you learn to handle such tomatoes, be sure to start experimenting with other determinant and indeterminate varieties.

The soil is quite suitable for purchase, but it is better to sow the seeds immediately in separate cups.

I remember the first time I was engaged in picking tomatoes planted in a box, seven sweats came off me! To make this process go faster, you need a certain skill. And tomatoes, despite the fact that they tolerate a pick better than other vegetables, still grow better if they are not disturbed once again.

But all kinds of seed treatment methods before planting for the first time can be postponed.
Tomatoes sprout quite amicably if the seeds are left for a day or two in a cotton cloth soaked in water, and then planted. Just do not allow the already wetted seeds to dry out.

When sowing seeds, the soil should be shed first, not after. If you spill dry soil with planted seeds, the water will pull them much deeper. For this reason, the tomatoes will sprout much longer, or you may not wait for the shoots at all. Experienced gardeners may grin, they say, and so it is understandable. No, no! I remember from inexperience I did just that, and then I walked for a long time and looked in for sprouts.

The depth of planting seeds in the soil should be about 1 cm. Here you need either a good eye gauge or a pencil on which the same centimeter is marked. If everything is in order with the eye gauge, then put the seed on a damp substrate, and then fill it with an even layer of dry soil. It will then get wet by itself, having absorbed water from the lower layer, it is not worth moistening it additionally. If difficulties arise, you can make indentations with a pencil to the mark, put a seed in these holes and fill it with earth.

So that neither the earth nor the seeds dry out before the emergence of shoots, the cups must be covered.
For this I use cling film, which is sold in rolls. It covers the glass without gaps and does not sag.

When the seedlings appear, you should certainly have a lamp ready for additional illumination of the seedlings.
I have never been able to grow good seedlings without additional lighting. I spent one time to purchase a drawing lamp, which is very convenient to use for this purpose. She has a long leg that turns to either side. And with the help of fasteners at its base, you can fix the lamp both on the table and on the windowsill.

Shoots should be illuminated in the mornings and evenings, and in cloudy weather - all day.

The advice in gardening books is sometimes vague. For example, I understood what “moderate watering” is when one day a black leg ruined tomato shoots. Then for me it was moderate - it is a little bit every day. And this is a lot for tomatoes! It is worth watering only when the ground is noticeably dry, and the leaves begin to lose turgor a little (!). Believe me, it only benefits them.
With this approach, you will not grow pampered seedlings, but ready to endure all the hardships of open ground.

For watering, I use only settled water and water so that the earth in the glass is completely wet.

I also do not advise you to get involved in fertilizing with mineral and organic fertilizers. If you often feed tomatoes, the seedlings will not get stocky, but overgrown. Fertilize only when necessary. I often do without them at all. I use complex preparations only when I see that the seedlings look sickly. I spill the soil with the working solution only after I slightly moisten it with plain water.

When a stable above-zero temperature is established outside the window, immediately transfer the seedlings to the balcony, even if you still have babies in the cups. The sooner you start hardening tomatoes, the better. Rather than tormenting your pets with room heat, it is better to keep them cool. My tomatoes move to the loggia already at 10-12 ° C. On it, the temperature during the day is still higher than the street temperature, and at night I close the windows. When it gets warmer, I leave the windows open.

I think, given the above recommendations, any novice gardener can grow good tomato seedlings.

I am publishing a review of our reader on how to grow healthy, powerful tomato seedlings to get an excellent harvest

Very often, many readers of my channel leave practical advice on certain issues covered in articles. Moreover, sometimes there are very unexpected reviews, I will publish one of them in this article.

I will say more, for the sake of such reviews, I continue to run the channel, since I am writing this for the “couch summer residents” who are sure that they know everything, but at the same time they buy everything on the market, the channel does not bring practically any noticeable profit. But I keep it for the sake of communication and exchange of views on dacha and garden issues.

I am more than sure that a dacha with minimal effort can not only feed, but also become a great vacation spot. And since in our “prosperous Russia”, no tangible progress has yet been seen in increasing the incomes of citizens, the dacha will become a tangible help in solving the food program of specific families.

But this is all the lyrics, let's move on to the commentary.

Here it is, the spelling of the author is preserved, the author is Lyudmila Borina. Once again I express my gratitude to the comment for the competent comment.

“…. I never soak the seeds in anything, spread them out on well-damp soil, sprinkle them and wet them again with a spray, so as not to burrow the seeds under the film and to the battery.You can immediately in a 100 g glass, where the earth is not more than half. Often I miss and some stretch out and without waiting for real leaves, I dive, and if in a glass, I add earth. Then I water it drop by drop every morning, increasing the number of drops as it grows. Contrary to all the advice, I do not temper the crumbs, and when I have four real sheets, I start to keep them on the balcony either with an open street window, or I close it for the night, but I keep the balcony door open to the apartment. I regulate the temperature, looking at the thermometer on the balcony, so that it is not lower than 16 degrees. Always with excellent and strong seedlings. There is nothing more ingenious than anything simple. Just start the process and get to everything with your instinct. Believe me, you will succeed. Yes, I sprinkle seeds 1 cm or a little more, up to 1.5 cm. Everything, forward "

"I forgot, open the bowls once a day for airing for 10 minutes to remove condensation from, it is not needed, but moisten the surface a little again"

Here's a way, simple and at the same time very optimal.

How to get healthy, robust cabbage, cucumber and tomato seedlings

In the previous issue, we covered all aspects of quality seed preparation. Now let's see what needs to be done to grow strong, healthy seedlings. Previously, everyone needs to clearly understand how many young plants (with a small margin) they need for planting. It is worthwhile to beware of early sowing of seeds in January-February due to an acute lack of light, due to which the plants will outgrow their specific phase or become unnecessarily elongated. This period is also characterized by too large a difference between room temperature and the temperature on the window sills, where seedlings are usually grown. Therefore, the most optimal period for the beginning of sowing: the second half of March - the first ten days of April. For example, from the middle of March, seeds of various varieties of white and Brussels sprouts are usually sown for seedlings, in the third decade - late varieties of white cabbage, as well as red cabbage, Savoy, cauliflower and kohlrabi, tomato - in early April.

The selection of soil for healthy seedlings should be taken very seriously, it should be sufficiently loose and breathable. Some gardeners acquire it in the retail network (often purchased soil may contain a lack or excess of nutrients). But most often they annually prepare it in the fall, combining a soil mixture from pre-prepared components (peat, turf, sand, etc.) in various proportions. Here everyone has their own recipes. Typically, the soil substrate is made from 3-5 components. By the way, experts say that the land prepared in advance and infused for several months is much more effective than the one just made. I propose to make a mixture of the above components (peat, turf, sand) in a ratio of 5: 4: 1. It does not hurt to add ammonium sulfate (12 g / 10 kg), simple superphosphate (20 g) and potassium salt (40 g) to them. It is useful to add some white sphagnum moss and ash. As a nutritious mixture for cabbage and tomato, vegetable growers-practitioners offer a composition of humus and sod soil, river sand and fresh mullein, adding 8 parts of humus earth, 2 parts of sod, 1 part of river sand and 1 part of fresh mullein to a bucket. 1-1.5 glasses of ash and 40 g of simple superphosphate are added to a bucket of a prepared mixture of any composition. Ash neutralizes acidity and adds nutrients necessary for plants to the soil - potassium, calcium, iron, silicon, sulfur, etc. For cabbage, add 0.5 cups of fluffy lime to a bucket of mixture (to avoid damage to seedlings by soil infection of the keela). In the absence of sod land, it is replaced with compost or vegetable garden. Garden soil is the basis of the soil, it should be without roots, grass and stones. As a rule, it is 1 / 4-1.2 of the total volume of the mixture.

Sand is the most common component of artificial soils. From a handful to half of the total volume is added to the mixture. A good mixture is obtained from sand (preferably coarse-grained river) with leafy soil in equal quantities with the addition of a certain amount of bird droppings and ash.

Leaf humus is the most important component of the mixture, it provides it with a good structure and serves as the main source of nutrition for plants. To prepare this component, in the fall it is necessary to collect not freshly fallen leaves, but those that fell a year earlier. It is not necessary that the leaves are completely rotten, it is enough that they crumble easily. It is necessary to prepare a little more of them, given that in the process of decomposition they lose in volume. Any leaves will do, except for oak leaves (they contain tannic compounds). For example, for growing seedlings and seedlings, I use the soil from under old lindens, remote from highways. By the way, the most unfortunate option is to collect land near the house or on the territory of nearby parks, where it is saturated with harmful substances. The land that is brought in for the improvement of the adjoining territories and dumped in heaps is also not suitable. After all, it is not known where it was taken from.

Experts advise gardeners to take land on their site from that corner where vegetables have not been grown for 2-3 years, so as not to introduce pathogens and pests dangerous to plants into the soil. As a rule, the soil substrate bought in the store had to be sterilized before being sold, but you can still be insured and subject it to disinfection. To do this, use the thermal method, heating the soil on an iron baking sheet or sheet (up to a temperature not exceeding 100oС)? or spilled twice with boiling water.

For growing seedlings, some gardeners use peat cups, others use cassette blocks, and some use foam boxes. Repeatedly used boxes and vessels intended for growing seedlings are disinfected with a warm solution of potassium permanganate (1 g / l of water). The earth is slightly compacted and squeezed at the walls of the containers, its surface is well leveled, then shallow grooves are made on it with a ruler every 2-3 cm, the seeds are laid out (hatched or dry) and covered with the same mixture on top (with a layer of 0.5-1 cm ).

After sowing, the soil is watered very carefully from a watering can with a strainer, covered with glass for a week, removing it in the morning and evening for 10-15 minutes for airing.

After the emergence of seedlings, the cover is removed, and the containers are rearranged closer to the light. It is very important that the soil retains moisture for longer. Seedlings should not be watered often, they can be sprayed with a spray bottle, but you shouldn't give them enough water. Excess moisture in the soil is reduced by pouring dry sand (2-3 cm layer) or charcoal under the plants.

For growing seedlings, a sill of windows with a southern orientation is desirable so that there is more lighting, since there is not enough sunlight in early spring. If the plants are grown in a room with north-west or north-facing windows, into which the sun can look only in the evening, then the plants will not have enough light. An electric light is needed here. Some gardeners seek to enhance the illumination of vegetable seedlings by installing large mirrors that reflect more than 90% of the light falling on them. They advise for growing low seedlings to fix the mirror perpendicular to the surface of the windowsill along its ledge, which can almost double the illumination of the plants. At the same time, low mirrors are used so that they do not shade the room. If the mirror is installed on the jamb of the window, it will become a permanent light reflector - with this method, the illumination increases by 30%. Plants, illuminated by mirrors, feel much better than without additional lighting. Remember that when using reflectors, plants need to be spaced further apart. Mirrors can be successfully replaced with wide strips of aluminum foil.

With the emergence of seedlings, for example, cucumber, the boxes are moved to the brightest place, and the temperature should be reduced to 15-17 ° C during the day and up to 12 ° C at night (within 3-5 days). Then it is increased in the daytime up to 20 ... 22 | С, at night up to 16 ... 17 | С. Seedlings of vegetable crops are watered with water at room temperature.

Seedlings of various types of cabbage in 10-12 days after the emergence of shoots should be opened (planted more freely or in separate cups). At this time, the plants will be in the cotyledon or first leaf phase. It will be more difficult to do this later. At the same time, some gardeners practice pinching the tip of the main root of the plants, which contributes to better branching of the root system.

When diving in order to successfully rooting young plants in moist soil, they first make a dimple, where a teaspoon of slaked lime is poured. When transferring, the plant is gently held by the leaves (and not by the stem), set in the hole so that the root does not bend. Then sprinkle with earth and watered abundantly so that there are no voids in the soil.

When picking cabbage plants, each plant is carefully examined, rigidly rejecting the weak, underdeveloped or affected by the black leg and keel. The feeding area for cabbage seedlings should be at least 6x6 cm. After picking, the seedlings are sprinkled with a thin layer of humus with a small amount of ash. To avoid the appearance of mycoses, the seedlings are watered moderately and often ventilated. Once every 7-10 days, to disinfect the soil, it is spilled with a 0.1% solution of potassium permanganate. Once every 1.5-2 weeks, seedlings are fed with a solution of a mullein diluted with water (1:10) or a solution of mineral fertilizers (0.6-0.7%). According to experts, high-quality seedlings, for example, early and late white cabbage, are desirable 50-55 days old, mid-ripening 35-40 days.

Choosing sunny days, the seedlings are taken out in the open air during the day (balcony, loggia, etc.), hardening before transplanting. Practitioners note that plants that have received such hardening after transplantation into a greenhouse or open ground take root faster and better.

It must be remembered that even with the onset of early spring - in May (and even more so in April) warm weather with planting seedlings in a permanent place should not be in a hurry. Plants can suffer from early and late spring frosts, which are not uncommon even in the first half of June. As a result of a cold snap, you can lose seedlings overnight, which have been grown with such difficulty for many weeks. Cucumber seedlings, for example, die when frozen at 0 ... -1oС, unseasoned white cabbage seedlings at -3oС, Savoyard -2 ... -3oС. This is how, due to the freeze, my neighbor, unfortunately, lost several plants of the Antillean cucumber, which is rare in our country.

When growing seedlings at home, they try to avoid its proximity to indoor plants, which can be sources of harmful insects, such as spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, thrips.

Greenhouses and hotbeds are pre-prepared for receiving seedlings. To reduce the amount of work done in the spring, a good gardener usually cleans these areas in the fall. If you did not have time to do the work in advance, then you will have to do it in the spring. Plant debris (wintering place of pests and concentration of bacterial and fungal infection) is burned. In those areas where there is a bear gnawing at the roots of plants, when digging into the soil, add the preparation "Thunder". In order to prevent late blight and other mycoses, some gardeners process tomato seedlings with 1% Bordeaux liquid before planting.

It does not hurt to look again at the plan of the site where the vegetable plants will be placed. For them, not only the length of the daylight hours is important, but also the sufficient intensity of illumination. Experts consider the optimal place of the site, open to the sun's rays in the daytime and having evening shade. Tomato is more demanding of sunlight, while cucumbers and cabbage are less demanding.

Seedlings should be protected from the fungal disease "black leg", which manifests itself quickly enough. In the evening the plants seemed quite healthy, and in the morning you can find them lying on the ground. Examining diseased seedlings, you can notice the blackening of the tissue at the site of the root collar (a bridge appears between the root and stem). After 2-3 days, the plant dries up completely, although a closer inspection reveals a slight yellowing of the plant tissue in the same place in the still outwardly healthy plants, the beginning of curvature and thinning of the stem, and some lethargy of the plants. Seedlings slightly affected by the black leg do not develop well, lag behind in development, and the yield is sharply reduced. All types of cabbage are susceptible to this disease. It manifests itself in the phase of cotyledonous leaves, but often at the time of planting. The causative agent of the "black leg" is found and hibernates mainly in the soil or on plant debris (in the form of mycelium or spores). In the spring, pathogens penetrate early seedlings, feed on plant juices and multiply actively, which leads to illness (often death) of young plants. Blackleg fungus can also be found in hulled greenhouses, in stationary greenhouse structures, in seedling containers used for rearing seedlings, sometimes on seeds.

Seedlings of vegetables, planted with a lump of earth, take root more easily, do not get sick, tolerate temporary drought and give an earlier harvest.

Alexander Lazarev,
candidate of biological sciences,
Senior Researcher, VIZR
Many gardeners grow seedlings of vegetable and ornamental crops at home. However, we will now focus on three main vegetable plants, the seedlings of which, as a rule, are prepared by almost every one of us - on cabbage, cucumber and tomato.

Material taken from

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How to grow sturdy tomato seedlings

I don’t know how this data was collected, but according to statistics, every ninth gardener plants tomatoes in his area. If you looked at this page, then you are included in this number and you are interested in the question of how to grow tomato seedlings at home.

In some regions, you can plant tomatoes directly in the ground. But the seedling method is used even in these areas, not to mention those that belong to the areas of risky farming.

Why is this method so popular? As soon as a favorable time for planting comes, you plant a ready-made plant in the ground, which allows you to accelerate fruiting.

You can, of course, buy plants grown by someone, but I know from myself that you don't always get the kind of tomato you bought. Therefore, if possible, it is better to grow your seedlings. How to do to get strong and healthy planting material, you will learn from this article.

Watch the video: How to Plant Tomato Seeds for a Huge Harvest!