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Tomatoes are a vegetable crop that came to us from warm countries. This vegetable is not only delicious but also a rich source of vitamins and nutrients. Both adults and children love it, and its advantage is that it can be used to prepare first, second courses and salads, as well as to make preparations for the winter.
Tomatoes came to Europe primarily as ornamental plants. In hot climates, sun-loving plants do not require careful maintenance. But in the north they are grown very scrupulously.
Creation of optimal conditions at different stages of growth
Agrotechnical methods for growing tomatoes are similar to the cultivation of peppers - it is better to plant them in black soil, but in the early stages of development, a nutritious substrate is required. We talked in detail about the popular ready-made mixtures for seedlings of tomatoes and peppers here.
It is on what soil is chosen for tomato seedlings that not only the quantity, but also the quality of the future harvest will depend. The soil for tomatoes should be loose, light, air and moisture permeable.
The soil for tomato seedlings should be light and loose., well permeable to water. This can be done by adding peat and sawdust.
Seedlings develop well in the coconut substrate. Shredded coconut fiber is rich in nutrients and seedlings grow strong under these conditions. When waterlogged, the sprouts may begin to rot.
The roots of young plants can only absorb salts dissolved in the soil solution. Nutrients contained in non-decomposed organic matter and soil minerals are not available to them. Young plants should be fed continuously and little by little.
Nutrient dosages that are suitable for adult vegetable crops are detrimental to them. It is advisable to use moderately fertile soil, and then, during the growth process, constantly nourish the plants.
Clay should not be present in the soil mixture. Organic materials should not quickly decompose or heat up. At a soil temperature of more than 30 degrees Celsius, the roots begin to die off.
Read more about which soil is best used for tomato seedlings, as well as which additives should not be added to the soil, read here.
Fat (rich in elements) soil is good for mature plants. When a plant is prepared for planting in open ground, organic fertilizers (wood ash, humus, urea) should be added to it. Fertilizing, after the tomato takes root, not only provides the necessary nutrition, but also enriches the soil and the air above it with carbon dioxide.
Where do you need to plant tomatoes for a good harvest?
A high-quality earthen mixture determines abundant fruiting... If it is not good enough, then the tomatoes will be sick and weak.
You can't just use garden soil or soil from a greenhouse, with a very high probability nothing will come of it. The best soil for tomato seedlings is prepared from several ingredients that require appropriate preparation.
Tomatoes have a branched superficial root system, 70% consisting of suction roots. Such the structure of tomatoes provides the ground part of the plant with the necessary moisture and nutrients.
Preparing the beds
The land must contain all the necessary ingredients for growing tomatoes. The soil for tomatoes for their proper growth should contain the following elements:
It is necessary that these minerals be in an easily digestible form... In a certain part, the greenhouse soil should consist of sand, as this is necessary for the development of the skeletal part of the plant.
The soil should be loose, since the roots on the surface do not tolerate excess moisture and grow only in a loose substance, extracting nutrients from a larger area.
With such characteristics as water permeability and water holding capacity, the soil retains moisture well, but does not become swampy. Also, for the comfortable growth of tomatoes, heat capacity is required.
In addition, when preparing the soil, it should be as harmless as possible from infections and free from pest larvae. The soil should not contain weed seeds.
What acidity should the soil be?
Tomatoes need soil with an acidity of 6.2 to 6.8 pH. To determine the acidity of the soil, a set of indicator tests (litmus tests) is used. They are sold in specialized stores.
Advantages and disadvantages of homemade mixtures
If it is not possible to use purchased mixtures, you can prepare the earth on your own. What is created with your own hands is always more reliable, especially since tomatoes are very demanding on the soil.
Homemade Soil Benefits:
- Can be prepared according to the exact recipe and keep the right amount of trace elements.
- Cost savings.
- Long cooking time.
- You need to follow the recipe exactly.
- The soil can be contaminated.
- Finding and buying the right components can be time consuming and expensive.
Pros and cons of purchased land
Not everyone has the opportunity to prepare the soil on their own... In this case, the purchased land is used.
It has undeniable advantages:
- if it is prepared according to all the rules, then it is immediately ready for use;
- various packaging from 1 l to 50 l;
- it is lightweight and moisture-consuming;
- contains the items you want.
Among its disadvantages:
- wide range of indication of soil acidity (from 5.0 to 6.5);
- inaccurate indication of the amount of trace elements;
- the composition may contain peat dust instead of peat;
- there is a risk of getting a poor-quality substrate.
Among the components of the earthen mixture:
- turf or garden land;
- non-acidic peat (pH 6.5);
- sand (preferably river or washed);
- humus or sifted mature compost;
- sifted wood ash (or dolomite flour);
- sphagnum moss;
- fallen needles.
The earth should be loose, filled with various components and rich in useful elements. If the soil is what you need, then the tomatoes will give a good harvest.
Ogorodnaya the land is taken from those beds where the cultures of the Solanaceae family did not grow last summer (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes). The best soil for growing tomato seedlings is the land on which nothing has been grown for the past several years or ordinary nettles have grown.
The most suitable soil mixture for tomatoes will be obtained by mixing 2 parts of peat, 1 part of garden soil, 1 part of humus (or compost) and 0.5 parts of sand.
Peat usually has a higher acidity, therefore add 1 glass of wood ash to a bucket of the resulting mixture and 3 to 4 tablespoons of dolomite flour.
Also, 10 g of urea, 30 - 40 g of superphosphate and 10 - 15 g of potassium fertilizer are added to the mixture. These fertilizers can be replaced with a complex fertilizer containing more phosphorus and potassium, and less nitrogen.
Read more about how to prepare simple soil with your own hands for a good tomato harvest in this article.
Do not use organic fertilizers that are in the process of decay... At the same time, a large amount of heat is released, which can burn the seeds (and if they manage to sprout, they will still die from the high temperature).
Clay impurities are not used, as they make the soil denser and heavier.
There is a rapid accumulation of heavy metals in the soil, therefore do not use land near a busy highway or on the territory of any chemical enterprise.
Selection from the garden
Purchased land is generally cleaner than garden land (minus garden land) in terms of the content of weeds and possible diseases. However, garden soil can be quite suitable for planting, especially if it is prepared in advance.
Use soil from your garden if it is crumbly and structurally... Garden land after growing nightshades on it (where garlic, cabbage, beets and carrots grew) is not taken. This can negatively affect tomatoes.
The advantage of garden soil is that it often has a good mechanical composition, and if you enrich it with fertilizers and compost, it will also be fertile.
What should you pay attention to?
The soil for tomatoes should be well heated, loose, rich in nutrients and moisture. If it is not possible to get such soil, you can use the soil from the beds on which zucchini, pumpkins, carrots or cabbage grew. In this case, it is important that the plants do not get sick with late blight. In extreme cases, ordinary forest land is suitable.
It is also necessary that it be neutral or slightly acidic, tomato does not grow on acidic soil... The soil should include the following components:
- Peat (increases moisture and looseness of the soil) (its share in the total mixture should not be more than 70%).
- Baking powder (except for peat, this is coarse-grained river sand).
- Leafy soil (mixed with other types of soil, since it has a lot of looseness, but a small amount of nutrients).
Soil preparation is an important part of the tomato growing process.... These capricious plants don't grow on anything. They need to pay maximum attention to the entire growth period, but with proper preparation, a good harvest is ensured. Potting soil for tomatoes is made independently and is bought in gardening stores. In general, the soil should be loose, permeable to moisture and air, slightly acidic and free of toxins.