Growing tomato seedlings (tomatoes): sowing time and optimal temperature conditions

Every gardener has his own way of growing tomato seedlings, proven in practice. Any of them will insist on the most important, from his point of view, moment: lighting, temperature, watering, feeding or something else. Everyone will be right in their own way.

Try another method based on maintaining an ideal temperature profile.

Dates of sowing tomato seeds for seedlings

When choosing a sowing date, it is imperative to take into account the climatic conditions.

Most gardeners sow tomato seeds in February. They argue that before transplanting to the beds, the seedlings will become large and strong and give a good harvest. Unfortunately, they are greatly mistaken. February and March are months in which the daylight hours are not yet long enough, and the temperature is not yet high for growing seedlings. And instead of the expected result, many get elongated and weak plants that are not able to give many fruits in the future.

The optimal time for planting seeds of common tomato varieties is mid-March, and for early ripening varieties, early April.

Soil preparation and planting tomato seeds

For sowing tomato seeds, it is advisable to use a good potting soil mixture. In its composition you need: garden soil and humus (half a bucket of each component) and one glass of ash.

The soil should be poured into boxes prepared for seedling and watered with a light manganese solution heated to a hot state.

Tomato seeds in this method do not need any preparation - neither processing nor soaking. They must be sown dry.

For seeds, you need to prepare shallow holes (a little more than a centimeter) and put two seeds in them. From one hole to another should be at least 3-4 centimeters. The seeds are crushed with earth and sprayed with water.

After planting the seeds, the containers must be covered with a transparent film and, until the sprouts appear, keep them in a room with a temperature of about 25 degrees. The first shoots should appear in about 5 days.

Optimal temperature conditions for growing and picking tomato seedlings

As soon as the first shoots hatch, the film must be removed, and the boxes must be placed on the windowsill, where there is more light. Young seedlings do not need to be watered in the early days, spraying the soil will be enough (after it dries slightly). In the future, watering should be carried out once a week. It is recommended to defend the water before watering.

The first seven days after the emergence of sprouts, it is very important to observe a special temperature regime. The daytime temperature is about 15 degrees, and the nighttime temperature is 12-13 degrees.

In the next two weeks: the daytime temperature is about 20 degrees, and the nighttime temperature is 18 degrees.

After the formation of a second full-fledged leaf in young tomatoes, you can proceed to the pick. For each seedling, you need to prepare a separate cup or pot (about 10 centimeters in diameter and height) with holes on the bottom.

In each container, soil is poured, heated to 15 degrees and above, and superphosphate granules (several pieces) are added to it, seedlings are planted.

In the future, the following temperature regime is recommended for plants: during the day - with an active sun about twenty-two degrees, with cloudy and cloudy weather - from 16 to 18 degrees; at night - from 12 to 14 degrees Celsius.

Fertilizers and feeding of tomato seedlings

The appearance of the seedlings will tell you whether you need to feed it. With a rich green color of the leaves and a strong stem, the plant does not need feeding. And if the green color of plants has a subtle purple hue, then the plant needs fertilization with a phosphorus content, and the temperature conditions must be corrected. The plant clearly does not have enough heat, so it is necessary to increase the air temperature by several degrees in the room where the seedlings grow. It is best to feed tomato seedlings with a liquid superphosphate solution.

If tomato seedlings are stretched in height and at the same time look weak, and also their color has become pale green, this means that the reason is improper care. Such seedlings need less moisture, perhaps now there is an excess of it. As for the temperature, it is apparently high for seedlings. It is necessary to transfer the seedlings to a cold room for a while.

As a top dressing, any option is suitable:

  • For 10 liters of water - 1 tablespoon of mineral fertilizer.
  • For 10 liters of water - 0.5 liters of chicken manure, insist.
  • For 10 liters of water - 3 tablespoons of mullein and 1 teaspoon of urea. Strain before use.

Prevention of late blight in tomatoes

Preventive spraying is carried out two days before transplanting tomatoes into the beds. You can use one of two solutions:

  • In 1 liter of water, you need to dissolve 1 tablet of Trichopolum.
  • Add a few grams of boric acid and the same amount of copper sulfate to 3 liters of hot water, spray with a cooled solution.

We wish you success in the correct cultivation of tomato seedlings.

Classic problems with tomato seedlings: how to avoid them

Even if you have been successfully growing tomato seedlings for many years, it is not a fact that once again everything will go well. A wealth of practical experience is, of course, good, but the key to success lies not only in it. The main causes of problems with seedlings can be roughly divided into three categories: poor soil, maintenance errors, poor quality seeds. Before moving on to specific examples, let's pay a little attention to each of them, this is important!

Seedling health is in your hands

Sowing preparation

To grow strong and healthy tomato seedlings at home, the seeds must be properly prepared for sowing. For example, the planting material can be infected, like the soil, which, as a rule, leads to the death of seedlings.

Germinating tomato seeds is essential. Experienced gardeners know that if tomatoes are germinated correctly, they can increase yields by as much as 30%.

Variety selection

But first of all, in order to grow tomatoes, you need to choose the right seeds.

There are several important points to pay attention to when choosing a planting material:

  1. Varieties are selected based on the climatic conditions of the region.
  2. Imported varieties can perform very poorly in our climate.
  3. Be sure to check the expiration date.
  4. If tomatoes are with the F1 sign, then they have increased resistance to diseases and pests.
  5. The seeds can be designed for greenhouse or open field production, which is of great importance when growing tomatoes.
  6. It is also important when it is planned to harvest - varieties can be both early and late.

Other varieties of tomatoes differ in purpose:

  1. Some varieties, for example, "Bull's Heart", are eaten fresh, and they are not suitable for conservation.
  2. There are universal varieties, such as Moskvich, which have excellent taste and are suitable for canning.
  3. But "Ladies fingers" have too dense peel, they are ideal for canning.

Disinfection of seeds

It is important to properly prepare the seeds of the varieties that are selected for planting. Some growers release planting material immediately ready for sowing - it is covered with a shell containing nutrients.

Seeds collected in your garden must be properly prepared:

  1. First, prepare a strong saline solution by diluting 1 tbsp in a glass of water. l. salt.
  2. You need to immerse the seeds in the solution. After 30 minutes, all the debris will float to the surface of the water - empty seeds and damaged ones, which must be removed. Large seeds that will sprout well should sink to the bottom of the glass.
  3. The seeds are thrown on a sieve and washed with running water, and then laid out to dry on a paper towel.

The easiest way to disinfect selected seeds from fungi and various bacteria is to rinse them in a manganese solution. It is necessary to dissolve 1 g of potassium permanganate in 100 ml of water. The solution should be bright pink. The seeds are immersed in it for 20 minutes. You can also use fungicides instead of a solution of potassium permanganate, but the seeds are soaked in them for 2 hours.

To increase the germination of tomatoes, they are also processed. For example, many summer residents soak seeds in Epin's solution or in aloe juice.

Selection and preparation of soil

The soil is of great importance when sowing tomato seeds for seedlings. There are two options - buy ready-made soil mixture in the store or mix it yourself. Most experienced gardeners prefer to prepare the soil for sowing on their own. The next stage of preparation for sowing is the selection of high-quality soil.

Procurement of land for sowing seeds begins in the fall. The most suitable mixture is made up of turf, sand and peat, with the addition of humus and ash. The land can be taken from the garden, but only from the area where tomatoes or potatoes did not grow last year. In general, any nightshade crops are very bad predecessors for tomatoes. It is better not to take soil from the beds after such plants.

The optimal soil composition for sowing tomato seeds is as follows:

  • 1 share of garden land
  • 2 shares of peat
  • 1 share of compost
  • ½ share of sand.

Add 200 g of ash and 10 g of urea to a bucket of prepared mixture. Useful for tomatoes and superphosphate, which is added to a bucket of mixture 30 g.

As the seedlings grow, the composition of the soil must be adjusted. So, when preparing for sowing, the soil should contain more sand and less compost. Tomatoes love loose soil, well permeable to air and water. Therefore, in order to increase the permeability of the soil, sphagnum is added to it. This will help the roots to develop freely.

Experienced gardeners plant seedlings in a mixture of sawdust and sand, taken in a 2: 1 ratio. Such soil can be easily impregnated with mineral fertilizers. At the same time, sawdust is a wonderful baking powder.

The prepared soil must be disinfected before sowing seeds. This will help kill the bacteria that cause the seedlings to die. For this purpose, the soil mixture is either frozen or ignited. You can ignite the soil in the oven. Some also use steaming - keeping the earth above steam - or spilling it with boiling water.

Selection of containers

It is of great importance in which containers to sow the seeds:

  1. Many people use special cassettes and peat tablets or pots.
  2. Also, gardeners sow tomatoes in plastic cups and cut juice bags.
  3. You can use shallow drawers, which are made from scrap materials - planks, plywood.

In any case, the container for growing seedlings should have drainage holes to drain excess water during irrigation.

It is optimal if the height of the sowing container is about 8-10 cm. It is very inconvenient to sow tomatoes into too deep and bulky containers, since it will have to be rearranged several times over the entire period of seedling development.

Features of growing tomato seedlings of mass planting dates

Seedlings of tomatoes of mass planting dates are grown with a pick and without a pick.

For planting in open ground in the South of Russia and the forest-steppe of Ukraine in May, seedlings at the age of days are grown with a pick of seedlings, for planting in open ground in May at the age of days - without a pick.

The combination of these two methods of growing seedlings contributes to the maximum use of film unheated greenhouses (with emergency heating in case of frost), avoids its overgrowth. Growing seedlings with a pick of seedlings involves sowing seeds in brooding greenhouses on March 15-20 and March 1-10 - in the southern regions.

Seedling feeding area 3 × 1.5 cm, age Substrate preparation, seedling growing regime are the same as for early tomato seedlings.

Greenhouses are covered with foil no later than days before the pick, leaving open ventilation openings (preferably lateral) to dry the soil.

Light soils are most suitable for growing seedlings, since they warm up and ripen faster. Heavy soils float, do not ripen in time, warm up longer, which leads to a delay in sowing and uneven emergence of seedlings, and over time - to a delay in the growth of seedlings, a large breakage of roots during sampling.

The most valuable is the finely lumpy granular structure of the soil with particle size For growing seedlings, this factor is especially important, since it allows you to achieve a given seeding depth of seeds, good seed placement, get friendly shoots, and create optimal conditions for further seedling growth.


Particular attention should be paid to the introduction of organic fertilizers. In the spring, mineral fertilizers are added to the soil of the greenhouse, where, since the fall, they have been introduced and embedded in a layer of humus or peat or straw cutting, which is 30% by volume, mineral fertilizers are added.

On humus-earth and peat-earth substrates for ammonium nitrate, superphosphate, sulfuric acid potassium.

On a straw-earth substrate, the dose of ammonium nitrate is increased to 55-60 g to compensate for the absorption of nitrogen by microorganisms, which are activated by the introduction of straw. Experiments have shown that the most viable plants are provided by the introduction of straw cutting.

Seedlings dive into plastic greenhouses with emergency heating:

  • April - in the middle lane
  • April - in the southern regions.

During this period, the soil temperature at 8 am in a film greenhouse at a depth of 5 cm is equal to ° C.

At this soil temperature, you can start picking, since the seedlings take root in the daytime when the soil temperature reaches ° C. Seedlings are grown with a feeding area of ​​7 × 7, that is, 200 pieces. per 1 m 2 or 8 × 8 cm, that is, 150 seedlings per 1 m 2.

Fighting overheating

The crucial moment when growing tomato seedlings is the fight against overheating. To maintain the temperature not higher than +25 ° C, on some days it is necessary to remove up to 30% of the film cover.

Particular attention should be paid to protecting plants from frost when growing tomato seedlings in unheated film greenhouses. The best means for this is emergency technical heating - heat generators, electric heaters, gas burners.

If there is no such heating, tomato seedlings can be saved from frost (-3. -4 ° С) by watering the soil. In this case, a layer of moisture forms on the surface of the film, which absorbs long-wave infrared radiation. In small areas, it is advisable to cover seedlings with a second layer of film at night. Optimum air humidity (60-65%) can be easily maintained by regular ventilation of the greenhouse.

Watering tomato seedlings

Seedlings are grown with a moderate water supply, followed by intensive ventilation of greenhouses. The best time to water is in the morning. Watering is combined with two mineral dressings (doses are the same as for seedlings of early varieties of tomatoes). Before planting, the seedlings are hardened.

An effective technique for increasing the resistance of plants to unfavorable conditions during transplantation is feeding the day before the sample at the rate of 10 g of ammonium nitrate, 40 g of superphosphate, 80 g of potassium sulfate, diluted in 10 liters of water (per 1 m 2), followed by bringing the humidity to 100% HB.

Top dressing during hardening significantly changes the direction of the physiobiochemical processes.In plants, the concentration of cell sap, water retention capacity increases, the intensity of transpiration decreases, which contributes to their adaptation in conditions of impaired functional activity of the roots after sampling and an increase in early harvest by 25%.

45-50-day-old tomato seedlings by the time of mass planting in open ground have a height of the mass of the aerial part of individual flowers on the first cluster, a well-distinguishable second cluster.

Dates of sowing tomato seeds for seedlings

As an option, spraying of seedlings with a solution of Trichopolum is also used (1 tablet is diluted in 1 liter of water).

Before planting the plants, it is necessary to put several superphosphate granules in each container with soil and sprinkle them with earth. The recommended temperature of the soil during the pick is not lower than 15 ° С. The most favorable air temperature after a dive: 20-22 ° С in sunny weather, 16-18 ° С - in cloudy weather, 12-14 ° С - at night.

And nevertheless, many gardeners in central Russia are trying to plant tomato seedlings in February, they say, the seedlings will grow more, you look, and the first fruits will appear faster.

Provide good lighting.

Growing tomato seedlings in the Urals

The Urals are characterized by a cold climate. There are no frosts on the soil surface for only 60-80 days. It is best to grow vegetables in greenhouse conditions, but if you choose the right variety, you will be able to grow the crop in open beds.

Seed preparation

If you pre-prepare the seeds, then the seedlings will grow strong and healthy:

  • For sowing, large, dense seeds are chosen. Salt water will help to sort out high-quality material, in which it is immersed for a while. Empty and bad seeds will float to the surface of the water, and good seeds will settle to the bottom.
  • For disinfection, the planting material is placed in a dark solution of potassium permanganate for 25 minutes.
  • Then the seeds are washed in clean water and dried, spreading in one layer on a fabric surface.
  • To improve growth and increase immunity, the grains are soaked in solutions that stimulate growth.
  • As soon as most of the seeds have roots, a hardening procedure is carried out. The seeds are placed in a cool place for several days, periodically pulled out into the room for a couple of hours.

It is better to buy seeds from a reputable manufacturer. In this case, the quality of the planting material will be guaranteed.

Selecting and preparing a landing site

For planting, it is better to choose peat cups, but many are planted in a common, large container. The soil should be fertile, loose, and breathable. A mixture of sod land with peat and humus is suitable. You can add a little wood ash to the resulting mixture. For disinfection, the soil is spilled with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.


The prepared seeds are planted in wooden boxes or separate cups with soil:

  • Furrows are made in the soil with a depth of 15 mm at a distance of 4.5 cm. Seeds are laid out in the grooves at an interval of 2.5 cm.
  • Cover the seeds with earth and watered gently.
  • Cover the container with glass and move it to a warm place, where the air temperature is +25 degrees.

After 3-4 days, the first shoots will hatch. On the fifth day, the air temperature should be lowered to +15 degrees.

Landing procedure

After all preventive measures have been completed, you can start planting seeds for seedlings. Most often, seeds are sown in plastic containers. After germination, they are transplanted into separate pots. Plant transplant needed for better root development.

Plastic containers are very well suited for sowing tomatoes, because they are convenient and easy to handle and wash. Holes are made from the bottom in the seedling container so that water does not stagnate inside and does not damage the roots. Exhibit seedling dies on saucers or pallets that will collect moisture.

Planting tomato seeds is done in the following order:

  1. The bottom of the seedling containers is filled with a drainage layer. Such a drainage cushion will allow air to circulate well. Many people recommend choosing eggshells for drainage.
  2. The prepared soil with a room temperature is spread over the drainage layer and carefully spilled with settled warm water.
  3. It is necessary to sow seeds in prepared soil to a depth of no more than 20 mm. For convenience, you can take a pencil, measure 20 mm on it and make indentations in the soil according to the markings. If you deepen the seeds more, then the seedlings can not wait. Then plant the seeds in containers.
  4. Cover the holes with earth and moisten the soil using a spray bottle. It is necessary to moisten the soil with a spray gun before the first sprouting of tomatoes, so that a direct stream of water cannot harm the seeds and deepen them even more.
  5. Cover containers with foil and place in a warm place.

Tips for growing tomatoes

Recommendations of agronomists for the care of a vegetable crop will help to get a good harvest:

  1. Arrange the tomato beds from east to west.
  2. If tomatoes are grown in a greenhouse, the flower brushes are shaken to speed up the pollination process.
  3. Hilling for the growth of the root system.
  4. Carry out pinching - removal of additional shoots. The procedure promotes the consumption of nutrients for the formation of fruits, and not green mass.

During the period of fruit formation, the plant requires a large amount of nutrients. It is recommended to feed the tomatoes with an organic solution - 200 g of wood ash, 2 kg of yeast, 2 tbsp. whey, 1 kg of nettle. The mixture is infused for 10 days, before use, diluted with water in a 1: 1 ratio.

To get a good harvest, it is necessary to observe the timing of planting vegetable crops for seedlings and in open ground. Garden work is carried out on planting days for tomatoes in Ukraine for 2021, indicated in the lunar calendar.

Watch the video: Best Heirloom Tomatoes to Grow in Your Organic Florida Vegetable Garden

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