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Now we can buy fresh vegetables and fruits at any time of the year. But the only problem is that the taste and cost of the product do not correspond to each other.
Therefore, many summer residents prefer to grow tomatoes in their apartments. This allows you to get a fresh, environmentally friendly harvest all year round.
In the article, we will consider how to plant tomatoes at home and what is needed for this, as well as find out how to support and hang tomatoes.
Pros and cons of growing indoor tomatoes on the window
Is it possible to harvest tomatoes at home? At this stage in the development of selection many varieties have been developed that are adapted for growing at home in winter. Even a novice agronomist will be able to grow a good harvest of tomatoes on his windowsill.
The advantage of this type of cultivation is to obtain healthy tomatoes during the winter. Also, an agronomist can be confident that his harvest will be environmentally friendly. The taste of tomatoes will be almost the same as that of a summer harvest from open ground.
It should also be said that the cost of tomatoes from the windowsill will be much less than that of those purchased in the store.
The disadvantages of planting tomatoes in an apartment can be considered the fact that growing tomatoes is not always possible. AND sometimes the fruit may be too small in size, because of what such cultivation may be impractical.
What should be the place?
Tomatoes are light-loving crops. Therefore, it is best to give preference to the southern sides of the room. If it is not possible to place tomatoes in the southern part, then you should take care of additional lighting. Remember that daylight hours for tomatoes should last at least 12-13 hours. Fluorescent, fluorescent and energy-saving lamps can be used as artificial light. Now there are special phytolamps. Additional lighting should be placed at a height of 25-30 centimeters from the plants.
As for the air temperature, it should be kept at 22-24 degrees Celsius. At night, the temperature can be reduced to + 16-18 degrees. If the air warms up less, the tomatoes will not grow. And with strong hot air, the culture will begin to dry. If the room is very hot, you should ventilate the room more often, beware of the formation of drafts.
Make sure that the air in the room is sufficiently humid. You cannot place containers with tomatoes near heating devices, because they dry the air and the plant itself very much. It is best to put a container of water next to the tomatoes, which will serve as a homemade humidifier.
Special varieties for the winter
To get a good harvest, you first need to choose the right variety. for planting. Since not every variety is suitable for growing at home. Choose shrubs that are low or medium in height. It is good if these are cherry tomatoes, since this particular species can easily survive the lack of light and heat, and it also has a shorter ripening period. There are many varieties for home cultivation. Among the most popular are the following:
- Balcony miracle.
- The pearl is yellow.
- Alpatieva 905 A.
What should be the pot?
In order to grow seedlings for winter growing at the initial stage, ordinary plastic cups are also suitable, in which you need to make drainage holes. But special peat cups are more suitable. As soon as the seedlings are ready for picking, they need to be moved into pots, the volume of which is 7-10 liters. The pot material is especially unimportant. Plastic, clay, and ceramics are also suitable.
The soil can be purchased ready-made in the store, or you can prepare it yourself. For this we take soil, humus, coarse river sand and peat. The components are taken in the following proportions: 5: 5: 2: 1.
For every 10 liters of substrate, you need to add a little urea (no more than a matchbox). In the same amount, you need to take potassium sulfate, as well as a tablespoon of wood ash. All components are thoroughly mixed and scattered into containers.
Step-by-step instructions for planting on a windowsill
Reference! Before sowing, it is better to soak the seeds in a growth stimulator. Otherwise, there is a risk that the seeds will not germinate.
- A substrate is poured into a container for planting, and then a seed is placed there, which is sprinkled with a small (about 10 mm) layer of soil.
- Moisten the soil with a spray bottle so that the seeds are not washed out. Water for irrigation should be settled for at least 2-3 days.
- After disembarkation, the cups are placed in a bright and warm place.
The cups can be covered with foil until the first germination.
- After 7 days, the first shoots will appear. They need to be opened every day for hardening, and after 3-4 days, remove the film completely.
- The grown seedlings need to be watered every 4-5 days. The seedlings do not need spraying.
You can dive sprouts only when at least 4 leaves appear on them.
Before this procedure, you need to prepare the containers. For this:
- The drainage layer is laid in the flowerpots. It can be made from brick chips or fine gravel. The pot is completely covered with substrate. In the middle of the flowerpot, you need to make a small depression, which is thoroughly moistened.
- Seedlings are watered from the root and transferred to prepared flowerpots. Water it again. The soil is lightly compacted.
Important! Experienced agronomists do not advise planting two sprouts in one flowerpot. They will not produce a good harvest or will die altogether.
- The pots are placed in a well-lit place. The containers are turned twice during the day so that the plant develops evenly.
How to take care of your home in the winter: step by step instructions
Watering and fertilizing
The size of the fruits and their taste depend on the correct mode of soil moisture. The soil must be constantly moist. It is important not to allow the substrate to completely dry out.as this can lead to the dropping of the tomatoes. However, it is worth remembering that excess moisture can lead to decay of the root system.
Since there is not enough space in the pots for the full development of the root system, the roots need to be fed for growth. The first feeding should be carried out seven days after picking the seedlings. Most often, agronomists use the following drugs: Solution, Nitrofasca and Aquarin. Fertilizers are applied three times a day, because there is nowhere to get mineral elements.
Starting from the third top dressing, the concentration of fertilizers is slightly increased.
Pruning and pinching
You need to pinch tomatoes starting from the growing season. As soon as the first fruits begin to set on the tomatoes, you need to remove the top of the tomato two leaves above the last brush. This should be done only with a well-sharpened and disinfected instrument.
Experienced vegetable growers recommend leaving no more than two stepsons at the root - you need to get rid of all the rest, since they will take all the nutrients.
The most suitable place for these procedures is in the early morning or evening after sunset. Places of cuts should be treated with ash or ash. With the right manipulation, tomatoes will give a rich harvest.
Support and suspension
Often, low-growing varieties are used for home cultivation. Such a bush is able to withstand up to two kg of fruit. Therefore, there is no need for props. But this procedure is necessary because most often it is the pots with soil that can not withstand the weight of the fruit and topple over.
- First you need to choose a suitable place to place the flowerpot. It is good if the flowerpot will stand near some wall or window, on which the whole bush will rest.
- Then you need to put wooden pegs in the pots (one support for each bush).
- A bush is tied to a peg - this should be done as high as possible.
Diseases and pests, ways to deal with them
Of the ailments, the following are most common:
- Late blight. In this case, brown spots appear on the tomatoes, which increase over time. You can fight with a tincture of garlic. Spraying is carried out several times at intervals of 5 days.
- Fusarium wilting. It is characterized by wilting and yellowing of the lower leaf plates. Over time, other leaves begin to turn yellow. To get rid of this ailment, you need to treat the plant with the Barrier or Hom preparation. After that, it is important to loosen the soil as often as possible.
- Alternaria. It is distinguished by gray small spots that look depressed. They fight this disease with the help of drugs such as Antrakol, Consento, Tattu.
Let's call tomato pests.
- Whitefly. This insect causes yellowing of the leaves, which soon turns black. You need to fight whitefly with Confidor.
- Slugs. They eat leaves and fruits. Affected plants begin to rot. For the prevention of slugs, you need to treat the soil with a solution of ash, tobacco dust or lime.
- Spider mite. Looks like small dots on tomatoes. Sucks the sap from the plant, which leads to death. A tincture of garlic or dandelions will help. Laundry soap can be added to the solution.
- Medvedka. Quite a large insect, the length of which reaches 5 centimeters. Affects the main root system of the plant. The fight is carried out using a tincture of bitter pepper or vinegar.
It is quite possible to grow tomatoes in an apartment in winter. And this is not difficult. Therefore, if you want to have tomatoes of your own cultivation in the winter, you need to make a little effort and devote time to this. The main thing is only to wish.
We offer you to watch a video about the process of growing tomatoes in winter: