The choice of containers for growing tomatoes is very diverse. Although peat tablets have gradually supplanted even the popular peat pots in recent years, many are still not sure if it is possible to sow tomatoes this way.
The main advantage of the pills is that the seedlings do not dive, but are transplanted together with the pill, which allows for a faster harvest.
In this article, you will learn how to properly sow and grow tomatoes in peat tablets, as well as all the pros and cons of this method.
Description of the essence of growing by this method
The essence of the method is that planting tomatoes in peat tablets is a great way to grow seedlings without further picking... Sprouts transplanted without damaging the root system begin to bear fruit several weeks ahead of schedule. The method allows you to save space in a greenhouse, greenhouse or on a windowsill.
This method is good for thermophilic and poorly emerging varieties, and the cultivation technology differs little from traditional methods. It is important not to allow peat to dry out. Peat tablets are good because tomatoes do not experience any stress during transplantation.
Tomatoes are not removed from the swollen peat tablet when picking seedlings into a larger container or into open soil. This is especially important for tomatoes with a fragile root system.
Peat tablets are compressed pieces of ready-made soil-peat substrate, which is located in a special, decomposing material. They come in completely different sizes: from about two to eight centimeters in diameter, and their length varies from one to one and a half centimeters.
Such tablets are enveloped on top by a thin mesh, which does not interfere with the growth of the root system outward, the ingress of air and water inside. The tablets contain useful mineral fertilizers.
Why is peat used?
Peat tablets are used for germinating seeds and growing seedlings after picking. They are suitable for seedlings of various types of vegetables (eggplants, tomatoes, peppers) and small species of flowering plants.
These tablets are an ideal "panacea" for growing crops such as tomatoes, because they best allow the plant to be transplanted from a swollen peat tablet directly into open soil, or simply into a larger container, without disturbing the integrity of the plant.
Peat tablets are used primarily for plants with fragile root systems. (in this case, for tomatoes).
The resulting tomato seedlings do not get sick due to a specially treated substrate and do not stretch out from a small amount of sunlight, and the germinated seeds are immediately taken out from under the film.
Peat tablets are used for growing tomatoes, as:
- There is no stress during the pick.
- This is a fairly high-quality method of growing seedlings at home.
- Tomatoes in such containers take up much less space, which makes life easier for gardeners and provides an opportunity to plant more crops, and tablets can be moved as you like.
Reference! The composition of peat tablets includes additives that reduce stress when planting tomatoes, growth stimulants, fungicides. That is why the seedlings do not get sick with the black leg, and the cuttings do not rot.
The use of peat tablets allows you to fully reduce the area under crops, minimize labor with processing and disinfecting the land, which is important in the case of growing tomatoes on the balcony.
Pros and cons of the method
The main advantages of this method are as follows.:
- Tomatoes do not experience stress when transplanted.
- If the tomato seeds have not sprouted, then this is not an obstacle to re-sowing the seeds. The reason for this cannot be the quality of the substrate in peat tablets or its infection with pests and fungi.
- In addition to peat, the tablets contain mineral fertilizers, which are so necessary for the successful germination of seeds and the development of tomatoes.
- Sowing seeds and fairly easy care of seedlings guarantees a minimum of time and effort.
- In tablets, seedlings of even tomatoes take root perfectly, which usually do not tolerate picking well.
- The possibility of separating sprouted tomato seeds and emerging seedlings in case of uneven development of seedlings.
- For the cultivation of rare and expensive varieties of tomatoes, peat tablets are indispensable.
- A tangible increase in the overall yield of plantings.
- Ripening of tomatoes occurs in peat tablets two to three weeks earlier.
- Seedlings are planted without injury to the root system.
- Tomato roots develop quickly due to their light structure.
- Ready-made peat tablets are inherently air and moisture resistant, which provides excellent conditions for the development of tomato rhizomes.
Among the disadvantages of this landing method are the following:
- Peat tablets for growing tomato seedlings are unprofitable in terms of economy. This method of obtaining seedlings can take place among rare and very expensive varieties of tomatoes.
- It is necessary to carefully monitor the moisture content of peat in tablets, because when it dries out, the tomatoes in it can die very quickly, because the peat turns into a dry lump, and when waterlogged, the root system of plants begins to rot.
Important! But peat tablets in no case should be placed too tightly to each other, their walls should be ventilated.
- The need for additional containers in which they can be placed - containers with low walls or ordinary boxes. Reason: you cannot just put a soaked peat tablet, as it is rather unstable and moist.
- It is best to squeeze the tablets after soaking, because they absorb a lot of moisture and hold it well. For this reason, seeds in peat tablets can become moldy or rot.
- It is very difficult to sign plants, as there is nothing on it. You can glue a piece of paper onto an ordinary container, but it won't work on a tablet.
- You do not need to plant several seeds in one tablet, if they are of good quality and germinate wonderfully, since this kills their main advantage - a convenient transplant.
Fertilizer and container for it
Peat tablets should be placed in a closed transparent container and placed in the brightest, warmed place. It is possible to use a cake box with a transparent lid or any other transparent container.
Next, you should close it with a film to recreate the high humidity of the air. It is more convenient to use special micro-steamers for this with recesses for each peat pellet.
Before sowing seeds in peat tablets and growing tomatoes, preliminary preparation is necessary. If the seeds are purchased, then you do not need to prepare them., since they have already been pre-treated with special substances by the manufacturer.
Seed preparation consists of the following key points:
- treatment for pathogens of infectious diseases;
- treatment with growth stimulants;
- soaking seeds in special mineral fertilizers.
In order to prevent the appearance of various fungi and pathogens in tomatoes in the future, you need to soak the seeds in a solution of potassium permanganate and put in a small tissue container. The seeds should be placed in a disinfectant solution for several hours, and then gently rinsed in water.
Before planting old tomato seeds, it is best to pre-treat them with growth stimulants. They contain phytohormones that will help the seeds germinate much faster and bear good fruit.
It is possible to compensate for the lack of nutrients by soaking the seeds in a solution of complex fertilizers.which contain manganese and potassium necessary for plants. Soaking is carried out during the day.
How to sow a tomato at home: step by step instructions
- Since tomato stems can break during transplantation, it is better to plant seeds in a tall container and put peat tablets in it with the open side down.
- In order for the tablets to swell evenly, they should be poured with hot water.
- You need to wait until the peat tablets are swollen, then you can add hot water.
- Then you should wait for the tablets to take their specified size and shape.
- Next, you need to cover the container with the tablets and allow them to be saturated with water.
- And already at the end, the tablets must be removed from the container for further planting.
Algorithm of actions
Sowing tomato seeds is as follows:
- First, you need to soak the seeds or even give the sprouts an opportunity to appear. But planting them dry is also not prohibited.
- Then, using toothpicks, carefully place the seeds in the hole on top and deepen the seeds.
- Then you need to press the seeds into the ground so that they are covered with a layer of substrate. An analogue can be the usual dusting with pre-prepared peat.
- In the case of using granular tomato seeds, then after planting there is no need to rush to bury them. You need to try to drip them gently from a syringe with a needle.
- When the seed coat becomes plastic, then with the help of toothpicks you need to spread them over the surface in order to facilitate the germination of the seeds.
- It is necessary to move the cultivation of seedlings in peat tablets in a warmed place and cover them with foil.
- If seedlings have arisen, then they need to be freed from under the film in time and moved closer to the window or artificially illuminated.
How to care for such crops?
- It is necessary to ensure good ventilation by periodically opening the covers.
- It is necessary to monitor the amount of moisture supplied. To this end, it is necessary to pierce the holes so that the moisture does not stand in one place and put a tray for the water to drain.
- You should monitor the temperature: put seedlings from the east or west side of the room. The north window may be too dark, and on the south it can be hot during the day.
- It is necessary to monitor the occurrence of condensation on the lid and ventilate at least once a day.
- After the emergence of seedlings, the cover must be completely removed.
- Next, you need to carefully water, gradually pouring water into the pan.
- As for the application of mineral fertilizers, the seedlings do not need this, since the nutrients are in the substrate itself.
When and how to plant seedlings in the ground?
Seedlings do not need a separate pick, but they must be transplanted together with a peat tablet. Since the roots appear in the lower part of the peat tablet, it is necessary to carefully cut the mesh to the roots during transplantation. You cannot leave the netting, because it can interfere with the further growth of the tomato root system.
When transplanting, the seedling is not removed from the tablet, and the planting depth should be changed, as in the usual picking of seedlings. Tomatoes can be buried down to the first cotyledons, but not deeper. If the mesh breaks, then it will be necessary to cut the seedlings in the usual way, possibly with partial damage to the root ball.
A month and a half after the emergence of seedlings, flower brushes appear in the seedlings. Ten days after this, they should be planted in open soil. The first flower brush can be removed by stitching off the transplant for about a week.
- Watering the sowing soil. You need to water the soil before sowing the seeds, since the water can pull the seeds down with it.
- Lack of hardening.
- Untimely transplantation of seedlings.
- Insufficient disease prevention. It is necessary to carry out the prevention of the appearance of diseases in tomatoes in time, and not to carry out the treatment of plants for all kinds of diseases.
- Seed too tight. This can lead to the appearance of pests, to the struggle of seedlings for lighting, for space in the container.
- Unsuitability of seeds for growing seedlings (selection has not been performed).
- Improper soil preparation (heavy soil or lack of disinfection).
- Lack or excess of moisture, lighting (increased stretching of seedlings).
- Failure to comply with the timeframe for sowing tomato seeds.
- Unsuitable container for seedlings.
- Poor quality tomato seeds.
Growing tomatoes in peat tablets will not require too much time and labor for gardeners. But the downside is that you have to spend financially. But despite this, this method of growing tomatoes is becoming more and more popular every year.