Sadness and disappointment is experienced by gardeners, who in return for spent time and effort get faded, long or thin tomato seedlings at home. After transplanting substandard seedlings poorly take root and poorly developed, about good fruiting, we are not even talking. Next, we will talk about why seedlings can stretch, brighten or bloom, as well as what to do and how to feed them.
Problems with tomato seedlings and is it possible to fix them
Experienced gardeners are familiar with the problems that can be encountered when growing tomato seedlings. This article selected the basic rules for planting seeds and caring for shoots, because most of the reasons lies in their violation. The knowledge gained will help to avoid difficulties not only with tomatoes, but also pepper, cabbage, cucumbers, strawberries. Agrotechnical requirements for these crops have much in common.
The above examples of standard seedling situations will become part of the gardener's tabletop manual for growing vegetable plants. And the recommendations will indicate the correct actions aimed at saving the future harvest.Tomato seedling on the windowsill
What may seedlings miss? For an adequate assessment of the condition of the shoots, you need to know exactly what should be healthy tomato seedlings. The following signs serve as a guideline:
- saturated green color of leaves and stalk;
- greenness elasticity;
- the intensity of the development of shoots corresponds to the timing of this stage of the growing season;
- the stem is formed strong, stable without bends in the side.
By the time the seedlings are prepared to be planted in the ground, they must grow up to 25-35 cm, the stem should be strengthened to a thickness of 8-10 mm. Also a must factor is the presence of 7-10 leaves and the first flower brush formed.
Causes of very thin and long stems
Among the main reasons leading to the thinning of seedlings:
- excessive watering (the development of the root part is suspended, all forces are directed to the growth of greenery);
- in case of non-observance of the air humidity regime (dry and hot air thins the aerial part of the shoots);
- lack of lighting (sprouts stretching to sunlight);
- seed sowing ahead of schedule (plan the landing is not earlier than the 20th of March, when the light day is rapidly increasing);
- violation of the schedule of making additional feeding (from excess or lack of nutrients the leaves wither and weaken, and the stem becomes thin);
- strongly dense seeding (seedlings intertwine, create shading for each other).
Intensive seed preparation can also provoke an intensive growth of seedlings. Acquire seed better in specialized stores. When buying from hands it is necessary to process the grains with a weak solution of potassium permanganate for disinfection.Close up of tomato seedlings
Recommendations for the prevention of thinning of the stems of seedlings and uncontrolled growth:
- feeding after sowing should be no more than 1 time in 10 days (use organic or mineral fertilizers);
- the first feed is introduced 10 days after the emergence of seedlings (nitrophosphate solution), the second - after 10-12 days (solution from wood ash and ammonium nitrate);
- With intensive growth of seedlings, it is recommended to remove 2 lower leaves and pour a layer of soil;
- Watering should not be excessive; dry air can be adjusted by installing a humidifier (as an alternative to manual humidification with a spray bottle);
- seeds should be ground up at a distance of 8-10 cm, sinking to a depth of 1.5-2 cm, 2-3 seeds each;
- to fill the box for seedlings or a pot to use fertile soil, which must be disinfected;
- after the formation of 2 sheets you need to transplant the shoots in separate containers (picks).
If the recommended measures have not solved the problem, then you can use special preparations: Stop growth or Athlete. The composition of the funds includes nutrients that in a short period of time fill the shortage of essential trace elements in the soil. After processing, there is a suspension of the growth of the upper part of the plant, the stem becomes stronger, it becomes thicker. Gaining power and root system.
Tomato seedling on the windowsill is pale, weak and thin
Often, growing seedlings begin to fade, and the stem to grow thin. The causes of the problem may lie in the following:
- insufficient lighting (from the lack of light sprouts begin to intensely reach for the sun);
- density of seeding (shoots drawn out due to the created shading);
- excess or deficiency of nitrogen;
- increased air temperature;
- violation of watering.
Resuscitate seedlings will help simple events. First of all, it is necessary to adjust the modes of watering and application of fertilizing. When using fertilizers, it is necessary to control the dosage used; it is impossible to reduce or increase the volume recommended in the instructions.
If sunlight for normal growing season is not enough, you need to install a lamp over the plants. It should be noted that the duration of daylight hours for tomatoes should be at least 12 hours.
Providing the necessary space and food for each sprout will help timely spent picks. Shoots will not create shading and pull over all the trace elements from the soil, depriving neighboring seedlings.
The most common cause of pallor is the lack of nitrogen in the soil.. The situation can be remedied by irrigating the seedlings with a nutrient mixture of urea (1 tbsp. L.) And water (10 l.). After such feeding, the box or pots should be moved to a cool, but bright place, where the temperature indicator does not rise above 8-10 °.
Bright leaves of tomatoes and what they may lack
In the case of a change in the color of foliage, the reasons should be sought in the following factors:
- lack of nitrogen (the seedling becomes stunted, the stalk becomes thinner, the leaves become pale);
- iron deficiency (discoloration of leaf tissue between the veins);
- magnesium deficiency (marbling is formed).
Irregular irrigation or lack of lighting can also provoke a problem.
Among the possible causes of lightening greens:
- sunburn (if the box is installed on the window where direct sunlight goes);
- improper soil (lack of trace elements in combination with heavy structure);
- when watering poured greens.
If the foliage is damaged by sunlight, spraying will help to reanimate the plant using Appina or other means that stimulate the immune system of the culture. In the absence of a more suitable place for seedlings than a window sill, it is worthwhile to take care of light shading (tulle, gauze, paper).
When irrigating, it is not necessary to fill the above-ground part with water. From this color foliage can change. In this case, it suffices to review the mode of irrigation and the method of introducing the liquid (at the root).
Why seedlings can stretch and how to plant them later
The reasons for the very strong stretching of tomato seedlings can be:
- lack of natural light;
- planting density (shoots create shading);
- excessively high temperatures.
To prevent the stem from lengthening, you need to follow simple guidelines.
- During the period of short daylight, install additional lighting above the seedling boxes. Fluorescent lamps, fixed at a height of 50 cm from shoots, are more suitable. You should not use ordinary incandescent bulbs, they form heat, which will be disastrous for seedlings.
- The temperature regime for planted seeds should be at least 21-23 °. After germination of seedlings, the indicator drops to 16-20 °. It is better if the day and night modes differ by 2-4 degrees (in the daytime - 18-20 °, at night - 15-16 °). Then the intensity of shoot growth will be under control.
- After forming on the stem of two leaves, gardeners make a pick. This procedure provides sunlight access to each plant, creating space for development. The pick slows down the growth of seedlings, giving the root system and the stem a chance to strengthen.
- Frequent and strong watering of seedlings is not needed. Enough 2 times a day irrigation. If necessary, the ground is moistened with a sprayer to maintain humidity.
What to do if tomato seedlings began to bloom before transplanting to the ground
Planting flowering tomatoes on the beds is undesirable. But what to do, seedlings began to bloom long before planting in open ground? You can solve the problem by shortening the shoot, especially if it is strongly elongated and thin. This should be done for 2-3 weeks before transferring the seedlings to the garden, before pruning is not worth doing, because other shoots may grow and re-form inflorescences out of time.
Cut the escape to plant in the water for rooting and by the time of disembarkation the number of seedlings will increase. There are several options for trimming, but shortening over the second true leaf is considered the most optimal. From the trimmed sapling the bush which is already formed in 2 stalks will turn out.
Among other ways to prevent the flowering of seedlings:
- removal of lower leaves;
- tearing flowers.
In this case, the inflorescences should not be regretted, the tomato will still throw out floral brushes, but for good fruiting it is better if this process takes place in the garden.
When caring for seedlings, you should carefully look at them, the plant itself gives a hint about the problems. Any changes in the appearance of the leaves or the stem should be alerted. Solving the issue early, the chances of correcting the situation increase. And it will be possible to plant healthy plants in open ground.