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Sometimes you can hear the story of some unlucky summer resident, who decided to grow seedlings for the garden with his own hands, that he soaked the seeds and planted them in the ground, but they do not grow and do not grow ... Or the seeds seem to hatch, and the plants do not develop. What is the reason?
Temperature is one of the main factors at all stages of plant development. By varying it, you can stimulate seed germination, stem growth or branching of the root system of plants.
Each crop needs its own temperature regime, providing which, you can achieve significant success in harvesting. This article focuses on the issue of compliance with the required temperature indicators for a crop such as a tomato, at different stages of its cultivation.
At what temperature can you grow seedlings at home?
- One of the ways of preliminary preparation of seeds for sowing is warming up. It should be noted that this procedure is not used by all vegetable growers, however, seeds processed in this way give friendly and strong shoots. There are several methods for heating tomato seeds, the most common of which is heating in an oven or on a central heating battery. The technologies for these procedures are as follows:
- tomato grains are placed on a baking sheet and sent to the oven, heated to + 50C - + 60C, for 3 hours, subject to regular stirring;
- the seeds are placed in a cotton bag and hung on the battery pipe (from + 40C to + 70C) for 1.5 - 2 months.
- Many gardeners talk about the benefits of "hardening" seeds before sowing in the ground, which ensures the development of future plants' resistance to low temperatures, increases their level of viability.
For hardening, the seeds are placed in a damp cloth, then in a plastic bag, which will not allow moisture to evaporate.
The package should be sent to the refrigerator (-1C) for 12 hours, the next 12 hours the seeds should be held in a warm room at + 20C. And so on for 10 - 15 days. If the seeds sprouted during this period, then their stay in a warm environment should be reduced by 3 to 4 hours.
- The next step in preparing seeds for sowing is germination. This event will allow you to select the highest quality and strongest seeds, stimulate their germination, and promote earlier fruiting. For germination of seeds, it is necessary to prepare a saucer, gauze (cloth, filter paper), previously heated seeds. A cloth soaked in warm water is spread on a saucer, seeds are distributed over its surface and the saucer is placed in a warm place (+ 23C - + 25C).
The result will be visible in 7 - 10 days, but subject to maintaining a high temperature and constant moisture (the fabric must be moistened all the time, not allowing it to dry out).
At how many degrees should young tomatoes be planted?
We must not forget about the correct temperature regime when sowing seeds, which is carried out at + 22C - + 25C.
- After the seeds are immersed in the soil, the boxes should be placed in a place where the temperature is maintained at + 23C - + 25C until the emergence of shoots (after 5-6 days).
- It is to ensure these temperature indicators that the boxes are covered with glass or tightened with plastic wrap in order to create a "greenhouse effect", which is not opened a little until shoots appear.
- For future plants, in addition to temperature, light is important, so it is advisable to place containers on the windowsill of a south window or under artificial lighting lamps.
For growing seedlings
What temperature should be when growing tomato seedlings? When the seedlings have already appeared, the temperature should be lowered for a week to + 16C - + 18C during the day and + 11C - + 15C at night: This will prevent over-stretching of the sprouts. Even, healthy growth of seedlings will be ensured by the thermometer readings, frozen at the numbers + 20C - + 22C in bright sun and + 18C - + 19C in cloudy weather (night readings - + 17C - 18C) until the second true leaf appears (after 30 - 35 days after germination).
If the temperature deviates from the recommended parameters, then deviations in the development of plants are also possible: the seedlings will stretch upwards when the thermometer readings are too high, they will stop developing at lower temperatures. But, at the same time, at the rates of + 14C - + 16C, the root system begins to actively develop. A complete cessation of the development of a tomato seedling occurs at + 10C, and death - at + 5C.
When diving and after
The appearance of two true leaves on each seedling is a signal that it is necessary to pick plants in separate containers. Since this procedure is stress for fragile plants, the seedlings must be prepared in advance.
3 - 5 days before the expected date of the seating, the temperature should be lowered to + 16C - + 18C, which will stimulate the development of their defense mechanisms, contribute to the future abundant flowering and ovary. The moment of the dive and the period after this procedure should be accompanied by indicators + 20C - + 22C on a sunny day, + 16C - + 18C in cloudy weather and + 12C - + 14C at night.
Optimal temperature conditions
The maximum air temperature that the seedlings can tolerate without prejudice to growth is + 30C, although adult plants can withstand + 40C. Hot spring and summer can cause significant damage to still immature plants. Experienced gardeners take certain measures to protect tomatoes from the heat.
For example, to protect young foliage from the scorching rays of the sun, an artificial shelter is stretched over the seedlings using a spunbod, which allows air to circulate calmly, but does not allow bright light to pass through. The next method is to mulch the soil with mowed grass or sawdust, which allows you to keep the soil from drying out, and the roots from overheating. Additional shading, and, consequently, lowering the temperature will help create tall plants (grapes, corn), planted around the perimeter of the plot with tomatoes.
Rescue from frost
The weather is always unpredictable, and in warm spring, a sharp cold snap with unexpected frosts is possible. To save tomatoes from death, experienced gardeners over the beds install a temporary film shelter on arcs, and old blankets and shabby clothes thrown over them can further increase the coefficient of thermal insulation.
Cut plastic bottles or glass jars can be used for personal protection of individual bushes; with short frosts, each bush can be covered with a paper cap, the edges of which are sprinkled with soil.
Each gardener, having planted seedlings on the site, must follow the weather forecast in order to timely prepare the plants for low temperatures.
The minimum threshold of degrees for transplanting into the ground
When 5 - 6 true leaves appear on the tomatoes, the seedlings should be prepared for planting in open ground. An integral part of the preparation system is the "hardening" of young seedlings. 10 - 14 days before planting, first for 20 - 30 minutes you need to open the windows in the room (but avoid drafts!), Where the seedlings are located, and then - containers with young plants must be taken out into the open air, provided that the temperature is not lower + 16C.
The duration of hardening should be at first no more than half an hour, and then - daily increase the time period of stay on the street; the last 2 - 3 days, it will be advisable to leave the boxes with plants for an overnight stay in the open air. Tomatoes are transplanted into the ground after the threat of return frosts has completely passed, and the average soil temperature will be within + 12C, air - not lower than + 15C at night and + 20C during the day.
Temperature is a tool in the hands of a skilled gardener. Using the recommendations contained in the article and ensuring the correct temperature regime for the tomatoes, the gardener at the end of the season will receive a worthy reward for all efforts and worries - a generous, bountiful harvest.