Tomatoes in the Urals: why it is not very difficult

Growing tomatoes in the Urals is not an easy task, and this is due to the short period of summer heat, as well as serious changes in air temperature. However, given the achievements of breeders creating sustainable varieties and hybrids, it is becoming easier to grow decent tomato crops even in open ground. At least, these vegetables in the Urals ceased to be exotic for a long time.

Tomato growing conditions in the Urals

Generally speaking, various regions and republics of the Urals are characterized by a variety of climates. The climate of the northern and southern parts of the Ural region is completely different from each other. The Northern Urals is characterized by very harsh weather conditions, while the southern part is quite suitable for successful gardening, including the cultivation of tomato varieties with a long ripening period.

The climate of the Middle Urals is not quite suitable for planting tomatoes in unprotected soil: the period of absence of negative air temperatures lasts less than three months. Nevertheless, not a single vegetable garden can do without tomatoes in the Urals. True, they are mainly grown in greenhouse conditions; in unprotected soil, subject to the construction of temporary shelters, only the most precocious varieties have time to ripen.

In most of the Urals regions, modern tomato varieties and hybrids are preferred, which are highly pain-resistant and resistant to changes in weather conditions. Such, for example, ultra-ripe Boni-M, mid-season Velozma and Malinovka, early ripe Raspberry Viscount and North, mid-early Smilyansky Rudas and others. The relatively old, well-deserved varieties, for example, Alpatyeva 905 A, Quiz, Volgogradets, Gruntovy Gribovsky 11, Siberian precocious, White filling, etc.

Soil Gribovsky, of course, is not the best variety of tomatoes, but its taste is very good, and agricultural technology is simple

Where the climate is similar to the climate of the middle zone, they try to plant determinant and superdeterminant varieties in unprotected soil, and tall tomatoes in greenhouses. In the conditions of the Middle Urals, and especially in the north, various varieties are in use, since they are planted almost exclusively in greenhouses. Modern heated greenhouses are able to function almost year-round, while traditional film greenhouses, including home-made ones, can increase the period of growing tomatoes by about a month compared to open ground, but this is also enough to get yields normal for the Urals.

Growing seedlings

It is very difficult to get a tomato crop without growing seedlings, and even more so in the Urals. But to prepare high-quality seedlings at home is a task that is quite feasible for any gardener; at least, the temperature conditions of an ordinary city apartment are quite favorable for this.

What time and how to sow seeds for seedlings

You should not rush with sowing tomatoes. If you start to do this too early, you can get into a situation when the seedlings are ready, and weather conditions do not yet allow you to plant it in the garden. Seedlings of various varieties of tomatoes should remain in boxes or pots for 45 to 60 days. In Ural conditions, early varieties are most often planted, the fruits of which ripen 3–3.5 months after sowing. Their seedlings in the Urals, even in a greenhouse, can be planted without fear only at the very end of May. If you add a week for seed germination, it turns out that sowing for seedlings should be done no earlier than the end of March.

In the case of ultra-mature varieties (Biathlon, Gavrosh, etc.), you can wait another week, otherwise you will have to plant seedlings with ovaries, and it will be more difficult to take root in a new place. Seedlings can be transferred to open ground only in the middle of June, therefore it is not worth sowing seeds earlier than in the first half of April.

Soil mix

Tomato seedlings can be obtained in almost any soil, but it must have high moisture capacity and breathability. A mixture of peat, humus and good turf land, taken in equal quantities, meets these requirements. A handful of wood ash is also taken on a bucket of such a mixture, after which, perhaps, seedlings will not be needed and feeding. The neutralization of the soil by spilling with a pink solution of potassium permanganate practically guarantees the destruction of possible pathogens.

If the amount of seedlings is small, it is easier to buy soil in the store

Seedling tanks

You can immediately sow the seeds in individual pots, preferably peat, but traditionally sowing is carried out first in small general boxes or boxes, from where then, at 10-12 days of age, seedlings are planted (dive) in "individual apartments" or in a larger box. Picking (seating with pinching the root) has a very beneficial effect on the growth of tomato seedlings.

The most convenient temporary boxes are rectangular cardboard boxes made from milk or juice. One large side is cut off in them, and several drainage holes are made in the opposite. It is important that the height of the soil layer is at least 5 cm. And for a dive, if the seedlings are small, you can buy medium-sized peat pots or use any plastic or paper cups with a capacity of 250 ml or more. If there are a lot of bushes, and there is not enough space on the windowsill, wooden boxes of any convenient size, with a height of 8 cm or more, are made.

Seed preparation

Often the seeds sold in bags are already prepared for sowing and nothing needs to be done with them. However, this is not always good for the conditions of the Urals: here the seeds must be hardened before sowing. And hardening involves at least pre-soaking before swelling. Therefore, the purchase of prepared seeds is hardly economically viable. With purchased, and even more so with your seeds, it is better to conduct all preparatory operations. It:

  1. Calibration The easiest way is to shake the seeds in 3% saline. Those seeds that did not drown after a few minutes should not be planted. After this procedure, the seeds must be rinsed with clean water.

    A “big-eyed” gardener can pick the largest seeds by hand, but using a saline solution is easier

  2. Disinfection. It is performed for 20–25 minutes in a dark solution of potassium permanganate, then the seeds are washed again with water.

    For effective seed disinfection, the potassium permanganate solution must be dark

  3. Soak in a damp cloth until some of the seeds hatch.

    No need to wait for the appearance of long roots: it will be hard to work with such seeds

  4. Quenching. When several seeds show roots, all seeds in the same rag are put in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Periodically they are taken out into the heat for 2-3 hours and put back.

Sowing seeds

Prepared seeds are sown in a box or box to a depth of about 1.5 cm. The easiest way to do this is as follows.

  1. Outlines in the soil poured into the box, grooves of the required depth, 4-5 cm from one another. The prepared seeds are laid out in them every 2.5–3 cm.

    For sowing a dozen or two seeds, any unnecessary box is suitable

  2. Fill the seeds with soil, and on top lay 3-4 cm of snow. If it is no longer there, simply water the crops, but in such a way as not to accidentally wash the seeds from the soil.

    When melted, the snow evenly moistens the soil, it also has a small activating effect

  3. They cover the box with glass and send it to a warm place, the best temperature is about 25 ° C.
  4. Seedlings will appear in a maximum of a week. The box is immediately transferred to a well-lit window sill. For 4-5 days, you need to lower the temperature during the day to 16-18 ° C, and at night another 2-3 degrees lower. After that, slowly increase it to 20-24 ° C.

    You should not wait for all seedlings to appear: the first few pieces are a signal to lower the temperature

Tomato seedling care

If the first week of seedling's life (in the light and in coolness) went quietly, further care for it does not present big problems. It is important not to raise the temperature above room temperature and give the seedlings good lighting. Daylight does not need to be artificially lengthened, but the brightness of the light should be sufficient. You may need to equip the backlight, but not incandescent lamps. The best option is special phytolamps.

Watering

Watering seedlings should be rare and moderate. The biggest mistake is to fill seedlings before waterlogging. At the same time, the risk of losing plants tends to 100%. The overflow is especially terrible when the seedlings are still weak, and coupled with a lack of heat and light. In this case, the disease of the black leg and subsequent death of almost the entire seedlings are almost guaranteed.

Watering is carried out when the soil surface is clearly dry. Water is necessarily taken warm (25-30 ° C) and settled. It is difficult to name the frequency of watering, but this is certainly not every day. Daily watering, it happens, is required only in the last weeks before planting in the garden, if the seedlings clearly outgrow, and in the box it is crowded.

Top dressing

If the soil for seedlings is composed correctly, you can do without feeding: fattening seedlings are worse than those grown on a starvation diet. But if the seedlings grow clearly slowly and the leaves curl or turn yellow, top dressing is necessary. To do this, you can use any complex fertilizer, and sometimes enough wood ash.

According to the rules, the first feeding is carried out one and a half to two weeks after a dive, it is easiest to use the azofos. Subsequent - only when necessary. However, it is better not to set nitrogen: it is not necessary to allow seedlings to grow in the form of huge trees that are difficult to plant in the ground. But ash infusion can be watered a couple of weeks before disembarkation in the garden.

Pick

Pickling is a highly desirable, if not necessary, stage in the cultivation of tomato seedlings. If the seedlings are transferred to separate cups, their capacity, for different varieties of tomatoes, should be from 250 to 700 ml, if in a large box - the distance between the plants is at least 7 cm.

Most of the tips suggest that picking is performed in the phase of 2–3 of these leaflets. Although I personally find it easier to do this a little earlier. If the soil is good, then after a week, under the right conditions, the tomatoes grow good roots, and the expected leaves are just emerging.

2-3 hours before the operation, seedlings are generously watered. In new containers, holes are made with a sharp object, and dug miniature seedlings are placed in them. Before planting, the seedling is lightly trimmed with a scissor or a nail (1–1.5 cm) of the central root (if it has already grown long, it can be half as well). Seedlings are instilled so that the cotyledonous leaves are above the very surface of the earth. Gently squeeze the roots and water the seedlings with warm water. For a couple of days, the seedlings do not give powerful light, and then they continue to do everything, as before.

The best containers for a dive are peat pots, but only they take up a lot of space

Hardening

12-15 days before planting in the garden, the tomatoes are accustomed to harsh conditions: at first they open the windows, and then they take them out to the balcony. Of course, the temperature there should not be lower than 10 ° C, and the hardening time should be increased slowly: first about 20 minutes, then - for the whole day. In addition, in the last week, seedlings are also accustomed to a lack of water, for which they reduce the amount of watering. Good seedlings should not be tall and pale. It should be stocky, have dark green leaves on a thick stem.

Transplanting seedlings in the garden

You can plant seedlings in the garden when the soil at a depth of 10-15 cm is warmed up to at least 14 ° C. In this case, the air temperature during the day should be about 21–25 ° C. Therefore, even in the Middle Urals, before the end of May, planting seedlings in the garden is usually not necessary. And just like that, without shelter, planting seedlings in unprotected soil can be risky even in mid-June. Therefore, it is advisable to build a small greenhouse out of any materials at hand to cover the plantings with film or non-woven materials. Although, of course, year after year is not necessary, it is better to blow into the water ...

Temperature values ​​apply to both open and protected ground. Therefore, in the greenhouse seedlings can most often be planted in the middle or end of May. But in the northern regions, even in the greenhouse, it is necessary to equip warm beds on which temporary cooling is not afraid of tomatoes.

Warm beds are various organic matter embedded in the earth (foliage, twigs, garbage, manure, etc.), which additionally warm the roots of plants when they rot.

Tomatoes love well-lit beds protected from the northern winds. It is necessary to ensure that ground water is not located close to the surface, the terrain is not marshy. The best predecessors are legumes, cabbage, root vegetables, salads. The beds are prepared long before planting, seasoning them with fertilizers. Tomatoes really need phosphorus, so even if they manage with humus and wood ash, 30–40 g of superphosphate per 1 m2 will not be superfluous.

In the Urals, it is customary to plant tomatoes somewhat denser than in warmer regions. So, low-growing varieties are planted after 30–35 cm, tall-through 45 cm, with an inter-row spacing of 50–60 cm. This is due, inter alia, to the need to cover plantings from frost. Try to land in the evening or in cloudy weather.

Wells dug in advance are well watered, and seedlings in a drawer are also watered. They try to extract seedlings with a large lump of earth: the more accurately this is done, the faster it will take root. If the seedlings have grown, you do not have to dig holes, but trenches in which tomatoes are planted obliquely. But it is better not to bring it to this, but to grow good seedlings and plant it vertically, only slightly deepening. After planting tomatoes, at least half a bucket of water is poured into each hole, after which they are not touched for a week.

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The more whole the earthen lump will be, the faster the seedlings will take root in the garden

True, “do not touch” refers to favorable weather. If there is heat, you have to water in a day. If night frosts - cover the plants at night and remove the shelter in the daytime. You can completely remove the shelter after about June 20. In addition, for tall varieties, it is worth immediately driving in stakes for tying, or maybe very large specimens should be tied to them immediately.

Seed planting

The reckless way of growing tomatoes is increasingly used by gardeners in connection with the emergence of new varieties and hybrids that are resistant to cold and ripen very quickly. In the Urals, this technology is not very easy to use, but in principle it is applicable. It has obvious advantages associated with the fact that plants do not have to experience stress when changing their place of residence, and the gardener is freed from the need to occupy all possible places in the apartment with drawers with seedlings.

Sowing seeds in open ground

Of course, in the Urals, a seedless method is possible only with the use of temporary film shelters. Seeds are sown in a greenhouse with a double film at the very end of April or in early May. Since this technique is used for planting early determinant varieties, the holes can be arranged compactly, at distances of about 30 cm from each other (in a checkerboard pattern), which facilitates the construction of shelters.

The bed is prepared in advance: as soon as the weather permits, it is poured with hot water and covered with a film for heating. 4-5 seeds are placed in the hole to a depth of about 1.5 cm, watered with warm water and covered again with a film.

Instead of a film, in order not to monitor the emergence of seedlings, you can cover each well with a cut-off plastic bottle, but on top of the whole garden anyway, on the surface of the bottles, cover for the first time with a film or spanbond.

Care for such crops is usual, but you have to constantly monitor the weather: either remove the shelter, then return it to its place. When the time comes, 1-2 seedlings are left in the holes. No picking is carried out, bushes are watered as needed. With this method, tomatoes grow more seasoned than in the case of home seedlings, but bear fruit 2-3 weeks later. Of course, the number of varieties suitable for this is limited, but there are plenty to choose from, for example: Reckless, Vologda Harvest, Iceberg, Explosion, Amur Dawn, Apples in the Snow.

Sowing seeds in a greenhouse

Sowing seeds in a greenhouse is carried out in exactly the same way as in open ground, only this can be done a little earlier, and the range of possible varieties is expanding somewhat. A place in a greenhouse is expensive, so gardeners are trying to plant there not only determinant varieties in order to make full use of the entire volume of the greenhouse.

In order not to be disappointed, it is better to completely replace the greenhouse soil since the fall, and if this is not possible, thoroughly disinfect the old one by pouring a solution of potassium permanganate or copper sulfate. In the spring, beds are prepared by introducing a sufficient amount of fertilizer into the soil and warming them in advance. Sowing in the greenhouse can be carried out more sparsely, but they try not to leave more than 50 cm between the holes.

Care

When caring for tomatoes, operations well-known to gardeners are performed: watering, top dressing, cultivating, etc. In addition, for those varieties that grow in not very compact bushes, plant formation and a garter to the supports are required.

Outdoor cultivation

Tomatoes cannot be considered as chowders, but they have to be watered quite often, at least once a week. It is better to do this in the evening, when the water in the tanks is well warmed up by the sun. The amount of water depends on the weather and the type of soil, but you cannot fill the bed before swamping. Strong drying of the soil should not be allowed, especially during the period of flowering and mass growth of fruits. It is watered so that the soil is moist to the entire root habitat depth. During fruit ripening, watering is significantly reduced.

Until the bushes have grown, after each watering or rain, the soil is loosened, accompanying the procedure with easy hilling of plants and the destruction of weeds. Two weeks after transplanting seedlings, tomatoes are fed, and then the operation is repeated every two weeks. In the first half of summer, tomatoes need all the nutrients, then they exclude nitrogen. Therefore, choosing a recipe, at first they are not limited in the use of organics, but after the fruit ripens, only superphosphate and wood ash are left.

Wood ash is the most valuable and almost free fertilizer

In the Urals, they are trying to grow disease-resistant varieties, but at the end of summer the threat of late blight is high for any tomato. Therefore, preventive spraying, at least with low-risk Fitosporin or Ridomil, is carried out a couple of times. When cold nights begin, if it is already impossible to cover adult plants, you have to remove all the tomatoes, including unripe ones, and end the season on this note.

Most of the determinant varieties that they try to plant in the Urals in open ground, almost do not require the formation of bushes. However, it is better to carefully read about this in the description of a particular variety. Perhaps on a bag with seeds it will be written that the plant is formed in two or three stems. In this case, it will be necessary to leave one or two of the strongest (most likely lower) stepson, and the rest systematically removed.

Stacked tomatoes do not need to be tied, the rest must be tied to strong pegs.

In addition to pinching, as the bushes grow, you have to pick off the extra leaves. This is especially important in the Urals, because the bushes are planted thicker than usual, and thickened plantings are more susceptible to disease. Excess leaves delay the ripening of fruits. Therefore, as they turn yellow, the leaves are systematically torn off, starting from the lower tiers.

There are various schemes for the formation of tomato bushes; at leisure, every gardener should study the relevant literature

Greenhouse cultivation

Caring for tomatoes in a greenhouse is similar to that in open ground, but has some features. They are connected with the fact that this culture loves moist soil, but prefers dry air. If the humidity exceeds 70%, it is possible to drop flowers. Therefore, the greenhouse has to be systematically ventilated. This means that greenhouse cultivation of tomatoes for those summer residents who can visit the site only on weekends is completely unsuitable.

Bees rarely fly into the greenhouse, so flowers should be helped to pollinate. Do this by simply shaking the bushes sometimes. After flowering in the greenhouse, it is necessary to spray the bushes with Bordeaux liquid: the incidence of fungal infections in protected ground is higher than in an open garden.

More attention has to be paid to greenhouses and the formation of bushes. Most often, tall, indeterminate varieties are planted in them, and they are capable of unlimited growth. Therefore, the need to pinch the growth point when the height of the bush reaches a reasonable maximum is added to the removal of stepsons. You need to pick off extra leaves even more often than in open ground: after all, the illumination in the greenhouse is lower, and for the fruit to ripen, you need to create a maximum of their openness to the sun.

Video: greenhouse tomatoes in the Urals

Diseases and Pests

Unfortunately, tomatoes cannot be called a hassle-free culture: the lists of diseases and pests inherent in them are very impressive, consideration of this problem goes far beyond the scope of this article. Even if we briefly mention the most dangerous diseases, it turns out that we should talk about fungi, viruses and bacteria. The disease can begin with damage to any part of the plant, but in most cases it spreads to the entire bush. The following can be included in the list of most common tomato diseases.

  • Mosaic - a dangerous viral disease, at the very beginning manifested in the form of curling leaves and the appearance of yellow-brown spots on them, which then spread to the stems and fruits. Seed treatment before sowing potassium permanganate solution minimizes the risk of disease. The disease is incurable, infected plants should be removed from the site as soon as possible and destroyed.

    Mosaic, like almost any viral disease, cannot be treated

  • Late blight is a well-known fungal disease that manifests itself closer to autumn in cold and wet weather. Symptoms are brown spots that appear on both the leaves and the fruits. Prevention of the disease consists in strict adherence to temperature and humidity conditions, minimizing leaf irrigation, as well as preventive spraying of plants. Folk remedies for this are whey and garlic infusion with a small addition of potassium permanganate. The more effective preparations are Fitosporin and Barrier, as well as Bordeaux liquid, but they can be used long before the harvest ripens.

    Blight - tomato scourge in any cold regions

  • Vertex rot - a disease most often manifested by high temperature and lack of water in the soil, as well as potassium and calcium starvation. At the top of the fetus, a round white spot forms under which the rot of the fetus begins. The trouble is that the affected fruits easily pick up other infections. Prevention consists in proper agricultural technology; as a rule, correction of the regime leads to the fact that rot does not form on new fruits.

    Vertex rot often occurs on the very first fruits, but then it becomes smaller

  • Powdery mildew looks the same as on other vegetable plants: white dust on the leaves. Then it goes into ulcers, the leaves dry and die. You can cure the disease: for this, folk remedies (infusions of garlic or ash), and more serious drugs: Fundazol or Topaz are suitable. It is important in case of a disease to stop nitrogen feeding, and increase the amount of phosphorus and potassium.

    Powdery mildew is not the most dangerous disease, but it must be treated immediately

The worst pest, probably, is the bear - a huge scary-looking insect living underground and gnawing the stem of the plant, after which it falls and dries up. Medvedka likes to settle near ponds, loves moist soils. When I had a summer house on the shore of the pond, the bear had to be destroyed in hundreds, each plant was planted in a protective box made of dense polyethylene or a metal can. It is incredibly difficult to completely get rid of a bear, although there are many ways invented. Apparently, the most effective drugs are Thunder and Medvetox.

One kind of bear causes fear and horror

Of the other pests, the following are worth mentioning.

  • Chafer beetle (Khrushchev) is a large beetle, its larva is also great (white fleshy creature). Inhabited in the soil, it feeds on the roots of plants, including tomatoes, which often leads to their death. In addition to the mechanical extermination of larvae when digging the soil, you can use the preparations Antichrush and Rembek.

    Maybug is very fond of catching children, but it is a dangerous pest garden

  • Aphids are one of the pests of leaves. This insect is small, but settles in huge colonies. Coloring - from green to black. Settling on the underside of leaves, the aphids sucks the sap from the plants, which can even lead to complete death. Тля боится табачного настоя, но при массовом нашествии помогают только химические инсектициды, например Конфидор макси.

    Когда тли много, она переселяется и на верхнюю поверхность листьев, быстро уничтожая их

  • Spider mite is an insect rampant in dry, hot weather. He cobwebs the underside of the leaves, and then sucks the juices out of them. Infusion of onion peel or garlic reliably drives away the pest. If it is a lot of it, it is necessary to apply Fitoverm or Actellik.

    From the leaves, the web goes to other parts of the bush, enveloping the fruits

Harvesting and storage

In the Urals, you should not wait for the tomatoes to fully ripen in the bushes. They have to be removed unripe, and sometimes even slightly browned, otherwise you can lose a fair share of the crop. But the tomatoes ripen perfectly at room conditions, lying on the windowsill, and thus the fruits ripened in this way are not much worse than those that sagged until they fully ripened on the bushes. As a rule, browned tomatoes completely “reach” in one and a half to two weeks.

At the same time, it is worthwhile to warn against eating absolutely green tomatoes. If they have already grown to the maximum possible value, they are likely to ripen when removed, although the taste will not be exactly the same. If the green fruits are picked too early, it is highly likely that they will wrinkle or rot. For early-ripening varieties, this option should not be considered even in the conditions of the Urals: they have time to ripen on the bushes almost in full, but with varieties of medium or medium late ripening, one must be careful. Nevertheless, in the event of a decrease in temperature to 5–6 ° C, all grown fruits should be removed.

The first signs of late blight are the signal for the complete collection of late-ripe tomatoes and the removal of bushes, even if they appeared even at the very beginning of August. Unfortunately, at this time, tomatoes in the Urals are already difficult to save, you have to be content with having managed to grow. And it is better not to plant late-ripening varieties here.

The last green tomatoes are laid out even under the bed; many of them have time to blush

The shelf life of ripened tomatoes is small: at room temperature for most varieties, it does not exceed 1-2 weeks. However, if you take dry and clean fruits that are not fully ripened and carefully place them in a wooden box with the lid closed, then in a cool, ventilated room they can lie for up to two months. Slightly browned tomatoes are stored even longer if each one is wrapped in paper and folded into a box covered with straw, which is put in a dark cellar. Such tomatoes, extracted on December 27–28, can become a decoration of the New Year's table.

Video: picking tomatoes in the Urals

It is, of course, more difficult to grow tasty tomatoes in the Urals than in the Lower Volga region, but with a little experience in gardening, this can be done. Both greenhouses and unprotected soil are suitable for growing tomatoes. If you choose the right varieties and make some efforts, it is quite possible to provide the family with delicious vitamin products for the whole year.

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