How to properly and what to feed tomato seedlings
Tomatoes are one of the most unpretentious inhabitants of a summer cottage. While cucumbers need a generous nitrogen top dressing, tomatoes practically do not even need it. Therefore, before you start looking for fertilizers, make sure that you definitely need them!
How to understand whether additional nutrition is needed and what is missing?
If tomatoes grow in poor soil - everything is clear, they need complex fertilizers. But if the soil is good and fertile, you have to understand. Best of all - focus on the leaves, which immediately reflect the state of the plant.
If the leaves turn yellow, and the veins on the back turn brown or red, nitrogen must be added. If they are wrapped in tubes inside - there is not enough phosphorus. If the upper leaves are deformed, and the lower ones dry at the edges, the matter is potassium.
Pale yellow spots and deformation of young plates are an indicator of calcium deficiency. Yellowness with green veins indicates a lack of iron. And if the leaves fade and cast blue - the tomatoes are definitely not enough copper.
The main component for growing tomato seedlings is nitrogen, but it is aggressive. It is important not to overdo it with the dose, because the rhizome will burn, and the fruits will be inedible. If your tomatoes grow in good soil and look healthy on their own - no need to feed them. Overfed tomatoes are more sick and bear little fruit.
The best time to feed tomatoes
Tomatoes fertilize from the moment of transplanting seedlings in pots or boxes. Spend the first top dressing to the second or third real leaf. Apply the following two servings of fertilizer every 10 days, and the last one a week before planting in open ground.
The first top dressing on the site is carried out 2-3 weeks after planting seedlings. At this time, they begin the phase of active growth, so fertilizers are needed for large juicy fruits.
Fertilizers for feeding tomato seedlings
If you have suitable soil, tomatoes do not really need mineral fertilizers. The fact is that they are more aggressive than organic ones, therefore they can more likely harm seedlings. Use them only if there are clear signs of deficiency!
Manure is the most common, environmentally friendly and safe fertilizer for tomatoes. Dilute it with water in equal parts and let it brew for a week to get a concentrate. A liter of concentrate is enough for a bucket of water, and a liter of the finished solution - for one bush of tomatoes.
Chicken manure is rich in useful trace elements, so it is ideal for seedlings in spring. Dilute it with water in a ratio of 1 to 10, let it brew and use one liter per bush. In no case do not exceed the dosage so as not to burn the root system.
Mineral fertilizers quickly and effectively compensate for the lack of trace elements in the soil. Potash is needed to develop the root system and strengthen immunity. Phosphate - for the growth and stabilization of metabolic processes. Nitrogen - to stimulate the growth of a young plant immediately after planting.
Potassium sulfate is used at a rate of 20 g per square, and be sure to put on seals. Urea in granules for tomato sprinkle 4-5 g per square closer to the roots. Ammonium nitrate is dissolved in a proportion of 10 g per 5 liters of water and poured strictly under the root. The approximate consumption of convenient complex mixtures is 30-40 g per square.
In addition to classic mineral or organic fertilizers, there are various recipes available. This is ash with yeast, which is used almost everywhere, herbal infusions, banana skins, eggshells or coffee grounds!
Topping tomatoes with ash
Ash perfectly compensates for the lack of nutrients and improves soil characteristics. For 10 liters of water you need half a liter of dry wood ash. Stir the mixture well and add it half a liter under each root.
To spray, dilute 300 g of ash in 3 liters of water, boil the mixture for half an hour and let it brew overnight. Add more water so that the total volume is 10 liters, and rub a little laundry soap. Fill the solution, pour into the spray bottle and spray the tomatoes in the morning or in the evening.
Dilute 100 g of fresh yeast and fields of tomato bushes into a bucket of water. To make a solution of dry yeast, dilute 10 g in the same 10 liters of water, add 3 tablespoons of sugar and let it brew for 3 hours before use. Yeast is more a growth stimulator than mineral fertilizing, so they need to be combined with other fertilizers.
Feeding tomatoes with nettle infusion
The leaves of young nettles contain nitrogen, potassium and iron - what you need for tomato seedlings. Two-thirds fill the bucket or barrel with grass, and a fraction of the water. Leave the tincture for 10-14 days to ferment, dilute a liter in a bucket of clean water and bring 2-3 liters under each bush. Along with nettles, you can use other grass and weeds.
Feeding a banana peel
Bananas are very rich in potassium - one of the main trace elements for tomatoes. And during transportation, they are processed with special substances for ripening, which accelerate the growth of seedlings. Wash the peel well with soap and add to the bottom of the pots when diving.
To prepare a banana infusion, pour 3 peel peels with 3 liters of water and insist 3 days. Dilute the finished concentrate with clean warm water 1 to 1 and water the seedlings with it. This is a good fertilizer for seedlings of tomatoes from a month and a half.
Topping tomatoes with iodine
This is the most affordable, simple and popular antiseptic that reduces the risk of rot and fungus. With iodine, the ovaries form better, and the fruits grow faster. For watering, add 3 ml of iodine to a bucket of water, mix and add half a liter under each bush.
Topping Tomato Coffee Grounds
Coffee contains all the useful elements that tomatoes need, and also lightens the soil and makes it more loose. Due to this, more oxygen enters the rhizomes. Thickness is used when planting, mixing the place with the soil in equal proportions.
Egg shell dressing
The eggshell is saturated with calcium, phosphorus, potassium and silicon. Take a shell of 4 raw eggs, wash, dry, pour 3 liters of water and let it brew for 3 days. Or chop the shell in a coffee grinder, pour a liter of boiling water and leave for 6 days. But such a concentrate must be diluted again in 10 liters of water before use.
How to feed tomato seedlings so that they are plump?
For the ripening of plump and fleshy tomatoes, potassium is especially important. Alternate root top dressing with foliar, but then make the solution half as concentrated. After the formation of fruits, spray them with sulfate or potassium nitrate, or kalimagnesia (0.5 tbsp. Per 10 liters of water).
For the first feeding of tomatoes, use complex fertilizers or mix urea, superphosphate, potassium sulfate (1: 8: 4 g) with 2 liters of water. From natural fertilizers, ash, yeast or a banana peel is suitable.
After the pick
At this time, the root system and immunity of tomatoes are most actively developing. But first, tomatoes need to adapt in a new place and in new soil. Apply the first fertilizer after 2 weeks, and after 2 more carry out the second top dressing.
The organic solution should be weak so as not to burn the tender seedling. For example, concentrate from bird droppings is additionally bred 1:12, and from mullein - 1: 7. The second feeding may be a little more concentrated: 1:10 and 1: 5, respectively. After fertilizing the seedlings immediately, to wash away the residues of the additives and help the liquid fertilizer absorb faster.
When planting tomatoes in open ground - put compost or humus in each hole. For development, use complex mineral fertilizers: 1 tbsp. superphosphates and 2 tbsp. potassium sulfate per square.