Tomatoes on the windowsill
A simple tomato, commonly grown for food, is quite common on the home windowsill. Tomatoes very effectively set off the interior of the house. At the same time, you can use this plant for its intended purpose - to collect fruits from it for culinary purposes.
Small-fruited varieties are suitable for breeding at home. Such as Pear pink, Sweet, Kid, Large cream. There are many methods of growing tomatoes. This article will discuss the most common technique that has proven itself from the good side.
How to grow tomatoes on a windowsill
Sowing seeds should be done at the end of January. A small container is filled with peat. And the prepared seeds are planted in this peat. Lightly watered with lukewarm water, covered with film or glass on top and placed in a warm place. A week later, at a temperature of 22-24 degrees, the first shoots will appear. Watering is done once a week, just a little.
As soon as sprouts appear, you need to look for a cooler place where the temperature does not exceed 17 degrees. This is done so that the sprouts do not grow, but strengthen the root system. When the first leaves appear, the sprouts should be transplanted. Pots with a volume of 0.5 liters are taken, filled with a mixture of peat and humus.
Drainage should not be forgotten. At the bottom, you need to put several pieces of expanded clay (not construction!). As soon as the seedlings take root and grow, you will need a fluorescent lamp, preferably 80 watts. It must be placed on top, at a distance of 30 cm from the tops of the seedlings. Until the beginning of March, inclusively, young tomatoes need 6 hours of illumination daily. For watering, brew weak tea, barely yellow. The tea leaves themselves are used as mulch.
When the first inflorescences appear (this usually happens at the end of March), you need to transfer (transplant together with the old clod of earth) into containers (plastic buckets) with a volume of 3-5 liters and tie it to a support. After the frost stops, in May, you can move them to fresh air (loggia, balcony). But if you leave them on the windowsill, in the company of other flowers, they will feel good too.
On the 8-10th day of transplantation, stepchildren (processes in the leaf axils) will begin to appear. They must be removed, as they take nutrients from the plant. Young stepsons are removed easily. If time is lost and the stepsons have hardened, they must be removed with scissors, leaving about a centimeter. If you break off the hardened stepson, a wound is formed that will heal for a long time (if it heals at all). By the way, removing stepchildren will also add beauty to the plant, and at the same time increase the yield. You also need to remove the lower leaves when they begin to die off.
The tomato, like the currant, produces branches, strewn with fruits. On each branch of tomatoes, about 16 small fruits grow, 1 cm in diameter. Taste qualities correspond to ordinary, “street” tomatoes. Can be used in salads and hot dishes.
From history ... At the beginning of the 16th century, the Spaniards brought the tomato from South America. For a long time, the tomato was considered deadly poisonous. Because of this, a historical curiosity even occurred. In 1776, George Washington wanted to be killed by his own cook, who cooked meat in tomato sauce. Washington appreciated the dish, but for the cook the story ended in tears - he committed suicide, fearing retribution. The South American natives called this plant Tomatil. Hence the modern name. Also, the tomato was called "love apple" ("pom d'amur" - hence "tomato").
Tomatoes were planted solely for beauty. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, tomatoes were nevertheless recognized as a vegetable crop, and they appeared on the shelves of Paris. Only after that, already recognized as edible, the tomatoes go with the settlers to their historical homeland - America.
How to grow tomatoes on the balcony - everyone has their own harvest
The balcony can be used for different purposes. Often flower pots and flowerpots are placed on it, arranging a greenhouse. But home gardening can be more practical too. Growing tomatoes on a balcony or windowsill in winter and summer is a great idea: the plant pleases the eye, and filters the air, and even will bear fruit. In addition, in the cold season, it is very difficult to find natural tomatoes, and if they are grown with your own hands, it is twice as pleasant.
The best tomatoes for the balcony: description and characteristics
In recent years, many varieties have been developed for the home garden. Planting garden and greenhouse tomatoes at home is also practiced.
The height of the bush is 50–70 cm, suitable for growing outdoors and indoors. They require a lot of space, they love light and warmth. Fruits grow in clusters, up to 8 pieces per tassel. Each tomato weighs 50-60 grams. The optimum growing temperature is +25 ° C. You can water every other day in the evenings with warm, settled water.
Angelica does not require special conditions for growth and development. You do not need to tie up the stems and pick off the leaves. The variety has no immunity, therefore, when sowing seeds and planting seedlings, it is necessary to disinfect both the soil and rhizomes. Fruit ripening occurs approximately 80 days after planting in a permanent place.
The Ballerina variety has medium oblong fruits. The weight of 1 tomato is about 150 grams. The height of the bush reaches 60 cm under the condition of outdoor planting and 40-50 cm when grown indoors.
The variety is resistant to rot and fungal diseases, so it can be planted on the balcony with other crops that need more humid air or cooler temperatures. Ballerina is an early variety, but it can be grown on the balcony all year round. No garter or bush formation is required.
Balcon Star Tomato is a hybrid variety bred specifically for growing in windowsill pots. Its main advantages:
- grows in any weather and season
- not capricious in relation to temperature and humidity
- from the main care - only watering.
Star grows in clusters, the fruits are small, similar to cherry, have a sweetish taste and aroma. This tomato loves light, therefore it requires additional lighting in the winter.
One of the most suitable varieties for growing at home. Even a small child can handle the care of such a tomato. The bush is compact, small in size, up to 35 cm in height. The variety is considered ultra-ripe, it ripens quickly. Fruits are small, grow in clusters., Are divided into 2 types - yellow and red. The tomatoes are juicy and tasty, suitable for salads and seamers.
This is a potted variety, it takes root in any container and in the open field. Requires rare but abundant watering.
It is an early ripening variety that can be grown in greenhouses, outdoors and on balconies. The height of the bush is up to 40 cm, the fruits are juicy, sweet, red, thin-cored.
Balcony sugar tomato is resistant to temperature extremes, fungal and bacterial diseases. It does not require special care, it is enough to water it as needed and feed it with organic fertilizers before fruiting. Productivity - up to 2 kg per bush.
This is a tall plant, it can reach up to 1.5 m in height. It is not suitable for window sills, but it feels comfortable in winter gardens or on large light balconies. Fruits are small, oval in shape, up to 50 g. On 1 branch there can be up to 50 pieces during the fruiting period.
At home, it is recommended to grow not in 1, but in 2 stems so that the bush is lower. This will not affect the yield, but the total number of fruits will be divided into 2 branches.
A small potted plant, belongs to ornamental tomatoes and is grown in a balcony or windowsill. Bonsai has a high yield and, in addition to decoration, it brings up to 2 kg of fruits per season. Height up to 40 cm, fruits are small, but very tasty. They will complement any dish or table decoration.
The determinant, fast-ripening species has small yellow fruits, an average of 20 g each. The advantage of the variety is unpretentiousness. High yield and survival rate in any conditions.
The yellow pearl has a strong immunity to diseases and root decay, does not require daily watering, special lighting and temperature. Of course, during frost, the bush will die, but it does not require a certain heat. This makes it easier to grow it in a centrally heated apartment.
The Dutch tomato Tiny Tim is short (35 cm) and early ripening (80 days from planting). These qualities make it possible to grow tomatoes at home, among indoor plants.
Small fruits taste juicy and sweet, from one bush during the fruiting period, you can harvest up to 1 kg of the crop. The advantage is high protective functions, the tomato perfectly tolerates temperature drops and seasonal cold snaps.
Originally developed for outdoor cultivation. But in recent years, he has shown excellent survival and fertility on the balconies. The bush is not high, but the yield is high. In this regard, it is better to tie it up so that the stem does not break under its own weight.
The fruits are universal - they are tasty when eaten raw, they are perfectly preserved when canning, they are suitable for meat and fish.
Growing tomatoes on a windowsill
Juicy appetizing tomatoes can be grown not only in the summer at their summer cottage or in a greenhouse. Useful and tasty fruits can be obtained at home by breaking a small vegetable garden on the windowsill.
Variety selection... Of course, not every variety of tomato can be successfully "moved" into the house. First of all, you should pay attention to its characteristics. On a bag of seeds, you can find terms that are not entirely clear to a beginner. They sound like this: sort determinant (D), superdeterminant ©, semi-determinant (P), indeterminate (I). Determinant and super-determinant are low-growing, weakly branching varieties that are quite suitable for indoor keeping. But semi-determinant and indeterminate are already tall varieties that are more appropriate in a greenhouse.
The best varieties for growing in an apartment are “White filling», «Balcony miracle», «Linda", A group of varieties"De Barao», «Siberian early maturing», «Bonsai". And the varieties "Cherry», «Pear red», «Pear pink», «Cherry yellow»Are distinguished by an unusual color of fruit and look very beautiful on windows.
Seat selection... North window - not suitable for home tomatoes at all. Not a very good choice, but still acceptable, are east and west windows. Tomatoes that grow on the sill of the south window will grow and bear fruit very well.
Choice of capacity... Since the tomato has a rather powerful root system, the pot for it must be at least 25 cm high. The diameter of the dishes for permanent maintenance should be at least 20 - 22 cm.
The soil... For tomatoes, sandy loam and loamy soils with a slightly acidic reaction with a pH of about 6. are suitable. But plants also tolerate moderately acidic soil well. A soil mixture can be prepared by mixing humus and black soil in equal parts. Add 1 - 2 cups of wood ash and sand, 10 g of urea and 40 g of superphosphate and potassium fertilizer to a bucket of soil.
For growing seedlings homemade tomatoes can be taken in a special container. And as a soil, you can use a standard seedling mixture. Before sowing, the seeds must be soaked for 20 minutes in a weak solution of potassium permanganate (1 gram of potassium permanganate for half a glass of warm water). After that, they need to germinate a little. The soil must be shed well and the seeds must be sown to a depth of 1 cm, keeping the distance between the seeds at 2 - 4 cm. The container with the crops must be covered from above with a film or glass to provide the required microclimate. From time to time crops need to be ventilated. Seeds begin to germinate at temperatures of 15 ° C or more in a warm and shaded area. When the seedlings have the first pair of true leaves, they can already be transplanted into permanent pots. At this time, young plants already need to be transferred to a sunlit place. To support the stem, stick a peg or mini-ladder into the ground near the tomatoes.
Temperature regime... During the day, the temperature in the room where the tomatoes grow should be about 20 - 25 ° C, at night - 10 - 15 ° C. In cloudy weather, the daytime air temperature should be 15 - 18 ° C.
Tomatoes do not like overheating. And when grown next to a central heating battery, they need to be protected with a wood or polyethylene screen.
During flowering, the daytime air temperature should not fall below 24 ° C, and the nighttime - 18 ° C. In rainy weather, the air temperature during the day should be at least 20 ° C.
Watering... Watering requirements for tomatoes at different stages of development are very different. Their greatest need for water is during seed germination, the least - during flowering. With early sowing, tomatoes need to be watered 1 - 2 times every 7 days, in May - every day or every other day. After transplanting into a permanent container, tomatoes need to be watered, monitoring the condition of the soil. The earthen lump between waterings should dry out a little at this time. Tomatoes do not like excessive watering and cold water. The water for them should be slightly warmer than room temperature.
Humidity... Tomatoes are not afraid of drafts. The required air humidity is established during ventilation. There is no need to artificially increase the humidity by hanging a wet cloth on the batteries if the tomatoes have already turned into an adult plant. But until 6 - 7 true leaves appear, these actions will only benefit them. For the same purpose, you can put a glass of water near each plant. When tomatoes are in bloom, they should not be sprayed as this can interfere with the pollination process.
Pollination... It has been noticed that tomatoes grown on the windowsill are less pollinated and set fruits. For pollination to be successful, the air must be dry at this time. In addition to airing, you can help this process by lightly tapping on the peg to which the plant is attached, or on the brush.
Top dressing... Tomatoes must be fed at least twice: during the appearance of 3 - 4 and 5 - 6 true leaves. After that, you can feed the plants every decade. It is advisable to feed during budding. As top dressing, you can use mineral sticks, adding potash fertilizer during the budding period and fruit setting. After feeding, you need to rinse the plant or sprinkle it with water to avoid burns.
Formation... Under indoor conditions, tomatoes are grown in one stem. Lateral shoots must be removed, leaving no more than 3 cm. Plants can be pinched over 2 or 3 - 4 brushes. 2 leaves should remain above the fruiting brush. When the fruit ripens, the lower leaves on the first cluster must be removed. First of all, yellowed, dying leaves are removed, and then green ones. This improves air exchange and illumination, and makes watering and harvesting easier. It is better to remove the leaves gradually, and not all at once.
Window sill gardening: where to start?PHOTO: Press photo
You don't always need one hundred acres to grow greens and vegetables - you can create your own mini-garden in the city center right on the windowsill. Three Latvian Instagram bloggers - Zane Grevinja, Ieva Reinholde and Dace Alpa - agreed to participate in the IKEA experiment and shared their impressions of how to equip a windowsill for growing greenery.
“Growing greenery at home is sustainable: it reduces the CO2 emissions that come from transporting greenery and significantly reduces the amount of plastic packaging.We must admit that gardening is soothing and can captivate all family members - especially now, when many of us spend our free time at home, ”says Darius Rimkus, Head of Design at IKEA. In order to show that gardening on windowsills does not require a lot of work and investment, but it is a pleasure, three Latvian bloggers blogging on Instagram were invited to grow greens at home.
“Every year I plant and tend greenery, and this spring I spend more time at home, so gardening has become an outlet for me to disconnect from work. I enjoy the fresh herbs and spices, which not only look great, but also go great in different dishes, ”says blogger Zane Grevinja, author of the popular culinary blog Našķoties.
Dace Alpa, a mother of two and an adherent of proper nutrition, said that her mini-garden brings a lot of joy. Each new sprout pleases not only Dace, but her children as well. In turn, a plant lover and blogger Uz palodzes ("On the windowsill") Ieva Reinholde created a garden in her home, where there is always room for experiments - she planted many seeds and watched their growth with interest.
From onions to potatoes, what to grow?
Growing is not so difficult, first you need to understand what to grow? Zane, Dace and Ieva were ready for experiments and approached this issue with enthusiasm. “Green onions are a plant that pleases with fast results - I planted it very first. Then I grew radish leaves, spinach and arugula. Household herbs have such a tremendously intense taste, you can't even compare with store-bought herbs, ”says Ieva Reinholde, who has grown spices and herbs, and the most interesting experience was rhubarb grown from seeds.
Dace already has a lot of experience in growing tomatoes on the balcony, and this year for the first time she decided to grow them from seeds. Strawberries, green peas, cucumbers, herbs and even potatoes grow in her garden! Zane also has tomatoes on the must-plant list, this year she will try to grow red peppers and herbs - rosemary and mint.
Clever use of space
When arranging a mini-garden on a balcony or on a windowsill, it is important to make the most of the area, even in the smallest houses.
“At first all the pots were on the floor by the window and the" garden "took up half of the room, but now I put them on a special rack - they take up little space and can hold a lot of pots. This rack can be taken out to the balcony when it gets warmer, ”Dace shares his experience.
Zane does not have a balcony, and she thought of small corners in the apartment with tripods for plants, they do not take up much space, and you can put the pots one above the other.
“I used the containers for bathroom accessories in an unusual way, the baskets on the suction cups are located above the kitchen countertop, thanks to the suction cups they are easy to attach to the tiles - and fresh herbs are always at hand. And if necessary, the baskets can be easily moved to another place. "
In order to make the most of the space on her balcony, Ieva used several solutions: “The rack with four shelves is very spacious and fits all my pots. When the plants are older, I will transplant them into flower boxes that can be hung on the balcony. I made interesting wicker pot holders that can be easily hung on the walls. "
Arrange your mini garden
If you want to enjoy your summer harvest this year, you can sow lettuce, spinach, parsley, beet leaves, dill, arugula, green peas, and basil. But for cucumbers and tomatoes, you should still choose ready-made seedlings, advises Ieva. Dace advises sowing herbs with a break of 10 days, so that everything does not sprout at the same time, and the harvest can take longer.
Before buying ready-made seedlings, Zane advises to ask the sellers which varieties are suitable for growing on a balcony or windowsill. “I advise everyone to try their hand at gardening and experiment - it’s so interesting to grow something, for example, carrots or strawberries,” says Zane Grevinja.
While at home, time can be used in a practical way: equip a balcony or terrace - let this place become not only a place of relaxation, but also a place where you can grow something tasty and healthy.