We reveal all the secrets of growing tomatoes on the balcony
Vegetables, lovingly grown with your own hands, are much tastier, and preparations and salads for loved ones and guests are a reason for pride. In the presence of a vegetable garden, such work is perceived as an everyday reality, but what if there is no vegetable garden, and there is a desire to eat your vegetables? We plant seedlings in pots and occupy windowsills, a balcony or a loggia! Breeders have long bred varieties that, in all their characteristics, are ideal for a "balcony garden". Tomatoes on the balcony are the most common and suitable option.
Or maybe plant a tomato for open ground?
Amateur gardeners are experimenting with planting varieties for open ground in apartment conditions, but, nevertheless, it is better not to do this for a number of reasons:
The root system of a tomato for open ground is much more powerful than for a closed one, so a large volume flower pot is needed. You can, of course, transplant, but transplanting from one container to another on tomatoes has a rather negative effect, and you can accidentally break it.
The location of our apartments is different: for some, the sun shines on the balcony almost all day, while others do not. Lacking a natural light rate will make your tomatoes look sicker and less developed.
With deficiencies in light and underdevelopment of the root system, a large number of barren flowers will appear, and the yield will be within 10-15% of the possible.
Tomatoes on the balcony: Which tomato is better?
Selection does not stand still, and for amateurs, tomato varieties have long appeared on the market, which are intended for "a vegetable garden on the windowsill", in other words, dwarf varieties.
Such varieties of tomatoes differ only in size - the bushes are compact, no more than 40 cm high, and the fruits, respectively, weigh no more than 25-50 grams. Despite the diminutiveness, the tomatoes are quite fruitful. Fruits for universal use, suitable for harvesting and for fresh consumption. Tomatoes also differ in color and taste: you can find sweet and sour, yellow, orange, red, pink.
Tomatoes on the balcony: Creating conditions for growing
For cultivation, we need containers with earth. It is best to buy land in specialized stores, where trace elements are added to it and processed from possible pests and diseases. Of course, you can take the land in the garden or vegetable garden, but then it will be necessary to "roast" the earth in the oven. Such a procedure is necessary to destroy all microorganisms and diseases. In addition to heat treatment of the land, it will be necessary to saturate it with mineral fertilizers.
The next step is to buy seeds or seedlings. It is worth buying in specialized stores, where a consultant will help you decide on varieties, of which there are so many that even experienced gardeners are lost.
After the purchase, seeds are planted for seedlings, or the acquired seedlings are planted. It is worth observing the terms and technology of planting, if the seeds are processed, then preliminary soaking for better germination is not required. The best way to soak untreated seeds is to use room temperature water with a few drops of aloe vera juice.When planting, ready-made seedlings can also be watered with water with the addition of aloe vera, this will have a beneficial effect on the plants. After planting, water the seeds as needed and ventilate, while observing the temperature and lighting regime. Dive tomatoes when 2-3 true leaves appear. We plant only those plants that are sufficiently developed.
Is pollination necessary?
Existing varieties do well without pollination, the main thing is to observe temperature and water regimes. With excessive heat, tomatoes can lose their color, and if too low, only barren flowers will go. The golden mean will be frequent ventilation in the heat and closed windows in cool weather.
Watering should be rational: with heat - more moisture, with a cold snap - less. The main thing is that the water in the pots does not stand.
Tomatoes on the balcony: What kind of harvest to expect?
Each variety has its own ripening period: early ripening (ultra-early ripening) - 60-80 days, mid-ripening - 80-100 days, late-ripening - 100-130 days. The growing season should be considered unless you plan on growing tomatoes year-round. However, it is still better to plant tomatoes with different growing periods, since the receipt of fresh fruits will go on continuously.
The yield of balcony tomatoes is incredibly pleasing: from one bush of a plant, from 2 to 4 kilograms of excellent fruits will be collected.
What kind of trouble can you expect?
Even experienced gardeners will agree: you can't save yourself from everything, but you can't let anything go by itself! Therefore, frequent inspection during watering will help to avoid global troubles, for example, such as diseases or parasites.
The most common and terrible diseases are late blight and root rot. Late blight manifests itself as brownish-gray spots on the leaves and fruits, often with dry rot, affecting the entire bush and neighboring plants. The prevention of the disease includes the introduction of a complex of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers every 10 days. If the disease has already begun, then we remove the affected areas and carry out the treatment with fungicides (Oxyhom, Albit, Fitosporin). Root rot also destroys the plant, but if you just noticed the appearance of rot in the root part of the tomato, then it can still be saved. Treatment consists in changing the topsoil, adding wood ash (around the trunk) to the ground and treating it with fungicides. Fungicide treatment is important because fungi are the causative agents of these diseases.
Parasites appear for various reasons, but it will be necessary to fight them not only on tomatoes, but also on indoor flowers, if you have them. When watering, you can notice sluggish leaves without characteristic spots, and looking under such a leaf, you can see aphids. You can deal with it using folk methods (soap-ash solution) or special preparations. To date, the most harmless preparations are Fitoverm and Aktofit, which can be used 2 days before picking a tomato.
The spider mite also causes significant damage to plants, but due to its very small size, it is problematic to detect it. Often, it is only by the emerging cobweb on the plant that the parasite can be identified. Unlike aphids, it will not be possible to get rid of the tick by folk methods, only by chemical preparations. You can use the same Fitoverm, good results are obtained by Iskra-BIO, Karbofos. All drugs must be used strictly according to the instructions, observing the rules of protection.