How and when to feed tomato seedlings: simple tricks will make them strong

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Fertilizing tomato seedlings is a delicate matter, because it is very easy to overdo it.

Experienced gardeners know that you should not plant tomato seeds in soil that is rich in nutrients. An excess of such substances can burn the seedling, and it has its own supply for the first days of life in the seed from which it sprouts. A healthy balance of microorganisms in the soil is much more important at this stage.

So how do you properly fertilize tomato seedlings? OBOZ.UA found out that young plants need fertilization, but it should be careful and very balanced.

When to start fertilizing tomatoes

You should start applying the first fertilizer when the first pair of true leaves appears on the seedlings. This will mean that the tomato bush has released its first strong roots and is ready for independent photosynthesis. Usually, the height of the sprout is 5-10 cm. By this point, the seed reserves are exhausted and it's time to add nutrition to the plant separately.

What fertilizers to choose

Horticulture experts say that NPK fertilizers are the best choice for young tomatoes. These are mixtures that contain equal proportions of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). A slight advantage in favor of phosphorus is acceptable, because it is responsible for the formation of the root system, which is important at the first stage of the plant's life. It is best to choose a liquid form. It is easier to dose and apply under the seedlings.

How to dose fertilizer for tomato seedlings

Read the instructions and divide the amount of fertilizer for young tomatoes by two. An excess of minerals in the soil, especially if the plant grows in a limited amount of land, quickly leads to their accumulation and burns the roots of the plant. Therefore, it is better to be extra careful in the first weeks.

How to fertilize

The frequency of fertilizing tomato seedlings, according to this approach, is once a week. But the best method is bottom watering.

Dissolve the required (reduced) amount of fertilizer in water. Pour the resulting solution into a shallow tray and place the cups with the seedlings in it for 20 minutes. During this time, the soil will have time to absorb the right amount of liquid with minerals - no more, no less. After that, return the seedlings to their place and pour out the rest of the solution.

When to switch to the full dose of feeding

It is not so difficult to determine the moment when a young tomato bush is ready to take a full dose of fertilizer. It occurs when the plant reaches a height of about 15 centimeters and is ready to be transplanted from a cup into a seedling pot. Ready-made seedlings are also sold at this stage of growth. The frequency of watering with food in this case should also be once a week. You can simply increase the dosage to a full one. This regimen should be followed until the tomatoes are ready to be planted outdoors.

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