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How to grow the most delicious tomatoes starting in February: useful secrets

Yulia PoteriankoLife
It is important to provide tomato seedlings with plenty of light in February

To get an early tomato harvest, you should sow seeds for seedlings as early as February. This is what experienced gardeners say. However, it should be done in the right way so that the seedlings have time to get stronger, not outgrow.

OBOZ.UA asked about the secrets of growing tomato seedlings in February. Here are a few nuances that will help you grow a large and sweet harvest.

Take care of the lighting

The standard advice is to sow seedlings eight to ten weeks before the last frost. Still, it can be problematic to ensure that the seedlings receive enough light, to which they are very sensitive. In February, the day is still very short, and such conditions can lead to weak seedlings. Therefore, be sure to take care of additional lighting for the plants. Buy special LED strips or phytolamps and provide your garden bed with at least 10 hours of light a day. The advantage of such devices is that they are quite economical in terms of electricity.

Keep an eye on the temperature

Although the optimum temperature for germination of tomato seeds is around 21 degrees, they can germinate in cooler conditions. It just takes a little longer. When the greenery emerges from the ground, the temperature can be lowered by 5-6 degrees to prevent the tomatoes from developing too quickly. One way or another, the key point is not to ensure a specific temperature regime but to protect the seedlings from sudden temperature fluctuations in the early stages of tomato growth.

Water the seedlings from below

Pouring water into seedling containers from above can damage young plants. Therefore, apply water below the level of the lowest leaves. Make sure that the substrate is neither flooded nor dry.

Sow the seeds correctly

Start germination by putting the tomato seeds in special seedling cups using special seedling soil. There should be one seed per cell. At an early stage of development, the plant should have enough space to grow its root system. After about 4 weeks, it's time to transfer the tomato seedlings to larger containers so that root development is not hindered by the small volume of soil. By the time they are transferred to the open ground, the tomatoes must have formed a full-fledged root system. To do this, they are subjected to a pinching procedure during transplantation and transferred to more nutrient-rich soil. At the same time, each plant should continue to remain in a separate pot so as not to compete with a neighbor for resources.

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