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The timing of planting tomatoes is calculated based on the duration of the growing season of the variety and the period of harvest. Therefore, the question of why tomato seedlings grow poorly is extremely relevant. Any delay in the development of plants during the seedling period affects their further productivity.
Seed germination and seedling growth rate are influenced by a complex of factors that are not easy to control at home. First of all, this is the quality of the seed, how the tomato seeds are prepared for planting. The main influence is exerted by the temperature of the air and soil, their humidity, and the level of illumination.
For nutrition and rapid formation of a root system in seedlings, the structure of the soil must be breathable, with the necessary set of chemical elements. Only an analysis of all the data will make it possible to figure out why tomato seedlings are not growing at home, what should be done.
Important! A delay in seedling development affects the final productivity of the plants.
The reasons for the slow germination of seeds
Sometimes problems start right away with sowing the seeds. If the sprouts do not appear within a week, the question arises why the seeds do not sprout. It should be borne in mind that the germination and appearance of seedlings are influenced by soil moisture, temperature, and seed depth during planting.
- One of the reasons for the poor germination of seeds may be their unsatisfactory quality. To avoid such an incident, it is enough to place the seeds in a glass of plain water. Empty seeds will remain on the surface, they are discarded without even trying to germinate.
- With a small amount of seedlings, seeds are germinated before sowing, placing them on a damp, paper towel. Sprouted seeds are planted in the ground, taking the utmost care not to damage the sprout. This method is 100% germinating, but requires care.
- If all conditions are met, tomato seeds germinate quickly enough in 3-4 days, but in most cases, seedlings take 7-14 days. So it's not worth worrying ahead of time why the tomatoes do not sprout. It is necessary to maintain the temperature in the range of 22-25 degrees, and the soil in a moist state, which will help the seeds germinate.
- If the box with the seedlings is covered with foil or glass and is located on the window, then in the daytime under the rays of the sun, the temperature under the foil can rise significantly. Why can there be steaming of the seeds and the death of the hatched sprout. At temperatures above 30 degrees, the film is removed. Until the seedlings have sprung up, the boxes should be in a darkened place.
- When seeding seeds into the ground to a depth of more than 2 cm, and abundant watering, a layer of sticky soil can be the reason why the seedlings cannot emerge. It should be taken into account that the structure of the soil should be light, moisture-absorbing and breathable. Heavy, acidic soil can prevent seeds from germinating. This must be taken into account when preparing the soil substrate.
- With a deep planting, seedlings are weakened, have a too elongated hypocotal knee. If the seeds are too close to the surface, there is a danger of drying them out. In both cases, you will have to wait longer for seedlings, in a longer time frame.
In preparation for sowing, seeds are disinfected, hardened and saturated with microelements, in the hope of obtaining healthy plants from tomato seedlings. The soil is used only clean, without pests and weeds. All these measures are not unreasonable and can significantly affect the development of plants.
What delays the growth of seedlings
With the emergence of seedlings, the plant begins to develop intensively, building up the root system and forming the first true leaves. At this stage, it is necessary to lower the temperature and provide the plant with adequate lighting.
Development delay with insufficient lighting
Freshly hatched seedlings have a very limited supply of food. From the soil, the sprouted shoots receive only minerals, and organic ones must be produced on their own.
With insufficient light, photosynthesis is so reduced that the bulk of organic matter is burned during respiration. By plants germinated under such conditions, the green mass is poorly formed. They stretch out strongly, having used up the nutrient reserves from the seed. Weakened, frail shoots are at risk of getting sick with a black stalk. Fungal diseases not only slow down growth, but can destroy an immature plant.
Therefore, in the first days, 2-3 days, they use round-the-clock backlighting, in the future, the backlight remains up to 15-16 hours. With sufficient light, the process of photosynthesis is accelerated. The plant produces an order of magnitude more organic matter than it consumes for respiration. This allows the plant to actively develop. After 15-20 days, the tomato seedlings not only look stronger, but are also ready for picking.
Growth retardation after picking
The question of why seedlings do not recover well after a pick arises quite often. Perhaps there were mistakes in the transplant, you did something wrong. For a plant, this is a serious stress when up to 50% of the integrity of the roots is violated.
Important! Simultaneously with the growth of the first leaf on the main root, root tubercles are actively formed, which are not damaged during transplantation.
- Seedlings are dived in order to increase the feeding area of the seedlings, to enable the plant's root system to fully develop. The pick should be carried out when the first sheet appears. At a later date, when the roots have already sprouted, the damage will be more significant.
- When picking, growth is suspended due to the rooting process of seedlings, which can last 10-14 days. One gets the impression that tomato seedlings are not growing. But at this time the lost roots are being actively restored. This process is especially successful in young plants. Within a day, they form separate new roots.
- Tomato seedlings are growing slowly, the picking of which was carried out at a later age, when the central and lateral roots had already grown. Their violation leads to an imbalance in the size of the root system of the plant and its aboveground part. Such seedlings take a long time to recover, which also affects the quality of the plant itself.
- When picking, pay attention to the fact that it is more efficient to grow seedlings in boxes, because it is in them that the root system does not encounter obstacles to growth for a long time. Tomatoes grown in containers with a volume of up to 0.2 liters are of lower quality. The root system, not being able to fully develop, sends a signal to the plant about the impossibility of further growth. A program of low yields is being laid, the plants take root less well.
Plants can have a different rooting period in duration. If some tomato seedlings are not recovering well, what to do, how to help it. You need to be patient and after a couple of weeks carry out individual feeding, taking into account the state of the seedlings. In this case, it is necessary to strictly observe the light and temperature balance. Moderate watering should be combined with subsequent loosening of the soil.
If the plants have overcome the first, most difficult stages of development for them, then worries about why tomatoes do not grow are already over. With an increase in daylight hours, mature seedlings will require simpler care, which boils down to regular watering.