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Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to grow various garden crops in the open field.
If you want to grow tomatoes on your own, but there is no land plot for this, a balcony is an excellent alternative.
Breeders for this type of gardening have created special varieties of tomatoes that everyone can grow on their own balcony with just a little effort.
How to choose a variety, plant tomatoes and care for them - you can learn all this from the article!
Is it possible to plant tomatoes on a loggia?
It is certainly possible to grow tomatoes on the balcony, the main thing is to choose a variety that suits the task, competently and step by step carry out the planting procedure and provide the tomatoes with proper care at home throughout the entire growing period, from seedling to fruiting.
Advantages and disadvantages
The most significant plus of growing tomatoes on the balcony is accessibility. There is no need for a land plot, there is no need to waste time on the road, getting to the cottage
The disadvantages include a small space, as a result of which the volume of the harvested crop is limited.
The place where it is planned to grow tomatoes, that is the balcony or loggia should face the southeast or southwest side. If the balcony faces south, the seedlings will be too hot and will have to be shaded. Also, if the balcony is located on the north side and the sunlight reaches the plants for less than three hours a day, it will not be possible to get a crop.
For your information. When choosing a place for tomatoes on the balcony, it is better to give preference to the walls and railings, it is important that the plants are protected from winds, and if the balcony is glazed, regular ventilation will be required.
Special varieties and their photos
Special varieties have been developed for growing on the balcony, if space permits, tall varieties can be cultivated.
Undersized and dwarf varieties are ideal. All varieties for the balcony are self-pollinated.
Next, we will tell you about the most popular undersized varieties, as well as show their photos.
Early variety. The fruits ripen 80 days after germination. The fruits are ovoid with a pointed nose. They grow in clusters of six to ten pieces. Bushes do not need support.
An unpretentious variety with an elongated shape of tasty fruits growing in clusters of up to seven pieces. The height of an adult bush does not exceed 40 cm.
Pink-fruited pear-shaped tomato.
A high-yielding variety, reaching a height of 1.6 m, fruits are small, no more than 50 grams, regular round shape.
Fruits weighing no more than 25 grams. The plant is decorative, looks like a small bush.
Pot material and size
For growing, you can use absolutely any plastic containers. At the stage of seed germination, small bottles can be used, and then transplanted into large ones, ordinary flower pots with a volume of at least five liters are also suitable.
The optimal solution is to purchase a special ready-made soil mixture for tomatoes in the store, or prepare it yourself by mixing turf and humus in equal parts and adding peat or sawdust to improve the looseness of the soil.
The process of planting balcony tomatoes
Next, we will tell you how to properly plant the seeds of red balcony tomatoes at home so that the houseplant takes root and further delights you with its fruits.
Before planting, the seeds must be prepared:
- Dip them in a light pink solution of potassium permanganate and pickle for three hours. Instead of potassium permanganate, you can use Fitosporin or Trichodermin, which have a fungicidal effect and are capable of destroying diseases on the seeds that are invisible to the naked eye.
- After disinfection, the seeds are treated with biostimulants such as Epin-Extra or Zircon, this will increase germination.
- The seeds are placed in moistened gauze and left on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for a couple of days, this will harden them and make them resistant to temperature changes.
The sowing process itself is as follows:
- Expanded clay and prepared soil are placed on the bottom of the container.
- The earth is spilled with warm water and after it is well absorbed, grooves 1 cm deep are made across the entire width of the container.The distance between the grooves should be 4 cm.
- Seeds are laid out in the resulting grooves at intervals of 2-3 cm from each other, sprinkled with earth and covered with a film.
Important! Before the emergence of shoots, the containers should be in a warm room. If the seeds are sown at the end of February, shoots can be expected in early March.
- Seedlings must be tempered regularly by opening the windows on the balcony for several hours on warm days and closing them at night. If the lower part of the main stem has acquired a blue tint, this indicates that the plant's immunity has increased and it is adapted to cold temperatures.
- The acquired seedlings are planted in a permanent place, if they have reached the age of one month, by this time the plants have from four to six true leaves.
- Simultaneously with the transplant, the seedlings are dived, which allows the roots to grow, strengthen and more effectively bring useful elements to the plant.
- Low-growing varieties are planted two at a time with a distance of five to ten centimeters from each other, if the plant grows in a large container, then the interval should be increased to 40 cm.
- Immediately after planting the windows on the balcony, you need to shade and maintain the temperature around 18-20 degrees, when the stems straighten and the leaves straighten out, this will take a couple of days, the shading can be removed.
Now you know how to properly plant tomatoes - with seeds and seedlings - in an apartment, then we will talk about the rules of care.
How to take care of it: step by step instructions
Watering and fertilizing
Important! You cannot use tap water for watering tomatoes, it is too hard. Warm water that has been kept for two days is best.
The soil in containers should not be too wet, in such an environment, the roots begin to suffocate and the plant dies. Also, the soil should not be allowed to dry out, the roots will begin to dry, and the tomatoes will turn yellow. Watering should be carried out according to the scheme once every three days. After watering, be sure to loosen the soil. If the weather is cloudy, you need to move away from the schedule and water the plant less often, focusing on the degree of drying out of the soil.
The first top dressing for tomatoes can be applied 40-50 days after planting. The best fertilizer is humus, which can be purchased ready-made in the store. It is added to the ground to a height of two centimeters, thanks to which the roots are saturated with oxygen and receive all the useful substances necessary for development. The procedure is carried out three times before moving the tomatoes into a permanent container.
Pruning and pinching
As the plant develops, stepchildren appear on it, they need to be removed, forming plants into one, two or three shoots.
If the seedlings are tall, the most optimal will be formation in one or two stems, and if they are low, then in three.
After the ovaries have formed, you can remove the lower leaves, spoiled and yellowed leaves are also required to be removed.
When the plant is finally formed, pinch the top and inflorescences so that there are at least four of them. This is essential for the healthy development of the seedlings.
Supports and hanging
Only tall varieties need support. In this case, so that the stem does not bend under the weight of the fruit, it is tied to a support. You can also hang short and dwarf pots to save space.
Diseases and pests
Tomatoes grown in closed containers are more often affected by fungal diseases than crops growing in open ground. To avoid this kind of ailments, the balcony should be regularly ventilated or, if possible, kept open around the clock, closing only in damp weather with a decrease in temperature.
- Black leg - the root collar of the seedlings darkens, becomes thinner and decays.
- Anthracnose - a diseased plant withers, the root collar rots.
- Gray rot - round spots appear on green or ripe fruits, gradually increase and become watery.
- Brown rot - appears in the form of a brown spot around the stalk, the inner tissue of the fruit rots.
Balcony tomatoes can be affected by pests:
- Spider mite - sucks the juice from the leaves and braids them with a thin web, the plant dies.
- Whitefly - the insect sticks to the leaves, as a result of which they become covered with a black coating and dry up, the plant dies.
Important! To ward off pests, you can place pots of mint, oregano, or parsley next to the tomatoes.
Features of outdoor cultivation
Growing tomatoes on an open balcony is carried out according to the same scheme as on a glazed one, the only difference is in the timing of sowing seeds and the content of seedlings. Sowing should be carried out in March, the further north the region is, the closer to the end of the month.
The box with seedlings should be kept in the room on the windowsill, illuminated with fluorescent lamps.
With the arrival of warm days, the boxes are moved to the balcony, first for half an hour for hardening, then for several hours. The procedure is carried out every day.
After picking, the seedlings should be in the room for two more days, after which the pots of tomatoes are taken out to the balcony.
The procedure for growing tomatoes on the balcony is not technologically difficult. This method is successfully used by experienced gardeners, you can also recommend this method for novice fans of garden crops.
Next, you can watch a video on how to choose varieties of tomatoes for growing on the balcony, plant and care for them: