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Tomatoes in the greenhouse: mulching

Tomatoes in the greenhouse: mulching


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Mulching process accelerates fruit ripening and at the same time increases the yield of vegetables... Its implementation requires certain skills and efforts, but it allows you to achieve certain success.

Before talking about the features of this procedure, you need to give the very definition of this concept.

What is mulching?

Mulching is laying on vegetable beds, in our case - with tomatoes, various materials.

They can be of organic or artificial origin, but they have only one function: regulation of the moisture and air regime of the soil.

In a more accessible language, mulch protects the soil from drying out... If it is present, a dense crust does not form on the surface of the soil, which interferes with air exchange. But she has others useful qualities:

  • mulch laid out in the beds, does not let the rays of the sun through... Therefore, weeds that destroy garden crops do not germinate on them;
  • under the layer the soil stays moist, crumbly longer, therefore, watering and loosening are required by plants much less often. So, labor costs are reduced;
  • organic materials touch the surface of the ridge with their lower layer, which begins to grind, turning into the favorite food of earthworms, processing it into humus. Thus, tomatoes also receive necessary fertilizers... Often, in this situation, you can do without constant feeding or significantly reduce their number;
  • evaporation of water from the surface of the ridge is prevented... Tomatoes are watered quite abundantly. But in a greenhouse, evaporating water ends up in a confined space. An increased level of moisture is created, which is harmful to the tomato. It leads to the appearance of phytophthora and various kinds of fungal diseases. Mulch separates the sprout with moist soil, so the plant remains healthy throughout the growing season;
  • the procedure for watering seedlings is simplified... The jet of water during this process does not erode the soil.

Mulch types

To cover the ground use different materials... They are divided into industrial and natural.

Industrial include films and all kinds of nonwoven fabrics. Some of them are capable of passing water and air, while others are not. In addition, they can have different color shades.

Reference. Agronomists advise using in the cultivation of greenhouse tomatoes red cover. Good and black... But the latter quickly heat up.

The most optimal industrial coatings for nightshades are considered Agrotex materials and the like, but for many summer residents, the purchase of such becomes unnecessarily expensive.

Therefore, they are replaced with roofing material, cardboard, black polyethylene, or even just old newspapers.

Organic tomato coatings are much healthier... As they decompose, they turn into humus, providing plants with additional nutrition. Thanks to this, the soil is saturated with various microelements, and which ones depend on the material.

Organic mulch can serve:

  • straw and hay;
  • compost;
  • humus;
  • peat;
  • forest litter with a soil layer (it is considered the best organic mulch that can significantly improve the composition of the soil);
  • wood shavings and sawdust;
  • chopped bark of trees;
  • young weeds without seeds;
  • needles and fallen leaves.

Attention! Weeds with cut grass not recommended to be placed under fresh tomatoes... It is better to dry them in the sun to drive away the parasitic insects that feed on their sap. Otherwise, the pests will move to the tomatoes, because they simply will not have other food in the limited space of the greenhouse.

Sometimes mulching is carried out using pebbles, fine gravel and expanded clay. But they are of little use, and besides, it is problematic to remove them from the ridges.

Now in more detail about the mulching procedure using some of the above materials.

Straw

An excellent choice for greenhouse tomatoes. Its coverage of 10 cm, axially, will decrease by about 3 times, but on the other hand protects shoots from anthracnose, rot and spotted leaves.

The straw provides unimpeded air passage to the roots of the seedlings and acts as a good heat insulator... But in such an environment it is easy insect pests or rodents can start.

Grass

Weeds, cut grass, and stepchildren removed from tomatoes are suitable for this purpose. The layer must be taken such that, when drying, its height is not less than 5 cm... Grass decomposes quickly, you will have to update it, but it will saturate the earth with nitrogen.

Leaves and needles

In addition to trace elements, forest floor provides the soil with beneficial bacteria... It will be and mulch and fertilizer at the same time... It is better to take it in a coniferous or deciduous forest.

Sawdust and bark

Strong and highly durable material... It retains moisture well, therefore it is simply ideal for a greenhouse. You need to lay dry sawdust 8 cm thickthen it is recommended to spill it with a 5% urea solution. The soil should not oxidize; for this purpose, ordinary chalk is evenly poured onto the sawdust, and slaked lime can also be used. It is capable of neutralizing the acetic acid resulting from a chemical reaction.

Compost

Prepared from various waste: rubbish, straw, plucked weeds, paper scraps, other similar materials. After decomposition and decomposition in the compost pit, they become an excellent nutrient mixture that worms can quickly digest.

Note! Compost - even unnecessarily useful fertilizer, the excess of which will lead to the fact that the plant will increase its green mass, but by no means set fruit.

Film

Choose strong and opaque, then it will be able to resist weeds... The film should be pressed firmly to the ground.

When using it, it may occur damping off plant roots or infection with fungal diseases... The reason is the high humidity under the shelter itself.

Newspapers and cardboard

The paper is recycled wood. Any newspaper that shreds and spreads is good. a layer of 15 cm... You can put compost or straw on top, then the paper will not be blown away by the wind. Thanks to such actions the soil temperature will increase by no less than 2 degrees, and the layer will serve for about two years. It is better to turn the paper over so that it does not come into contact.

Non-woven covering fabric

Its porous structure easily permeable to moisture and air... Serves for about 5 years, protecting plants from fungus, pests or rot... The most practical is geotextilebut it is expensive. Perhaps this is his only drawback.

Roofing material

Durable, reliable... Does not allow weeds to germinate, does not allow sunlight to reach the seedlings. Nonetheless, too toxic and is able to harm tomatoes and soil.

When to carry out this procedure?

Mulch, as mentioned above, retains moisture in the soil and prevents sunlight from reaching it. therefore it matters whether the greenhouse as a whole is heated or not.

Laying the layer should take place in an unheated greenhousewhere the earth is not artificially heated. This should be done after the frost has passed, and the earth has already warmed up quite deeply.

If the greenhouse is heated, mulching is carried out any time the plants are planted.

The laying technology is determined by the chosen coating... Loose mulch is poured between the plants. The layer should be a few centimeters long. AND leave a little space around the stemto water the shoots unhindered.

Conclusion

Properly carried out mulching tomatoes in the greenhouse will significantly reduce the efforts of the gardener to grow tomatoes. Weeding, watering and loosening will need to be done less often.... But this procedure helps to grow a rich and, most importantly, healthy harvest!

More details about the mulching process can be found in the video:


Watch the video: Mulching tomatoes at Sisters Hill Farm (June 2022).


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