Tomatoes or tomatoes are one of the most common field crops.
Tomatoes are very demanding on the land in which they are grown, therefore, special attention should be paid to preparing the soil for planting tomatoes.
Only by properly preparing the land for planting crops can you count on good plant growth and a rich harvest.
The value of soil for tomatoes
When growing tomatoes in open ground, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the root system of these plants is branched and superficial.
Thereby the ground part of the plant receives as much moisture as possible and nutrients necessary for active growth and fruit formation.
Given this feature, it is possible to determine the soil characteristics necessary for a given crop:
- moisture capacity and permeability, since the roots do not tolerate excess moisture;
- softness and friability, this is necessary to create a favorable level of soil moisture, as well as to facilitate the growth and development of the root system;
- the soil must be nutritious;
- heat capacity and permeability are also extremely important.
If the soil for tomatoes is improperly prepared, then the plants will give a lower yield.... In the process of growing tomatoes, by their appearance, you can determine whether they have enough minerals and whether they are satisfied with the quality of the soil.
- With a lack of nitrogen in the soil, the shoots become thin, weak, the leaves become small and acquire a pale green color.
- With a lack of phosphorus, the leaves acquire a red-violet color, the active growth of plants stops.
- Lack of potassium can be noticed by finding a bronze border on the leaves.
- If the soil is acidic and the plants lack calcium, then the plants do not grow, the tops turn black and rot, and few fruits are formed.
Advantages and disadvantages of homemade soil
Though tomatoes are whimsical to the ground, the soil for them can be prepared with your own hands by analyzing the soil available on the site and choosing the necessary biomaterial to correct the composition of the soil.
The advantages in this case are obvious:
- Cost savings. Separately purchased mineral fertilizers, fertilizers and other materials will cost less than purchased soil for filling a plot for tomatoes.
- Individual approach. To correct the soil on your site, you will use exactly what is needed in the area, which will give a better result compared to universal soil.
In order to prepare the soil for tomatoes on your own, it is necessary to analyze the available soil and growing conditions. A lot depends on the choice of a site for planting future plants.
- The planting site needs to be changed annually, returning the tomatoes to the same place no earlier than 3 years later.
- Good soil for tomatoes is:
- loam with a high content of organic fertilizers;
- chernozems with small admixtures of sand.
- Not suitable for tomatoes:
- peat bogs;
- clay soils;
- poor sandy loam.
- Plants from the Solanaceae family are bad precursors for tomatoes. It is best that vegetables such as:
- vegetables from the pumpkin family.
Tomatoes should not be planted next to potatoes, since both crops are susceptible to the Colorado potato beetle and late blight.
Interestingly, tomatoes are great side by side with strawberries. This neighborhood significantly improves the quality of the harvest of both crops.
- The site must be well lit.
- The soil should be free of solid debris, weed seeds, and dense clumps of earth.
- An important factor is soil acidity. The average acidity is 5.5 points. For tomatoes, a deviation from the average of up to 6.7 points is considered permissible.
The acidity of the soil can be checked by analyzing the weeds growing in the area. Plantain, horsetail, and horse sorrel are signs that the soil is too acidic.
Read about what soil should be for tomatoes and what acidity it should have here.
Land composition for planting
Depending on the initial composition of the soil, appropriate additives are introduced into it to improve the quality of the soil.
- Sandy soil:
- organic matter (compost or humus) in the amount of 4-6 kg per 1 square meter;
- low-lying peat 4-5 kg per 1 sq. m;
- sod soil 1 to 1.
- Medium loam:
- low-lying peat 2-3 kg per 1 sq. m;
- lime (if necessary, since low-lying peat changes the acidity of the soil).
- high-moor peat 2-3 kg per 1 square meter is applied together with slaked lime;
- coarse sand 80-100 kg per 1 sq. m;
- compost 1 to 1;
- sand sapropel 1 to 2.
- All soil types... Sapropel sand 1 to 2.
Primary preparation: disinfection
Consider how to prepare soil for planting tomatoes.
Disinfection is a necessary procedure to get rid of harmful microorganisms and infections that prevent plant growth. This procedure is carried out even if the soil is purchased, since there is no guarantee that there are no pests and infections in it.
Soil disinfection methods:
- Freezing... The soil is placed in a cloth bag and put out in the cold for a week. Then it is placed in warmth for a week to awaken microorganisms and weeds. Then it is again taken out into the cold in order to destroy them.
- Heat treatment.
- Calcination. Pour boiling water over the ground, stir, put on a baking sheet and heat to 90 degrees. Ignite for half an hour.
- Steaming. The water in a large basin is brought to a boil, and a grate with earth wrapped in cloth is placed on top. Steaming is necessary for 1.5 hours.
Heat treatment must be carried out with caution, as the quality of the soil can deteriorate by exceeding the required temperature or time. In addition, after such treatment, the soil becomes unsuitable for growing crops; it is required to populate it with useful microflora.
- Fungicide treatment... Fungicides are bacterial crops that suppress disease-causing infections and strengthen plant immunity. It is necessary to carry out processing strictly according to the instructions of the selected drug. There are several of them on the market today.
- Insecticide use... This group of drugs is designed to destroy pests. It is necessary to process these preparations no earlier than a month before planting.
- Disinfection with potassium permanganate... An effective way to disinfect the soil, but increases its acidity. Dilution: 3-5 g per 10 liters of water; watering: 30-50 ml per 1 sq.m.
We wrote about how to independently make soil for tomato seedlings in a separate article.
Using simple garden land: how to prepare and process?
After the place for the tomatoes is chosen, it is necessary to prepare the area for planting. The land is recommended to be cultivated twice a year:
- In the fall, the earth is dug up in order to destroy the weeds. Poor soil should be fertilized with organic fertilizers (humus at the rate of 5 kg per 1 square meter). You can also add mineral fertilizers (for 1 square meter, 50 g of superphosphate or 25 g of potassium salt).
- In the spring, the sector is cultivated in order to prepare the land for planting. As fertilizers, poultry manure is used at the rate of 1 kg per 1 square meter, wood ash in the same proportion and ammonium sulfate (25 g is used per 1 square meter).
Fertilize at least 4 weeks before planting so that the minerals are evenly distributed in the soil.
- The increased acidity of the soil is corrected by adding lime in the amount of 500-800 g per square meter of area.
Experienced gardeners do not recommend using fresh manure for tomatoes, since in this case the plants will increase the green mass to the detriment of the formation of ovaries.
Tomato beds begin to be prepared at the end of May:
- Small trenches are formed in the direction from north to south. The distance between the rows is 70 cm, between the beds from 1 meter.
- For each bed, it is necessary to make sides about 5 cm high. This system prevents water from spreading during irrigation.
- Now you can plant tomato seedlings in open ground.
Tomatoes are everyone's favorite vegetable on summer and winter tables.... Although he is demanding in care, if you approach the issue of growing tomatoes with knowledge of the subject and with love for the land, the harvest will delight you!