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One of the important stages of growing tomato seedlings is the stage of sowing seeds and their germination.
This period is one of the most exciting: the mystery of the birth of a new plant is hidden from the eyes of the gardener, who is constantly worried, but will everything work out?
This article is about the timing of the appearance of the first seedlings of tomatoes and how to speed up these terms. We also learn from the article how long it takes to worry if there are no shoots.
What determines the seed germination time?
- From production time: the seeds harvested last summer, subject to all conditions, will sprout in 4 days, and those that were harvested 3 years ago, under the same conditions, in 7-10 days.
- From the variety: unpretentious, ordinary varieties sprout much faster than, for example, hybrid varieties that are quite capricious.
- From preprocessing: dry seeds thrown into the ground will begin to hatch only after 10 days, but those previously soaked in warm water and treated with special solutions - after 4 - 5 days.
- From temperature: the ideal temperature for the emergence of seedlings is + 23C - + 25C. With this temperature regime, seedlings usually appear on the 5-7th day. But if the temperature in the room where the containers are located is significantly lower, then they will have to wait much longer.
- From the depth of the bookmark: it is natural that seeds, lightly covered with soil, will hatch to the surface much faster than those covered with a thick layer of substrate.
- From the ground: it is much more difficult for fragile sprouts to break through hard, compressed soil. It is advisable to add components to the substrate that give looseness and lightness to the soil: peat, sand, sphagnum moss, humus, vermiculite, etc.
- From light: any sprouts always reach for the sun. If the seeds do not have enough light, they will "sit" in the soil for a long time, showing no signs of life. Therefore, the seeds are often sown in transparent plastic containers and immediately exposed in a sunny place or under artificial lighting.
- From soil disinfection: the soil can contain fungi and bacteria, pathogens of infectious diseases. In this case, the seeds may die during the germination stage.
When to start timing the sprouting?
The timing of emergence should start from the day the seeds were sown., the container is covered with plastic and transferred to a warm place.
How many days do tomato seedlings appear at home?
According to the average indicators, tomato seeds emerge in 6 - 10 days after sowing.
Initially, the concept of "processed" should be clarified. Tomato seeds can be sold in encrusted form: the manufacturer applies a fine nutrient mixture to them, which improves their properties, increases the percentage of germination and yield, and increases resistance to diseases. Seedlings of encrusted seeds appear earlier (4 - 5 days) and are especially strong.
Many gardeners mistakenly understand the concept of "pre-treatment" as heating and hardening of seeds (exposure of the seed to high and low temperatures). Such procedures do not affect the germination rate, but prepare future plants for adverse weather conditions.
Procedures that affect the speed of seed germination include soaking the seed for a specific time, immersing the seeds in growth promoters, or germinating the seeds. Seeds treated in this way will also begin to show on the soil surface after 4 to 6 days.
If, before sowing, the seeds were treated with a preparation for further storage, then the first shoots usually appear after 15 days.
Dry seeds not pretreated with various compounds and not germinated, which are sown directly into the ground, can germinate for up to 10 days or more.
Minimum and maximum time to emergence
Under favorable conditions (temperature, light, humidity), pre-treated seeds that were harvested last year will begin to hatch after 4 days. Respectively, dry seeds harvested 3 - 4 years ago will appear at best in 2 weeks... And if the conditions necessary for growing seedlings are not met, the germination time may be even longer.
How to influence the germination period?
- Immersion in a solution of growth stimulants. Often, gardeners before sowing the seeds are kept in a solution of a growth stimulator (Epin, Zircon, Heteroauxin, etc.): the method of breeding and the duration of the procedure is according to the instructions. You can also use the folk method: immerse the seed in a solution of aloe juice (1: 1) or honey water (1 tsp per glass of water) for 3-4 hours.
- Seed soaking. The seed is placed in a cotton bag and immersed in warm water (+20 - + 25C) for 12 - 18 hours. During soaking, the seeds must be constantly mixed, and the water must be changed. After a similar procedure, the seeds can be sent further for germination, or directly into the ground.
- Germination of seeds. For germination, you need to prepare a saucer, cloth, gauze or paper towel. The cloth should be moistened, placed flat on a saucer, poured onto it and spread over the surface of tomato seeds of the same variety, the container should be covered with a plastic lid or plastic bag and placed in a warm place for 3 - 5 days.
- Strict adherence to sowing requirements. For rapid germination, it is necessary to maintain an air temperature of + 23C- + 25C and a high level of humidity (covering the container with plastic wrap or glass), then the shoots can break through 5, or even 4 days after planting.
If the seedlings began to grow vigorously and excessively stretch, then such a process should be slowed down. To do this, it will be enough to lower the temperature in the room where the boxes with seedlings are located, to + 18C - + 20C; reduce watering (only as the upper layer of the substrate dries out); apply special means that slow down the growth of the aerial part of the plant and stimulate root growth (for example, "Athlete").
When should you start worrying?
If the seeds did not even begin to hatch after 12 - 17 days, then the gardener should worry. It will be advisable to "dig" a small area in order to personally see the degree of development of sprouts. If there are no signs of germination, the seeds should be sown. Of course, you first need to analyze the situation and answer your question: "Why didn't the seeds sprout?"
If you comply with all the necessary requirements for the process of seed preparation and sowing, set out in the article, then you should not worry about the emergence of seedlings.