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How to Feed Tomato Plants

How to Feed Tomato Plants

Today on Grow It With Science I’m looking at some different ways to feed your tomatoes.

Whenever you go to the garden centre you’ve probably noticed that there’s millions of different plant foods available.

There’s bottles of liquid, boxes of powder buckets of chicken manure. But which ones are the best for feeding your tomatoes?

Today i’m going to compare two of the more popular shop bought options.

You’ve got your liquid tomato food and your liquid all-purpose plant food.

When we compare the contents of the bottles you’ll notice the tomato food is this dark orange kind of colour, all-purpose plant food is like a dark greeny brown sludge kind of colour.

Both of the plant foods that we’re testing today are what we call NPK fertilisers and that stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and kalium or potassium if you’re not Latin.

In this brand of tomato food we have 21 7 14 fertilizer.

So it’s potassium-rich plant food.

Compared to the all-purpose plant food which has seven percent nitrogen, three percent phosphorous pentoxide and five percent potassium oxide, so this is a nitrogen-rich fertiliser and obviously i’d recommend using the tomato food on your tomatoes.

All you have to do is check the directions on the back of the bottle and apply the mixture to your plants every 14 days at first increasing to every seven days as the plants grow bigger and start to develop fruit so with this brand we need to use 20mls in four and a half litres of water.

So if possible use rain water which I’ve just got in this bottle here, again i’ll cover the reasons why in another video, but if you don’t have rain water collected tap water will do just fine.

I’m going to be feeding the three tomato plants in this grow bag, which according to the instructions require four and a half litres.

Now i don’t want to give them that much at the moment because they’re only quite small, so i’m just going to give them 500mls each which is the contents of the sports bottle.

A quick little tip is to use a small drinks bottle with a sports cap for measuring how much each plant gets that means that each one of these bottles needs 2.2ml of food, so i’m going to round that down with two mils using this handy little syringe.

You get these in kids medicines like Calpol, absolutely worth keeping if you can get hold of one.

Just give it a shake and ready to go.

So you just want to let it soak into the soil around the stem, don’t touch the stem or the leaves with the liquid because it will damage the plants.

And then you just leave it and that’s it, so as you can see I’ve got a brand new grow bag here I’ve got three identical money maker tomato plants.

I actually managed to get these for half price because they were looking a bit worse for wear in B&Q’s reduced section.

So i’m just going to get these into the grow bag and then we’ll take it from there.

So, plant one, here on the left this is going to be fed with the specialised high potassium tomato feed so i’m just going to stick that in now now plant number two in the middle, this is going to be our control plant so this one’s just going to be getting plain water, no plant food at all.

Now with this being a grow bag it’s a bit of a sealed environment, so chances are the roots from this plant are going to spread outwards into the other plant sections and probably take a bit of both food from each so it’s going to be really interesting to see actually how this plant does in the middle and whether it does do that and you know, maybe it’ll do just as well as the others, so here it is plain water for you.

So then finally this is plant three, this one is just going to be getting the high nitrogen content all-purpose plant food that we saw earlier on in the video.
So let’s just mix this up.

So it is probably worth mentioning that with this being a new grow bag, they actually recommend seven liters of water goes into a new one, so as you’ll probably see there I’ve only actually put in three and a half litres, so while it might seem quite a lot that’s actually going in the plants might be getting too much water, they’re actually just going to soak that up and it’s just going to disperse out through the soil, and the actual plants themselves were pretty dry when i was putting them in so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Look out for the results of this experiment in the summer and we’ll be coming back and checking the quality and quantity of the fruit produced by these plants.

Strawberries: Post-Harvest Care

Strawberries: Post-Harvest Care

Where does a good strawberry crop come from? It is laid in July – September of the previous year. Post-harvest strawberry care in July and August is the basis for next year’s harvest

At this time, the second wave of leaf growth begins, as well as the regrowth of new horns and the laying of new flower buds. In the horns, nutrients are deposited, which the plants of garden strawberries will spend next year for the formation of berries. Old leaves that have completed their function begin to die off, a large number of whiskers appear. The second half of summer is the best time to take care of the future harvest. So, the berry picking is over. How to care for strawberries further?

Pruning old strawberry leaves

Carefully cut off any old leaves, being careful not to damage the hearts and young leaves. It is more convenient to do this if garden strawberries of different varieties in your beds are selected according to the terms of fruiting, and varieties of the same timing are grouped in rows. Early varieties can be treated first until young leaves appear. At the same time, later varieties continue to bear fruit. Do not be late with this procedure, because as the young foliage grows, you will need more time and diligence. In addition, diseases and pests that have appeared on old leaves during the season will have time to move to new ones.

Remove season-dried leaves and all plant debris from your plantings: pathogens also remain on them. If you notice that the growing young strawberry leaves are shriveled, deformed, this means that the plants are infected with a strawberry mite. Treat the strawberries with any tick medicine (acaricide). A good result is given by treatment with Actellik, Kleschevit (aka Fitoverm), Titovit Jet or a solution of colloidal sulfur.

How to loosen and fertilize strawberries at the end of the season

Thoroughly loosen the soil in the aisles to a depth of 10 cm. It is impossible to loosen deeply directly near the bushes, so as not to damage the root system. In strawberries, it is located superficially. While loosening, slightly huddle the bushes so that the adventitious roots growing on the strawberry horns at this time are under a layer of soil.

Considering that during this period strawberries are gaining strength for the next fruiting and are very demanding on the supply of nutrients, it is necessary to make top dressing. To do this, apply a complete mineral fertilizer with trace elements to the soil. Calculation: 20-30 grams per 1 square meter. Special strawberry fertilizers are best suited for this, containing all the necessary elements in a balanced form. Ammophoska is not bad for this purpose: in addition to the basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), it contains calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Chlorine fertilizers should be avoided, because strawberries cannot tolerate chlorine. A very good result is given by the introduction of humus, which not only fertilizes the soil, but also significantly improves its structure.

How to water strawberries in the second half of summer

Keep the soil moist until the end of the season, watering sparingly but abundantly. Frequent surface watering usually does not benefit strawberries. After watering abundantly, loosen the soil to remove weeds. Cut out the newly growing mustache – fruiting for next year will be much weaker if the bush spends energy on the formation of daughter rosettes, and not flower buds. Timely removal of the mustache stimulates the formation of new flower buds. Powerfully overgrown young leaves in winter cover the strawberry bush and contribute to a more successful overwintering.

Features of Watering Tomatoes

Features of Watering Tomatoes

Watering tomatoes (both in the greenhouse and in the ground) is necessary in the first half of the day, so that excess moisture has time to evaporate before the evening, since waterlogging in combination with temperature changes leads to the development of infections. Sprinkling, that is, watering over the leaves, tomatoes is harmful: the ingress of water on the leaves also contributes to the spread of fungal diseases. Do not water the plants with cold water from a well or borehole – let it warm up a little. Rainwater is useful for tomatoes, as it contains a lot of dissolved oxygen.

How to water tomatoes in a greenhouse

Greenhouse tomatoes are watered frequently and evenly. If the soil is dry, then abundant watering can cause cracking of the fruits, so do not “fill” your greenhouse if you accidentally dry it out: it is better to water it a few times a little.

Moderate watering is recommended on the first cluster before fruit sets, but without drying out the topsoil. When the mass pouring of fruits begins, the rate is increased. Stunted plants and loss of flowers can be signs of a lack of moisture.

Watering soil tomatoes

Low-growing tomatoes grown in the open field are distinguished by a friendly return of the harvest. They are watered abundantly until the end of July, while the fruits are poured, then watering is reduced to speed up ripening.

The watering requirement for ground tomatoes can be reduced by using the hilling cultivation method. 3-4 weeks after planting, when “pimples” (rudiments of adventitious roots) are formed on the lower part of the stems, spud the tomatoes to a height of 5-7 cm, shoveling the soil out of the rows. Hilling is carried out with moist soil after watering. As a result, additional roots are formed above the root collar of plants, enhancing nutrition.

 

 

How to Fertilize Plants With Compost Correctly

How to Fertilize Plants With Compost Correctly

Compost is an easy to prepare and effective fertilizer that is obtained from plant and food waste. The decomposed organic matter improves the soil structure and nourishes the plants. But to achieve the desired effect, compost must be applied correctly.

Properly prepared compost, when used correctly, can replace fertilizers. Coarse undecomposed fibers are crushed with a shovel to make the compost homogeneous in structure. And only after that it is introduced into the soil in the garden.

Composting to a depth of 5 cm

In spring and summer, mature compost is scattered over the surface of the earth and carefully dug up to a depth of 5 cm. In this case, the compost can be applied both to clean soil and to overgrown with weeds. In the second method, the weeds are chopped up with a shovel and mixed well with compost.

Applying unripe compost

In late summer – early autumn, liquid fertilizer can be prepared from unripe compost, which lasts 2-3 months. To do this, fill 2/3 of any container with immature, but already blackened compost, add 1/3 with water, close it tightly with a lid and leave in a warm place for three days. After this time, adult tomatoes, cucumbers, legumes are watered with fertilizer.

To achieve the maximum effect, while watering the tomatoes, several stalks of nettle or wormwood can be added to the resulting infusion. This organic fertilization reduces the risk of developing common diseases of this crop.

In addition, in the fall, when preparing the beds (usually in October), it is recommended to introduce unripe compost into heavy clay soil. Throughout the winter, organic matter will rot, serve as food for earthworms, and by spring will make the soil loose and nutritious.

Also, unripe compost is suitable for autumn mulching of soil under fruit trees and berry bushes over 5 years of age and without damage to the bark. The fact is that rotting processes continue in unripe compost, which can destroy weakened, young and diseased plants. For such green pets, it is better to use mulch in the form of sawdust, fallen needles, straw.

In the spring, the compost that has rotted over the winter is dug onto a half-bay of a shovel.

Ready soil

Compost is an excellent base for the soil in which seedlings are grown. But keep in mind: only completely rotted compost is suitable for this, in which the decay processes have already ended. Otherwise, young plants may die.

Also in the fall, semi-ripe compost can be laid in tall beds. Then in the spring they will warm up faster in the sun.

The compost of the first year of maturity contains a lot of nitrogen, so this fertilizer is not recommended for crops that can accumulate nitrates. These are radishes, spinach, beets, lettuce, Swiss chard. But 1-2-year-old compost is perfect for plants that are demanding on nutrients: cucumbers, cabbage, zucchini, celery, pumpkin.

Soil made from compost alone may not be nutritious enough. It contains a large amount of such an important element as nitrogen, but very little magnesium and calcium. Therefore, it is advisable to additionally enrich the compost beds with minerals: you can add any fertilizer recommended for growing a specific crop.

Use of compost depending on the destination

In the garden, garden and flower garden, compost is used in different ways. In this matter, it is not enough to know the general rules of feeding.

Garden

On the beds, it is best to add compost in the fall for digging. This technique increases soil fertility. If you did not have time to do this in time, you can add well-ripened compost in the spring at the time of sowing – just pour it into the grooves or embed it shallowly into the soil.

When planting cabbage and tomato seedlings, add one handful of compost to each hole. Then the seedlings will take root better and start growing faster.

Orchard

In the near-trunk circles of fruit trees in the spring, apply compost to a depth of 10 cm around the crown perimeter.To feed the shrubs (currants, gooseberries, honeysuckle), apply compost in late autumn, but do not cover it, but simply sprinkle it over the surface of the frozen ground and sprinkle it with peat.

Flower garden

Ornamental shrubs also respond well to compost feeding. In late autumn, mulch lilac, mock orange and hydrangea, like berry bushes, on frozen soil. This will save you the trouble of feeding your ornamental plants in early spring.

Garden roses also love compost in the form of mulch. This fertilizer provides nutrition, retains moisture and inhibits weed growth. But it is used only in spring and summer. In late autumn (before wintering), it is impossible to sprinkle roses with compost, because this can lead to an infectious plant burn.

Feeding container plants

To increase soil fertility, remove the top layer and replace it with mature compost. When watering plants in pots, nutrients along with water will penetrate into the deep layers of the earth and become available to the roots.