Many summer residents ask themselves questions: how to pinch plants correctly, what are stepchildren and where are they located? Grassing tomatoes is not an easy task, especially for a beginner. This article will help you understand such a difficult process and find answers to all your questions.
Stepchildren - these are additional shoots that extend from the main stem. Stepchildren appear as soon as the plant begins to bloom, and grow from the area of the leaf sinuses. These shoots also have leaves, flowers, and sometimes even small fruits are tied. A large number of stepchildren leads to a large number of ovaries, which is not always good for the plant itself.
If you do not carry out pinching, then a small bush of a plant will begin to resemble "thickets of the forest", and due to neglect of plantings, fungal diseases may occur, which are very difficult to remove. A large number of fruits leads to the fact that they will be small, and some varieties, due to the lack of pinching, may even be late with fruiting.
Stealing is not an easy process and requires a responsible approach. If the work is not done correctly, then you can generally be left without a crop. Basically, the first stepchildren appear along with the first flower brush, they are considered the most powerful. All stepsons who will be located below the first must be removed. This rule is especially true for tomatoes growing in the open field. The pinching process itself primarily depends on the variety of tomatoes.
There are two ways to delete stepchildren:
It is recommended to pick tomatoes at least once or twice a week so that the stepchildren do not have time to take a large amount of nutrients from the plant. Do not be greedy and run your garden - all this can lead to a bad harvest. If the process of pinching is carried out at a time, then this can lead to illness and death of the tomato bush.
It is better to carry out picking up in the morning, in sunny weather. Then the wound will have time to heal during the day and the plant will come to life by the evening. If pinching fell on cloudy days, then fresh wounds should be sprinkled with ash. First of all, stepchildren break off on healthy and large bushes. It is better to pinch diseased plants on another day, so the risk of contamination of healthy plants is reduced.
If, after removing the stepson, a new process is formed in the same place, then the process is repeated. When stepsons are formed at the very bottom, when several brushes have long been formed, they are removed and the entire bush is carefully examined. It is also worth removing stepchildren that grow from a flower cluster, as this can lead to a delay in the fruiting of the main crop.
In addition to the pinching process, do not forget about the treatment of the bush from diseases that can completely deprive you of the harvest. Processing is carried out from late May to early June. It is also worth remembering for every gardener that there should not be a single leaf under a brush with not yet ripe tomatoes. It is necessary to remove the bottom sheets once a week. If this is not done, then the plant will stagnate, and this will lead to loss of yield. Leaves need to be broken off to the side, not down. This pull-off prevents accidental peeling of the skin from the stem of the plant.
A week ago, there was no sign of danger.
My organic farming has paid off step by step.
The beds were laid out, their own seedlings were planted, mulching and the necessary fertilizing were carried out.
The tomatoes grew and got stronger, the first rare flowers appeared, and at that moment I discovered a gap in my knowledge. It was possible, of course, to leave everything as it is, but I subconsciously felt that something should be done with them further)). Tie up - I decided.
I did not know anything about pinching, although I have been growing tomatoes for twenty years ... Somehow it passed me by). By the way, it was always with tomatoes. And here - organic farming, you start to comprehend, experiment ... For a couple of days I was in thought)).
And then thunder struck. Both literally and figuratively. It was raining for 24 hours. And when in the morning I saw the beds, I was shocked. During these three days the tomatoes grew into the thickets, bloomed, and ... fell from the rain.
Well - I get up early, I saved them, I talked to them)), I realized that I needed to thin out, cut off excess growth (how.), Support, urgently tie up.
I figured out everything.
First, she pinned and removed the extra (without inflorescences) branches. I left tall tomatoes in one trunk, the rest - undersized, looked - left two or three of the most powerful shoots. Where she tore off or cut off branches (depending on the thickness), she left stumps of 1 - 1.5 cm. Then she tied everything up, strengthened and fertilized (after the rain).
Few know how to pinch tomatoes correctly, and some do not even know what a stepson is and confuse pinching with partial removal of tomato leaves.
Grazing is an extremely important technique for the successful cultivation of tomatoes, especially tall ones. Tall tomatoes have some advantages over undersized ones: they are more productive, with proper agricultural technology, they are less affected by late blight and have a long fruiting period.
Many summer residents are interested in the question: is it necessary to stepchild? The answer is categorical - yes! Some naively hope to increase the yield by using large green mass. But if your goal is the harvest, and not the gardening of the site, then pinch. Here nutrition and lighting are of decisive importance, therefore you need to know how to pinch tomatoes and not thicken the plantings. After all, a plant can fully bear fruit only with adequate lighting.
It should also be remembered that the total mass of tomatoes from a bush practically does not increase with an increase in the number of fruits. That is, you can get either a lot of small or few large tomatoes. Choose for yourself.
There is also a nuance. Before deciding to pinch tomatoes in the greenhouse, remember that in the case of a large number of fruits on the bush (without pinching), their ripening is greatly delayed. Why some do not wait for a well-ripe harvest. It is also important that in the thickened bush the most favorable conditions are created for late blight - a pernicious disease of the nightshade. The bush must be well ventilated, or no treatments will save the crop.
Determinant varieties, or those that do not grow very tall, do not require pinching. The height of such bushes rarely reaches half a meter and they usually do not branch much. Low-growing varieties are suitable for those people who do not have a lot of time to work in the garden. Such compact and curly tomato bushes will decorate your greenhouse or vegetable garden.
Correct pinching is breaking out unnecessary lateral shoots that grow from the leaf axils. In order not to confuse the stepson with leaves, it is worth taking a close look at the bush. Stepsons do not grow on a bare stem. First, a leaf grows, and a stepson appears from its bosom (between the stem and the leaf), which continues to develop. Stepchildren of the second order appear on it, and the tomato bush begins to branch.
So what to break out on the bush, and what to leave? It all depends on how many stems you want to lead the bushes. Tall tomatoes are best kept in 1-3 stems, but no more. So that the bushes are in one stem, all stepchildren break out. The distance between the bushes is 18 cm, and between the rows - 135 cm. When a bush is formed into two stems, it is necessary to leave the main shoot and the most powerful stepson under the very first flower brush. All others are regularly broken out. To lead the bushes into three stems, stepchildren are left under the first flower brush and the most powerful one under it.
The stepsons do not pluck, do not pull out, but break out. In this case, a stump of 1-2 cm remains, which inhibits the appearance of a new stepson here. It is better not to allow the stepson to outgrow too much, because the plant spends a lot of energy and nutrition on it.
The process of forming tomatoes may include a certain list of manipulations that must be carried out correctly. So, we will try to describe in detail some of the fundamental principles of the formation of tomato bushes.
Tomato grazing is the procedure for removing lateral shoots that form in the leaf axils. Such shoots consume a lot of micronutrients for their full development, which is often unreasonable. That is why experienced farmers, when the first stepsons appear, tend to remove them. Remove the lateral shoot by pinching it off with your fingers or cut it off with scissors. In this case, it is necessary to leave a small piece of the shoot (stump) so that a new stepson does not form in this place from now on.
It is recommended to carry out grazing of determinant tomatoes in the morning hours, since during this period the plant is maximally saturated with moisture. At the same time, damage on the trunk will dry up throughout the day, and all kinds of viruses and fungi on their surface will no longer pose a significant threat to plant health.
In order to prevent diseases that are especially common in a greenhouse, some plant protection measures must be observed during pinching. All tools and gloves of the farmer must be regularly treated with a potassium permanganate disinfectant solution.
Grassing tomatoes is carried out regularly, starting from the moment the bushes adapt to new conditions after planting in the ground until the end of the growing season. Recommended frequency of the event: 1 time in 10 days. Regular pinching will direct the flow of micronutrients from the root of the plant directly to its fruits, accelerate the ripening process of vegetables and reduce the density of plantings in the greenhouse, thereby improving air circulation and preventing the development of diseases.
The pinching procedure is carried out in the process of forming tomatoes into one stem according to the above proposed schemes. For other determinant varieties of tomatoes, pinching is carried out at the end of the growing season on the eve of autumn.
It is also recommended to pinch the top of the bush in the early morning. When carrying out the manipulation, it is necessary to remove the brush on the main or lateral shoot so that 1-2 leaves free from ovaries remain higher along the trunk. They will allow moisture and nutrients to circulate properly through the stems, supplying energy to all the vegetative organs of the plant.
The formation of determinant-type tomatoes may involve not only pinching the tops of the stems, but also pinching the inflorescences. When growing semi-determinant and determinant tomatoes, it is rational to remove the first formed flowering clusters, since they require a lot of energy and "inhibit" the formation of new ovaries.
Leaves, like stepchildren, require a certain amount of nutrients for their development. To save plant resources, gardeners remove the lower leaves on the main trunk and left stepchildren, since they do not perform an important function. Leaves should be removed by cutting or pinching. The manipulation must be carried out very carefully so as not to damage the skin of the plant. Remove the lower leaves of tomatoes at the same time as pinching. You can remove 1 to 3 sheets at a time.
Tying the bushes is an integral part of the tomato shaping procedure. You can tie the determinant-type tomatoes in the greenhouse to the trellis or twine to the frame of the building. You cannot make tight knots on the trunks. It is preferable to wrap the thread around the trunk of the tomato without rigidly fixing it.