Tomatoes are plants from the nightshade family. Their homeland is South America. Shitomatl, as the Indians called it, is still found there in the wild. The weight of such a tomato is only 1 g. Like any other plant, the main purpose of a tomato is procreation, that is, flowering and fruiting. For this, the bushes must be strong and accumulate a lot of green mass. At the same time, there may be few fruits. For centuries, breeders have been working to ensure that tomatoes give a large harvest, and not increase the leaf apparatus. But it is not easy to change the nature of a plant. So tomatoes are overgrown with stepchildren, and gardeners tirelessly form plants, setting them up for a harvest.
The photo shows the harvest of wild tomato.
If you do not carry out pinching and let the tomatoes grow as they please, then you get solid thickets, in which it is not easy to find tomatoes. So, wild tomatoes grow in their homeland. Climatic conditions allow them to give a good harvest even in the absence of care and formation. But the size of their fruits is tiny. They rather resemble currants. And disease resistance in wild tomatoes is at the genetic level. Cultural varieties without proper care and pinching will inevitably fall ill with late blight, and then the harvest can no longer wait.
There are a great many varieties of tomato. Each gardener grows his favorite and proven ones. Care for different groups of varieties is different, as is the formation.
Characteristics of tomatoes
According to the strength of growth, tomatoes are divided into tall, medium-sized and undersized.
By the type of growth, the following groups of tomatoes can be distinguished:
Advice! For open ground, determinant or standard varieties are preferable - they are best adapted to temperature fluctuations and other weather disasters.
Such tomatoes are more hardy and resist diseases well.
The only exceptions are the southern regions, in which, with an appropriate garter, indeterminate tomatoes are successfully grown in the open field.
Advice! To extend the harvest time, it is better to plant both stems and determinant varieties with an early and medium ripening period at the same time.
The method of formation depends on the type of growth of the tomato and consists of several operations:
- tomatoes are pinned;
- the lightening of the bush is carried out, that is, the leaves are cut in a certain order;
- pinching of shoots is carried out.
Stepsons and pinning
Stepsons grow in the axil of a tomato leaf and are its generative organ.
The stepson needs food. If it is not planned to leave it for the formation of the crop, the removal must be carried out necessarily and in a timely manner. When is it better to remove stepchildren? The best time is when their size is not less than 4 cm and not more than 6 cm.
Why can't you delete sooner or later? With earlier removal, it will not be possible to leave a stump of about 3 cm. It is needed in order to prevent the growth of a new stepson from this sinus. With a later removal, the bush is weakened, since the growth of the unnecessary part requires the nutrition necessary for the formation of fruits. The plant is under stress.
Warning! Never stepchild tomatoes in wet weather, after rain, watering, or liquid dressing.
The plant must be absolutely dry, otherwise phytophthora cannot be avoided.
How to properly lighten tomato bushes
The rules for removing excess leaves are the same as for pinching. The timing will be prompted by the complete formation of the brush and the first signs of its ripeness.
Tomatoes after leaf removal.
This activity is necessary to remove the brushes that do not have time to mature. When pinching plants, leave 2 leaves above each brush. The rules for working with tomatoes are the same as for pinning.
Formation of tomatoes in the open field
What determines the method of forming low-growing tomatoes in the open field? There are several factors here.
- Growth type of tomato.
- Tomato variety.
- Growing conditions: care, soil fertility.
Features of pinching different types of tomatoes
The choice of the type of tomato depends on how quickly the gardener wants to get ripe fruits and what kind of harvest he expects. All standard varieties are distinguished by early ripening, they give an early harvest, but since the bush itself does not grow for long, this early harvest quickly ends.
Advice! Standard varieties can be grown in a compacted planting, observing a distance between the bushes of 25-30 cm.
But then you will have to grow more seedlings.
The formation of a standard bush is carried out only when there is a desire to try tomatoes very early. In all other cases, these tomatoes do not need to be shaped.
Advice! To get the earliest harvest, choose an ultra-early variety of standard tomato and, after removing all stepchildren, leave only the main stem.
The gain in terms of ripening can be up to 14 days.
Superdeterminate tomatoes are grown without pinching, but they already have to be tied up. The maximum that can be done with them is to remove a pair of lower stepchildren, if any. Several lower leaves are also removed.
In determinants, the formation is carried out depending on the variety, the strength of the growth of the bush, and even on whether it will be warm and sunny in summer. There are many undersized varieties bred by breeders for lazy or very busy gardeners, they do not need pinching.
You can name a whole series of non-pinking varieties of the Ural selection: non-pinking scarlet, pink, rounded, crimson, plum-shaped, cylindrical, amber. All these tomatoes are undersized and early. The varieties Explosion, Danko, Currency, Siberian trump card, Parsley the gardener, Akvarel, Supermodel, Eldorado, Skorospelka, Golden stream are not stepped in either.
Advice! Most of the seed producing companies indicate on the tomato seed bags information about the method of pinching this variety and the type of its growth.
Carefully read everything that is written on the package when choosing a tomato variety.
Yet most determinant varieties need shaping. There are two main ways of growing determinants: 1 and 2 stems. In the first method, one main stem is left on the tomato, removing all the stepsons. In the second method, the crop will be formed on the central shoot and on one stepchild, it should be located directly under the lower flower brush.
Warning! Never leave stepchildren that come from the bottom of the stem.
They are distinguished by their great vigor of growth and take a lot of nutrition from the plant, slowing down the formation and maturation of the crop.
All brushes are left on the central shoot, and only two on the stepson. It needs to be pinched 2 sheets after the second brush.
There is another way to pinch low-growing tomatoes for open ground. The central stem is pinched when 3 brushes are formed, leaving 2 leaves, the stepson will continue to grow, emerging from the bosom above the first flower brush, after the formation of 2 brushes on it, pinching is carried out over the second leaf and another stepson is grown, which follows the first flower brush on first. This method is called - in one escape with a continuation. Here are some more ways to form determinants.
Attention! Never pinch tomatoes right after a flower brush. Her nutrition is carried out by 2-3 leaves that grow above her.
There are exceptions to every rule. Provided that the soil is fertile enough, care is carried out according to all the rules, and summer pleases with warm and sunny days, you can leave additional stepsons on the tomato.
The meaning of pinching is not only in rationing the yield in accordance with the capabilities of the tomato, but also in creating the best conditions for the rapid ripening of fruits. And this is possible only with their least shading.
For the same purpose, another agricultural technique is carried out, which is part of the process of plant formation: breaking off leaves on a tomato. It begins only when the lower hand is fully formed and the fruits begin to sing.
Advice! At a time, more than 2 leaves on a tomato should not be cut off, so as not to weaken the plant.
Such a procedure gives a double benefit - the tomatoes on the lower brush are more illuminated by the sun and ripen faster, and the bush is better ventilated, which reduces the likelihood of late blight, because there is no contact of the leaves with the soil.
The last operation that is carried out to form tomato plants is pinching the tops. They do it in the third decade of July, cutting off all the extra brushes that will no longer have time to bear fruit, but will slow down the ripening of the rest of the crop.
The video shows how a professional tomato grower forms tomatoes:
Formation of undersized varieties in the greenhouse
Low-growing tomatoes are quite good for a greenhouse. Determinants will give an excellent harvest in it, since their development takes longer. Of course, the yield of determinant varieties does not compare with that of the Indians, but they are much less hassle with them.
The formation of low-growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is no more difficult than that of determinant varieties in the open field and is not much different. Unless you can leave more flower brushes, they all have time to form fruits and give a harvest. Some gardeners, in general, do without pinching the tomato in the greenhouse, but even if the tomato does not stepchild, it is still necessary to lighten the bushes, since late blight does not sleep.
Valery Medvedev will tell you how to form determinant varieties in a greenhouse in the video:
Tomatoes, correctly formed taking into account the variety, type of growth and growing conditions, will give a good harvest in any summer.