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There cooking of tomatoes it is quite easy but the same cannot be said of sowing tomatoes, certainly not a trivial operation to perform. Although tomatoes are one of the most grown vegetables in gardens, you need to learn how to do it and not improvise.
On all our tables this vegetable is very present, we eat it often in salads, especially in summer, but it is also the main ingredient of many sauces that in traditional Italian cuisine we find used to season pasta or pizza.
The plant that produces i tomatoes is a solanaceous plant quite demanding in terms of nutrients, temperatures and sun exposure, those who want excellent results must learn to sow at the right time and he must be lucky and live in a place where the climate is what they like. In this article we will try to provide information and advice to venture into planting tomatoes in the best possible way.
Sowing of tomatoes: period
If you want to make the sowing tomatoes directly in the field it is usually necessary to wait until April, if not May, depending on the area in which you live. This is because the ideal temperature for sowing is just over 20 degrees. This vegetable, to grow well, must absolutely not suffer from the cold, it is therefore essential to be sure that the temperature does not drop below 12 degrees, neither day nor night.
Around February or March it is possible to make the sow tomatoes only if you have a seedbed available, in this way we carry on for a couple of months giving birth to the plants which will then have to be transplanted into the garden. This transfer operation is always linked to the temperature which outside can never be below 12 fateful degrees, those that could kill newly hatched seedlings. Why anticipate and then wait?
Because the harvest lengthens because the period in which the map it can give us its fruits.
If we talk about the sowing period, we cannot fail to mention under the influence of the moon that many believe there is on all fruit vegetables and tomatoes are. These are perhaps peasant beliefs, but it is good to be aware of them. The growing moon phase would be the one able to favor development because the moon would send the present energies of the plants upwards precisely in this period. This would apply not only to tomatoes but also to leaves, flowers and fruits of other plants.
Speaking of the influence of the moon, it must be said that it is better to specify that there are no scientific confirmations regarding those beliefs. Not everyone follows this rule, there are those who ignore it and instead those who, when in doubt, respect it. I would say that the decision is at personal discretion.
Sowing tomatoes: seeds
We can produce the seeds directly by themselves, from their own crops, year after year, is not a particularly complex operation. They must be taken from the fruit and left to dry so that they can be used the following year. Being a "living matter", they must be stored in a dry place and positioned far from heat sources, if we proceed correctly we will obtain tomato seeds that can last even four or five years.
If we want to be comfortable, we can buy the seeds either in some specialized shop in our area or online, the important thing is to be careful and choose certified organic seeds, instead avoiding the hybrid varieties indicated with the acronym F1. If we are faced with so many varieties to choose from, we focus on the oldest vegetables which are usually the most resistant and do better even in the organic garden.
Sowing tomatoes: soil
The land that is preparing to welcome the tomato seeds it cannot be just any terrain but it must have precise characteristics if we want to be sure of being able to harvest pulpy and good fruits. It is therefore necessary to work the soil before sowing with the spade, even for two or three weeks in a row, to move the soil that is too compact. The hoe can serve us, in aid of the spade, to break the clods and roots that we could find in our area.
In fact, spontaneous herbs that could disturb the seedlings at the root must be eliminated. About a month before sowing, it is necessary to proceed with manure (or compost) incorporating it into the ground with the help of the hoe, and then level the ground with a rake. It is the final touch and also serves to remove any stones that are too big to stay.
Sowing tomatoes: tips
Given the small size of the tomato seeds, it is advisable to plant more than one seed in each jar or in each postarella and place them a little deep in the ground. We take into account that in every gram of seed there are about 300 seeds.
If it's still February and we have decided to sow in seedbeds we can use honeycomb containers or jars by filling them with soil suitable for sowing and earthworm humus. The operation itself is simple: place the seed on the surface and cover it with a light layer of earth and then lightly compact the soil with your fingers. The seedbed allows us to anticipate the time of sowing about two months, when we then transplant the seedlings into the garden we will not have to worry about the presence of "holes" that could instead appear in the garden, in case some seeds do not germinate.
Towards April we can instead sow in the field, thus avoiding having to later transport the seedlings. The seeds also in this case must be buried at a shallow depth, maximum half a centimeter. Direct sowing in the field is usually recommended only for those who live in areas with a very mild climate to be sure that sudden frosts do not occur, this usually happens in southern Italy or on the coasts.
For what concern positioning of the seedlings, we can calculate a distance of about half a meter between one and the other and a distance of about one meter between different rows, this if it is a climbing variety, while for the others both measures are better increased to 70 and 120 centimeters respectively.
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