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Naturally, every summer resident has his favorite varieties of tomatoes. Someone adores fleshy large fruits, and some prefer neat tomatoes, which can be cut into a salad or perfectly canned. Of particular interest are tomatoes, which are easy to grow in a summer cottage or even on a balcony. Tomato Thumbelina belongs to just such varieties.
Characteristics of the variety
The early maturing Thumbelina is intended for growing indoors. On average, the bush grows to a height of 1.5-1.6 m. The period from seed germination to the first harvest is 91-96 days. The fruits ripen small - 15-20 grams each, but 10-14 fruits can form in the cyst (photo). A round tomato of the Thumbelina variety has a smooth and dense skin and, according to summer residents, has an excellent taste.
Approximately 4.5 kg of ripe fruits are harvested from a square meter of the garden. Tomato Thumbelina perfectly complements vegetable salads and looks delicious preserved.
The main advantages of the Thumbelina variety:
- self-pollinated tomato, which is especially important if you want to grow tomatoes on a balcony or loggia;
- resistance to many tomato diseases (powdery mildew, rot);
- amicable ripening of tomatoes of the Thumbelina variety. Since all tomatoes ripen on one brush at the same time, harvesting is a pleasure. You can pick individual fruits or cut off an elegant tomato cluster at once.
The disadvantage of this variety is its sensitivity to sudden changes in temperature. Tomato Thumbelina also reacts poorly to low temperatures, so it is recommended to grow this variety only in greenhouses.
Important! When planting a tomato of the Thumbelina variety on the balcony, excessive soil moisture should not be allowed. Since this leads to increased growth of stepsons, which is unacceptable in balcony conditions.
For sowing tomato seeds Thumbelina use a special soil mixture. You can also prepare the soil yourself - garden soil, humus / peat, sand and mineral fertilizers are mixed. To disinfect the earth, you need to heat it in the oven.
Before sowing, seeds of tomatoes of the Thumbelina variety are preliminarily immersed in a solution of potassium permanganate for 3-4 minutes (for disinfection). Then the grains are washed and wrapped in a wet cloth for germination for 2-3 days.
The napkin is kept in a warm place and does not allow the fabric to dry out. As soon as the seeds germinate, they can be planted in the ground. First, a drainage layer is poured into the containers, and then a special soil. On the surface of the moistened earth, grooves are made about 1 cm deep. The seeds are laid out in grooves at a distance of 2 cm from each other and covered with a thin layer of soil. For germination of grains, the container is placed in a warm place (temperature + 20-25˚C) and covered with glass or foil. Usually shoots appear on the 5-6th day.
Important! As soon as the sprouts appear, the covering material can be removed.
To strengthen and full-fledged growth of seedlings of the Thumbelina variety, additional light sources are equipped (it is recommended to install a special phytolamp).
When 2-3 leaves appear on the sprouts, the seedlings can be dived and planted in separate containers. You cannot hesitate with picking seedlings, otherwise the growing plants will form such a root system that later planting will become very traumatic for Thumbelina tomato sprouts.
You can make a pick late enough (when the seedlings already have 5-6 true leaves). But in this case, the seedlings are planted in advance more rarely, or the seedlings are carefully thinned out with the usual planting scheme.
For planting seedlings, Thumbelina prepares cups in advance (with a volume of 200-250 grams or special pots 8x8 cm in size). Do not take too spacious containers in anticipation of the future powerful root system of tomatoes. Since in the soil not occupied by the roots, a fungus can start, which will lead to the disease of the Thumbelina tomato variety.
The issue of pinching the central root remains controversial. On the one hand, such an operation stimulates the growth of a powerful branched root system. On the other hand, such injury to seedlings inhibits their growth for some time. In addition, during transplantation, a part of the thin long root comes off anyway.
After transplanting tomatoes, Thumbelina is recommended to place the containers for 2-3 days in a shaded place. Then the seedlings are provided with good lighting. And after a week and a half, they begin to gradually accustom the sprouts to fresh air.
The first feeding is applied one and a half weeks after planting the sprouts of the Thumbelina variety. You can use complex special fertilizers or make a solution yourself: 12 g of potassium sulfate, 35 g of superphosphate and 4 g of urea are dissolved in 10 liters of water. It is advisable to combine watering and fertilization.
When watering tomatoes of the Thumbelina variety, do not allow water to stagnate. It is recommended to water the tomatoes as the soil dries out.
Advice! If, before being transferred to the greenhouse, the Thumbelina Tomato seedlings are very stretched and grown, you can re-transplant the plant into a more spacious container to provide the root system with space and soil mixture.
This is especially true for tall varieties of tomatoes, which can slow growth in tight pots.
Seedlings of tomatoes Thumbelina can be planted in a greenhouse 40-50 days after germination of seeds (usually in mid-May). The soil in the greenhouse must be prepared in advance.
Advice! Since tomatoes significantly deplete the soil, it is necessary to fertilize the soil in the fall.
When digging up the soil, add compost or humus at the rate of 4-6 kg per square meter of area. This is important if tomatoes have been growing in one place for several seasons.
The Thumbelina variety prefers fertile, loose, neutral mixtures. In the greenhouse, the bushes are planted at a distance of 60-70 cm from each other. They provide support for the tomatoes in advance - as soon as the seedlings grow up to 30 cm, it is imperative to tie up the stem.
Excellent yield is obtained when the formation of bushes of 2-3 stems. Usually the bushes grow to a height of 1.5 m. The main care consists in regularly tying up Thumbelina tomatoes, removing stepchildren and loosening the soil. To prevent the soil from drying out, it is advisable to mulch it.
It is necessary to apply fertilizers during periods of flowering, ovary formation and fruit formation. It is allowed to use both organic (peat, humus) and inorganic fertilizers (Kemira Universal 2, Magnesium sulfate, Solution).
Diseases and prevention
According to summer residents, the Thumbelina variety is quite resistant to disease. However, you should be aware of the diseases that can affect tomatoes:
- the tobacco mosaic virus occurs in greenhouse conditions due to poor ventilation, high air humidity, thickening of bushes. The disease manifests itself in the form of light green and yellowish mosaic spots. Plants break quickly, Thumbelina fruits break. The virus is spread by aphids, thrips. At the first symptoms, the damaged bush should be treated with a solution of milk whey (10%) with the addition of micronutrient fertilizers. As a preventive measure, it is recommended to replace the top layer of soil in the greenhouse (about 10-15 cm);
- late blight is one of the most common fungal diseases. A favorable environment for the onset and spread of the disease is cloudy, cool and humid weather. There is no absolute remedy for combating fungus. Therefore, at the first symptoms, it is important to prevent the spread of the disease. As a preventive measure, the treatment of bushes with the preparations Fitosporin, Gamair, Alirin is practiced. It is recommended to spray Thumbelina tomatoes when the first ovaries are formed. You can also sprinkle the preparations on the soil or add them to the irrigation water. In autumn, the remains of tomatoes are carefully removed. In the spring, the greenhouse walls can be washed or the plastic sheeting can be replaced.
Fruit cracking is not a disease. Rather, it is a flaw that appears when the soil is excessively wet. To prevent the appearance of such defects, the soil is regularly loosened, the irrigation process is controlled.
Tomatoes of the Thumbelina variety will pleasantly decorate the summer table and join the ranks of elegant conservation. Easy care allows you to grow several tomato bushes without much hassle.
Reviews of summer residents
Elena Moiseeva, St. Petersburg
For the first time, I planted several bushes in the greenhouse (for trial). She left one stem in the bushes. The brushes have matured very elegantly - each of them has 16-18 mouth-watering fruits of the Thumbelina variety. The fruits were tasty and sweetish. Of course, not for everybody, but my loved ones liked it. I was pleasantly surprised that they were harvesting at the end of September.
Svetlana Naumova, Stary Oskol
I had heard a lot about the Thumbelina variety and decided to plant it on the site, but in the open ground. The fruits were disappointing - the peel is harsh, the tomatoes are sour rather than sweet. There are a lot of stepchildren, so the bushes took up a lot of space.