General information

Tomatoes in the greenhouse: mulching

How to preserve moisture in the soil and protect the plant from overheating in hot weather and from freezing the roots in the cold in order to get a rich tomato crop, farmers and private owners are constantly concerned about issues. The answer is unequivocal - to conduct a regular mulching operation of tomatoes in the greenhouse and open ground from the moment of transplanting until the end of fruiting.

Mulching tomatoes increases their yield

Mulching is a term that is very fashionable and is often used in discussions about growing tomatoes. It is intended to protect and enrich the soil.

Breaking the postulates, I grow a miracle - tomatoes

Getting information on how to grow tomatoes in greenhouses can be very necessary. Your own, eco-friendly product will always be tastier and better than that bought in a store. For planting choose those varieties that are resistant to cracks. These varieties are not only the best for greenhouses, but also serve as the basis for various mashed potatoes and sauces.

Tomatoes grow in the greenhouse and without the use of mulch, but if you want to ease your work, to increase the fertility of the soil and the fertility of the tomato, you should not neglect it.

Soil mulching in the greenhouse

  • Prevents excessive evaporation of water from the soil, reduces the amount of irrigation required for normal plant development.
  • It helps to preserve the natural microclimate necessary for the life of beneficial microorganisms that have a huge impact on the fertility of plants.
  • Reduces the growth of weeds, repels some pests, including the Colorado potato beetle, who likes to be treated to the nightshade.
  • Creates a decorative background.
  • Helps maintain the desired pH of the soil. Very low for blueberries and rhododendrons.
  • Decomposing, enriches the soil with humus.
  • Prevents the freezing of small roots, in the case of unheated greenhouses.
  • Protects greenhouse soil from overheating.
  • In the case of tall and untied tomatoes, is an insulating layer. Shoots do not touch the ground, they rarely suffer from fungal diseases.

However, not all types of mulch are suitable for growing thermophilic, such as cucumbers, pumpkins, peppers, and tomatoes.

Mulch can be made from a variety of materials.

  • Straw. A year later it turns into humus.
  • Cones. For very large greenhouses. There may be pine, spruce, fir. Turn into humus after 3-5 years. In moist air, the scales close (making the opening angle of the cone smaller), and water easily penetrates the soil. In dry weather, the scales of cones are open and better protect the soil from drying out. In Germany, lumps can be purchased at garden stores.
  • Wood chips Effectively looks in the greenhouse and on beds in a garden, especially from coniferous breeds of trees. It is expensive and decomposes quickly (during the season, if the layer is thin). To enhance the decorative effect, chips can be colored.
  • Bark. It can be purchased or ordered in a sawmill. It is designed specifically for mulching plants that love acidic soil.
  • Sawdust. Both softwood and hardwood (preferably composted) are used. Layer sawdust enough for 1-2 seasons.

Tomato mulching is practiced in greenhouses and open field

Ancient procedure

You can mulch tomatoes in a heated greenhouse at any time. In the greenhouse without heating, after sufficient warm-up. Mulch is laid out between the plants, leaving near the stem a little free space for watering. If the mulching fabric of artificial origin, then it is stretched over the entire area of ​​the greenhouse and make cross-shaped incisions. Grown up seedlings will be planted in these places. Through them watering is carried out.

Mulching is an ancient technique of increasing yields. Used in the processing of crops since the end of the seventeenth century and means the cultivation of soil cover (translated from English). Originally, mulch was understood as various organic waste and garbage. Fertilizer is a high-quality and effective material for improving the condition and properties of the soil. Mulch, as an organic fertilizer, can be used continuously, but in small quantities, with spring and autumn tillage.

Mulch serves as both a plant protection and fertilizer.

Mulching with coconut flakes

Coconut fiber, due to its physical properties for several years, has been successfully used as a substrate on its own or in a mixture of horticultural green mulching agents. When growing tomatoes in a greenhouse, coconut fiber is used in the form of rings and in the form of compressed dry COCOVITA mats.

For several seasons, Ceres International has been developing special mats that can be used to mulch tomatoes in greenhouses and open ground mats filled with dry, softened coconut fiber. Thanks to the technology used in the production of products in coconut fiber, the content of potassium, sodium and chlorine is reduced, which affect soil depletion. Coconut mats are uniform and are increasingly used by gardeners.

In European countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and France, most coconut mats are produced in this form. In these countries, the total area for mulching tomatoes with coconut mats is about 1,200 hectares and is increasing every year by 10%.

The advantages of using coconut fiber in greenhouses:

  • High yield.
  • Good quality fruits (fleshy, sugary, rich in color).
  • Excellent conditions for the development of the root system.
  • The possibility of reusing coconut waste.
  • The good health of tomatoes, due to the presence of fungi of the genus Trichoderma, with antagonistic action against pathogens that cause disease of the roots.

Typically, to grow tomatoes in greenhouses, developers offer two types of coconut fiber mats:

  • 15 cm wide and 100 cm long, designed to mulch three plants.
  • 20 cm wide and 100 cm long to grow tomatoes on the "V" system.

Coconut fiber has good capillary properties, since the chips are evenly distributed throughout the entire mat. This facilitates surface preparation in the greenhouse. In the mats, the bottom four rows are holes to ensure a good harvest.

In order to evenly distribute the water flowing out of the mats, it is necessary to make drainage grooves along the rows of the mats.

The surface of the greenhouse is covered with white polypropylene cloth or white and black film. To improve the conditions for the development of the root system of tomatoes, it is recommended to lay coconut mats on a polystyrene coating.

Coconut mats - a modern way of mulching

Mulching with sawdust

After cutting wood for the fireplace, there is always a lot of sawdust and bark. You can burn them, but it is not very rational use of very valuable organic fertilizer and mulch, which can be used for mulching tomatoes and other vegetables in greenhouses, greenhouses, in the garden and garden from spring to autumn.

Only here it is necessary to observe the principle: if sawdust and wood shavings are from your hardwood, then they must be in the form of compost, and from coniferous - not necessarily. With the thickness of the sawdust also do not overdo it, because too thick a layer of mulch is unlikely to be permeable to water.

Fresh sawdust improves the soil structure and protects it from drying out. But if they are not in the form of compost, an additional dose of nitrogen fertilizer (urea) must be applied.

Why use sawdust

  • They are loved by earthworms and other beneficial microorganisms that live in the soil, so that the plants will grow better and be healthier.
  • Improves the permeability of the soil.
  • The soil heats up better and faster, which is a big plus in cold weather.
  • Mulching tomatoes protect the beds from weeds.

Wood shavings and sawdust slowly decompose, so they are unlikely to immediately provide tomatoes with too much nutrients. The role of mulching is primarily to improve the structure of the soil. Slowly acidify the soil (softwood - more, and hardwood - less). Especially good conifers, magnolia, blueberry, rhododendron, azalea, strawberries, strawberries, grapes, raspberries.

Fresh hardwood sawdust should not be used for mulching plants in the greenhouse, as they contain tannins that inhibit plant growth. Therefore, sawdust and shavings from hardwood is better to use in the form of compost. After this, the soil becomes the same as in the case of mulching with fir sawdust.

Sawdust improves soil quality

How to mulch with straw

There is no easier way to limit weed growth and retain moisture than mulching tomatoes. The result: clean vegetables, faster heating of the soil and enriching it with humus.

Vegetables such as dwarf tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash are less vulnerable to fungal diseases. The green part of straw mulch plants becomes more refined.

Straw can be used not only in greenhouses, and for mulching vegetables, but also for fruit-bearing shrubs in the garden (currants, blueberries, gooseberries, aronia). The old layer of straw does not need to be removed from under the bushes, it just falls on another one.

Under the straw straw earthworm colonies like to live, which fertilize and loosen the soil. Tomatoes mulch after transplanting seedlings to a permanent place.

Before mulching tomatoes with straw, you must first remove the weeds. Straw severely limits their growth, but not 100%.

Next year, the soil in the greenhouse can not dig up a new landing, as the land under the mulch is always loosened by earthworms.