How to grow a tomato tree at home
Many gardeners dream of growing something unusual in their area. If you are one of them, then pay attention to an unusual hybrid variety of tomatoes called Octopus F1 or, in other words, a tomato tree. And how to grow these tomatoes, we will tell in this article.
Tomato tree features: hybrid description
Tomato Octopus F1 refers to indeterminate varieties, the ripening period is medium, the purpose is universal. The hybrid has excellent taste as well as market performance. It is possible to collect ripe fruits after 115 days from the moment when mass shoots appear.
You can also grow a tomato tree for a year and a half, while receiving a large crop, which distinguishes this variety from others.
Tomatoes of this variety are powerful, not afraid of heat, they have good resistance to diseases, also have a high yield potential, and fruits can be obtained for a long time. It is best cultivated in a greenhouse, but it is possible to grow in unprotected soil.
Did you know? Tomatoes, potatoes and tobacco are biological relatives from the nightshade family and are all from South America.
Tomatoes have a rounded shape, saturated bright red color, there are no spotting in the area of the stalk, have a dense and fleshy flesh, do not crack, weight an average of 125 g. Octopus F1 - carpal tomatoes, 5-6 fruits are formed on each brush.
Soil and climate requirements
For this variety, it is best to use a soil mixture where clay, sand and preferably humic acids are added. Also, to improve the characteristics of the soil, you can buy ready-mixed soil specially designed for tomatoes in garden centers.
For a good growth of a bush of this variety, a temperature of at least +25 ° C is needed. In greenhouses, this is quite simple, and when growing in unprotected soil, choose sunny areas that are protected from the wind.
As for humidity, its indicators should be at the level of 60%, for which it is necessary to water every week 2-3 times with further loosening and mulching.
Technology for growing tomato Octopus in a greenhouse
Consider the features of growing this unusual tomato in a greenhouse. This method allows you to grow a tomato tree in optimal conditions, but requires significantly more material costs. And if you have a heated greenhouse, it is quite possible to grow this crop for more than one year.
Seeding and seedling care
First of all, it is necessary to sow the seeds and wait for seedlings, and then provide proper care for the sprouts.
Important! When picking, be sure to pinch the root root, such a technique will increase the number of additional roots, which means it will improve the nutrition of the plant.
Here you must follow these rules:
- seeds are sown from late January to mid-February in boxes;
- as a soil, use a high-quality soil mixture for tomatoes, because it contains the mineral substances necessary for a successful shoot;
- keep the temperature not lower than +21 ° C, then the shoots will appear within two weeks;
- maintain constant humidity, while monitoring the condition of the top layer of soil on which mold should not appear;
- be sure to consider additional lighting until there is a sufficient daylight hours;
- when the sprouts get stronger and a couple of these leaves appear, make a pick on individual containers.
When the tomato bush will already have at least seven leaves, and its height will be from 15 to 30 cm, it is time to plant seedlings for permanent residence. Since the bushes of this tomato variety have significant growth, they need to be planted at a distance of a meter and a half.
In addition, immediately think over and put reliable supports, because the height of a tomato tree can be up to 4 meters, and a garter is necessary. There is no need for pinching, but it is quite possible that it will be necessary to pinch the main stem at the height that the dimensions of the greenhouse and the support allow.
Caring for a tomato tree is not at all difficult. Watering, loosening the soil and regular top dressing is required.
Watering the bushes is necessary in the first days after planting in the ground daily, and after rooting - once a week, but abundantly so that the earth gets wet by at least 5 cm. Also, during the first month it is advisable to mulch the soil under the bushes in any way possible (mulch, compost, straw, agrofibre).
To indeterminate varieties of tomatoes also include such as:
Then just loosen the soil after each watering.
Top dressing should be done regularly, every 20 days. For a good development of the bush, complexes of mineral fertilizers are needed, as well as organics, for example, herbal infusions.
Features of the hydroponic method
A tomato tree can be grown in a very unusual way using hydroponics.
Let's get acquainted with the main points of this method:
- a similar cultivation technique allows you to grow a tomato tree for a year and a half or more;
- a prerequisite is the presence of a large greenhouse, which is heated in the cold season and has an artificial lighting system;
- in this case, the tomatoes are not afraid of diseases and pests;
- A hydroponic nutrient solution is prepared from the following ingredients: water (10 l), ammonium nitrate (200 g), potassium (500 g), ferric citrate (9 g), superphosphate (550 g), boric acid (3 g), magnesium ( 300 g), manganese sulfate (2 g);
- before use, the nutrient solution is diluted with water, the ratio of 1 liter of solution is 100 liters of water;
- seeds are sown before autumn, at the end of August, using glass wool cubes (15x15 cm) for planting, in which a recess must be made;
- humidification of containers with cubes is carried out daily, sometimes even several times a day, the temperature of the solution in summer is not higher than +25 ° C, and in winter not lower than +17 ° C;
- after 2 months, the sprouts are transplanted into larger cubes and placed in a large container (up to 300 l);
- necessarily carrying out to each plant of tubes, through which oxygen will be supplied, compressors for aquariums are usually used.
Important! Bushes of tomato Octopus F1 with this cultivation should not bear fruit up to 8 months. Flower buds will be formed earlier, but they must be broken off, which will allow the tree to form a thick, branched crown.
The first fruits with such agricultural technology you will receive in May.
Growing tomato trees in open ground
In the case when you do not have a greenhouse or a greenhouse, it is possible to grow tomato Octopus F1 in open ground. Of course, such a method will not give a super-harvest, but it will provide you with delicious fruits until the frost. In addition, these tomatoes are well stored after removal from the bush.
Seeds for seedlings are planted as usual in February, and mature seedlings are transferred to the garden only when there are no more night frosts, that is, the end of May - the beginning of June. It is necessary to plant bushes at a considerable distance - up to 2 meters from each other.
As for care, the most important thing in open ground conditions is to provide the plant with abundant watering and top dressing every two weeks. The soil around the bush must necessarily loosen and not dry out much.
Be sure to make reliable supports or trellises for the tomato tree, on which the branches will be tied as they grow.
The disadvantage of this method of growing is the threat of disease, a high risk of attack by insect pests and the inability to regulate climatic conditions, which in this case depend only on the weather.
Possible growing problems
As we have already noted, only the hydroponic cultivation method virtually eliminates such problems as rotting, viral and fungal diseases, and the appearance of pests.
Unfortunately, when growing a tomato tree in the soil, the above problems may appear if you take care of the plants inappropriately and do not take preventive measures.
Tomato bushes can rot in wet weather or when watering excessively over the entire surface of the bush, so water the tomatoes right under the root, evenly and regularly.
Pests can also damage this tomato variety. The most common are caterpillars and aphids.
Learn more about getting rid of caterpillars and aphids on tomatoes.
It is best to do spraying with aqueous solutions of insecticides as a prevention or at the first sign of the appearance of harmful insects.
If you are a supporter of natural methods, then you can fight caterpillars by simply planting dill next to a tomato tree, and the aphid is afraid of cold water and a mixture of soap and cayenne pepper.
Among the diseases, we note late blight, which affects almost all varieties of tomatoes. In this fungal disease, brown spots appear on the fruits, leaves and stems. Tomatoes are especially susceptible to this disease when there is a lack of sunlight and heat.
This disease is easier to prevent than to fight it. Therefore, carry out prophylaxis, for which you can use natural remedies (saline, kefir), and special ready-made preparations (Fitosporin, Radiance).
Now let's touch on the most interesting and enjoyable for any gardener issue - harvesting tomatoes. When you see that the fruits of a tomato tree began to change their color from green to light pink or yellowish, be prepared to harvest soon.
There is one trick so that as many fruits as possible ripen on the tree. To do this, as soon as the tomato starts to blush slightly, remove it. Next, identify the unripe fruits on the window, and after 2 weeks they will easily become ripe, and this will not affect the taste at all.
Such a simple technique enhances the formation of new flowers, which means that the harvest will be larger.
Did you know? Unripe green tomatoes have a poisonous substance called solanine. It is quite a bit, but experts have calculated that if you eat 2 or more kilograms of such tomatoes, you can go to a hospital bed with poisoning.
If you pick already ripened tomatoes from the bush, you can store them for a long time only at room temperature. Lower temperatures can lead to rapid spoilage of the fruit.
To get a real tomato tree, it will require considerable financial, physical and time costs, so think carefully about how to start growing it. If you are not confident in your abilities, then be sure to try to grow this miracle of nature in one season like ordinary tomatoes.
In any case, your work will be rewarded with a good harvest.