All associates of Teplichny have been agriculturally alert for three months now as tomato crop rotation is going on. Tomato seeds are being placed in holes made in cork, soaked in a special solvent, covered with vermiculite and sent to the germination chamber. Automation provides for a full ration, maintaining proper temperature and humidity. By the way, mother stocks were planted one day earlier than the scion.
Baby tomatoes are placed in a dome and vegetable growers and agronomists keep an eye on them, as they may need sprinkling, watering or manual separation of the leaves from the seed.
When the stem diameter reaches 1.9-2.1 mm, there comes the time for grafting. The root system of one plant (the mother stock) and the top of the other (the scion) are cut at a certain angle and fixed with a special clip. At Teplichny, the Maxifort variety, having powerful roots, is used as a root plant.
Grafted tomatoes are located in a special dome with maximum humidity for stem splicing. They are gradually introduced to airing which enhances transpiration and therefore enables the process of splinting.
Once the stems have grown together, the tomatoes are planted in mineral cotton cubes where they gain strength, which should happen within 45 days, after which they are transported to the main greenhouse department.
Grafting allows for harvesting plants with a more powerful root system, capable of resisting various stressful conditions. Grafted plants are capable of maintaining a longer growth period (about a year) and producing vegetables of a higher quality. With that, crop productivity is increased.
“We’ve been grafting for three years now. The first year was a test one; we grafted about 5 thousand plants. It was an educational period for us: we were learning the technology. When we saw the result, we realized that the method was promising, and since then we have been growing grafted tomatoes for two years now,” mentioned the chief greenhouse agronomist, Mr. Pavel Butkov.
Teplichny conducts variety testing every year. The varieties that have shown good results are included in the main crop rotation cycle. There are varieties that have proven their quality and that are in good demand and therefore are grown permanently.