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It is difficult to find another garden crop as widespread in almost any region of Russia as tomato. They are grown, probably, even in the Far North, if there is an opportunity to put at least a small greenhouse. Naturally, for such extreme conditions it is necessary to use ultra-early ripening tomato varieties. One of the most popular varieties known to almost every summer resident is the Red Riding Hood tomato.
This variety has many advantages, which will be discussed below, in its description and characteristics, but Little Red Riding Hood amazes most of all with its sweet taste, which even professional tasters evaluate as “excellent”. But for early tomatoes this is a rarity. After all, what is required of them? The main thing is that the first tomato ripens as early as possible so that you can enjoy the taste of fresh tomatoes at the beginning of summer. And so that they were still sweet at the same time, it is difficult to imagine such happiness. But he also has other advantages, it is not for nothing that he is so popular among gardeners, especially among beginners.
Description of the variety
This variety has another name - Rotkappchen. Translated from German, this word means - Little Red Riding Hood. Which suggests that the variety is of German origin and has been bred in Germany for quite some time. In our country, it appeared in 2010 and was registered in the State Register in 2011 with zoning throughout Russia.
The Red Riding Hood variety is not only superdeterminate, but also standard. The bushes of such tomatoes, as a rule, do not require pruning, pinching, or garters, which is very convenient for busy gardeners. Speaking specifically from Little Red Riding Hood, she really doesn't need pruning and pinning. But regarding the garter, the opinions of gardeners differ, since the bushes of this variety are hung with a large number of tomatoes during ripening and are able to lie on the ground under the weight of the harvest.
On the other hand, the bushes of this tomato are quite short and compact, reaching only 25-40 cm in height. Therefore, they can only be tied up once in the middle of the bush, which will be quite enough to support the fruits and a spectacular appearance.
Tomato bushes of this variety, despite their compactness, are very strong with thick, strong stems, moderately leafy. Most often they are grown in the open field, but often, due to their early maturity, the seedlings of Little Red Riding Hood are planted in spring heated greenhouses or film tunnels. This allows you to get the first fruits in May. Due to the small and compact size of the bushes, the tomato of this variety is a frequent visitor on windowsills and balconies, where it can bear fruit when additional lighting is installed outside the usual seasonal periods. Most often it is grown in rooms either in early spring or late autumn.
Attention! Those who do not have their own summer cottage can easily afford to grow a Little Red Riding Hood tomato on the windowsill in the summer.
As has been mentioned more than once, this tomato variety is not just early ripening, but even ultra-early ripening. It can take 80-90 days from germination to ripening of the first tomatoes. Even when growing the variety in the open field of the North-West region under weather conditions that are far from ideal for a tomato, ripening of tomatoes begins already in the twenties of July. And by mid-August, the harvest can be completely removed and processed.
Tomato Little Red Riding Hood can boast of yield indicators, which are also not characteristic of such early tomatoes. One tomato plant with decent care (watering, feeding, protection from weeds) can give up to 1 kg or more of fruits. On average, about 2-3 kg of tomatoes are obtained from one square meter of planting.
Advice! If you want to increase the yield of this tomato variety, shake the flowering tomato clusters more often during the flowering stage for better pollination.
The Red Riding Hood tomato variety is resistant to many diseases, in particular, to verticellosis, tomato mosaic virus and fusarium wilt. Bushes are also very rarely susceptible to late blight, since they manage to fully harvest before the outbreaks of this disease at the end of summer.
Tomatoes of this variety are relatively plastic and can withstand both short-term drought and some lack of light and heat.
It is interesting that the tomato variety Little Red Riding Hood got its name not at all because of the fruits as such, but because of the peculiarities of their growth. Tomatoes are concentrated mainly in the central and upper part of a low bush, thereby creating a kind of small red cap.
The following characteristics can be noted in the fruits of this variety:
- Tomatoes have a nearly regular round shape.
- The color of the fruit in an unripe state is green with a pronounced spot at the base. In the process of maturity, the stain disappears and the tomatoes take on a bright red color.
- Tomatoes are small in size, the weight of one fruit can vary from 20 to 60 grams.
- There are few seed chambers, no more than two.
- A cluster usually contains about 4-5 tomatoes.
- The pulp is juicy, and even fleshy, and the skin is quite tender, so the variety is ideal for the first summer salads. It can be used for canning in cans of all sizes, thanks to its convenient size of fruit, and when fully ripe, tomatoes are not prone to cracking.
- Little Red Riding Hood tomatoes are distinguished by very good taste, they are sweetish and very pleasant to the taste.
- The fruits are not stored for a very long time and cannot be transported for a long time.
The nuances of growing
Since tomatoes of this variety ripen very quickly, in the southern regions, seeds can be sown directly into the ground or, in extreme cases, under film shelters. Well, in the middle lane, and even more so in the north, Little Red Riding Hood tomatoes are grown only with the help of seedlings.
Before sowing, seeds are traditionally tested for germination in salted water. The floating seeds are removed, and those that have settled to the bottom are washed thoroughly in running water from traces of salt and sown in prepared containers. At a temperature of + 18 ° C, the first shoots can be expected as early as 5-6 days. It is important in the first week after germination to reduce the temperature of the content of tomato seedlings by 5 degrees, or at least ensure a significant difference between day and night temperatures. This will contribute to additional hardening of the seedlings and the formation of a strong root system. After breaking through the first true tomato leaf, the seedlings should be cut open. Before planting in the ground, it can be fed 1-2 times, but, most importantly, at this stage - to provide a sufficient amount of light and water.
Attention! Given the compactness of the bushes of this tomato variety, they can be planted quite tightly in the ground. Up to 5 plants of this variety can fit per square meter.
The first inflorescence should appear above the fifth or sixth leaf. During flowering, it is advisable to sprinkle tomatoes with boron and iodine for successful pollination and prevention of certain diseases. Little Red Riding Hood tomatoes are resistant to many diseases, so they will not require unnecessary chemical treatments against diseases.
Ripening of tomatoes occurs relatively amicably.
Tomato Little Red Riding Hood evokes mostly positive reviews from most gardeners, although some are still unhappy with the small size of the fruit.
Antonina, 48 years old, St. Petersburg
In our area, few varieties of tomatoes will grow in the open field. Therefore, when she heard about the tomato Little Red Riding Hood, she began to look for its seeds and sowed them for seedlings in the spring. I liked the tomatoes already at the seedling stage, they are small, but so strong. In early June, I planted them in the garden. Since we still have frosts at night at this time, I covered it on top with lutrasil on the arcs - fortunately, the bushes are not high. So they with me until the end of June and stood under cover. When the weather finally improved, I took off the fabric, although I left the arches just in case, we have very capricious weather in the summer. So many fruits were set that I thought the bushes simply would not stand up and collapse under load - I had to drive in posts and tie them up, otherwise they were already on the ground. Tomatoes began to ripen somewhere in the middle of July, and at the beginning of August I no longer knew where to put them. Indeed, sweet and tasty, I really liked it, now I will know what to grow next year.
Elena, 66 years old, Tyumen
The plot is far from home and I rarely go there - mostly children and grandchildren manage there, but I still want to grow tomatoes. I decided to try to plant some compact indoor variety, I was advised by Little Red Riding Hood. I grew seedlings as usual since March, but already in May I planted some of them in large pots, and some planted them on a glassed-in balcony. During flowering, she was fed with various microelements. There were so many tomatoes, and how beautiful they were - small bushes, strewn with small bright red fruits. Even the son and daughter-in-law wanted to plant them in the country next year - they are so fruitful and tasty.
Little Red Riding Hood tomatoes can surprise and delight both a novice gardener and an experienced person. Their unpretentiousness, compactness, early ripeness, and most importantly, taste and yield, can attract the attention of any person who is not indifferent to tomatoes.