Here comes an important time for gardeners to plant heat-loving crops on seedlings. Outside the windows it is still cold in winter, there is snow and it seems that real warmth will not come soon, but you should not miss the time for planting seedlings. Which crops should be sown, and which ones should be planted? We'll talk about this today.
It is not surprising that a novice gardener is at a loss in front of the variety of plant species and varieties that can now be purchased on store shelves. Where to start?
Of course, in the fall, experienced gardeners begin to draw up a schedule for planting seeds for seedlings, determining for themselves the approximate timing of planting with an error for weather conditions, seasonal features, past experience for many other factors, up to intuition. This allows not only to streamline future work, but also to get a good harvest.
The timing of planting seeds for different vegetables and ornamental flowers is determined by taking into account two factors:
- Vegetation period. For example, in an eggplant, from the moment the seeds are sown to the moment when the seedling needs to be planted, it takes about 70-90 days.
- The climate of the region. For example, in the Moscow region, warm weather finally sets in the second half of May - early June.
Thus, knowing that eggplants in the middle lane should be planted in late May - June and that the seedlings are ready for planting after 2.5 - 3 months, it turns out that seedlings of this crop should be sown in late February - early March.
Experienced gardeners advise:
- Do not use expired or poor quality seeds. They must be intact, they should not have plaque or mold. And for next year it is better to stock up on your planting material.
- Choose the soil depending on the plants. For flowers - one, for vegetables - the other.
- Plant seedlings in peat pots that decompose in the soil. This is very convenient for beginner gardeners who have not yet learned to transplant sprouts without damaging the roots.
- Do not rush to transplant seedlings into open ground. You should always focus on weather conditions, otherwise still weak plants may die from frost. In our country, due to the cold climate, it is necessary to grow many different crops in seedlings, grown for both agricultural and ornamental purposes. Therefore, seedlings are not a whim of Russian vegetable growers, but a necessary measure.
- When choosing varieties, decide where you will plant seedlings, in a greenhouse or in open ground.
The most popular vegetables are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and cucumbers. Almost every Russian summer resident sows these crops for seedlings.
Less commonly, celery, cabbage, pumpkin and zucchini, and onions are planted on seedlings.
Herbs are also sown on seedlings: basil, parsley, thyme, lemon balm, etc.
Lobelia, petunia, marigolds, salvia, purslane, zinnia, nasturtium, iberis, balsam, etc. are grown from seedling flowers.
It is worth taking a closer look at vegetable plantings from experienced dacha neighbors, asking them about the characteristics of varieties, and also reading the advice of experienced summer residents in your region. The image on the seed packaging is always beautiful, but you need to know how the culture will behave in the conditions of your area.
For safety, it is better to choose not one or two, but several proven varieties - with good germination, friendly ripening, and resistance to many diseases. Read the seed packets carefully.
Pick up mid-season and early-ripening varieties of peppers, eggplants and tomatoes to treat yourself to your first fruits as early as the end of July, or maybe even earlier. If there are greenhouses, then late-ripening varieties of tomatoes and peppers can also be purchased.
Speaking of pepper, the leaders that have long proven themselves in our strip are wonderful varieties: Jung, Pinocchio, Zdorovye, Winnie the Pooh, Chardash, Field of Miracles, Banana Dessert, California Miracle (this one has a rather weak germination), Funtik, Mammoth Tusks . The first swallow, Atlant F1 (the prefix F1 means a hybrid, usually high-yielding, not requiring pre-sowing treatment, but subsequently seeds from hybrid fruits are not used to obtain seeds) are early, thick-walled. But if you want to surprise your loved ones with something original, little red Chanterelle peppers are just right.
Sweet pepper can be yellow, green and red. As the bell pepper matures, it changes color from green to yellow to orange to red. It is edible at any stage once it has grown and matured enough. The redder the bell pepper, the sweeter it is. But there are varieties that remain only yellow or green.
It is worth paying attention to such varieties of another southerner, eggplant - Epic F1, King of the North F1, King of the Market F1, Black handsome. And the White Dove and White Night varieties are white-fruited and do not have a characteristic bitterness, which means they will save you time in preparing various dishes, because they do not need pre-soaking in salt water.
Well, if you are fond of tomatoes, then there is a very large range of varieties and purposes. But the most important thing for our band is disease resistance.
Tomatoes for salads and universal use: Cow's ears, Wonder of the earth, Mazarin, Orange, Scarlet candles, Golden King. These are all greenhouse varieties. The yellow-green malachite box is especially suitable for children and people prone to allergies.
Tomatoes for pickling: Intuition, Cascade, Nocturne, Kostroma, Icicle, Parsley Gardener, Black Moor, Red Giant, Labrador, F1 Jury, F1 Intrigue. Most are greenhouse. I loved the truffle.
Tomato for long-term storage: Martha - for open ground.
Tomatoes for open ground, early ripening: Miracle of the World, Early 83, Golden Heart, Banana Red, Apple Tree of Russia, Snowdrop, Little Red Riding Hood, Spool, Buyan (Fighter), Mongolian dwarf (creeping variety, seat it more freely).
Leek: the most win-win variety is Tango. Well, the sweet and juicy onion Exhibition will not leave anyone indifferent.
Seeds must be properly prepared for sowing, this will help to get strong seedlings and later a good harvest. There is an easy way to determine the quality of seeds. They are placed in a 1% saline solution. For planting, seeds are left that have sunk to the bottom; those that have surfaced will not ascend.
Seeds must be treated before planting. To do this, they are placed in water at a temperature of +50 ° C for five hours, then they are placed in a moistened cloth for three days before hatching. Such a preparatory period allows you to get seedlings already on the first or second day after sowing.
Then, using tweezers, the seeds are laid out in recesses of 10–15 mm, with a step of 4 cm. The containers are covered with glass or film. Maintain a warm mode at the level of 25 - 28 degrees. When the seedlings germinate, the optimum temperature is 19 - 23 degrees. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplants need a consistently high temperature and plenty of sunlight. The plant will develop slowly if the air temperature drops to 15 degrees, which will affect the yield.
It is more reasonable to grow them under a film or in a greenhouse, if we are talking about a region such as the Moscow region. These crops need soil that heats up quickly and is rich in humus. As a fertilizer, it is permissible to use any organic top dressing. It is better not to dive seedlings and immediately plant them in separate cups (peat tablets, pots). But if picking is necessary, it is carried out with the growth of 2 leaves.
From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., it is better to illuminate the seedlings with a lamp.
Humidify the air with special devices or wet towels on the battery.
60 - 70-day-old seedling bushes are transplanted into permanent beds - greenhouse or outdoor, under temporary shelter or without covering. Pre-hardening required. The temperature is needed at the level of 15 - 18 degrees. The duration of the procedure is increased from half an hour to 6 - 8 hours.
Water the seedlings with warm melt water, heated on a battery to 30 degrees. Fresh air is needed. Avoid drafts, excessive stuffiness and overflow - they quickly become infected with a fungus, some gardeners even add bird feathers when planting. They serve as additional aeration until they rot and become fertilizer.
Seedlings are planted in open ground in the last days of May.
And now the main thing is not to miss the time with planting seeds.
Photo by the author and from open sources