With the onset of spring, the first chores begin for summer residents and gardeners. When the ground warms up a little, everyone starts to think about growing seedlings. In this matter, it is important not to miss the moment, to be in time. Many garden flowers can be grown using the seedling method. Among them are asters, dahlias, phloxes, petunias, chrysanthemums, carnations and many other flowers that will decorate the garden.
There are several ways to grow healthy and robust seedlings. Many of them are simple enough. They do not require special equipment or special conditions. Moreover, they have been tested over the years. Thanks to them, you can grow seedlings of flowers and vegetables.
The quality of seedlings directly depends on the planting material. To grow good seedlings, you need to choose quality seeds. Before sowing, the seeds are prepared for germination. It is equally important to prepare them for the first difficulties - temperature extremes, diseases, pest attacks. The procedure is carried out simultaneously. First, a weak solution of potassium permanganate is prepared, a little boric acid is added there and the seeds of annual plants are placed there. The first time the seeds are soaked in a room for 10-12 hours. Then they are moved to the refrigerator for 12 hours too. The procedure is repeated until the seeds hatch.
Seedlings of many annuals, biennials and perennials sprout slowly, so sowing the seeds of some flowers should be started already in winter. In February, seedlings of petunia, viola, salvia are sown. In March, primroses, asters, phloxes, dahlias, carnations, castor bean plants are sown. And in April, you can grow seedlings of flowers that develop and sprout well - ageratum, marigolds, iberis, zinnia.
Dishes are of great importance in growing seedlings. There are certain criteria for choosing a container for seedlings. If there are a lot of seeds, it is better to use wooden crates. They should have a removable bottom, several makeshift compartments. The height of such a box should not exceed 5 centimeters. Seedling boxes save space and are easy to carry. Plants will be easy to care for. However, it is very difficult to remove the seedlings from the box without injuring the root system of the plant. The box itself is heavy, but together with the ground, it becomes heavy.
Many gardeners grow seedlings in containers at hand. For example, in leaky pots, old bowls, cans. This method is not suitable for beginner gardeners. First, the ground should not come into contact with metal. This leads to acidification of the soil and stagnation of water. Secondly, it will be inconvenient to dive young shoots.
It is much more convenient to germinate seeds in low cardboard boxes. Milk bags are fine. First, you need to make small holes at the bottom of the box so that the water can drain calmly. In such containers, many people plant plants in open ground. Better not to. The package contains not only cardboard, but also foil, polyethylene. If the cardboard dissolves easily in the earth, it will take forever to dissolve the other components in the box. Why litter the land and harm the environment?
The remains of polyethylene pipes can be used as containers for seedlings. It is necessary to take unnecessary pipes with a diameter of about 6 centimeters. They are cut to 8-10 cm, placed vertically, filled with earth, and seeds are sown. When the seedlings are ready, they are pushed out of the pipe and sent into the ground along with the soil.
Seedlings can be grown in pots. Using pots, you can do without picking seedlings. It is enough to dump them into the ground when replanting. Thanks to this method, the young and fragile roots of the sprouts will not be afraid of root rot. But placing the pots on the windowsill will take a lot of space. It is very uncomfortable.
But it is best to use peat containers, which are sold in specialty flower shops. They are inexpensive, available to everyone. In addition, they will help save time and make life easier for novice gardeners. On sale there are also plastic cassettes-containers designed for reusable use. It is very convenient to use them.
Many adventurous gardeners adapt plastic cups. This method is not only convenient, but also affordable. It is best to plant seeds in reusable containers and dive into peat cups. This will save time, get rid of unnecessary picks, and get the right amount of the highest quality seedlings. In addition, thanks to this method, the density of the seedlings can be controlled.
The listed devices for growing seedlings help maintain the integrity of the root system when planting flower seedlings. When using any container for growing seedlings, it must be disinfected - scalded with boiling water or hold the container in a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
The future of flowers depends on the quality of the seedling soil, which you can buy in the store or prepare yourself. Buying a multipurpose plant primer at a flower shop can save you time. Having prepared an earthen mixture with your own hands, there will be no doubt about its quality. In addition, this method will cost you less. In any case, in order to grow good, sturdy planting material, it is necessary to prepare good soil. Each plant has its own requirements for the composition of the soil.
The soil for planting must be fresh. The soil in which other plants used to grow is not suitable for growing seedlings. The soil mixture should not contain plant residues, fungal spores, weed seeds, pathogenic microbes, worms, larvae. They can destroy a young plant. The land must be nutritious and permeable. It is equally important that it is fertile and contains the necessary nutrients. Depending on the type of plant, the composition of the earth is selected individually. The most popular earthen mixture contains one part of turf, one part of sand and three parts of peat. If the proportions are not observed, the quality of the seedlings will be poor. Coarse sand can be used as light drainage, which must be placed on the bottom of the tank. Depending on the type of crop grown, additional components are added to the earthen mixture in certain proportions.
When growing seedlings of flowering plants, remember that seeds must be germinated in the dark. Having planted the seeds, the container with the seedlings is placed in a dark place. But when the first shoots appear, the containers with seedlings are rearranged into the light. There will be little natural light in late winter - early spring. To fix this, it is necessary to illuminate the seedlings with fluorescent lamps. Daylight lamps are turned on during the daytime. This will help the young seedlings maintain a balance of day and night. The ideal place for growing seedlings is a mini-plant. She can be found at the flower shop. But there is one drawback in using it - it takes up too much space. Improvised means will correct this situation. The container with future seedlings is covered with glass. After the seeds have germinated, a kind of greenhouse is built by pulling a piece of polyethylene between two pieces of wire.
After planting seeds in moist soil, they are not watered. Just moisten the ground a little with a spray bottle. When the first green shoots appear, they begin to be watered with a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate. This should be done gradually. Seedlings need moderate watering. Excessive moisture and water depletion will reduce the quality of the seedlings.
Before planting green shoots in open ground, they must be fed three times. Fertilizer is prepared with your own hands. For the first feeding, an infusion of mullein and water is suitable (proportion 1:20). 10 seedlings are fed with the prepared fertilizer. For the second and third feeding, 1.5 g of potassium sulfide, nitrate and 3 g of superphosphate are dissolved in 1 liter of water. 5 seedlings are treated with this liquid. Such recommendations are universal, but you should take into account the characteristics of the plant that you plan to grow.
If you grow seedlings in the above way, it adapts well to an independent, adult flower life. In most cases, the seedlings have a well-formed root system; about 10 green and healthy leaves are formed on each plant.
CULTIVATION OF FLOWERS SEEDLING. STEP 3
Flowers. Episode 1
From sowing to the beginning of flowering lobelia takes 8-10 weeks. Therefore, it is usually grown as seedlings, the seeds of which are sown in March.
Lobelia seeds are very small, almost dusty - 1 gram contains from 30,000 to 50,000! Sow them for seedlings at home - in the second half of March. Granular seeds in the form of balls or sausages, which contain from 5 to 8 lobelia seeds, are sown directly into cassettes, one per cell, into a small depression, which significantly reduces labor costs for picking.
For sowing, use purchased soil for growing flower seedlings or a mixture prepared independently in the fall, consisting of 2 parts of sod (or well-cultivated garden) soil, 2 parts of humus or compost, 2 parts of loose non-acidic peat and 1 part of river sand. The acidity of such a mixture should be close to neutral, if the acidity is high, lime or dolomite flour is added to it. The mixture is sifted through a garden sieve (screener) and stored in bags in a barn or closed greenhouse.
1. A couple of days before sowing, pour the soil into boxes and spill it with a fungicide solution.
2. To prevent the disease of seedlings with black leg, it is advisable to dust the seeds with a fungicide by adding a little powder (at the tip of the label) and then shaking the bag slightly, closing it and moving it away from the face.
3. When the ground dries up and becomes slightly damp, carefully level it, lightly compact it with a board or a wide ruler and scatter seeds over the surface. More leveled crops are obtained if the seeds are premixed with fine dry sand.
4. We install labels indicating the culture, variety and sowing date.
5. Do not sprinkle the seeds on top, cover the box with glass and spray it with water from a sprayer 1-2 times a day. You can add a light pink solution of potassium permanganate to the water. Immediately after sowing, the seeds can be sprayed 1 time with a solution of a growth stimulator (Epin, Zircon). It is advisable to turn the glass over 1-2 times a day so that condensation does not form over the seeds. The optimum temperature for germinating lobelia seeds is 18–20 ° С. After 4-6 days, as soon as shoots appear, move them to bright light and cool. In late March - April, it can be a well-lit window sill, a table on a warm loggia. During this time, it is very important not to overdo it with watering. At the first signs of disease, diseased plants should be removed immediately and the soil should be shed with a fungicide.
6. After 2-3 weeks we dive the seedlings into pots with a diameter of 5 cm. Lobelia seedlings match the seeds - very small and tender. As a rule, a bunch of several seedlings is planted in one hole. This is done with a thin dive stick (you can use a thin felt-tip pen): first with a stick we make a shallow hole in the center of the pot, then we lower the roots of the plants there and gently press the earth around the roots with our fingers.
7. After picking, we feed the seedlings once a week with complex water-soluble mineral fertilizers of low concentration. Watering is moderate, but the soil must not dry out to the full depth of the pot. To prevent fungal and viral diseases of plants, the soil surface in pots should be loose and not too moist. At first, you can use a syringe for watering. Seedlings need to be supplemented in the evenings and on cloudy days for the formation of good roots and the development of strong seedlings.
Plants are planted in open ground in the second half of May at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other, or several plants in pots, containers, garden vases or hanging baskets - denser, at a distance of 7-9 cm. Lobelia flowering begins in seedlings and continues before frost.
I cut a plastic bottle across, but not completely, leaving two centimeters.
I fold back the upper part like a lid and fill in light soil (ready for seedlings or mix garden soil, peat, compost - 2: 1: 1). I spill it with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
I spread the seeds on top, press the small ones a little. I close the bottle with the upper part and seal the cut with masking tape.
In such a greenhouse, it is easy to monitor the state of crops. The germination rate is usually excellent. No need to water. When the shoots appear, I unscrew the cork, and when they grow up, I also remove the top of the bottle. From this moment, if necessary, you need to moisturize. It is good to grow in this way petunia, lobelia, begonia, primrose, as well as celery, leeks.
There are different methods of sowing small and dusty seeds. It is important to remember one thing - they cannot be covered with earth.
Seeds are laid out on the surface of the moistened soil (it can be pre-mixed with AVA fertilizer - according to the instructions), covered with transparent polyethylene or glass - and warm. Water from a pallet, spray around the edges of the bowl - a little at a time.
The condensate is removed - it can destroy the newly hatched sprouts. By the way, with my method, the condensate flows down the walls and does not harm the seedlings.
Verbena is a cold-resistant culture; it can be planted in a permanent place in the second half of May.
Choose an open, sunny place. Consider the size of the variety when planting. It is not advisable to thicken the planting, because in wet weather it can suffer from powdery mildew.
Vervain needs a neutral soil for normal development. If the soil in your garden is acidic, add 1 cup of wood ash or 0.5 cups of dolomite flour per square meter before planting. m.
Also, before planting, apply a complete mineral fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium at the rate of 30-40 g per 1 sq. m.
Mix well to distribute the fertilizer evenly over the entire area.
Seedling care is fairly straightforward and similar to caring for other flowers. We place the container in a bright, warm place. A suitable temperature for germination is + 18 ... + 20 degrees. While there are no shoots, we ventilate for 5 minutes every day. If necessary, we moisten the earth with a spray bottle.
Moisten young seedlings at the root. So you will avoid excessive waterlogging and possible negative consequences from this. After the first shoots appear, we begin to increase the airing time. We no longer close the lid of the container tightly. After 2-3 days we remove the lid completely.
It is advisable to arrange seedlings in a well-lit area. If there is little light in the room, then arrange additional lighting. But even without additional illumination, the seedlings will grow, albeit at a slower pace.
We dive the seedlings when the plants grow two true leaves. This will be approximately 5-6 weeks after planting.
You can plant in open ground at the end of May. First, you need to harden the seedlings for two weeks. We start hardening from April. First, we take out the seedlings in the daytime for 30 minutes. We put in a place protected from gusts of wind and shade from direct sunlight. Every day we increase the time spent on the street. After 10 days we try to leave it overnight. But do not leave all the seedlings at once, try 1-2 bushes. If all is well, then you can safely leave all the remaining plants.
Read also our other articles on sowing flowers for seedlings:
Planting delphinium seeds for seedlings
Did you find tips for growing gatsania seedlings useful to you? Share your recommendations with other gardeners in the comments.
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