6 secrets of good survival of seedlings
Many summer residents prefer to grow seedlings on their own, and this is easy to understand. This is the only way to grow exactly those varieties of flowers and vegetables that you want. But the main reason is not even that! It is difficult for inveterate gardeners to wait for heat when it is possible to work on the beds, which is why their crops begin even in winter - on window sills. Growing seedlings of different cultures has its own subtleties and nuances. But there are general rules, observing which, the chances of growing good healthy seedlings are close to 100%. They will be discussed in this article.
1. Preparation of soil for seedlings
Good soil is a key condition for a strong, healthy seedling and subsequent rich harvest. Therefore, the preparation of the substrate for sowing seeds for seedlings must be taken very seriously. Experienced gardeners prefer to prepare the soil on their own, despite the fact that in stores today you can buy ready-made soil for various crops. And here they are right - often the purchased substrate is of very poor quality. After sowing the seeds, it turns into an incomprehensible-looking substance, and we can’t even talk about the content of nutrients in it! In general, it is advisable to prepare the soil for seedlings on their own.
There are a great many recipes for preparing soil mixtures for seedlings, but there are general rules for everyone. The soil should be:
- moisture and breathable,
- with acidity close to neutral.
In addition, it is very important that insect larvae, worms, weed seeds, large plant residues, pathogens, and pesticides are not found in the prepared soil.
To prepare the soil for seedlings, leaf and sod soils are usually mixed, humus or compost, river sand or vermiculite, peat are added. Proportions may vary, depending on the culture. To the mixture add 20-30 g of superphosphate and 1-2 glasses of ash per bucket of soil. But there are no strict recommendations, because the nutritional requirements of crops are different.
But no matter what composition you choose, prepared soil must be sanitized. The old popular method of freezing the soil today in many regions is becoming inaccessible due to the absence of these very frosts. For opponents of tough measures in the form of calcination and steaming, as well as for those who consider watering the soil with a solution of manganese a useless venture, there is good news.
The Russian biotechnology company NPO Biotehsoyuz offers a modern unique growth regulator, the Biospectrum drug. It accelerates the growth and development of plants, improves root formation, thereby contributing to an increase in yield. Another important feature of the drug is the presence of special microorganisms in the composition of the vital products of cells - biologically active substances with unique properties of antioxidants, growth regulators and fungicides, which can inhibit the development of diseases. And you can use this drug at all stages of plant development.
And you can start with tillage for seedlings. The prepared soil must be shed with the Biospectra solution (10 ml per 1 liter of water). Make it better a month before sowing seeds.
2. Optimum seeding time
Properly selected sowing dates largely determine the future crop. By the time the seedlings are planted in open ground or in the greenhouse, plants should form, grow stronger and build up a powerful root system. But they should not outgrow in any case! The temperature regime, and the abundance or lack of lighting, and the soil, and fertilizing affect the development of seedlings, therefore, correctly determining the timing of sowing seeds is a skill that comes over the years.
Experienced gardeners keep diaries where they carefully record from year to year the dates of sowing, seedlings and the timing of planting in open ground for all crops. And although the weather every year surprises us with its inconsistency, the "pros" cope with the task. But beginners can be advised not to pay special attention to the planting dates indicated on the bags with seeds. Our climate is very diverse and very different even within the same region, not to mention the country.
First you need to find out when in your region you can plant seedlings in open ground and from about these dates and count. Subtract the age of seedlings and the number of days for seed germination from the date of planting in the soil. Each culture has its own timeline, but in general, the scheme looks like this.
Suppose tomatoes are planted at the age of 60 days (usually this information is on the package), plus - for the emergence of seedlings of 5-8 days. Subtract 65-68 days from the date of planting in open ground and get approximate dates for sowing seeds. If these days, for some reason, you can’t manage to sow, it’s better to postpone this event to a later date than to sow earlier. Overgrown seedlings will add trouble before planting, and it takes root worse.
3. Prepared seeds for sowing
You can’t just take and sow any seeds. That is, it is possible, but the result of such seeding is unlikely to please. Good crops can be expected only from high-quality sowing material, therefore we pay attention to all stages of preparing seeds for sowing for seedlings.
If we have our seeds and there are many of them, we calibrate, that is, we select the largest and most beautiful ones. If there are not enough seeds, but as a rule there aren’t many seeds in purchased bags, we sow everything. Before sowing the seeds must be sanitized.
Many gardeners still use the old-fashioned method - soaking seeds in a 1% potassium permanganate solution. It’s quite problematic to observe the exact proportions when breeding, therefore, most often they are bred strictly by eye - until you get a “firm pink” water. Seeds are kept in solution for 30-40 minutes, then washed.
Pickled seeds are laid out on gauze napkins, moistened and aged “until peeling”. For better seed germination (especially not of very high quality or with a doubtful shelf life), various stimulants are used when soaking. One of the best natural preparations is the magic elixir “Biospectrum”.
Due to the content of organic acids, amino acids, growth regulators of a steroid and non-steroid nature, as well as chitosan and glucomannans (products of hydrolytic cleavage of cells, unique yeast-like microorganisms) in its composition, the drug will ensure friendly germination of seeds and eliminate the need for preliminary disinfection. For processing, you need to prepare a working solution (10 drops per 200 g of water) and soak the seeds for 30 minutes.
Attention! Before soaking seeds, carefully read the information on the packaging! Some manufacturers have already done everything for us and their seeds need not be processed or soaked before sowing.
4. An individual approach to sowing each crop
Sowing seeds of various crops for seedlings differs not only in terms, but also in ways. About the features of sowing - the depth of placement, the distance between the seeds, the temperature regime, usually written on the packaging. Therefore, here we simply follow the instructions. And if for the smallest seeds, such as petunia, for example, surface sowing is recommended, then even a thin layer of soil does not need to sprinkle seeds. They need light and heat to germinate. This is what you need to take care of.
Seedlings of some plants, for example, asters, nasturtium, balsam, all kinds of cabbage, can be grown in a greenhouse. The plants sown in April on a bed warmed up under polyethylene have time to grow by the time of planting in open ground. When cooling, the greenhouse can be additionally covered with a spanbond. This method facilitates the care of seedlings and allows you to grow more plants, although it is more suitable for those who live in a private house.
When sowing in boxes, common containers or a greenhouse, it is important not to “thicken” the crops. This is easy to do if the seeds are large, but small, no matter how hard you try, it does not always work. Thickened seedlings will definitely need to be thinned out, the only way to avoid stretching and seedling diseases. When thinning, do not pull out extra sprouts, so as not to damage the roots of neighboring ones, it is better to carefully cut them with scissors.
A lot of different things have already been written about containers for seedlings. How many are on sale today - for every taste! And here, too, giving advice is not easy - someone prefers peat tablets or cups, someone - plastic pots with a retractable bottom, someone cassettes with cells. In general, we try, experiment, choose.
Some types of plants do not like picking - such can be sown in peat tablets, and only then planted in pots. The root system with this method is not violated. Cucumber seedlings do not like transplanting, so peat pots for her are what the doctor ordered. The grown cucumbers are planted on a bed in a glass, the walls of which are passed by the growing roots.
For plastic containers, drainage holes are needed - excess water must go away, otherwise the soil may become acidic and seedlings will die. New containers, like old ones, must be washed with warm water and soap or soda before filling the soil.
5. Lighting is very important!
For the good development of seedlings, light and heat are needed. This issue needs to be given special attention. Photosynthesis of plants in low light works poorly, and seedlings are frail and grow poorly. Such seedlings are often susceptible to disease or die during a dive, not having the strength to take root. Therefore, in order to grow healthy strong seedlings, it is necessary to organize additional illumination. This is especially true for plants sown in January-February, with a short daylight, and also if seedlings have to be grown on the northern windowsills.
Phytolamps, luminescent, sodium halogen and conventional incandescent lamps are often used for illumination. The latter is better not to use, since the emission spectrum of such lamps is not suitable for plants, and the result of this additional exposure is an elongated seedling, often with burns.
The best results are given by phytolamps, precisely thanks to a spectrum specially selected for growing plants. Seedlings illuminated with phytolamps are usually strong, do not stretch and do not get sick. The lamps themselves are environmentally friendly, safe and quite economical. If necessary, they can be added to the plants all day long.
When choosing fluorescent lamps, pay attention to the marking and give preference to LB and LTP lamps (white and warm white). It is better to refuse products with the labeling LHB, LD and LDC, since their radiation has a depressing effect on seedlings.
6. Water, feed, stimulate
Watering will have to be monitored throughout the entire period of growing seedlings. And the smaller the plants, the more deplorable may be the result of underfilling or overflow. Both are bad. While the seedlings are very small for watering, it is convenient to use a syringe - with its help it is easy to water the container along the edges without filling the sprouts.
It is impossible to say how often seedlings can be watered, since this depends on the temperature in the room, and on the humidity / dryness of the air, and on the size of the container, and on the soil. Water for irrigation should be soft, settled, room temperature. Excess water from the pan must be removed, otherwise the roots of seedlings can rot. If the air in the room is dry, it is advisable to spray at least once a day.
Growing seedlings actively use nutrients from the soil and they will need to be fed. In the garden centers today you can find ready-made complex mineral and organic fertilizers for any seedlings. Everything is simple here, the main thing is to follow the instructions. You can’t overfeed the seedlings, so do not exceed the concentration of the solutions and remember or write down the dates of fertilizer application.
To negate the emergence of diseases of seedlings, use the natural growth stimulator "Biospectrum". One spraying per month (10 ml per 5 liters of water) will strengthen the plants, increase immunity, improve the development and formation of a powerful root system. And so that the seedlings do not notice the transplantation into the open ground and subsequently pleased with an excellent harvest, soak the roots in this solution (10 drops per 200 g of water) for 30 minutes before planting. This will accelerate the survival of seedlings and help young plants easily adapt to new conditions.
Dear readers! Growing healthy and strong seedlings is not so difficult. The main thing is to study the culture that you are going to grow, and try to provide it with suitable conditions. And the growth stimulator “Biospectrum” will help your seedlings cope with small errors in care and successfully transfer the transplant to the open ground.