Table of contents:
Video: Growing A Daikon (part 2)
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Japanese root crop is gaining adherents in Russia
- Preparing the ridges for planting daikon
- Growing seedlings
- Marking ridges for planting seedlings
- Planting seedlings
- Daikon planting care
- And now the daikon harvest is ripe
Preparing the ridges for planting daikon
In total, 28 beds are involved in my crop rotation. All of them are of the same size 2.5x1 m, that is, each has an area of 2.5 m², including four beds for the daikon. Considering that this culture loves loose, well-fertilized, sufficiently moist soil with a neutral reaction, I prepare the beds in the spring.
One more condition must be taken into account when allocating a site for a daikon: its predecessors should not be from the cruciferous family. So, with a pitchfork I deeply loosen the soil, without turning the layer, by 25-35 cm. I pour two buckets of compost mixed with rotted manure on each garden bed. Then I bring in 1.5-2 liters of sifted ash, which I sprinkle evenly with a tablespoon over the entire surface of the ridge. Then I also add about five tablespoons of the mineral fertilizer "Kemira Universal 2" and water the ridge. And before sowing, I cover it with a black film for a period of no more than 6 days. If the sowing is delayed, I remove the film again, lightly loosen the surface with a rake and water it. I cover it again with a film (this is against moisture evaporation, weeds and pests looking for a place for laying).
About 10-15 days before picking the seedlings into the beds, I prepare the soil mixture. It consists of 1/3 of the volume of matured compost mixed with rotted manure. The second third of the volume is well-aged and aired peat. Another 1/3 of the volume is forest soil from hills or hillocks from under the pine trees. I mix everything. I remove all random debris and pour this mixture into a regular vegetable drawer. The thickness of the soil layer is 7 cm. The seeding pattern is 4x4 cm or 5x5 cm. The sowing depth is 4 cm.
To speed up the work and ensure even seeding, I made special marking strips and a planting peg. I moisten the soil mixture before marking. I apply the seeds with small tweezers. To avoid double plantings or omissions, I spread the seeds in piles in a candy box. The number of piles is equal to the number of rows, and the number of seeds in a pile is equal to the number of holes in a row. If during sowing I have to be distracted, I stick a peg into the next unoccupied hole. I always follow these rules - they insure against mistakes. The germination rate of the selected seeds is 100%, the germination period is 4-6 days. After the end of sowing, I cover the box with lutrasil. I bring him into the house at night.
Marking ridges for planting seedlings
I do it when the seedlings reach the 2-4 leaf phase (counting the cotyledons). Before planting them, I water the soil abundantly in the box. Wet soil prevents the root ball from crumbling during excavation. I remove the black film from the garden. If necessary, I also loosen and water the soil. I mark with a marker the surface of the bed according to the scheme of an equilateral triangle. For a long time I was convinced in practice that only such a scheme with a successfully selected side of the triangle experimentally will ensure the most efficient use of the entire area of the ridge. In addition, the location of plants with mathematical precision at equal distances in all directions from each other reduces the intensity of intraspecific struggle.
Planting seedlings from selected seeds long before the time of traditional sowing with seeds gives great advantages. Strong, healthy and uniform plants grow quickly, the crowns of leaf rosettes close up and shade the shoots of weeds. Weeds die, and it is a joy for the gardener - no need to weed!
How to determine the required size of the side of the triangle? It all depends on the variety and local growing conditions. To begin with, I will give my recommendations: for the Sasha variety - the side of the triangle is 20 and 22.5 cm; for the Ttsukushi variety - 17.5 and 20 cm; for the Minovase and Dubinushka varieties - the sides are 25 and 33 cm. Closer to ripening, measure the rosettes of the leaves of your varieties, write down the numbers in your diary for using this data next year. Then you can already adjust the sides of the triangle taking into account your conditions.
With a special triangular marker I mark the surface of the bed, observing the required size of its sides. At the same time, with a planting peg in each marker mark I make a hole with a diameter that ensures a picking of the seedling without disturbing the clod of earth and a depth of at least 7 cm.I hold the seedling with two fingers by the leaves (for the stalk - you cannot!) And lower it into the hole, and straighten it with the peg and I straighten the spine. I lower it deeply, to the very leaves, but without lowering the foliage and the growing top below the soil level. If the earth lies on the leaves, the seedling will die. When planting daikon seedlings with a long root crop, it is advisable to deepen and expand the hole as much as possible when marking the hole. Fill the formed cone with soil mixture and make a hole in it for picking the seedling. After the seedling is correctly positioned in the hole, I scoop up loose soil to fill the hole,but I do not crush or ram the soil around the hole.
Daikon planting care
After 1-2 days, the plant will recover from transplant stress. It is imperative to feed him, because the seed supply of nutrients has been used up, and the roots are still weak. For many years, only for the first feeding of seedlings of any crops, I have been using Kemira Lux soluble fertilizer. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of powder in 5 liters of water. I give each seedling three teaspoons of the solution. I put it around the stem and at a distance of 1.5-2 cm from it - only into loose soil and only on the roots. The seedlings and young shoots of daikon are actively attacked by the cruciferous flea. The most reliable protection is lutrasil on low arcs.
By the time the tops are closed, the lutrasil can be removed. The second feeding I do with "Garden tincture" of my own production from herbs in 7-10 days after the first. I add 0.5 liters of top dressing to the slightly loosened soil around the plant. Before use, I dilute the tincture: 1-1.5 liters per bucket of water heated by the sun. Subsequent watering and feeding alternate among themselves. The timing is determined by soil moisture and weather. When watering and feeding, I always slightly bend the tops with one hand so that the liquid only gets into the soil.
I did not say about my sowing dates. Sasha sown variety at the end of May. And yet, five percent of the plants were affected by flowering. I think that other varieties, when sown during this period, would completely go into the stem. Apparently, sowing should be carried out either in early spring, as soon as the weather permits, or in the second half of summer. So, I sowed the seeds of all other daikon varieties after July 15, when the daylight hours became shorter.
And now the daikon harvest is ripe
If there is no urgent need, I am in no hurry with cleaning. We began to eat the first root vegetables of the Sasha daikon variety 25 days after germination. The diameter of the root crop reached 4 cm, weight 100-120 g. With late harvesting, the weight of the root crop increased significantly, while the tenderness and juiciness of the pulp did not change. The storage time is increased. Of course, cleaning should be done in dry weather, before frost. Before harvesting, the soil must be loosened with a pitchfork. I release the root crop from the tops, leaving a tail of 2-3 cm. I do not keep it in the sun. The safest storage is to salt. Daikon can also be stored for 2-4 months in a refrigerator at 2-3 ° C in perforated polyethylene bags.
Now I am a staunch supporter of the daikon. He received a permanent residence permit in my garden. Perhaps I will increase the acreage for this crop. I hope that every year I will have more and more supporters and followers. Remember the words of the breeder V. I. Startsev - "Daikon is a friend of man." Yes, he is your friend, the friend of your health. I invite other daikon gardeners to share their experiences on the pages of the magazine. If someone is interested in my way of growing daikon and he wants to know all the details, write and call the editorial office, come to my courses.
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