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Video: Climate And Soil Of The Leningrad Region, Growing Vegetables
Growing vegetables in harsh climates
The Lodeynopolsky and Podporozhsky districts belong to the zones of critical farming. To imagine the conditions of agriculture, including horticulture, in a harsh zone, one must get acquainted with its main soil and climatic features.
The most severe frosts reach -54 ° С. The warmest month is July here with an average temperature of 16 … 17 ° С. Stable frosts begin in late September - early October. Air saturation with water vapor over lakes and coastlines averages 80-84% per year.
The soil cover is heterogeneous here. It is represented by loamy soils, in low places - podzolic sandy loam. There are moss and transitional bogs, as well as sandy boggy soils, hidden podzolic soils of hills, which alternate with boggy soils of depressions.
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The abundance of swamps leads to excessive moisture, a lack of heat, poor soil fertility are felt, and most importantly, the soils are cold. Somewhat warmer and lighter in texture, soils are found along river valleys, where people usually settle and are engaged in agriculture. Mineral compounds in such soils are destroyed and washed into the underlying horizon.
Therefore, the soils are poor in nutrients for plants, they have little humus. A distinctive feature of such soils is unsatisfactory air, water and thermal properties, an acidic reaction, which many cultivated plants just cannot stand. Therefore, the development of soils here must begin with land reclamation, the elimination of excessive acidity by the introduction of lime, ash and other lime materials. After liming, organic and mineral fertilizers are needed to the same extent.
The vegetation cover in these areas is represented mainly by spruce forests, bilberry forests, pine heath forests. Birch, aspen, linden, oak, maple grow here from hardwoods. Here is the border of the distribution of hazel in the Leningrad region.
Leaves on trees bloom in two to three days in late May - early June. In the valleys of rivulets and streams, the berry fields are still covered with snow and ice, and in August, on the shores of numerous lakes and rivers covered with berry bushes, a massive collection of wild plants is already underway - blueberries, blueberries, cloudberries, honeysuckle, cumanberries, raspberries, lingonberries, cranberries, blackberries. The forests are teeming with mushrooms.
Neither cold nor frost is terrible for these innumerable riches of northern nature.
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Features of agricultural technology in the zone of risky farming
But even in such harsh conditions, gardening is possible. True, it is necessary, taking into account the peculiarities of the climate, to use various agrotechnical methods that allow to shift the sowing dates or accelerate the ripening of the crop. In particular, in early spring, to accelerate soil warming, gardeners cover the planting sites with plastic films, sprinkle them with ash, soot, coal dust. Warming up the soil is also accelerated by mulching it after the snow melts with dark material - decomposed peat-manure or peat-fecal composts, tar paper. To make the ridges better ventilated and dry quickly, they are made high, the furrows are deepened to 30-40 cm.
Gardeners for early vegetables make special beds, heated from the inside like a greenhouse. To do this, in the fall, prepare a trench 20-30 cm deep and fill it with various organic matter: leaves, tops of vegetables, manure on straw or peat bedding and other materials that can decompose. The layer is strongly compacted to 20-30 cm for self-heating. Lime is added there 1-2 kilograms per 100 kg of dry mass of compost.
Top covered with fertile soil. The height of the ridges above the ground is 30-60 cm. Film greenhouses are made in spring. In cold soils, biological processes are inhibited, occur slowly, therefore, to improve their fertility, only well-decomposed material can be used. With a lack of manure, you can prepare and apply various composts and complex mineral fertilizers.
Indoor ground is widely used here: various greenhouses, hotbeds. The most popular is the frame method for covering vegetables with a polymer film stretched over wire arcs. This method guarantees an annual harvest of cucumbers that is little dependent on weather conditions, it accelerates the arrival of early production by two to three weeks. Shelters allow you to get early vegetables to the table and extend their growing time in summer and autumn.
The selection of crops and varieties and methods of growing them is especially important here. The planting area is being recaptured with great difficulty. Barren virgin soil is gradually being excavated. Peat, wood ash, compost and the like are introduced. Initiative, assertiveness, old-timers' experience and hard physical labor help gardeners to master the intricacies of farming in harsh climatic conditions. The improved soil in the northeastern zone allows them to get a pretty decent harvest.
In these areas, the range of crops grown is very diverse. The leading place is taken by potatoes. The most common vegetable crops are green and spicy crops - dill, parsley, watercress, coriander. From root crops firmly "registered": turnip, radish, radish, carrot, beet; perennial vegetables: rhubarb, sorrel, onions; from legumes - peas, beans.
Of course, not all potato and vegetable varieties are suitable for growing in these harsh conditions. The lack of heat limits the cultivation of thermophilic vegetables.
It is most convenient to break a garden right next to the house under the windows. The house protects from the cold wind, its walls serve as thermal screens. If the house does not have a suitable place, then it is better to set up a garden in a well-warmed gully, where there are no drafts and shade from large trees, or at the foot of a slope, not too close to open water and springs.
In the first year, the soil is prepared for planting the next year. In the created garden, onions, dill, beets, parsley, salads, radishes are first planted. But even for an average harvest, one cannot hope.
In the second year, vegetables planted in a heated and fertilized soil sprout quickly, grow well and develop well. This is facilitated by the long daylight hours typical for Lodeynopolsky and Podporozhsky regions in summer - 18-20 hours. To improve the structure of the soil in June, some gardeners scatter earthworms around the garden, which are brought in from warmer regions. Gardeners should grow almost all vegetables in seedlings.
Tomato seeds for seedlings should be sown in boxes on the windowsills at the end of February; cucumbers, cabbage, beets - in April-May. Seedlings should be planted in open ground only with the onset of stable heat, having previously prepared them for sunlight. Other vegetable seeds are sown directly into the soil.
Due to the short frost-free period, to obtain a decent annual harvest of potatoes, light germination of tubers is required for 25-35 days. 10-15 days before planting, sprouted tubers should be sprinkled with wet peat or sawdust. By the time they are planted in the soil, they will have strong shoots and numerous roots. Tubers are planted in late May - early June. The depth of their embedding is 4-7 cm. When plants grow up to 10-12 cm, they are spud 1-2 times.
Early harvesting of potatoes begins 60-70 days after planting. In these areas, podzimny sowing of carrots, dill, and parsley is widely used. Dry seeds are sown in pre-prepared grooves in October, after light freezing of the soil. The sowing is closed with pre-prepared humus or well-decomposed peat with a layer of 2-3 cm. Their shoots appear early. In spring, these same vegetables are sown on May 10-20.
To accelerate the germination of seedlings, seeds of dill, parsley for 3-5 days, carrots - 10-12 days before sowing, are soaked in water with a temperature of 40-45 ° C for 20-30 minutes. After cooling, the water is poured off, replaced with water at room temperature. Then it is drained. The seeds are stored on a damp cloth at a temperature of 20-25 ° C until they bite. Slightly dried seeds are planted in prepared beds. Seeds of dill, lettuce, coriander are sown at several times in 10-15 days for continuous supply of herbs. Radish seeds are sown in early spring, and then at the very end of July, when light summer decreases.
Read part 2. Agrotechnology of fruit and berry and flower crops in the Leningrad region →