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Video: Tomatoes, Watermelons And Melons Grow In Kolpino
The results of the work of the Kolpino Romanov gardeners in the past season. It so happened that the magazine "Flora Price" was the first to pay attention to our experiments and searches. It was on its pages that we talked about our successful experience of growing watermelons and melons in a warm open garden near St. Petersburg. At the suggestion of the editorial board, our family began to sum up the results of their work in each successive season on the pages of the magazine. It has become a kind of tradition.
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This year we were late with our report. The season ended late - December 10, and therefore we have not yet had time to fully analyze our results. Of course, in the process of work, we drew the necessary conclusions, recorded a lot in our diaries for further generalization, but there is still a lot of work to be done on the results obtained. Sometime, in 2005, when we presented our results for the first time, it happened, as they say, “with the heat, with the heat,” we have not yet comprehended all the work done.
Now it seems to us that we have already "matured", we understand a lot deeper, more meaningful. Now it is clear to us that it is not enough to get a stunning harvest from some culture, no, we need to repeat it successfully several times in different weather conditions, to “run in” it. Only then can you share your results with your readers.
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In 2010 we started new projects, this year we continued them, and now we have other interesting ideas. In the process of work, we try to record everything, both the advantages of methods and techniques, and their disadvantages. On the ground, it is difficult to get a quick result, although the basis for stable yields on our site, we can talk about this without bragging, has been laid down reliable. This refers to the fertile soil that has been purposefully created for over two decades. And the work on its further improvement does not stop. But unforeseen circumstances can always arise when neither fertility nor experience will help out. After all, we all know that our zone is a zone of risky farming. Therefore, we will present to our readers only successful and proven results.
In this article, we divided our report on the work done in the past season into two: an assessment of the season based on the results obtained on vegetable crops and melons (watermelons and melons) will be given by Boris Petrovich - husband and chief specialist in these crops, on working with flowers and ornamental plants will tell Galina Prokopyevna - the wife and patron of everything beautiful on the site, as determined by Nature.
Juicy tomatoes and peppers, sweet watermelons, fragrant melons …
The climate now changes every year, and every season we are ready for any surprises. The twenty-seven-year struggle against the advance of the swamp on our massif near Kolpino, where our section is located, tempered us. In our garden, the first plantings of apple trees are dying (their age is 25 years), since the water level has recently risen by 30-40 centimeters. The fact is that the general drainage of gardening is clogged, which there is no one to clean, but we are not giving up. Our site, like an unsinkable battleship, rises up every year. Qualitatively, on the basis of organic matter, the height of our beds for vegetables and berry crops grows.
Last autumn, we planted new apple trees again, but already 50 centimeters higher than the previous ones. This is the so-called hill landing. Last summer we covered all the paths and aisles with a new thick layer of wood chips. This method of dealing with swampy terrain gives its result: for more than twenty years we have not known what rubber shoes are on the site. Around, many gardeners gave up, drowned with their beds, people gave up. In summer they come only in dry time, to relax, get some air, make barbecue. The worst and most offensive thing is that now no one even has a thought to drain the array together. Those who did not abandon their farm, who are struggling with the swamp alone, remained in the massif of 10-15%.
When I look back at the path I have passed, I am horrified: did we really put so much labor and money into this swamp to form a small oasis on it? An oasis where tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers and other vegetables, as well as watermelons, melons, berries, all kinds of spicy herbs grow from year to year, and a sea of annual and perennial flowers sways. Did we really hold out and not surrender? Over the years, thousands and thousands of cubic meters of wood chips, many tons of manure have burned down on the site - they turned into high-quality soil. The fertile layer of earth in our ridges is two bayonets of a shovel. Starting to cultivate our site, we could not even think about what kind of work we were destined to go through.
Agriculture sharpens and nurtures character and will. After such hardening, it costs us nothing to grow any culture, any flower qualitatively. Over the years, experience has been accumulated in building all kinds of greenhouses and warm ridges. We have gained experience in working with covering materials. In recent years, we have been intensively using mulch on the ridges. For seven years now we have been working only with organics. Fatty fertile land requires abundant watering in dry times so that vegetables and fruits are free of nitrates. Starting this year, I set myself the task of becoming a melon grower in the north. For seven years now I have been growing melons and watermelons, both in the greenhouse and in the open field.
This year, in order to evaluate the results of growing watermelons, I did not send a single fruit to the exhibition. I cut all the watermelons on my site to see and evaluate the quality of each, since they were all grown in different conditions, and the varieties were both old and new. I never forget that a soil rich in organic matter can contain excess nitrogen and, therefore, accumulate as nitrates in fruits. Therefore, in dry weather, abundant watering very well removes nitrates from the fruit, accelerating the processes of photosynthesis in plants. The fruits are poured literally before our eyes. That is why, last year, I got to grips with the search for balanced plant care based on organic farming.
Also for the future, I outlined for myself that the basis of my experiments will now be three crops: first of all - watermelons, then tomatoes and melons. I will work with other cultures as long as I have time left for them. There is also a desire to seriously engage in raspberries, including remontant ones. I already have interesting plans for this berry.
As for the results of the past year, I can say that for our family the 2011 season, as always, turned out to be very interesting and eventful. On the eve of it, in the fall, a new greenhouse was built for growing tomatoes, it also included one ridge allotted for three bushes of grapes. There was also a place in it for melons and watermelons. This greenhouse was built reliably for years; its area is 57 square meters, length 12.5 meters, width 4.6 meters, height 3 meters, it has an opening top for ventilation. In the past season, the greenhouse proved to be excellent. The ventilation in it was thought out for any weather conditions, the air was always fresh and healthy, wide paths were laid around the ridges - 90 cm. In the spring, in the initial period, it seemed that you were in a gym, such a large volume of it, air circulated, did not stagnate. But in August this "sports hall" looked like a habitable multi-tiered apartment.
Tomato seedlings were planted on May 11, the first ripe tomatoes were harvested in early July, and the last fruits were harvested on October 20. After that, all the tops were removed, and the greenhouse was opened for the winter. Thanks to the abundant harvest of tomato plants, the family's consumption of fresh, high-quality tomatoes this year extended until mid-December. Tomato varieties are mainly indeterminate, tall. 48 tomato bushes were planted on three ridges, 15 of them are new varieties. This is another tradition of ours - to always test new varieties of vegetable plants.
Last season, large-fruited tomatoes of the Red Giant varieties from the Russian Garden Company and the Shuntuk Giant varieties from the Biotechnika Company produced fruits weighing more than 1 kg. The hybrid Persimmon F1 from the “Russian Garden” company and the variety “Southern Tan” from the “Siberian Garden” company were distinguished by their special beauty and taste. An excellent harvest of large fruits was taken from the Bychie Heart variety of the same company. But the favorites of our new greenhouse were cherry tomatoes. They quickly waved up like an octopus, and I was forced to send the whips over the young plantings of grapes. It should be noted that such a neighborhood was a burden for the lianas of grapes. In the new season, I will take this flaw into account.
Cherry tomatoes have given a bountiful harvest. After all, these tomatoes are formed brush by brush on each lash in continuous rivulets. The plantings have to be constantly cleaned. Each bush resembles a tree. But each lash was tied by me so that the landing could breathe. If the cherry is missed with pinching, then within three weeks the planting will turn into a continuous jungle, and as a result, you can be left without a crop.
In my opinion, the new greenhouse in the first year of its life gave an excellent result. Everyone who visited our site asked the same question: "Where will you do with such a crop of tomatoes?"
In the greenhouse we were pleased with the harvest of watermelons and melons. From each plant of a watermelon hybrid Gift to the north F1we took three fruits each weighing 7 kilograms, and the hybrid Yubiley NK F1 formed even larger watermelons - one weighing 15 kg and two weighing 10 kg. Of the melons in the greenhouse, the best fruit was the Joker F1 melon of the Semko firm. Melon Roksolana F1 from Elita was good on melons in the open field. We collected 44 melons from four plants of this hybrid. In the open ground, watermelons of the Kai variety from Biotekhnika and the same hybrid Podarok Severu F1 were also planted. From a watermelon ridge with a feeding area of 1.5 by 2 meters, we removed 18 fruits weighing from 3 to 7 kg. A novelty of the past season for melons and watermelons in the open field were three-stage ridges. This project with similar ridges and combined plantings on them is designed for five years. Experiments on these ridges will continue.
Last summer we tried to grow tomatoes in the open field. For this, their varieties were carefully selected. I must say right away that this experiment was a success: we were very pleased with the harvest of tomatoes in the open field. And this is even taking into account the fact that the seedlings were planted three weeks late. In the initial growing season of tomatoes on that ridge, we were helped by the erected temporary shelter above the planted tomato seedlings. If I have strength and health in the coming years, I will bring the project on growing tomatoes in the open field to perfection.
But apart from success and the introduction of new products, we also had disappointments. We missed with potatoes - we bought low-quality planting material, although we purchased seeds from a seller we checked last year. We collected an average crop of tubers, and then thanks to careful preparation of boxes for planting potatoes, careful care of potato plants during the growing season and fertile soil on the site. I had to re-sow the carrots last season as well; during the first sowing they only sprouted here and there. We changed the seeds, and the carrots sprouted beautifully.
We are very pleased with the planting of sweet peppers; we have harvested an excellent harvest of colorful fruits. I would especially like to note the hybrids of Cynthia F1 pepper from the company "CCO", the tenli F1 from the "Elita" company and the varieties Wiging yellow and Viking red from the company "CCO"; both of these varieties bring us a good harvest in the second year. The noted peppers also have the advantage of being easy to care for.
We grow cucumbers mainly outdoors. There are a lot of hybrids with which we are happy. For example, for the third year in a row we are growing the Meringue F1 hybrid. We get such a harvest that it provides all the needs of our family and even more. In addition, this hybrid is very early and fruitful for a long time, and most importantly, cucumbers have excellent taste.
We planted pumpkins in the past year, different and many varieties. Ornamental plants even appeared on the site. There were two large-fruited pumpkins - Goliash F1 from Elita and Atlantic from France. The Frenchwoman Atlantik was capricious, three times tied the fruits on lashes, but they grew slowly, developed poorly, and then softened. I had to remove the whips.
The Goliash F1 hybrid produced four pumpkins, each weighing about 40 kg. The Elita Matilda and Gavrish Pearl pumpkins are long-leaved, and this year they grew in unfortunate places. There was not enough space for their development. Of course, we got the fruits from these pumpkins, but in 2010 these pumpkins gave a huge amount of fruits, and this year the harvest was much more modest. Maybe it was also the fact that the previous summer was much warmer and more comfortable for this type of pumpkin.
Pumpkin of the Vitaminnaya variety of the “Russian Garden” firm bears fruit stably every year, however, last season its fruits were significantly lower than in the previous one. The fruits of this pumpkin have very good taste, they are stored for a long time. But I want to give advice: it is better to grow it through seedlings, since this variety is medium late. The pumpkin of the Marble variety from Biotechnika belongs to the same ripening period. We received from her four fruits of this variety, each weighing about 3 kg. The pumpkin turned out to be tasty, but, unfortunately, the fruits for some reason began to deteriorate already in November, I had to put it into action right away, and freeze some of it. But in the annotation of the variety on the package, it was indicated that the fruits are stored for more than a year.
Every year we also produce a pumpkin of the Hazelnut variety from the Russian Garden Company. Her fruits are portioned, a lot of them grow on one plant. But this season the pumpkin has given little fruit.
We got a lot of beautiful fruits from the Turban pumpkin - two plants turned out to be very productive, and the pumpkins are still well stored. All these results give me reason to say: before recommending a variety or hybrid to other gardeners, you need to get a good result from this plant more than once, besides, readers have probably already understood from the above that the yield depends on many factors, including from climatic conditions.
We were also pleased with the zucchini last season. All early hybrids were grown, prone to parthenocarpies. They tied well. We were satiated with this product both in summer and autumn, the remaining well-ripened fruits are stored at home. We grew hybrids of Iskander F1 and Candela F1 squash from Elita. Last year we also harvested a large harvest of squash. Grown hybrid Chartreuse F1 firm "Russian garden". Its plants are bushy, vigorous, resistant to downy mildew. The taste of the fruit is very delicate.
We were very pleased with the onions and leeks of the Lancelot and Kilima varieties of the Elita firm, as well as the root celery of the Diamant variety, because we received a sufficient harvest of these crops.
Read part 2. About growing flowers in a bad summer →