Table of contents:
Video: Seed Preparation And Growing Vegetable Seedlings
What you need to do to have a result in the garden and in the garden
- Check the seeds
- Seeds: Soak or Not?
- How to get early greens
- April sowing of tomatoes and peppers
- Top dressing is needed
- Weeding, loosening
Check the seeds
Gardeners in different regions start sowing at different times. In our North-West, of course, it starts later than in the Central region or even further south, although in my circle there are land owners who have winter greenhouses, greenhouses with heated soil. Therefore, they start sowing in January and February.
I check the seeds of my vegetables and flowers for germination in apartment conditions in February, i.e. forty days after the winter solstice. I do this to know exactly the germination of seeds. Most gardeners are too lazy to do this, and then in the spring they waste time for reseeding crops that have not emerged.
Seeds: Soak or Not?
The seed sellers write on the bags: "Do not soak the seeds." Why do gardeners continue to soak the seeds before sowing in the beds? Because the germination of seeds is now sometimes questionable. Otherwise, you can wrap the seeds in a damp cloth and find a place for them with a temperature of + 25 … + 28 ° С. As soon as the root of the seed protrudes 1 mm, it can be sown immediately into the ground.
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Often, gardeners, having sown unsoaked, not germinated seeds in the ground (in cups, in cassettes), put them on the windowsill, supposedly in the sun. But in fact, the soil in the cups cools quickly - you need to put a thermometer nearby and control the temperature. After all, practice has shown that the seeds of cucumbers, saturated with moisture, germinate at a temperature of + 12 ° C in 5-6 days (or they may rot), at a temperature of + 25 ° C - after 24 hours.
I usually put soaked cucumber seeds in the bathroom at a temperature of + 24 ° C and check the condition of the seedlings 3-4 times a day.
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Some gardeners make another gross mistake when sowing any non-germinated seeds: they immediately place them in very damp soil, while packing the container completely in plastic wrap, and put them on a hot battery. Thermometer, of course, does not measure temperature. In this case, you cannot wait for seedlings: the seeds are either steamed or boiled. If you are already putting the seeds on the battery, then you need to put a thick board under the container, and not wrap it in a bag, but only cover it with a film on top. This is done so that the topsoil does not dry out.
How to get early greens
You can use compost for this. For example, we cook it in our compost box, which consists of sections that are fenced off with slate, boards, but not with a netting, as weeds creep through it. The snow has not yet melted on the side of the roads, and it is already possible to work on the compost heap, although there is still an ice crust on the surface of the compost. It should be sprinkled with mineral fertilizers, potassium permanganate and covered with a film, but not black. Put a film on top of the arches or on the crossbar above the compost (as in our site). It turns out a kind of greenhouse.
The topsoil will quickly thaw to a depth of 1.5-2 cm - and you can already sow cilantro, dill, leafy mustard, watercress, leaf celery, flowers, including asters. In such soil (rather cold), radish does not shoot, its leaf rosette is small, and the root crop itself turns out to be juicy, large. It is only important to thin out the crops in time. We often harvested it early by May 9th.
The second way is to use a warm bed. At the end of March, clear the bed from the snow, which you made in the warm autumn. As well as on the compost bin, sprinkle its surface with mineral fertilizers, cover it with a foil and put a foil on top of the arcs. You can use all the same green crops and radishes as on compost.
A warm bed can be the pile of leaves and plant debris that you used to grow pumpkin or squash. In the fall, this pile must be cleared out so that a straight ridge is obtained. And at the end of March, shovel snow from it, cover it with foil, warm it up for several days and sow seeds.
Most gardeners use the seedling option. I also use it. I sow seeds of bush dill, parsley root and stem, celery, asters, various salads, cabbage - everything except radish - in small 1 cm cassettes? nutrient soil. It is enough for plants for 20-25 days, and then I plant the resulting seedlings in late April or early May in a greenhouse.
April sowing of tomatoes and peppers
I still practice the April sowing of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Why was the late sowing of tomatoes and peppers required? In an apartment environment, we have learned to grow all seedlings ready for planting in a greenhouse or in open ground. But there is not enough space for the entire volume of seedlings - on the windowsills and tables. Therefore, you have to sow at different times.
We call sowing April sowing in the very last days of March or in the first ten days of April. Take tomatoes, for example. Late sowing can be carried out on March 27, March 30, April 5, from April 12 to April 14. The most early ripening varieties should be used - superdeterminate, determinant. If you sowed their seeds in a small box, they will sprout - and the seedlings can be easily, without picking, taken to the site right in this box. There you can unpack them into cups, boxes and keep them in the house. Or plant it in a greenhouse. By June 10-15, they will all have buds for planting in open ground.
Pepper seedlings can be grown in the same way. The April sowing of peppers is very convenient for the elderly and for those who have little space in the apartment, as well as for those who travel far to the dacha and have no opportunity to carry over-grown seedlings. We select the days of sowing peppers - March 27, March 30, April 5, April 12-14. We also sow pepper seeds in a small box and then, without picking, take the pepper seedlings to the site. There we dive the seedlings into small cups with nutritious soil. For the day, these cups of pepper can be taken out to the greenhouse, and returned to the house at night. By May 25-30, this seedling of peppers already has 8 leaves, buds and is ready for planting in a greenhouse. On a warm ridge, these plants take root very well. It is advisable to use early ripening varieties for such cultivation, in which the fruits are yellow, light green in technical ripeness,white - varieties Tenderness, Medal, Loyalty, Kapitoshka, Swallow and others. These varieties form fruits with thin walls - 3-4 mm. They are especially good for preforms, for stuffing, pickling, freezing.
Peppers of this sowing period are easy to give, their yield will be later and lower than that of the varieties planted in February. They can be removed in early August, and they will bear fruit until October.
In early October, you need to harvest and pack it in plastic bags. Ripe peppers are stored at a temperature of + 1 … + 2 ° С for up to two months, and unripe peppers - at + 10 … + 12 ° С. At a temperature of + 8 ° C, such peppers do not ripen and are affected by diseases. So when storing them, they must be sorted.
Top dressing is needed
Plant feeding is a subtle science. How to determine when and what they are missing? It takes flair. An experienced gardener will determine this by the leaves, the appearance of the plants.
In order not to constantly worry about feeding, you need to remember that in terms of biodynamics, we carry them out with organic fertilizers on the waning moon. For example, at the beginning of the third quarter we apply slurry or "green" fertilizer. It is infused for several days, and we carry out top dressing already in the fourth quarter. It turns out that once a month.
We carry out mineral dressing on the growing moon.
According to the recommendations of scientists, we feed plants with extended fruiting in 8-10 days, i.e. for the period from New Moon to Full Moon, you can manage to feed twice - in the signs Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces.
Of course, it is impossible to do everything according to the calendar. But to know when it is better to water in order to economically use water, you need to - according to the Lunar calendar under any phase of the Moon in Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
I water the garden on rare occasions. Our soil is sandy loam - the swamp is covered with sand, so every autumn I try to bury plant residues (flower stalks, Jerusalem artichoke, helenium, goldenrod, vegetable tops, etc.). We apply manure once every 5-6 years. Therefore, our soil during summer irrigation can turn into podzol. In the spring I try to close the moisture as quickly as possible, and in the summer we have strong dew. And this is enough for the plants. In the greenhouse, the plants, of course, grow on irrigation. It rains not according to the calendar, we have to put up.
In late May - early June, weeds are already growing. I take them calmly, as I put them in compost. Every weed, i.e. each plant individually, corresponds to some planet, or rather, carries the information of this planet. It's not for nothing that most weeds are medicinal. Each human organ is “directed” or controlled by a certain planet. Therefore, each plant heals a specific organ. Weeding, loosening the soil, laying compost should preferably be done in the last quarter in Aries, Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Sagittarius.
Luiza Klimtseva, experienced gardener
Photo by E. Valentinov