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Video: Phacelia Is An Excellent Honey Plant And Green Manure For Summer Cottages And Garden Plots
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 20:34
"Honey Princess" - phacelia
This plant is a beautiful name Phacelia (Phacelia) have long been revered beekeepers, farmers, flower growers. “Queen of the nectar ball” - this title was given to her by connoisseurs, and one of the most subtle connoisseurs and singers of the beauties of Russian nature, Mikhail Prishvin, called the heroine of his lyrical work Phaselia.
Of the 80 species of phacelia in Russia, only two are found, but they are practically used on farms, and even then very rarely, only the phacelia is rowan - leaved or tansy(its leaves are very similar to tansy leaves) (Phacelia tanacetifolia Benth), which is native to California. With its sky-blue flowers, it attracts mainly clean bees, reluctantly goes into contact with flies and other insects that are indiscriminate in connections. But with such fastidiousness, the phacelia-monogamous gives 250-500 kg of honey per hectare, and in especially favorable conditions - up to a ton (for comparison: buckwheat gives 50-70 kg per hectare, white mustard - 100 kg, clover - up to 120 kg, rape - 150 kg). Bees "graze" on phacelia even during periods without grazing - from early spring to late autumn, from morning to evening darkness. The herb of this plant is also good animal feed.
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In the last decade, from continuous chemicalization, the world is returning to soil-protective, sustainable, environmentally friendly systems of organic farming on a modern scientific and technical basis. In these conditions, the phacelia was again at its best, not only as a favorite among nectar plants, but also as a soil improver, crop protector, and soil orderly.
As you know, one of the main principles of organic farming is that the soil must be covered with vegetative plants or litter all year round, crop residues. There are crops that can grow in places of risky farming and give good results, starting from March-April and ending with October. One of them is phacelia. It can withstand temperatures down to -9 ° C. This means that phacelia can be sown before winter, early spring, in autumn after harvesting even late crops. It forms up to 20-30 tons of green mass per hectare. Embedding it in the soil is equivalent to the same amount of high-quality manure.
On my site, sown even after harvesting potatoes and winter varieties of garlic and onions in September, the phacelia sprouts, develops, and goes under the snow like a green fur coat, like rye, spinach and other cold-resistant crops. In addition to fertilization, it is the most reliable guardian of the soil from drying out, erosion and other degradation, deep freezing.
Due to the short growing season, phacelia can be sown 3-4 times per season under our conditions, during which time it accumulates a large mass of almost free organic matter. Needless to say, such an excellent green manure is a godsend for gardeners, especially in areas of risky farming.
Phacelia grows well in partial shade, under the crowns of trees, saving the owner from tillage and fertilization. Stony and sandy soils are not an obstacle for her. If you sow it in a mixture with peas and other legumes, then the number of bruchus (pea and bean weevils), aphids, nodule weevils and other crop freeloaders sharply decreases. Its nectar attracts many insects-entomophages, destroying moths, leaf rollers, apple blossom beetle and other pests of garden and vegetable crops. Locusts die from the vicinity of the phacelia, and the wireworm leaves the soil nematodes that infect potatoes and root crops.
After sowing phacelia on a healthy, enriched with organic matter, improved soil, you can grow crops of vegetables and potatoes for 2-3 years without hassle and without any chemistry, and place berry fields. In addition, phacelia normalizes the soil reaction, actively destroys woodlice and other annual weeds.
In local conditions, I have tested a still little widespread method of planting seedlings of cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers under the cover of phacelia or winter rye - in light partial shade. Seedlings take root well and outperform in growth and development the same seedlings planted in bare beds, in direct sunlight and in the wind. There is information about the successful cultivation of phacelia as green manure and mulch in the aisles of potatoes.
In my garden, as the main culture develops, I cut off the phacelia and leave it in place as mulch. It is very important that phacelia is one of the few plants that is a good universal predecessor for any vegetable crops (as opposed to, for example, fennel, which does not get along with almost any neighbor). The phacelia sows shallowly - by 2-2 cm, seeds per hundred square meters need 60-70 g. The row spacing is about 30 cm.
While this plant, ideal for gardeners and gardeners, undeservedly exists in the position of Cinderella. Although nature itself has assigned the phacelia a sufficient role as a princess at the garden ball.
Valery Brizhan, experienced gardener
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