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How To Choose Varieties And Grow Asters In The Garden
How To Choose Varieties And Grow Asters In The Garden

Video: How To Choose Varieties And Grow Asters In The Garden

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Video: How to Grow Asters from Seed 2023, January
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Colorful stars in your garden

Asters
Asters

Aster. Variety Princess

"Astra" translated from Greek means "star". According to legend, these wonderful annual flowers originated from a speck of dust that fell from a distant star.

Now, probably, there is not a single gardener whose one-year-old asters would not grow in the garden or in the front garden. For me, yes, probably, for many people this flower is associated with September 1, the beginning of the school year, when schoolchildren carried colorful bouquets of these flowers to their teacher.

Aster annual has been cultivated as an ornamental plant since the 19th century. But only in recent years has a huge assortment of different classes of these colors emerged. It's just that your eyes run wide when choosing seeds. The variety of varieties and colors is amazing. How do you grow this bright star in your garden?

Gardener's guide

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Soil for sowing asters

When growing seedlings of asters, as well as when growing cabbage seedlings, we are faced with the defeat of seedlings with a black leg. This is due to soil contaminated with this disease or to its high acidity.

To prevent this disease, I compose dead soil. It consists of a coconut substrate (necessarily washed to get rid of salts included in it) and sterile medium-sized river sand. To do this, I wash the purchased river sand until the water becomes clear. Then I boil it for 10 minutes and drain the water. Then I dry it slightly for several days, stirring constantly. I combine sand and coconut substrate in a 1: 2 ratio and fill the boxes with the resulting mixture. The soil must be moisture and breathable.

Sowing aster seeds

Asters
Asters

Aster. Variety Starfish red

I start sowing on the twentieth of March on flower day according to the lunar sowing calendar. I sow each variety in a separate box (from under the processed cheese), since they do not sprout all at the same time.

I put one tablet of Glyocladin in the center of the box to a depth not shallower than 1 cm from the surface. I water the soil in the box with Extrasol, which prevents the appearance of diseases and enriches it with microorganisms. I spread the seeds on the ground of the box with an interval of 2 cm, so that then I do not immediately dive the plants. Sprinkle on top with wet sterile river sand. It is easy for sprouts to break through this layer, and since it is sterile, there will be no diseases in delicate seedlings.

The soil should not be wet, there should be air in it, otherwise the seeds will suffocate. I put the box in a plastic bag, tie it to preserve moisture, and put the boxes on the glazed (not insulated) balcony. There at this time the air temperature is within + 10 ° C. I would like to note that aster shoots and hardened seedlings tolerate short frosts down to -3 … -5 ° C, so my asters will emerge and grow at low temperatures, and, therefore, become hardened.

Despite the low temperature on the balcony, seedlings appear on the third or fourth day. As soon as the first shoots appeared, I take out the box with the plants from the bag, even if not all the seeds in this box have sprouted, otherwise they will pamper.

Earlier, after 2-3 true leaves appeared, I dived the plants into separate pots with a retractable bottom and kept them on the balcony. But since there are too many seedlings at this time without flowers, and all of it does not fit on the balcony, so last season on April 8 (flower day) I planted seedlings in a greenhouse (made of cellular polycarbonate) in a row along the edge of the ridge. I covered it with a white thin spunbond on top so that they would not suffer from the sun's rays. The small plants have taken root very well.

The plants were easily removed from the soil I compiled, and the roots were not damaged at all. Before removing the seedlings from the box, I watered the soil abundantly and took out the plants as if from a swamp. I transported the plants not in boxes, but taken out with a lump of soil and placed in plastic bags: each variety in its own bag. So the seedlings take up little space.

You could sow the seeds and immediately into the greenhouse, but since the seeds are usually sown thickly, the seedlings also appear thick, and in the spring, when you park your business, you may not have time to pick out all the sprouted plants. As a result, the seedlings stretch out, their stems are thin, the roots are intertwined and damaged when transplanted into open ground, and the plants are in a wilted state for a long time.

You can sow aster seeds before winter in a greenhouse - at the end of November, then they undergo natural stratification, which has a positive effect on their germination and subsequent flowering. By the way, I noticed that aster shoots sown with seeds directly into the soil of the greenhouse are never affected by a black leg.

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I explain this by the fact that microflora and protozoan invertebrates are present in living soil, which secrete biologically active substances that increase seed germination, stimulate the growth of plant roots, suppress the activity of fungi harmful to plants and their spores. They are absent in the purchased soil, and in the soil that I made (from compost and greenhouse soil), during winter storage on the balcony (most likely due to the fact that little air gets into the bags with soil), some of these living creatures died.

My friend sows aster seeds in early April in large white pots (so that the sun does not heat them up), which she hangs in a plastic greenhouse under the ceiling. As a result, they do not take up valuable space in the greenhouse beds. This can be done by those who constantly live at this time in the country.

Preparing the soil for asters

Asters
Asters

Seedlings of asters

I plant seedlings in open ground after May 10 (on flower day), when it is not yet hot outside - this way the seedlings take root better. I prepare the ridges in advance - from the fall. Fresh manure must not be applied under the asters, both in the year of planting and in the previous fall, otherwise they will get sick. You can not plant asters twice in the same place. They can be returned to their original place only after 5-7 years.

In addition, asters do not like acidic soils, from which they develop a disease - fusarium. And you can't apply chlorine-containing fertilizers under them. Therefore, in the fall, I put in a little compost (although it is organic, but asters tolerate it well) and dolomite flour into the garden bed for asters. In the spring, I scatter double superphosphate, azophoska, ash on the same bed. I'm digging everything up on a shovel half bayonet. I make low ridges and cover them with dense black spunbond so that I do not weed during the whole season.

I plant many annual plants on this wonderful covering material, which makes it easier for me to work on the site - I don't need to weed a lot. In the spunbond I make cross-shaped holes where I will plant seedlings. In the holes of the spunbond in the ground, I make holes in advance throughout the entire ridge. I plant the plants in three rows in the garden, not in a checkerboard pattern, so that later it would be convenient to tie the whole row on one rope - I will talk about this below.

Landing in open ground

Asters
Asters

Asters grow on black spunbond

It is best to plant aster seedlings in cloudy and rainy weather.

So that the plants take root well, before taking them out of the ground, I abundantly water a row of asters in the garden where they grow. I take out the seedlings of asters with a clod of earth and plant them in a prepared recess, water them with Energen's solution (one bottle per 10 liters of water). I stick in several home-made arcs of thick wire and cover them with medium-thickness spunbond on top to protect the plants from the sun and possible return frosts. I shoot this shelter and arcs after warm weather sets in, after about May 15-20. If the plants are upright, then I spray them with HB-101 solution (1 drop per liter of water).

10 days after planting the seedlings, I pull out small weeds around each plant. There will be no more weeding, since weeds do not break through the dense black spunbond.

Garter of asters

Asters
Asters

To prevent adult plants from being broken by the wind, I do the following. Along the edges of each row and in the center of the rows (in one of the holes with a growing flower) I drive in stakes, a little less than a meter high.

From one stake to the central one, I pass the rope between the aster plants (in the upper part of the plant - just below the flowers), I go around them in turn with a snake. Having reached the central stake, I wrap the rope around it twice and then continue to wrap the rope around each plant.

Having reached the second extreme stake, I also wrap the rope twice and head back. The rope wraps a snake around the plant from the other side. The result is a kind of eights. At the extreme stake, I finally tie it. And all the plants are completely caught between two tightly stretched ropes, and the flowers of the asters won't break from getting wet after the rains. Such a garter of plants is convenient in that you do not need to drive in a peg next to each and tie each flower to it.

From June until the beginning of flowering, with an interval of 10 days, I water the asters with a liquid solution of Novofert universal fertilizer.

How to extend flowering time

In autumn, I want to extend the flowering time of asters, because in some territories of the Leningrad Region the first frosts occur. In the first half of September (in cloudy weather), when the tomatoes in the greenhouse have borne fruit, asters with a lump of earth can be planted in their place. They tolerate this transplant well and delight with flowering for a long time. If, of course, they were planted at a later date. At the time when I sowed, the asters started growing early and by the fall almost all of them had already faded. Therefore, if you want to get aster flowers by September 1, then you need to sow them around April 10. You can sow them in two terms, and then you will be with these beautiful flowers for a long time.

Collecting aster seeds

Asters
Asters

Stunted curb asters

I sow asters so early that I can harvest my seeds from them. Seeds usually ripen 30-40 days after flowering.

To do this, I do not pick the very first flowers, but tie a thick string under them, so that later I know which of them will give me full-fledged seeds. For insurance, I leave several of these flowers of the same variety, since not all of them will be able to pollinate, I do not know what is the reason for this. As soon as the faded flower becomes completely brown and dry, and most importantly, a fluff appears in the center, like a dandelion, then the seeds are ready.

If such a fluff has not yet appeared, then I pick the brown flower, put it on the newspaper, signing its variety, and put it in the warmest place in the house (I have this place under the battery), better, of course, near the stove. After 10 days, I sprinkle the seeds, clean them of the fluff and put them in bags, which I will keep all winter in the refrigerator door. If I buy seeds, I also put them in the refrigerator right away.

Two weeks before sowing, I take out all the aster seeds and put them on a tight shoe box lid, which I put on the battery. I do this so that the seeds undergo an alternation of low and high temperatures. If some seeds have not ripened, then due to such temperature changes, they ripen, and their germination increases.

Sometimes gardeners complain that they sowed aster seeds, but they do not germinate for a long time. Under normal conditions, fresh aster seeds sprout on the third or fourth day.

If the asters did not ascend, I advise you to put the seed boxes in the refrigerator for 10 days, and then in a bright, sunny place. Some of them will rise.

Purchased seeds lose their germination after 1-2 years, and their seeds retain their germination for 3 years. Therefore, it is better not to leave purchased seeds until next season. It is better to purchase aster seeds after the New Year, so as not to get last year's non-viable seeds. By the way, I noticed some regularity: asters with white flowers sprout on 2-3 days, with pink flowers - on 3-4 days, with purple flowers - on 5-6 days.

How to keep asters in a vase

In order for the asters to stand in the vase longer (about three weeks), you need to remove half of the leaves from them - they should not be in the water, make a large oblique cut, and change the water in the vase every day. Before putting them back in clean water, you need to rinse the bottom of the stems and update the cut.

Types and varieties of asters

There are a lot of types and varieties of asters. I like the "Princess" variety. I plant the following varieties of this variety type: Rita, Silver Rose, Princess Davina (pink), Mashenka, Princess Diana, Corinna (white), Edelstein (red), Veronica, Nigretta (purple).

Sometimes they sell seeds of the Hilda variety of this variety type, and on the bag there is a photo of yellow asters. It is actually light cream, not yellow.

Very unusual flowers in the Starfish cultivar. The most beautiful variety of this variety with white flowers, unfortunately, has not been on sale for a long time.

Also, beautiful flowers in claw asters: varieties Apple (white-pink), Dragon select fawn.

I think every gardener has their own favorite varieties.

Olga Rubtsova, gardener, candidate of geographical sciences

Vsevolozhsky district of the Leningrad region

Photo by the author

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