11 Answers To Essential Seedling Questions. Sowing Dates. Care. Disease And Pest Control. Photo

Table of contents:

11 Answers To Essential Seedling Questions. Sowing Dates. Care. Disease And Pest Control. Photo
11 Answers To Essential Seedling Questions. Sowing Dates. Care. Disease And Pest Control. Photo

Video: 11 Answers To Essential Seedling Questions. Sowing Dates. Care. Disease And Pest Control. Photo

Video: 11 Answers To Essential Seedling Questions. Sowing Dates. Care. Disease And Pest Control. Photo
Video: Prevent, detect and control oomycete crop diseases 2023, September

In regions with a prolonged cold spring, short summer and early autumn cold snaps, the seedling method of growing vegetables is perhaps the only effective one. I live in the south. But even in our conditions I grow most vegetables through seedlings, because this gives a lot of advantages. Over the years of work at the summer cottage, I have accumulated a lot of observations and developed my own approach to growing seedlings of vegetables. In this article I will answer 11 questions about seedlings that are of most interest to novice summer residents.

11 answers to essential seedling questions
11 answers to essential seedling questions

1. When to start preparing for growing seedlings?

Winter will flash - you won't notice! And with the arrival of spring, there is a lot of worries and work. Therefore, even in winter (in your free time from summer cottages) you need to write down in your garden diary a list of crops and the sequence of preparatory work for sowing them for seedlings. This approach will free up some time in the spring for other, more necessary work.

What should you consider when filling out your "garden diary"?

Determine the list of crops and the amount of seedlings required to obtain a harvest sufficient for fresh consumption and winter harvesting.

Write down the sowing dates for seeds selected for seedling growth.

Decide on utensils and soil for seeding.

Provide, if necessary, the installation of additional lighting and convenient watering.

Decide whether you need to buy additional fertilizers for fertilizing, drugs to protect against diseases and pests.

2. What containers to choose for sowing?

Separate dishes need to be prepared for each type of seedling. I sow seeds in prepared wooden trays, plastic planting containers or cassettes, in cups from fermented milk products. I disinfect the dishes in a 1-2% solution of potassium permanganate.

For large seed crops and especially taproot crops (cucumbers, zucchini, watermelons, etc.), I use peat-distilled pots of different capacities. For seedlings with a taproot system, the container should be deep enough so that the root does not bend as it grows. I plant the seedlings grown in them together with such a pot in open ground. The pot, when soaked in the soil, rots and serves as a fertilizer. When planting, the root system is not disturbed.

Seedlings grown in peat pots and cassettes do not require picking, which shortens the growing period. In addition, the dive-free method excludes infection of seedlings with fungal and bacterial infections, which often occurs when picking them.

Separate dishes need to be prepared for each type of seedling
Separate dishes need to be prepared for each type of seedling

3. What is the best seedling soil?

I would recommend that novice gardeners buy ready-made soil for seedlings, which many companies offer on the market today. As a rule, such soils are completely ready for sowing and growing seedlings. They do not need additional preparation, including disinfection.

Experienced summer residents can independently prepare the soil mixture. Previously, I always prepared the soil for seedlings myself. I used the following ingredients: leafy or sod soil, mature humus (preferably vermicompost), sand in the following parts - 1: 2: 1. You can add (if any) 1 part of high-moor peat to this mixture.

I have always spent a lot of time preparing the substrate: disinfecting, revitalizing, adding fertilizers, tracking the acidity of the soil, etc. As my experience shows, this makes sense if there are a lot of seedlings - seedlings or crops are planned for sale. But for growing seedlings for a small family, definitely, ready-made soil is preferable. This will free up a significant amount of time for other household and household chores.

4. How to prepare seeds for sowing?

To reduce the time for preparing seeds for sowing, it is more practical to buy ready-made seed material. It is advisable to buy seeds only in specialized stores or from popular breeding firms. Quality seeds have already been disinfected and pelleted in nutrient mixtures. They don't need any additional training.

Self-preparation of seeds for sowing will take time at all stages of the procedures performed. To save time on preparation and at the same time to get healthy friendly shoots and high-quality seedlings, I am currently processing self-harvested seeds with growth stimulants for seedlings "Energen Aqua", "Kornerost".

When the seeds are soaked in Energen Aqua, the time of emergence of seedlings is reduced, their germination and the energy of seed germination are significantly increased. The use of the drug is especially effective when there is a delay in sowing for seedlings or when sowing very small seeds (petunias, for example), seeds with a capricious root system (cucumbers).

Do not forget to mark the crops immediately after sowing so as not to guess before sprouting where which one was sown.

5. How to sow correctly?

I fill the prepared containers with ready-made substrate, leaving 1-2 cm to the upper edge. Lightly (gently) crush the soil to remove voids. If the mixture is dry, water it, cover it and leave it for 1-2 days to ripen.

I sow seeds into the prepared wet substrate. The depth of their embedding depends on the size. Usually I bury it in a layer 1.5-2 times larger than the seed size, or spread the seeds over the surface, lightly press it to the ground and sprinkle it with a small layer of the same prepared mixture (agroperlite and similar materials can be used for dusting).

I simply leave especially small seeds (strawberries / strawberries, petunias) on the soil surface and carefully spill water through a spray bottle or strainer. Going into the depths, the water pulls seeds into the ground, creating a comfortable environment for them. After planting, I put individual cups on trays or in small boxes, cover with opaque material and leave in a warm place.

Seedlings are transferred to a lighted place only after mass shoots
Seedlings are transferred to a lighted place only after mass shoots

6. How to care for seedlings?

After mass germination, I transfer the containers with seedlings to a lighted place. I use wide window sills in the kitchen and specially made attachments to the window sill.

On the 5-8th day, if the top layer of the soil is dry, I water it for the first time with warm water at room temperature through a fine strainer. Before the emergence of shoots, I carefully monitor the state of the upper soil layer. It should be constantly moist (but not wet).

After mass sprouting, caring for seedlings is reduced to sufficient lighting, maintaining optimal temperature, soil and environmental moisture, protection from fungal, bacterial, viral diseases and pests.

7. Do the seedlings need lighting?

To prevent the seedlings from stretching, not being weak, etiolated (grown with a lack of light), elongated, I maintain normal lighting with additional lamps for at least 14 hours a day.

Do not be too lazy to prepare in advance lighting without shade, then you will not need to spend time systematically unrolling containers with seedlings with the shade side to the lighting.

8. What is the best temperature for seedlings?

Before germination, the room temperature should not fall below + 23 … + 25 ° С. After mass shoots, when placed on windowsills, the air temperature is reduced to an average of + 15 … + 18 ° С.

I place more cold-resistant crops closer to the window panes, and heat-loving ones - on the side table. It is not necessary to create a steam room in the room with high humidity and temperature: the seedlings will immediately start to hurt. It is more practical to keep the temperature slightly lower than the required one (+ 14 … + 15 ° С), and the soil is moist, but not wet. Then the seedlings are squat, strong, resistant to diseases and pests.

9. How to properly water the seedlings?

I always keep a bucket of water near the seedlings. This creates the necessary microclimate around the containers with seedlings, and there is always warm water at room temperature, separated from chlorine, and not overheated in a hurry.

Be sure to air the seedlings after watering (but without drafts). Seedlings before the development of the first 3–4 leaves I water through a spray bottle, adult seedlings through a pallet. This technique promotes better development of the root system of adult seedlings. After watering (after 2-4 hours) I loosen the soil and dry the top layer with dry sand, sifted ash, agroperlite.

Overflow threatens seedlings with diseases
Overflow threatens seedlings with diseases

10. How to protect seedlings from diseases and pests?

The most difficult thing in caring for seedlings is to prevent damage from diseases and pests. With improper watering, humidity, temperature, mold (fungal, bacterial) appears on the soil and plants, which can destroy the entire sowing in a few days if it is carried out in common containers. From this point of view, it is better to grow seedlings one or two plants in separate cups or in cassettes.

In my garden medicine cabinet, I always have a stock of biological products to protect against diseases and pests. They are harmless to humans and animals and can be used indoors. But after switching to growing seedlings in cassettes and peat pots, my seedlings practically do not get sick. I spray plants and soil more for prophylaxis than for destroying the source of disease.

The first treatment of seedlings with a solution of biofungicides is carried out 7-12 days after germination. All processing is strictly according to the instructions. In the rest of the period of growth and development of seedlings, for prophylactic purposes, I spray once every 15-20 days (that is, 3-4 times for the entire period, in other years - 1-2 times). I combine spraying of plants and soil with watering through a spray bottle or fine strainer.

I recommend treating diseases with solutions of biofungicides "Fitosporin-M", "Gamair-SP", "Alirin-B", "Planriz-Zh", "Mikosan", etc. For aphids and whitefly I use bioinsecticides "Aktofit", "Nemabakt", "Bicol", "Bitoxibacillin", "Verticillin", etc.

For "hurry" - instead of biological products, you can use the chemical "Tsikhom", "Quadris" and other approved drugs on seedlings. But keep in mind that it is prohibited to use pesticides in the premises where the family lives.

11. How to harden seedlings correctly?

10-12 days before planting the seedlings in a permanent place, I begin the hardening process. For 5-7 days at night, I gradually lower the temperature in the room where the seedlings are located (in my kitchen), and then I take them out into the corridor or on a closed loggia (without heating).

Planted in a permanent place by transshipment from cassettes or immediately in peat pots, hardened seedlings always take root completely (100%) and already in the garden are well resistant to changes in environmental conditions, diseases and pests.