In March, the entire nature begins to come out of hibernation, and gardeners appear first concern. And the most important thing a month - seedling. Many at the time wondering how to grow seedlings of flowers, which is better: to grow the seedlings on their own or buy ready-made? Resolving this issue depends on your financial capabilities and love to overcome difficulties.
Growing seedlings on their own, you get the following benefits:
- Save money, because a packet of seeds is often cheaper than one plant.
- You can grow rare plants that are not in the range of industrial production, as well as tender plants that can not tolerate a transplant or do not tolerate it.
- Much reduce the risk of introduction of pests in your future garden.
If you have decided to grow the seedlings on their own, then in March - is the time to sow the seeds of vegetables, annual and perennial flowering plants. Most gardeners do not have the specialized greenhouses for growing seedlings, so the only thing that remains is to huddle on a narrow windowsill in a city apartment. And there are many seedlings get stretched out, "dead." How to grow strong, healthy seedlings of flowers, what to do with the seedlings, how to cope with the disease, to the envy of all the neighbors get healthy seedlings are strong?
The key to future success is the quality of the seed. Do not skimp when buying seeds with questionable hands. You may get zero results. Contact your specialty store. Purchasing seeds, ask shelf life. If the package is hermetically sealed, tamper with it directly before sowing.
So we need to plant capacity and the substrate. As the tanks can use any low boxes, ceramic or plastic bowls, ordinary flower pots. Substrate - peat mixed with sand in equal parts, or special ground for seedlings from the store. The optimum sowing date - the end of March or beginning of April.
We fill utensils for planting substrate is moderately moist almost to the top, level the surface and slightly thicken it. Evenly scatter the seeds on the surface, sprinkle a thin layer of land, lightly crush and moisturizing. It is better to do it from the sprayer or watering can with a very fine sieve, to avoid erosion.
Small seeds - tobacco, petunia, begonia, poppy and others. - For an even sowing mixed with sand (one of the seeds into ten parts sand), and scatter over the surface of the substrate. In this case, they do not sprinkle the ground and lightly crush and moisturize.
For good growth and development of young seedlings enough ambient temperature of + 20 ° C. During the day it can be 23-25 ° C, and at night drop to 14-16 ° C. But in the first week after emergence of the plants to prevent stretching and a better root development is necessary to lower the temperature at 2-3 ° C, because with increasing temperature increases the rate of seed germination.
Half of success in growing seedlings - is properly selected substrate. Different crops substrate composition can be uneven. But there are some conditions that must necessarily comply.
- Oddly enough, but the substrate must not be too nutritious, that is, it should contain a small amount of nutrients. Otherwise the plant will be too active to grow, and with a lack of light begin to elongate.
- The substrate must be able to pass water well.
- The substrate must be fresh. This means that you can not plant seeds in the previously used substrate. Before that, a substrate should be steam thoroughly. At home, this procedure can be done in the oven. For steaming ground necessary to pour into a bowl, moisten it and put a couple of hours in the oven. The temperature of the oven does not exceed 85 ° C. If the temperature is higher, then the substrate will evaporate organic compounds such as humus and peat.
- For plants, the seedlings of which is highly susceptible to the disease, "blackleg" - balsams, annual aster, sweet pea, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers - the substrate should consist of sod land, peat and sand in the ratio 3: 1: 1 respectively.
Those who have the windows in the house are oriented to the south, southeast or southwest, of course, luck. But the double glazing is still missing a little light, so the young plants are better highlight. And especially do not do without the backlight, if the windows are located on the north side. The backlight can be used as a lamp, in which you need to put light bulbs 40 watts.
But incandescent bulbs produce a lot of heat, which can cause overheating of the seedlings. Therefore, heat is good to use fluorescent lamps, and one shall be the cool blue tones, and the other - a warm yellow. You can use the arc and mercury fluorescent lamps. Good results are given lighting and metal halide discharge-sodium lamps. They provide light in the orange and red spectral range, which accelerates the development and growth of plants. However, when using such lamps plants begin to experience a shortage of blue light, but this is partially offset by light coming from the window.
Today, there are special fitolampy. They provide optimal development and good plant growth spectrum of radiation. However, they do not heat and serve as a long - life of the lamp is 10 thousand. H. However, these lamps should be protected by watering from moisture, because they had no moisture protection.
The distance from the lamp to the plant must be no more than ten centimeters, which increases with the growth of seedlings. For good growth and development of young plants is necessary to highlight up to twelve hours a day. At the same time, keep in mind that if your apartment windows face south, southeast or southwest, the backlight can be switched on only on cloudy days, and if the window north, it includes a daily basis.
The optimum humidity for seedlings - 60-70%. Because of the central heating running in March, even in full, the air is very dry. La in order to provide young plants suitable humidity, they must be periodically sprayed. You can make a different way, if you want to achieve a constant humidity. Podstelil pots under plastic wrap and fold the edges so as to obtain such things like an open greenhouse. The height of the walls of the hotbed should be above the edges of pots for seedlings of 30 cm.
Young plants need to be sure to water regularly, avoiding drying of the substrate. Superficial watering crops in the aisles of the pipette or spray. All other plants can be watered from a watering can. For watering-settled need to use warm water. Room temperature water promotes good root growth. It is best to water in the morning on sunny days.
Brown rot and "black leg" - the main scourge of the seedlings. "Black leg" is one of the most dangerous plant diseases. His signs: casting cotyledonous first yellow and then fade, and the stem at soil level is black, and it appears the waist. Once these symptoms appear, the plants wilt rapidly at first, and then die. Most "blackleg" susceptible crops such as Antirrhinum, annual aster, gillyflower, tomatoes and cabbage. When the first signs of the plant is removed, and the remaining are not watered for several days. Furthermore, topsoil is removed and carefully pour pure, preferably river sand and fly ash or perlite.
From this disease often suffer cabbage, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, annual aster, sweet pea, clove, sage, primrose. Determine the disease is not difficult: first the lower leaves begin to turn yellow, then they turn brown and fall off. On the stems appear dark stripes. At high humidity affected places covered with white bloom, which is the spores of the fungus. Affected plant roots become brittle, and plants often die.
The disease develops when growing plants in acidic soil, as well as if the soil contains an excess amount of organic matter. To prevent the occurrence of this disease in growing seedlings always taken a loose fresh substrate, which is unacceptable excess nitrogen.
Against the "black feet" and root rot fungicide use "fitosporin" in which the seeds are soaked before sowing.
Given all these factors, following the recommendations you get home strong, healthy seedlings.