how to grow seedlings In March, all nature begins to emerge from thewinter hibernation, and gardeners have their first worries. And the main thing of the month is seedlings. Many at this time wonder how to grow seedlings of flowers, which is better: to grow seedlings on their own or to buy already ready? The solution of this question depends on your financial capabilities and your love for overcoming difficulties. Growing sprouts on your own, you get the following benefits:

  • Save money, because a whole package 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 do not tolerate transplantation or do not tolerate it at all.
  • Much less reduce the risk of pest infestation in your future garden.

Growing seedlings

If you decide to grow seedlings on your own,then March is the time to sow the seeds of vegetable crops, annual and perennial flowering plants. Most horticulturalists do not have specialized greenhouses for growing seedlings, so the only thing that remains is to huddle on a narrow window sill in a city apartment. And seedlings there, many get stretched, "dead." How to grow strong, healthy seedlings of flowers, what should you do with seedlings, how to cope with diseases, so that you can get healthy strong seedlings for envy of all neighbors? The key to future success is the quality of the seeds. Do not skimp on buying dubious seeds from your hands. You run the risk of getting a zero result. Contact a specialist store. When purchasing seeds, ask for the expiry date. If the package is sealed, open it immediately before sowing. So, for sowing we need tanks and substrate. As the capacities suitable for any low boxes, ceramic or plastic bowls, ordinary flower pots. Substrate - peat mixed with sand in equal parts, or special land for seedling from the store. The optimal time for sowing is the end of March and the beginning of April. We fill the dishes for sowing with a moderately moist substrate almost to the edges, level the surface and slightly compact it. Spread the seeds evenly over the surface, sprinkle with a thin layer of earth, lightly moisten and moisten. It is better to do this from a nebulizer or a watering can with a very fine sieve, so that there is no erosion. Small seeds - tobacco, petunia, begonias, poppies, etc. - are mixed with sand (one part of the seeds for ten parts of sand) for uniform seeding and dispersed over the surface of the substrate. In this case, they are not sprinkled with earth, but slightly prininayut and moisturize.

Heat

For good development and growth of young seedlingsenough room temperature + 20 ° C. In the afternoon it can be 23-25 ​​° C, and at night it can drop to 14-16 ° C. But in the first week after the emergence of sprouting to prevent stretching of plants and for better development of roots, the temperature should be lowered by 2-3 ° C, because with increasing temperature the germination rate of seeds increases.

Substrate

Half of the success in growing seedlings is a properly selected substrate. For different cultures, the composition of the substrate may not be the same. But there are several conditions that must be observed.

  • Strangely enough, but the substrate does not need to betoo nutritious, that is, it should contain a small amount of nutrients. Otherwise, the plants will grow too actively, and with a lack of light they will begin to stretch.
  • The substrate must be able to pass water well.
  • The substrate must be fresh. This means that you can not sow seeds in a previously used substrate. Before this, such a substrate must be steamed. At home, this procedure can be done in the oven. For steaming, the ground should be poured into the basin, moistened and put on for two hours in the oven. The temperature in the oven should not exceed 85 ° C. If the temperature is higher, then such organic constituents as humus and peat will begin to evaporate from the substrate.
  • For plants whose seedlings are highly susceptiblethe disease "black leg", - balsam, annual asters, sweet peas, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers - the substrate must consist of turf, peat and sand in a ratio of 3: 1: 1, respectively.

how to grow strong healthy seedlings

Lighting

Those who have windows in the house are oriented to the south,south-east or south-west, of course, lucky. But double glass still misses a little light, so young plants are better illuminated. And all the more you can not do without lighting, if the windows go to the north side. As a backlight, you can use fixtures in which you need to put a light bulb of 40 watts. But incandescent bulbs give a lot of heat, which can cause overheating of seedlings. Therefore, it is good to use fluorescent tubes for heating, one of which must be a blue, coolish tone, and the other must be a yellowish warm one. You can also use arc mercury-luminescent lamps. Good results are provided by metal halide and sodium discharge lamps. They give light in the orange and red spectral range, which accelerates the development and growth of plants. True, when using such lamps, plants begin to experience a deficit of blue rays, but this is partially compensated by light coming from the window. Today there are special phytolamps. They provide the spectrum of emissions optimal for the development and good growth of plants. At the same time, they do not heat up and serve for a very long time - the lifetime of the lamp is 10 thousand hours. But such lamps must be protected when watering from moisture, because they do not have moisture protection. The distance to the plants from the lamp should not be more than ten centimeters, which increases as the seedlings grow. For good development and growth, young plants should be highlighted up to twelve hours a day. At the same time, consider that if the windows of your apartment are facing south, south-east or south-west, then the backlight can only be turned on on cloudy days, and if the windows are northern, then turn it on daily.

Air humidity

Optimal air humidity for seedlings -60-70%. Due to central heating, which is still operational in March, the air is very dry. In order to provide young plants with a suitable moisture, they should be periodically sprayed. You can do it differently if you want to ensure a constant humidity. Place a polyethylene film under the pots, and bend the edges so that it turns out something like an open greenhouse. The height of the walls of this youngster should be higher than the edges of the pots for seedlings by 30 cm.

Water

Young plants need to be regularlywater, not allowing the substrate to dry out. Surface sowing is poured into the aisles from a pipette or an atomizer. All other plants can be watered from the watering can. For irrigation you need to use stagnant warm water. Water at room temperature promotes good root growth. It is best to water on sunny days in the morning.

Seedlings diseases

Brown rot and "black leg" - the main scourgeseedlings. "Black Leg" is one of the most dangerous diseases of plants. Its signs: cotyledonous casting first turn yellow, and then fade, and the stem at the level of the soil turns black, and on it appear constrictions. As soon as these signs appear, the plants first quickly fade, and then perish. Most of the "black leg" is susceptible to such crops as antirinum, annual asters, lemon, tomato and cabbage. When the first signs appear, the affected plants are removed, and the remaining ones are not watered for several days. In addition, the top layer of the soil is carefully cleaned and poured clean, preferably river sand, as well as ash or perlite.

Root rot

From this disease most often suffer cabbage,eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, annual asters, sweet peas, carnations, sage, primroses. Determine the disease is not difficult: first begin to yellow the lower leaves, then they turn brown and fall off. Dark streaks appear on the stems. At high humidity, the affected areas are covered with a white coating, which is the spores of the fungus. In diseased plants, the roots become brittle, and plants most often die. This disease develops when growing plants in acidic soil, and also if the soil contains an excessive amount of organic matter. To prevent the onset of this disease, when growing seedlings, always take a loose fresh substrate, where excess nitrogen is inadmissible. Against the "black leg" and root rot, use fungicide "phytosporin", in which the seeds are soaked before sowing. Considering all the above factors, following the recommendations, you will get strong, healthy seedlings at home. We advise you to read:

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