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The homeland of many modern garden plants were areas with a mild and warm climate. The timing of sowing seeds for seedlings mainly depends on several factors, namely the type of crop, variety, purpose, climate and weather.
We will try to understand the general aspects of growing seedlings.
- Rules for the acquisition and self-procurement of seeds
- How to prepare seeds and land for sowing for seedlings, sowing dates
- Sowing dates of various crops for seedlings
- Seedling care after germination
Rules for the acquisition and self-procurement of seeds
Most commonly, seedling growth is required for some flowers and vegetables from the following families:
From the Pumpkin family, through seedlings are grown:
From Solanaceous crops, seedlings are sown:
- vegetable peppers
From the Cabbage family, the seedling method of growing requires types of garden cabbage:
- white cabbage
The seeds can be purchased or prepared by yourself. It is important to remember that the seeds of hybrid plants do not always retain the varietal characteristics of the parent plant, therefore, when harvesting seeds on your own, it is best to focus not on hybrids, but on varieties. Self-picking seeds of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, watermelons and melons is not very difficult.
It is important to follow a specific order:
- choose a ripe specimen in appearance corresponding to the variety
- leave in a dry place until fully ripe
- cut and select seeds in a container
- soak them for 24-48 hours in a little water
- mix, full-fledged seeds should settle to the bottom
- add water and stir again
- change the water and rinse the seeds two or three times
- dry on a piece of paper
- put in paper bags by grade
- sign the variety and date of collection
Flower seeds generally require timely collection before pouring them into the ground, drying and storage. Important! In the years of a successful harvest, you can prepare seeds for several years. Seeds of pumpkin crops do not lose their germination for 6-8 years, the seeds that are planted in the spring germinate better than those harvested in the fall. From nightshades, tomato seeds can be stored for the longest time; they are suitable for sowing for up to 5 years. Eggplants and peppers should not be kept for more than three years.
Seeds of all types of cabbage are suitable for sowing for 3-4 years. Cabbage seeds and eggplant are somewhat more difficult to prepare on your own, since many types of cabbage are grown as biennial plants. They bloom and give seeds only in the second year. Many varieties of eggplants do not produce full-fledged ripe seeds. Therefore, these and other seeds will have to go to a special store. When buying vegetable or flower seeds, it is important to pay attention to:
- on the date of collection
- for the expiration date
- processing type
- cultivation recommendations
If the issue with seeds is resolved, then with the onset of the seedling sowing season, it remains to properly prepare the seeds, soil and determine the planting dates.
How to prepare seeds and land for sowing for seedlings, sowing dates
Preparing the soil for seedlings is a rather responsible process. Since sowing begins at a time when the ground is frozen in frost, you need to take care of the soil in the fall and collect the right amount:
- garden land
- vegetable garden
- rotted compost
- peat or peat soil
A few days before sowing, it is advisable to bring everything harvested to the heat so that everything thaws and warms up. For seedlings of peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, the composition of the soil from peat, humus, garden soil, which are taken in equal parts, is suitable. A glass of wood ash is added to a bucket of such a soil mixture and 1-2 tbsp. tablespoons of urea, superphosphate and potassium sulfate. For cabbage of all types, you can make up the soil from equal parts of garden soil, peat and humus.
For pumpkin crops, a mixture of garden soil and compost or humus, which is taken equally, is suitable. You need to add fertilizer to the bucket of the mixture. To do this, take a glass of ash and a tablespoon of urea, superphosphate, potassium sulfate.
Important! If the soil was kept at a negative temperature, you can refuse to steam before sowing seedlings. In the event that time has been lost and the soil has not been prepared, then you will have to use the land from the store. The advantages of such a soil are that it is compiled with the requirements of certain crops, nothing has grown on it before, and, as a rule, it has the necessary mechanical structure. The disadvantages of purchased soil are the price.
Therefore, if the seedlings are sown a little, then the ready-made mixture for it is the right solution to the problem. If the seedlings are needed for a large plot or they are grown for sale, then it is better to take care of the land in the fall.
General recommendations for preparing seeds for sowing for seedlings, timing
If the seeds are harvested on their own, then before planting them you need:
- soak in clean water
- withstand them for 24 hours
- change water after 5-6 aces
- put the soaked seeds in a solution of potassium permanganate for 20 minutes
- drain the potassium permanganate and start planting
In some cases, it is not possible to provide a water change and soak time. Then it is better to plant dry seeds without preliminary preparation. If you have purchased ready-made seeds, you need to familiarize yourself with the method of processing them. Very often, the manufacturer has already carried out the necessary processing, it remains only to choose the date and sow.
Sowing dates of various crops for seedlings
As for the timing of planting, the recommendations below can be considered general. Timely seed germination depends not only on the variety and type of plant, weather and climatic conditions of the region, but also on the characteristics of the room itself, where the cultivation takes place.
Video about the timing of planting vegetable seeds:
Do not sow seeds for seedlings too early, for example, in January. Even if heat-loving peppers, eggplants and tomatoes sprout on a cold windowsill, the process of growing healthy seedlings will be complicated by the need for additional lighting and heating.
Given that the best timing for planting seedlings in the ground in most regions, except for the southern ones, occurs in the third decade of May or the first decade of June, you should not rush and sow seeds earlier than February 15 - March 15. In many cases, seedlings of peppers, eggplant, tomatoes sown even in the last days of March - early April will have time to ascend and grow to the required size.
Sowing cabbage seeds depends on the type and variety. The very first, in mid-March, you need to sow early varieties of white cabbage. By mid-May, seedlings can be transplanted into open ground. Middle and late varieties are sown for seedlings in mid - late April. They do the same with red cabbage.
Colored, broccoli, kohlrabi can be sown for seedlings from early to late April. It should be noted that cabbage gives a good harvest when sown in open ground. Therefore, it makes sense to grow only early varieties through seedlings. Pumpkin crops sprout quickly enough and grow well; sowing on seedlings of cucumbers, watermelons and melons can be started from mid-April. It should be noted that these crops do not tolerate transplanting from common boxes well.
It is best to sow them in separate cups. All of these plants germinate in 4-10 days on average. Pepper can stay with seedlings for the longest time. They can appear on the 14-15th day. For seedlings to be healthy, they need to be properly cared for.
Seedling care after germination
Most crops are sown in moist soil and buried in it. The depth of burial should not exceed 2-2.5 seed sizes. Small-seeded crops such as petunias are sown on the surface, without embedding in the ground. Seedling boxes are covered with foil until germination. This will help keep the soil moist. Once a day, the film needs to be slightly opened for airing.
Immediately after germination, it is not necessary to remove it for the whole day; within three to seven days, the seedlings are accustomed to the open air. The main point in caring for seedlings is watering. You need to water with warm, settled water. Thin and weak seedlings, such as those of petunias or strawberries, are watered in the early days either through a tray or with a small syringe under the root.
The next important condition is lighting. Very often, with a lack of lighting or side light, which is typical when growing on a windowsill, the plants are pulled up or sideways. It is desirable to provide uniform overhead lighting. If you follow these simple rules, by the beginning of the planting season, you will have a full-fledged healthy seedling.