Growing Seedlings On A Windowsill

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Growing Seedlings On A Windowsill
Growing Seedlings On A Windowsill

Video: Growing Seedlings On A Windowsill

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Growing Seeds on a Window Sill 2023, January
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Ideal conditions for growing seedlings of heat-loving vegetable crops can only be created in a well-equipped greenhouse, in extreme cases, in a heated greenhouse.

But, unfortunately, most gardeners often have only the sill of the south window for these purposes. But even in these conditions, using all the "internal room reserves", many gardeners grow excellent seedlings of a variety of vegetable crops, not inferior to greenhouse.

Therefore, let's try to take a closer look at what we have on our windowsill and what is required to grow good seedlings. At the same time, all questions related to the preparation of seeds for sowing, preparation of nutritious soil mixtures, etc. we will not consider, since this is a topic of a completely different conversation.

For these purposes, many gardeners fence off the wide sill of the southern window from the room with plastic wrap, that is, they create a real film mini-greenhouse on the window sill, regulating the temperature in it with the help of open and closed vents.

This is perhaps the most optimal way out in this situation, but at the same time it is necessary to adapt the basic parameters of the microclimate in this greenhouse to the requirements of the grown seedlings. There are three such basic parameters. These are temperature, lighting and ventilation. All of them are very important, but sometimes we somehow bypass them.

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First, let's talk about the temperature, but not about the usual temperature in the room for us, but about the temperature of the soil in the box with seedlings, which is on our windowsill, and about the air temperature in the greenhouse near the window.

As you know, for the germination of the seeds of most heat-loving vegetables, a temperature above + 20 ° C is desirable, and for the successful growth of seedlings - about + 20 ° C.

But if your apartment is warm, i.e. + 23 ° C, this does not mean that the soil in the box with seedlings is warm. Take the time to stick the thermometer into the ground, and you will be unpleasantly surprised.

If the box is located far from the window glass, then the temperature of the soil in it is usually 5 ° C lower than the air in the room. And if the box is on the windowsill next to the frame, then it may be 10 or more degrees lower. At this temperature, the seeds of heat-loving crops will either germinate poorly, or may even rot. The same can happen with seedlings, since the chilled root system of young plants poorly supplies water and nutrient solutions to the vegetative organs.

And if the glass of the windows is frozen at all, then the cold air flowing down from the window quickly cools the box with soil and the root system of young plants and can even cause their death. Therefore, in such cases, seedlings must be removed from the windowsill at night, because near icy glass, the air is 10-15 degrees colder than room air. As a last resort, carefully hang the window glass with thick paper.

In order to minimize the influence of cold window sills and icy glass on the soil temperature, it is imperative to put foam tiles under the boxes with seedlings. And if your living conditions allow, then place the boxes with seedlings not on the windowsills themselves, but on specially made wooden or metal gratings (attachments to the window sill) at a distance of 20–30 cm from the window.

You also need to be very careful with open vents on the window with seedlings when the temperature outside is very low.

On the windowsill, plants can also suffer from overheating associated with central heating batteries. In this case, it is necessary to arrange shields of film or plywood in order to divert hot air aside. The temperature regime in the zone of this mini-vegetable garden should be at least + 20 ° С during the day, and within + 15 … + 18 ° С at night.

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Once again about the illumination of seedlings on the windowsill

When growing seedlings even on a southern windowsill in February and March, there is usually not enough sunlight, and the plants begin to stretch. In this case, the seedlings must be illuminated daily for 9-10 hours so that the full light period per day is at least 14-16 hours.

Such a "second sun" for seedlings can be a fluorescent lamp. For an apartment "plantation" with an area of ​​1 sq. meter requires fluorescent lamps with a total power of about 200-250 watts, depending on the month, variety and age of plants.

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Fluorescent lamps give almost no heat, so they can be placed close to plants. They give light close to the sun. And ordinary incandescent lamps give a lot of heat and are not suitable for illuminating plants at close range, since they can burn the leaves. If they are suspended above the leaves at some distance, then the plants also respond to such illumination, but at the same time they stretch very much due to lack of light.

Therefore, when adjusting the height of the light source above the seedlings, it is necessary to remember that, according to the laws of physics, with a point light source (incandescent lamp), the illumination of the seedlings will be inversely proportional to the square of the distance to it from the light source. In other words, if you remove the light source from the seedlings by half, then its illumination will decrease by 4 times; and if you remove it 3 times, then the illumination will decrease 9 times, etc.

To enhance the illumination of plants, it is imperative to put a reflective screen on the edge of the window sill, making it from cardboard boards with foil glued on them. The sun's rays reflect off the foil and illuminate the plants from the side of the room. In this case, you can adjust the slope of the shields so that the reflected rays better hit the plant.

But with any backlighting it is necessary to use the maximum sun rays. To do this, it is necessary to wipe the window glass well, and arrange the plants daily so that they shade each other less and are illuminated more evenly.

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The humidification regime is also of great importance when growing seedlings of vegetables on the windowsill. Seedlings of most vegetable crops do not tolerate even short-term drying of the soil, since its volume in the pot is small, and the seedlings already have a fairly large leaf surface and evaporate a lot of water.

But no less dangerous is the excess moisture in the soil, since in this case the plants can quickly get sick with a black leg. Good ventilation of the plants is very important here. It should also not be forgotten that some seedlings of vegetables (tomatoes) like drafts and do not like humid air. Therefore, next to such a "vegetable garden" do not hang wet rags on the heating battery. And the seedlings of cucumbers, on the contrary, do not tolerate drafts at all, but sometimes they do not mind getting a good steam.

"Ural gardener", No. 9, 2018

Photo: Olga Chernova

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