Video: Sow Me With Love
Before the start of the sowing campaign at home, few people prepare the soil for sowing in advance and consciously. The usual option: they sow in what is at home or buy the first soil they come across in the store. Even worse - they will pick up the so-called land from under the trees or grab the "little black earth" from the brought for public needs into the yard. With this approach, it often happens that the seeds do not germinate at all.
In fact, 50, if not all 70% of the success depends on the quality of the substrate used to plant the seeds. The composition, and, consequently, the structure of the soil, should provide young, thin and weak roots with an opportunity for growth. The soil should be loose, which means it should be porous.
This requirement is met primarily by sand. But here, too, there are some nuances. Not all sand is suitable for our purpose. The fact is that the usual sand of various degrees of saturation of a red color is not suitable. It contains a large amount of iron oxides that poison the root system. Simple washing has no effect, because only clay impurities are washed out, and iron compounds remain. White and gray river sands are quite suitable. So, we figured out the loosening component.
For young seedlings, in addition to the possibility of root growth, it is also necessary to ensure the sterility of the soil in order to prevent subsequent morbidity. This can be achieved in the following way.
Of all the possible constituents of the soil (sand, clay, peat, black soil, etc.), only peat has natural sterility. It is for this reason that all imported planting material is planted in peat.
Therefore, the second component of the soil for sowing will be peat. But what kind of peat to use? On sale there is low-lying peat and high-moor peat.
The first has a black color, a rather fine structure, dusts when dry, the degree of its decomposition is from 30 to 50%. This indicates a sufficient supply of nutrients for plant consumption. Its natural acidity is in the range of pH 5.5-7 units, which is quite acceptable for plants.
High-moor peat has characteristics different from the first: the color is red, the degree of decomposition does not exceed 2-3%, i.e. the substrate is depleted in nutrients, the initial acidity is high, pH 2.5-3.5, which is unacceptable for most plants. However, it also has advantages: excellent porous structure and excellent moisture holding capacity. Moreover, there is simultaneously both air filling and moisture filling of the substrate, which is extremely necessary for all plants, and for germinating seeds in the first place. By the way, in the soil with ideal physical properties, the solid matter and the pores are in approximately equal amounts by volume, and the pores, in turn, are filled with air and water almost equally.
Therefore, high peat will be preferred as the second component of the soil mixture for sowing. True, before use, it will be necessary to lower its acidity. To do this, add 6-7 g (a heaped teaspoon) of fine (powdery) chalk, limestone or dolomite flour to 1 liter of the original peat. Mix everything well. The acidity index will grow to 6-6.5, which is quite acceptable for sowing any seeds.
So, we prepare a mixture of sand and previously prepared high-moor peat in a volume ratio of 1: 1. We moisturize it well. Measure is also important here. Waterlogging should not be allowed, because seeds can rot in the absence of air. True, it should be said that this is difficult to do in the presence of high-moor peat. High peat can absorb 600% of water, i.e. 6 times its own weight, while keeping 20% of the pores filled with air. It is better to use already moistened components for mixing, because dry peat takes up water poorly and for a long time.
To those who are generous with their plants, such a composition will seem too meager. Yes, indeed, sand and practically undecomposed peat are a nutrient-poor mixture. For the seed in the first period of germination, no external nutrition is required, because, firstly, the seed itself contains nutrients for this case, and, secondly, there are still no roots for their consumption. However, such a composition will provide, along with looseness, also sterility, which at this stage is decisive for the successful germination of seeds.
A completely different matter is the soil for seedlings after a pick. There are already roots here, and for the successful development of the younger generation, sufficient, nutritious food is needed. Here, a humus-containing component should be added to the original 2-component mixture (sand and peat). It can be well-decomposed compost of our own production, or biohumus, or any substrate prepared with the help of worms. Additive in the amount of 20-30% of the total volume of the mixture. For the first time it is quite enough. Further, after the plants take root, they will receive nutrients from liquid dressings.
Of course, you can not fence a garden with mixtures, but use the finished product. But even in this case, you cannot use the first available soil "For seedlings". There are a great variety of them on the market. But everything can be divided into 2 groups:
1st - based on lowland peat, 2nd - on the basis of high-moor peat.
The first is completely undesirable for these purposes: a dusty, poorly wettable, structureless mass, which is not suitable for the above reasons. The second is the most acceptable choice. But here, too, variations in quality are possible. The fact is that the physical qualities of the high-moor peat itself are determined by its origin; in the past, these were swamps with various vegetation. Further. When preparing the soil, it is first neutralized with one of the suitable reagents (chalk, limestone or dolomite flour). Then mineral fertilizers are added to increase its nutritional value. So, depending on the chosen neutralizing reagent, the brand of fertilizer, and, consequently, the balance of the elemental composition, the quality of mixing, substrates of different quality are obtained.One of the best in all respects is the soil of the Pelgorskoe-M peat enterprise (Leningrad region). It is marketed under the Morris-Green brand. It is produced not only for growing seedlings, but also in ten more variations. And in all cases it shows excellent results. A universal version of the soil called "Kind Helper" is also produced. It is suitable not only for seedlings, but also for soil use.
Now a little about the disinfection of substrates. If you choose "Morris-Green" brand products, then additional decontamination is not required, because the substrate does not contain pathogens.
If one of the mixtures considered above is used, then in order to prevent subsequent negative consequences, it is necessary to disinfect the selected substrate.Treatment with a solution of potassium permanganate is either ineffective (light pink solution, i.e. low concentration), or it destroys the entire microbiological community, including, and first of all, the necessary, useful microflora. It is she who makes the soil alive and fertile. Steaming the substrate at high temperatures (as an option - in the oven) works in a similar way. Therefore, in order to ensure sterility of the soil, it is necessary not to destroy the beneficial microflora, but to increase it. And as a result of this, the beneficial microflora displaces the disease-causing one. The procedure is as follows - the selected substrate, two weeks before sowing or planting, is treated (spilled) with a solution of Effective Microorganisms (EM) (Baikal, Renaissance or Vostok M-1 preparations) at a concentration of 1: 100 (by volume). Already moistened substrate should be processed, becauseeffective microorganisms only exist in humid conditions. The container with the substrate is covered from light, if possible, the access of air is reduced and placed in a warm place, i.e. create incubator conditions. And after two weeks, a soil with a fresh forest floor smell is obtained.
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