Seeds, Sowing and Seedlings (Part 2)

Sowing outdoors

The following conditions are important for successful sowing:

  • well prepared earth (without large pieces or crust after the rain, humid, but not too wet – it must not stick to the tools),
  • suitable depth for sowing (2-3 times deeper than seed thickness, less deep in winter, deeper in summer),
  • earth temperature (the suitable temperature for sprouting is indicated in the description of the individual plants or on the sachets of the seeds, the measurements are available on the ARSO web page, the summer the sowing must be in the shade, in spring we can heat the earth with dark veil),
  • distances between rows and in rows (according to the indications in the descriptions of the plants or on the bag of seeds),
  • hoeing and loosening of the earth (when the earth dries sufficiently after heavy rainfall, we crush the crust),
  • the direction of the rows (in the direction in which the wind in summer most often blows, especially after the rain).

The depth of sowing depends on the size of the seeds. The herbs are only scattered around the surface. The roots, onion seeds, cruciferous vegetables, and leafy vegetables should be sown over the ground, and the seeds slightly covered with a rake. Legumes and fruit-bearing vegetables should be sown in holes 3-5 cm deep and covered with earth. The potatoes are sown in 10-20 cm deep furrows and covered with earth. Onions and garlic should be planted at least 5 cm deep.

Cultivation of seedlings

Because (when) the shoots and not the direct seeding outdoors:

  • vegetables from hot places require a higher temperature for sprouting;
  • summer heat can be too strong for young plants;
  • frail seeds in bad, heavy soil, do not germinate well;
  • in a controlled environment, the seeds develop more simply in a strong plant that gives better products;
  • seed price (lower seed consumption);
  • we can cultivate the seedlings almost for every vegetable and flower;
  • the flowers bloom first (as early as May).

We can sow the seeds in seedbeds and transplant them (spicy) in succession into larger / multi seedbeds, or we can sow them directly inadequately large jars (without piercing). The containers of last year must be sterilized with boiling water; after all, they must have a hole for the superfluous water to flow away. If we sow them in large jars, we get shoots with ground bread from the root. If, on the other hand, we strike in greenhouses, the shoots must be uprooted before the transplant – these shoots without the ground bread of the root stop growing for a while, so the harvest takes place later. We sow more seeds at the same time because not all seeds sprout. The environment does not need light but temperature as constant as possible. When the seed sprouts, we immediately move everything to light. If necessary, we thin the sprouted plants. In some cases, spicy is good (fruiting vegetables develop a better root system); in others, they do not. If we hit, we don’t need land with many nutrients, because the plants will remain there for a short time. We beat when the sprouting leaves are in a horizontal position.

Purchase of seedlings

What should we pay attention to when purchasing:

  • to the quality: dark green homogeneous leaves, the leaves of the seedlings of a variety must all be of the same color (lighter leaves belong to the tomato and the peppers with yellow fruits and to some varieties of cabbage);
  • we buy where we know the quality of the seedlings (good care and resistance);
  • we check if the root system is strong (clear and well-grown roots, without the smell of rot);
  • it is better than the plants are smaller and with a more branched root system instead of the opposite;
  • control of the leaves (especially lower ones), which do not suffer from diseases or do not have harmful animals (the white stripes are characteristically linked to the variety of some pumpkins);
  • we check that the plants are not too tight (large distance between leaves, except for some species of lettuce which are such in themselves);
  • plants purchased early, regardless of the weather, should always be placed outside in a place sheltered from the wind (adaptation to external conditions);
  • the high humidity of the air and too much watering are the biggest enemies of the seedlings, so we ventilate every day when the temperatures are above 0 ° C;
  • we can also buy grafted seedlings that have a better root system – such a purchase makes sense, especially in the case of grafted watermelons, melons, and tomatoes that can be grown on multiple stems.

Plant care and transplantation

For sprouting, we need higher temperatures, after which we move everything into a colder environment to get strong shoots. The shoots should be watered with sprinklers and not with sprinklers so as not to water too much. Until the picking, the plants do not need fertilizing, after which we can use fertilizers with a little more potassium and phosphorus and less nitrogen. Seaweed extracts, marigold flower tea, dandelion, sage, or chamomile are useful.

Before the outdoor transplant, we strengthen the shoots: 10 rounds before we leave them during the day in front of an open window, except if the outside temperature is below 0 ° C, three days before the transplant; instead, the environments must be open even during the night. The shoots purchased are already strengthened, but at home, we should not put them back in a closed environment.

We transplant in damp soil and not under the strong sun (better in the evening). During the transplant, we make a deep hole at least as long as the root is long.

Fruit vegetables (paprika, tomato, and aubergine) must be planted a little deeper than the other time during transplanting, as lateral roots develop on the stem. The other vegetables should be planted in the same depth as before (which is especially important for celeriac, lettuce, endive, and radicchio). As far as grafted seedlings are concerned, the grafting point must always be above the earth; otherwise, it is rooted.

We must not run with the transplantation of fruit-bearing vegetables since they need warm earth, and the transplanting in cold earth blocks their growth.

After transplanting, the plants must be watered well and watered until the roots grow beyond the earth’s root bread (about ten days).

Cucumbers, courgettes, melons, and watermelons do not support tapping, but we can cultivate a strong root system by filling the earthenware only up to the middle, one or two days after germination (when the plant grows strongly) instead we add the earth to the top.

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