Where to store the soil for seedlings so that it does not deteriorate
Already in the fall, summer residents begin to think about preparing for the next season. One of the main tasks at this time is the storage of land for seedlings, the quality of which directly affects the state of the future harvest.
The main enemy of the soil is mold
Any garden soil contains a large number of fungal spores. They are activated as soon as comfortable conditions for this are created in the external environment (a combination of high humidity and temperature). After harvesting, the garden soil must be treated with universal fungicides or calcined in the oven.
Such measures do not guarantee complete elimination of the fungus, therefore, the earth should not be stored in a warm and humid room. This can lead to mold growth.
It is impossible to plant seedlings in such soil, because fungal infections will quickly infect the plants, after which they will have to be treated for a long time. In the worst case, the fungus will slow down the development of the seedlings and greatly weaken them, then you definitely will not wait for the crop to appear.
Pests and pathogens
In addition to fungal infections, pest larvae can be in the ground, as well as pathogens of bacterial and viral diseases that can harm plants.
If such a land is placed in warmth, all its "inhabitants" will survive the winter perfectly and cause diseases of seedlings.
To avoid this, the soil must be thoroughly disinfected before use, but most importantly, it is necessary to prepare suitable storage conditions for it, in which neither bacteria nor insect larvae can survive until spring.
Optimal conditions for natural disinfection
In order for bacteria, parasites and fungal spores to die, the soil must be properly frozen, so it is better to choose a place to store it outdoors. At the same time, it is important to protect the workpiece from snow and rain, otherwise in the spring you will have to spend a lot of time drying and disinfecting the earth.
At home, an open balcony will be the best place.
To freeze the earth, put it in a small container. For this, wooden boxes, flat containers and plastic buckets of standard volume (10 liters) are suitable.
Containers filled with earth should be covered with a cloth or thick paper. Thanks to this, the soil will not dry out over the winter.
The soil can be sorted into plastic bags. This will provide the necessary level of moisture, as long as you do not close the bags too tightly to get enough fresh air into them. Whichever container you choose, it must be disinfected before use.
This is another way to prevent the development of harmful bacteria and infections.
Having prepared the land for wintering according to all the rules, in the spring you can not worry about the seedlings being infected with a fungus or some other disease.
What needs to be prepared for sowing in snails
The process begins with the preparation of the workplace... You will need a flat surface on which it will be convenient to place all the necessary equipment. Any table will do, it is most convenient to work on it.
- Bucket or other container with moist fertile soil... It must be prepared in advance, in accordance with the culture that is supposed to be sown in the "snail".
- Seeds, treated and disinfected in the same way as for traditional planting in seedling boxes. It is better to place them in a shallow plate, so it is more convenient to take them.
- Tweezers you will need it if the gardener is inconvenient to pick up the seeds with his hands, or they are very small.
- As the main material (that from which the "snail" will be formed), take ordinary construction substrate. Perhaps someone has it at home, left over from repairs. But the acquisition of new material will not require significant costs.
A strip 10 cm wide will be needed. The gardener determines the length himself, based on the number of seeds of one variety. Sowing different varieties is not recommended due to different germination times and possible differences in plant height.
Marigold seedlings in a snail
Also, the determination of the length can be influenced by the volume of the vessel into which the finished "snail" will be installed.
The best option would be to choose transparent plastic container. Subsequently, this will be useful for controlling the water level in it, which will feed the plant roots with moisture. The vessel should be one and a half centimeters thicker than the "snail". This is so that you can effortlessly place a roll of seeds in it.
You will need three rubber bands, they will serve as retainers. Two for the "snail" itself, so that it does not turn around. The third is needed to secure the plastic bag. It will serve as a cap for the "snail" in order to maintain a humid microclimate and warmth.
Sprayer will be needed for watering the finished "snail" after sowing the seeds.
You can clearly see what materials are needed for sowing in the "snail" in the video of the author Yulia Minyaeva:
Seedling snail. Where to start: video
Sowing seeds in a "snail"
This work can only cause uncertainty and anxiety in the gardener who first started this method of growing seedlings. To protect yourself from possible failure, you can use a fallback.
Carry out additional sowing in the usual, traditional way - in seedling boxes. In this case, it will be possible to compare crops and give preference to the best option.
You can sow seeds in a snail even on toilet paper
So: having spread a strip of substrate on the table, with the narrow side facing you, you should proceed to the uniform arrangement of the soil on it. A handful of soil is taken from a nearby bucket, leveled over the entire width of the base. The height of the earthen layer can be 1.5-2 cm. It is not necessary to fill up the entire length of the tape at once, it is rather inconvenient.
It's like baking a roll with a filling. Therefore, for the female half of gardeners, the process will not seem complicated.
Having rolled up the sown part, hold the roll with your left hand, and add earth with your right hand, level it, lay the seeds and roll it up again. The action is repeated until the length of the stem or seeds runs out.
Next, the finished "snail" should be placed vertically. It is important here not to confuse the top and bottom of the roll.
We fix the parcel with seeds with rubber bands and the whole structure is rearranged into the prepared container. You can use plastic boxes in which the seedlings were previously grown. It can hold several snails. They are quite stable, and placed next to them will eliminate the risk of overturning.
If there is a slight subsidence of the earth during the rearrangement, it should be added. It is required that the ground is flush with the edges of the base material.
Water the crops from a sprayer, put a bag on top and secure with an elastic band on a roll. Access to the container must be open. This will be needed for further watering, if the need arises.
Fully equipped "snail" is sent to germinate seeds in the warmest place. For some, these are the upper shelves in the kitchen, and some put vessels with seedlings closer to the central heating radiators. It all depends on the crop sown.
The emerging shoots loops warn of the need to remove the shelter and move to a bright place!
"Snails" are also used for sowing flowers. They are especially good for sowing cold-resistant varieties. In favorable weather, they can be immediately planted in open ground, bypassing the picking stage.
Sowing pepper in the "Snail": video by Yulia Minyaeva
New video: sowing in a snail, how to do it right
Seedlings in a snail from the newspaper: video
Benefits of "snail" crops
The biggest advantage of this method in a city apartment is the saving of space on the windowsills. Compact, vertical, they quickly become a favorite seedling vessel for many summer residents.
Seedlings in a "snail" are located at the same distance from each other, which does not interfere with their identical development. This is another advantage of this seeding method.
Plants also receive sunlight in equal amounts, besides, there is the possibility of free access to each "snail". There is no need to turn the entire box to turn the plant with the opposite side to the sun. This is very inconvenient and quite time consuming when the entire window sill is filled with seedling boxes. In the case of "snails", it is enough to turn it around its axis, and the problem will be solved.
Much less potting mix is required, which is also important. It often happens that a gardener cannot prepare a sufficient amount of potting soil, due to the lack of storage space in a city apartment. In this case, you have to use purchased soil. For "snails" you need a minimum amount. And this is a very big plus for snails. In addition, there is a significant savings in the family budget. The gardener will save on the purchase of soil for crops.
Snail leek seedlings
Reuse of substrates is possible. They should be thoroughly washed with soap and water and dried. During storage, they will take up a minimum of space in comparison with seedling boxes.
It remains to wait for the shoots to appear. And when they grow up, a new job awaits the gardener - transplanting a young plant, diving.
The results of sowing in a "snail". Correcting bugs: video
Picking seedlings into "diapers"
Before proceeding to the description of this method, it is necessary to clarify that the "snail" is a self-made construction for sowing seeds. And in the "swaddling clothes" are planted plants that require picking.
Before getting started, you need to make sure that everything you need is prepared for this.
A low capacity with fertile and moist soil should be located in the immediate vicinity. Working with wet soil is more convenient, it crumbles less.
Plastic bags, they will serve, directly, as a diaper. Their size depends on the age of the seedlings. For a seedling with five leaves, small breakfast bags measuring 18x27 cm are suitable, larger plants need more space.
- A container is required. It will contain ready-made, "wrapped" packages with seedlings. Sawdust should be poured onto its bottom and moistened. This condition is not necessary if the "diaper" is tucked up in its lower part as well.
- You should always have a sprayer or a small watering can on hand.
- It is convenient to take individual shoots from the "snail" with a small flat spatula or fork.
- For those who are engaged in this method of picking for the first time, you can use clerical rubber bands to fasten the resulting packages.
It is more convenient to work on the table using a shallow dish or tray. It is easier to remove the scattered earth from them.
The "snail" should be released from its fastening and carefully unfold the roll to the first sprout. Use a spatula to remove the plant from the substrate and set it aside for a while.
In the middle of the surface of the package, located on the tray, pour a full, with a good slide, spoonful of earth. If it is more convenient for someone to do this with their hands, then a handful of soil will be enough. Align a little, crush and water well (of course, not to dirt), and preferably from a sprayer.
Place the prepared plant on the surface of the earth. If the root system of the plant is strong and extends beyond the boundaries of the lower edge of the bag, they need to be tucked slightly towards the top.
Pinching the roots should not be done, so as not to deliver additional stress to the young plant. Pinching is practiced if the seedlings have one long, underdeveloped root.
At the top, the packet should end at the cotyledonous leaves. Another spoon (or handful) of earth is poured over the roots. Now you need to fold the bag so that you get a glass with a sprout inside. If the gardener does not like the fact that the ground crumbles a little from the bottom of the "diaper", the situation can be corrected with the help of toilet paper.
In the middle of the bag, at the bottom of it, lay a double layer of paper. Sprinkle the earth, arrange the plant and first wrap the paper up. You will get the bottom of the glass, and then roll the film into a roll, stuffed from the ground with the root system. The paper will not bring any inconvenience to the seedlings, it will soon get wet. If there is a lack of soil on top of the package, it must be poured over and, if it is dry, it must be watered.
If the gardener is not sure about the reliability of the seedlings bundles, he can strengthen them with an elastic band. In any case, they are tightly placed in the container so that there is no possibility of them falling.
Watering the plants depends on how the plant is “swaddled”. If the package has a polyethylene bottom, then water is poured from above, onto the ground at the base of the stem. For cups without a bottom, water is poured directly into the container.
Diving pepper into diapers: video
Transplanting tomatoes into "diapers": video
Advantages of the diaper seeding method
When transplanting seedlings from "snails" to "swaddles", it is possible to interrupt work at any time, without harming the rest of the plants. They simply won't be disturbed. The snail should be rolled up by sprinkling a handful of earth on the edge, secured with an elastic band.
Seedlings will calmly wait in the wings.
Significant space saving in the early spring gardener's garden bed - the windowsill. Vertical rolls with seedlings, tightly installed in the container, do not take up much space. It is convenient to turn them with the opposite side to the light, if its inclined growth is noticed.
Seedlings before planting: video
From "diapers" to open ground
Planting seedlings ripened in "nappies" is no different from planting plants unseated in plastic cups or a common seedling box. For them, in the same way, gradual hardening is required, and only after that young bushes of vegetables are planted in open ground. Shading from hot sunlight for several days and routine care appropriate to the culture is required.
Instructions and norms of use
For the effective use of such organic fertilizing as blood meal, it is necessary to establish the degree of soil acidity. It can be determined by laboratory research or by folk methods. Checking acidity in laboratories is not the cheapest procedure, so in simple cases you can use something from the arsenal of peasant ancestors:
- the study of weed plant species on the site, certain vegetation is characteristic of acidic soils (plantain, tricolor violet, rough mountaineer, field horsetail, creeping buttercup, etc.)
- in a small container, mix the earth, water and baking soda, if the soil is acidic, the reaction of extinguishing the soda with the acid contained in the soil will occur.
There are other ways to determine the acidity of the earth. Acidity can vary in different parts of the site, so samples need to be done not only in one place.
Top dressing is applied dry or in solution, depending on the desired purpose. If you need to improve the condition of the soil and lower the acidity, then it is recommended to add ground eggshell to the dry fertilizer. Before digging, the mixture is evenly distributed over the site. In this case, flour is used in early spring and autumn, the earth, deeply enriched with nitrogen, actively nourishes the root system of plantations. In the spring, two additional dressings are enough before flowering.
Depending on the type and age of the plantings, it is recommended to apply top dressing as follows:
- seedlings half a month before planting in open ground are watered with a solution of blood meal (ratio 1/100)
- directly when planting seedlings of garden crops, each hole is fertilized with 1 incomplete tablespoon of dry mixture
- fruit and berry trees are fertilized with the introduction of 0.2 kg per 1 m2, mixing with the soil of the trunk circle no more than 1 time in 3 years in spring
- before planting perennial berry bushes, 0.06 - 0.07 kg of the mixture is added to the soil
- bulbous flowers are fertilized at the rate of 1 incomplete tablespoon per hole when planting
- houseplants feed 1 incomplete teaspoon of dry mix per liter pot
The dosage and methods of fertilizing the most common country and garden crops are as follows:
- feeding strawberries - every spring each bush is watered with 1.5 tbsp. l. liquid mixture, when transplanting adult plants, under each of them add 2 tbsp. l. solution
- fertilization of potatoes consists of treating the soil with a dry product at the rate of 3 kg per 10 m2 in spring or autumn for digging
- when planting seedlings of eggplants and tomatoes, add 0.1 kg of dry mixture to the bottom of each hole
- for roses - in the middle of spring 0.06 kg per 1 m2
- for lawns - no more than 2.5 cups per 1 m2 when sowing.
Eggplant picking and storage
The fruits are harvested when they are ripe, without giving them overripe. If you delay with this process, the pulp will become rough, tasteless. Cut off "blue" with pruning shears or a sharp knife together with a stalk 2 cm long. This must be done carefully so as not to damage the unripe fruits remaining on the bush. Eggplants do not store for a long time, they are used for making preparations for the winter, cut into circles, and dried.
If you want to keep some of the fruits fresh for a month, put them in a dark place where the temperature is +2 degrees. There are other storage methods as well. Wrap each fruit in a separate sheet of paper, place in a box in one layer. You can put the eggplant in a plastic bag without covering it tightly, and put it in a cool place. In no case should it be stored in the light; in such conditions, the fruits will not only lose their taste, but also the skin will burn out. If you need to keep the crop for two weeks, put it on dry straw, cover it with burlap on top, the room should be cool.
Video about growing eggplant: