Seedlings of zucchini: how to grow it in urban environments
Zucchini is often presented as a precocious variety of hard-barked squash, so the basic conditions for their cultivation are similar. But since the crop is not harvested simultaneously in the autumn, but throughout the summer, the agricultural technology of these vegetables, of course, varies. In most regions, zucchini is grown by direct sowing in the garden, but seedlings are often prepared to produce early produce.
Preparation of soil and tanks for seedlings
Zucchini require fertile soil throughout their entire life, including during seedling cultivation. The average family does not need many bushes of zucchini, 4-5 plants are enough. Therefore, the required amount of soil is easier to buy in the store in the finished form. If you have to save, you can compose it yourself, but this requires several ingredients, and not all of them will necessarily be at hand.
One of the best mixes for seedlings includes half peat, 30% humus, the rest is equal parts of sod land and semi-overgrown sawdust of any tree species. In addition, mineral fertilizers are added to a bucket of such a mixture: several grams of any nitrate, about 10 g of superphosphate and 5-8 g of any potassium salt. It is easier, of course, to replace this fertilizer mixture with a complex composition, for example, an azophos. Thus, self-preparation of the mixture may not be much cheaper.
When buying soil, it is advisable to choose one that is designed specifically for zucchini
In the absence of peat, you can mix the turf soil in half with humus and add a glass of wood ash and 20–40 g of ammophos to the bucket of the resulting mixture. In any case, it is advisable to disinfect the self-prepared substrate by spilling it with a hot pink solution of potassium permanganate a week before sowing the seeds.
Preparing zucchini seeds for sowing
60–80 days pass from the shoots of zucchini to the beginning of fruiting, therefore, for growing seedlings, you can not resort to special seed preparation: they will have time to sprout even with dry sowing. To accelerate seedlings, seeds can be pre-soaked in water before sowing before nibbling.
Zucchini seeds are not the case when there may be problems with germination, unless they are hopelessly spoiled. They are stored for a long time, and now in specialized stores they sell quite reliable varietal seeds.
If the seeds are of unknown origin, it is better to prepare them first. It is worth carrying out the following work.
- Calibrate by throwing the smallest and not very thick ones. This is a momentary matter, it is easy to do manually.
Zucchini seeds are large, and picking them out is not a problem
- To disinfect. In the case of zucchini, it is not necessary to use potassium permanganate, just hold them for a couple of hours in water with a temperature of about 50 ° C, and then cool in cold water.
If you use potassium permanganate, you need to prepare a strong solution (as on the left), but you can do just hot water
- Temper by placing them wet in the refrigerator overnight.
- If you want to speed up the process, germinate a little by placing it on a saucer in a wet cloth and covering it. Water should be added periodically until the tails of the roots appear.
If the ponytails grow too large, they can be broken when sown
You should not wait for the tails to become large: the seeds will be difficult to plant. The length of the tails of a few millimeters is sufficient: seeds that are not awakened can be left on the rag longer, and germinated seeds must be planted immediately.
Some vegetable growers also process seeds with growth stimulants, but this, nevertheless, is far from an obligatory procedure.
The rules for sowing zucchini for seedlings
Zucchini seedlings are necessarily grown in separate cups: better than peat, but reusable, with a removable bottom. Common large boxes are completely unsuitable, since zucchini is extremely painful for any transplant, the slightest damage to the roots greatly slows down their further development.
How to sow seeds
It is advisable to grow seedlings not at home, where it is very stretched, but in sunny greenhouses: it requires the maximum possible amount of direct sunlight. The size of the cups depends on how old the seedlings are supposed to be planted in the garden. There are no clear criteria. It is better to hold it until the age of 25-30 days is reached, but then the glasses should be at least half a liter, or better still more. You can plant in the garden at two weeks of age, then about 300 ml is enough. The optimum diameter of the cups is 8-10 cm, height 10 cm, that is, the volume is almost a liter.
Among the many available peat pots for zucchini, you need to choose the largest
Sowing seeds is elementary. They are buried by 3-4 cm. Hatching seeds are sown one at a time, dry seeds are sown by 2-3 pcs., And after emergence, the best plant is left, the rest are removed. The soil is abundantly watered with warm water and put in a warm place (temperature from 25 to 30 ° C). In a few days, shoots will appear that will climb up literally “in front of your eyes”. Glasses should be immediately transferred to a well-lit place with a temperature of about 18 ° C. Failure to do so will lead to a quick extension of the seedlings, and literally after 2-3 days it can already be thrown away.
Dates of sowing seeds for seedlings
To grow seedlings, zucchini seeds are sown in the middle lane from about April 20 to 25. But this period is approximate, each gardener determines independently when he is going to relocate seedlings to beds. It will be possible to transplant zucchini into the garden when the weather is warm. Zucchini absolutely does not tolerate frost at any age: with a decrease in temperature to 10 ° C, its vital activity is sharply inhibited, and at a minimum negative temperature, the plant dies.
Therefore, when sowing seeds, one should take into account both the climatic features of the region and the fact that it is impossible to keep seedlings at home for more than a month: it grows. Of some importance is the variety that affects the precocity of the plant. Seeds of most varieties, for example, at the latitudes of Volgograd or Kursk, can be sown in mid-April, in the Moscow Region on May 1, and in the Urals and Siberia closer to the 20th of the last spring month. Talking about seedlings of zucchini in the southernmost regions does not make sense at all.
Caring for the seedlings of zucchini does not present any difficulties: these vegetables from the very first days grow very powerfully, almost do not get sick, unless the owner overdoes it with warmth and watering, and in a month they grow into a quite viable bush.
Zucchini seedling growing conditions
The most critical seedlings in life are the first few days, when it requires low temperature and bright, but diffuse lighting. In the first month, zucchini only needs watering, top dressing and compliance with light and temperature conditions. That is why it is advisable to grow seedlings in a greenhouse, if there is one: in a city apartment it can be a bit dark (which means it will have to be equipped with lights), and also too hot.
The complexity of growing seedlings in urban conditions zucchini occupy an intermediate position. So, it is very comfortable for tomatoes or peppers in the apartment, it is almost impossible to grow strong cabbage seedlings at home because of the heat, and zucchini can be uncomfortable only if the gardener, due to lack of knowledge or due to lack of time, does not perform the required procedures on time.
Lighting and temperature for growing seedlings on the windowsill
The optimum temperature for the growth of zucchini is 20–25 ° C, but they also feel good at 15–20 ° C, so when growing seedlings at home, it makes no sense to think about the temperature especially. The main thing is not to be too hot in the first 4-5 days after emergence: at this time you need to find a place on the coldest window sill. In the future, the usual temperature of most urban apartments is great for this culture.
Lighting should be scattered, but enough power: direct April rays of the sun can burn leaflets, and the zucchini on the northern windowsill is too dark. Daylight hours should be more than 12 hours, but in April-May it already exceeds this value. The light intensity has to be adjusted by installing additional lamps. On the south side they are not required, otherwise a phytolamp or a cold luminescent lamp should be placed directly above the cups. Incandescent lamps heat the air too much and burn the plants.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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On the southern window sill there is enough seedlings of any crops
Watering and humidity
Zucchini seedlings should be watered only with warm water (at least 25 ° C) so that the soil never dries up. But excess moisture, causing root decay and death of seedlings, is no less harmful. Therefore, if a gardener knows the weakness of watering plants abundantly, he must definitely place at least a centimeter layer of drainage material on the bottom of the cups. The frequency and intensity of irrigation depends on the conditions, but on average it is necessary to water once every 3-5 days with a dose of one pot, first 40-50, and then up to 100 ml of water.
In addition to soil moisture, air humidity is also important, which should not be too high. It is not easy to deal with it, but at least you should not allow neighboring plants to interfere with each other, and humid air stagnate in the plantings. Glasses with seedlings must be moved away from each other in such a distance that the leaves of neighboring bushes do not touch each other.
If the seedlings are kept in cups for about a month, during this time it is fed twice. The first time - a week after emergence, the second - after another 7-10 days. It is easiest to use ready-made top dressing for seedlings, but you can take any complex mineral fertilizer and apply it according to the instructions on the package.
In finished dressings, the composition of nutrients is always balanced
If the soil was taken highly nutritious, you can do without mineral fertilizers, and feed the plants with infusion of wood ash. When feeding, the nutrient solution should not fall on the leaves. Both before and after application of the fertilizer solution, the seedlings are irrigated with clean warm water.
A picking of zucchini seedlings is highly undesirable. At least in its classical sense, when a plant is transplanted into a larger volume of soil, the central root is pinched. Damage to the roots, even minimal, zucchini is very painful. Therefore, if you have to transplant seedlings into another container (from a common box into separate cups or from a cup into a larger pot), you must do this with extreme caution.
If necessary, transplant the soil before the procedure abundantly watered and try to extract a plant with a large lump of earth without damaging the root system. The hole for him in a new place is done in advance, pouring water to her. Slowly fill the voids in the hole with soil, then well seedlings are watered in a new pot and cleaned for a couple of days in partial shade. In any case, transplant is a big stress for zucchini, after which they slow growth and development for almost a week.
Planting seedlings in the ground
In the south of the country there are no problems with growing zucchini, and almost no one grows seedlings there. In moderately warm regions, areas well-warmed up by the sun are allocated for them, planting the culture on the ridges. In the Northwest region, heat in open ground is not always enough, and zucchini is grown under the simplest film shelters. In any case, it is advisable to plant seedlings in the beds at 25-30 days of age.
Rules for planting seedlings
Zucchini grows best on light fertile soils, but it is possible to obtain good results even on clay. But shading is absolutely contraindicated. Therefore, the garden bed is prepared in sunny areas, digging it in advance on a spade bayonet with the introduction of traditional fertilizers customary for garden crops, but the emphasis is better on organic ones.
Since the zucchini forms a well-developed root system that spreads in all directions, the holes for planting seedlings are made at solid distances from each other - at least 70 cm. Using a shovel or a shovel, dig a hole the size of no less than a bucket, so that, despite the plot pre-excavated with fertilizers, make local fertilizers. Half a bucket of humus and a half-liter can of wood ash are placed in the hole; mineral fertilizers are best avoided.
Before planting seedlings, a large amount of warm water is poured into the wells in order to properly wet all the soil around the future plant. Normally developed seedlings are planted without deepening, and overgrown or elongated are lowered into the hole deep, to the cotyledon leaves. Seedlings for the first time must be covered from the bright sun, and if frosts are still possible, then they are protected from their effects. For this, non-woven materials are used - lutrasil, spanbond.
Good seedlings are planted without deepening
Dates for planting seedlings in open ground
Seedling seedlings occur at the same time as tomato seedlings are planted. The specific dates completely depend on the climate of the region and the current weather in a particular year: you can not allow zucchini to get even under the slightest frost and generally low temperature. If the seedlings have grown, it will still have to be planted, but under a temporary film shelter. You can’t keep her at home for more than a month.
If you do without any shelter, then in the central region and, in particular, in the suburbs, planting zucchini in the open ground without risk is possible only after June 5th. In the Urals and most of Siberia - another week later. But, of course, these are approximate dates, year to year is not necessary. If zucchini is grown for winter storage, then you can not do seedlings at all, but calmly sow the seeds in the garden after the threat of frost passes.
Zucchini seedlings ready for planting should have 2-3 true leaves of dark green color, a thick short stem, and the roots should be white, intact. If there is only one leaf, planting is possible only in the case of peat pots, that is, without the slightest disturbance of the root system. Seedlings are best planted on cloudy days, in the morning.
Possible problems when growing seedlings
If you strictly follow the rules for growing seedlings, the whole process goes smoothly, there should be no problems. However, failure may occur, and the gardener sometimes encounters the following points.
- If seedlings did not appear on the tenth day after sowing, you should not wait any further: hatching seeds at that time would have germinated long ago, and if the seeds were planted dry, then they are unfit. Normal seeds in moist soil will germinate at room temperature. Urgently need to buy new and reseed.
- Seedlings can stretch out, this is the most common trouble, and there may be several reasons, but the main one is the high temperature in the first week after emergence. In addition, this happens in low light or crowded cups. First of all, you need to add light and try to pour the soil into glasses. It is possible to carefully transplant zucchini into more spacious pots, greatly deepening the stems. If things have not gone too far, this can help.
Such seedlings urgently need to be transplanted into a large pot, greatly deepening
- Seedlings can grow slowly only due to poor-quality soil: the temperature in the apartment is enough for normal growth, and in dry land the plants would wilted. Urgently need to feed zucchini full mineral fertilizer.
- Withering of seedlings is possible not only because of dry soil, but, on the contrary, from excessive moisture. Overfilling, especially with cold water, can lead to the appearance of root rot, as a result of which the tips of the roots die, then the root neck turns brown. Such plants wither and die, they can no longer be saved.
- With a lack of nitrogen in the soil, the leaves may turn yellow. The process starts from the edge of the sheet, then moves to the entire area. If you catch it right away and feed the seedlings with a solution of urea or nitrate, it can get better. If the leaves are completely yellow, the seedlings will die.
Video: mistakes when growing seedlings of zucchini
Further zucchini care
Watering zucchini at first is less common than cucumbers: after two or three days. This is done until the seedlings get stronger and obviously do not grow. And during the summer, especially during the period of mass flowering, they are watered as necessary, when from a strong daytime evaporation and lack of moisture in the soil by the evening leaf plates wither and sag. Water for irrigation must be warm, heated throughout the day in the sun. Watering should be done so as to wet the soil almost to the entire depth of root penetration, that is, at least 30–40 cm. With a lack of moisture, the fruits grow medium-sized, but more sugary.
Summer care is like other plants, however, slugs, which gnaw the bark on the ovaries, cause concern, after which they fall off. Therefore, the fight against these pests should be ongoing. During the growing season, 2-3 fertilizing with mineral fertilizers is carried out, trying not to overdo it with nitrogen, from which the leaf mass grows, but the fruits ripen poorly.
There are climbing and bush forms of zucchini. Depending on this, it is necessary to arrange the stems of plants in different ways. Shrub varieties are easier to work with, but climbing ones often produce a more solid crop. Scourges should be placed on the bed so that they do not interfere with each other, but when caring for plants, try not to disturb them. Shrub plants do not need to be formed, their fruits are formed mainly on the central stem. Long-ply require trimming, which significantly increases productivity. У таких растений над четвёртым или пятым листом после их появления прищипывают верхушку стебля, в результате чего развиваются боковые побеги: именно на них растёт основной урожай.
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