Many gardeners are looking forward to the start of the season, and for most of them it comes in winter. After all, to get a good early harvest, you first need to grow strong healthy seedlings and this applies to many crops. The quality of seedlings depends on the seed and proper care of the seedlings. Therefore, it is worth taking care in advance about containers for crops and their rational placement, about nutrient soil and additional lighting, about means for feeding and processing.

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Shelving for seedlings

Wooden boxes, special plastic containers or pallets are great for growing seedlings. They need enough. In addition, seedlings that have reached a certain age usually dive into separate cups — and this requires additional space. And it is usually not enough on the windowsills, even several. It is very convenient to use special compact racks, which freely accommodate a large number of containers.

Such designs can be different: designed to be placed on the floor and on the windowsill. Floor fixtures can be considered universal, while window fixtures are more often preferred for windows on the sunny side. Another important advantage of products of the first type is an unlimited number of horizontal shelves. Window structures usually have no more than 4 «floors». Such sectional products are purchased in specialized departments of country and household goods stores.

Often they are made independently from any suitable material. It can be wooden slats; sheets of plexiglass, chipboard or metal; plastic pipes and other materials. The finished structure must be strong and stable, with free access to all shelves — so that there are no difficulties when caring for the landings. Particular attention is paid to illumination: with its lack, the plants will not be able to fully develop and will stretch.

Arrangement of illumination

Since seedling cultivation begins in the dead of winter or early spring, when daylight hours are still short, it is important to ensure that the seedlings have enough light. For additional illumination, special factory fitolamps or home-made lamps equipped with fluorescent, LED or sodium lamps are used. Traditional incandescent lamps are not suitable — they generate heat, which is not always useful. Yes, and their range does not quite meet the required.

Green plants for full-fledged photosynthesis require the entire range of rays, similar to the components of sunlight. For example, orange-red light stimulates the friendly germination of seeds. For active cell division and the formation of strong shoots, the blue-violet part of the spectrum is very relevant. For high-quality lighting of a shelf of one and a half meters long and half a meter wide, a pair of 36 W lamps is enough — one each of «cold» and «warm» light.

The best alternative to natural lighting are LED lamps and, of course, special phytolamps. They should be mounted according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but they should not be placed closer than 10 cm from the plants. To enhance the effect behind the containers with seedlings and on the sides of the racks, it is recommended to install mirrors or reflective screens. By changing the distance from the lamp to the seedlings, if necessary, you can adjust the intensity of the backlight.

Prevention of tick-borne infections

Seedlings are traditionally grown under normal room conditions, often on or near window sills. Therefore, for a while, it occupies a place intended for indoor plants. Thanks to heating, the air in the apartments at this time is dry and overheated, which is very to the taste of spider mites, which like to settle on house plants. For young seedlings, they pose a great danger, and it is rather difficult to deal with them.

The infection that has occurred is difficult to notice at the very beginning. And when the pest spreads, the fight against it will be more difficult. Even if the seedlings do not die, they will look noticeably weakened. Therefore, all plants are recommended to be regularly and carefully inspected. If you find the first signs of the disease (these may be tiny cobwebs or small whitish spots), take action immediately.

It is not recommended to use strong acaricidal preparations at home, therefore it is advisable to use biological products or resort to folk remedies. Try to treat the plants with a liquid soap solution — they are abundantly moistened and left for several hours. Then the soap is washed off, and the plants are tied in a plastic bag. Soap film and high humidity are detrimental to pests. Re-treatment is carried out in a week.

If this method does not have the desired effect, you will have to resort to the help of factory tools. This may be, for example, the drug Fitoverm, which is allowed to be used in residential areas. It is necessary to process not only plants, but also the surfaces of frames and window sills, where parasites can hide.

«Vitamins» for «kids»

Experienced vegetable growers prefer to process the seed material before using it. A solution of manganese disinfects the seeds, strengthens them, and increases their resistance to diseases. In addition, the seeds are placed in a special nutrient solution containing many trace elements. Such a tool can be made independently. To do this, 10 g of baking soda and 0.4 g of copper sulfate and boric acid are diluted in 2 liters of water at room temperature.

For faster seed germination, factory-made growth stimulants, for example, Heteroauxin, are also used. For the same purpose, nicotinic or succinic acid is used. Many vegetable crops begin to feed already at the seedling stage, about 12 days after germination. For this, special mineral preparations are used (Malyshok, Nitrofoska, Bogatyr): they are applied when watering at the very root, avoiding contact with the green part.

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