When to plant vegetable seedlings
Vegetable seedlings ask for a garden bed, I want to plant it as early as possible, but spring is insidious, frosts can be at any time. What you need to know in order not to destroy the seedlings grown with such labor and love? At what time will it not only take root well, but immediately begin to actively grow? We will understand all the intricacies of planting seedlings in the ground and in the greenhouse.
Terms of planting seedlings in the ground
In order for seedlings to quickly adapt to new conditions and not stop growing, remember the main thing. Almost all varieties and types of vegetables that are grown in this way come from warm countries, which means that the cold land will come as a shock to them. Wait until the soil warms up to at least 15 degrees. If the soil is warmer, fine, if it is colder, you have to wait a few more days, no matter how much you want to start planting early. Usually this period falls in mid-May — early June, but the exact time depends on the climate. At what temperature can seedlings be planted, the optimal indicators for each crop:
- Eggplants are very fond of heat, so it is better to wait with their planting until the soil warms up to 18-20 degrees.
- Peppers and tomatoes are relatively cold-resistant, +15 degrees is enough for them.
- Cucumbers withstand lower temperatures, but take root well only at 16-18 degrees Celsius.
- Onions and celery are the most hardy, they can withstand light frosts without loss. For them, only 10-12 degrees of heat is enough.
- Melon crops move to the beds when the soil has warmed up to 15-18 degrees.
Soil temperature can change quickly, focus not only on momentary indicators, but also on the weather forecast.
Whether seedlings are ready for planting can be determined by the number of leaves and height:
- Tomato, pepper, eggplant should have 6-9 leaves, the height of the bushes is from 18 to 25 cm.
- Cabbage is transplanted in the presence of 5-6 leaves, height 18-22 cm.
- Cucumbers, melons, watermelons are ready for planting in the garden if they have 3-5 leaves and a height of 12-16 cm.
- Celery in pots grows to a height of 8-12 cm, it should have 4-5 leaves.
If the seedling is too small, do not rush to plant it. Let her get stronger. If it is already too high, it is advisable to plant it a little earlier under temporary shelter. In order to always have seedlings of the right age, just calculate the sowing time. For example, in your climate zone, planting in open ground falls on June 1st. Subtract from this date the desired growth period for a particular crop, plus 7 days for seed germination. For cucumbers, it will look like this: June 1 minus 20 days for growth, minus 7 days for shoots. Sowing date May 5th.
Soil preparation for planting
Each type of plant has its own soil preparation rules, but all vegetable crops require loose nutrient soil. Prepare it two weeks before the expected date, when it will be time to plant the seedlings in the ground. Under digging, apply organic fertilizers. The amount of fertilizer depends on the type of soil.
- Sandy, heavy clay and sandy loam. The introduction of peat, compost makes the soil nutritious and moisture-intensive. Correcting the soil will help the introduction of at least three buckets of organic matter per 1 sq. meter. The structure will become much better, there will be enough nutrition for plants. And most importantly, beneficial soil bacteria will have the opportunity to actively develop and process the substances contained in peat or compost into a form accessible to plants.
- lime soil. This type of soil needs acidification, the plants do not tolerate an alkaline reaction. Bring in coniferous litter, riding peat, compost, crushed pine bark.
- Other types of soil. If your site has nutrient soil, such as loam, per 1 sq. meter, apply 1 bucket of any organic fertilizer — rotted manure and compost. If the soil is too acidic, choose lowland peat.
Mineral fertilizers contain the most important chemical elements for plants in an accessible form. Therefore, add 1 tablespoon of superphosphate per 1 sq. meter. By the time of planting, the nutrients will be evenly distributed, the soil will be slightly compacted, it will be much more convenient to plant.
Planting seedlings in open ground: useful tips
Treat the seedlings with Epin two to three days before planting. This biostimulator allows plants to quickly adapt to a new place, reduce stress during transplantation.
Even though the soil is already warm, pour hot water over the holes. This is a simple yet very effective way to encourage root growth. Plant seedlings when the soil cools slightly after boiling water.
Immediately set the pegs 15-20 cm above the plants or the arc. Spring is insidious, frost can strike at any moment, which means that seedlings need to be protected. It will be easy to throw agrofiber, plastic film or any material at hand on such a design.
Immediately after planting, water the plants abundantly with warm water and mulch the surface. Weeds will not break through to the surface for a long time, and moisture will not evaporate.
When to plant seedlings in a greenhouse
The temperature in a greenhouse is highly dependent on what material it is made of. The coldest constructions made of polyethylene. At night, the air in them cools quickly, so seedlings can be planted in such a greenhouse only 2-3 weeks before planting in open ground. Plant seedlings when the soil warms up well.
Glazed greenhouses hold the temperature better, especially if they are well made, the glass is sealed, and there are seals on the doors and vents. Plant seedlings of vegetables about a month earlier than on the beds.
The warmest designs made of polycarbonate. Therefore, the time when seedlings can be planted in a greenhouse depends not only on climatic conditions, but also on the quality of the assembly of the structure and the materials from which it is made. They are able to retain heat during severe short-term frosts. But nature can make its own adjustments. Purchase an oil heater in advance, it is best suited for heating greenhouses. Infrared heaters heat the soil and plants a lot, and fan systems can fail due to high humidity.