Growing healthy seedlings of cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes

Growing healthy seedlings of cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes

Grow seedlings - you will be with the harvest

Many gardeners grow seedlings of vegetable and ornamental crops at home. However, we will now focus on three main vegetable plants, the seedlings of which, as a rule, are prepared by almost every one of us - on cabbage, cucumber and tomato.

In the previous issue, we covered all aspects of quality seed preparation. Now let's see what needs to be done to grow strong, healthy seedlings. Previously, everyone needs to clearly understand how many young plants (with a small margin) they need for planting. It is worthwhile to beware of early sowing of seeds in January-February due to an acute lack of light, due to which the plants will outgrow their specific phase or become unnecessarily elongated.

This period is also characterized by too large a difference between room temperature and the temperature on the window sills, where seedlings are usually grown. Therefore, the most optimal period for the beginning of sowing: the second half of March - first decade of April ... For example, from the middle of March, seeds of different varieties are usually sown on seedlings. white cabbage and brussels sprouts, in the third decade - late varieties of white cabbage, as well as redhead, savoy, color and kohlrabi, tomato - in the beginning of April.

To the selection soil soil to get healthy seedlings it must be taken very seriously, it must be sufficiently loose and breathable. Some gardeners acquire it in the retail network (often purchased soil may contain a lack or excess of nutrients). But most often they prepare it annually in the fall, combining a soil mixture from pre-prepared components (peat, sod land, sand, etc.) in various proportions. Here everyone has their own recipes.

Typically, the soil substrate is made from 3-5 components. By the way, experts say that the land prepared in advance and infused for several months is much more effective than the one just made. I propose to make a mixture of the above components (peat, turf, sand) in a ratio of 5: 4: 1. It does not hurt to add ammonium sulfate (12 g / 10 kg), simple superphosphate (20 g) and potassium salt (40 g) to them. It is useful to add some white sphagnum moss and ash.

As a nutritious mixture for cabbage and tomato, vegetable growers-practitioners offer a composition of humus and sod soil, river sand and fresh mullein, adding 8 parts of humus earth, 2 parts of sod, 1 part of river sand and 1 part of fresh mullein to a bucket. 1-1.5 glasses of ash and 40 g of simple superphosphate are added to a bucket of a prepared mixture of any composition. Ash neutralizes acidity and adds nutrients necessary for plants to the soil - potassium, calcium, iron, silicon, sulfur, etc.

For cabbage 0.5 cups of fluffy lime is added to a bucket of the mixture (to avoid damage to seedlings by soil infection of the keel). In the absence of sod land, it is replaced with compost or vegetable garden. Garden soil is the basis of the soil, it should be without roots, grass and stones. As a rule, it is 1 / 4-1.2 of the total volume of the mixture.

Sand is the most common component of artificial soils. From a handful to half of the total volume is added to the mixture. A good mixture is obtained from sand (preferably coarse-grained river) with leafy soil in equal quantities with the addition of a certain amount of bird droppings and ash.

Leaf humus is the most important component of the mixture, it provides it with a good structure and serves as the main source of nutrition for plants. To prepare this component, in the fall it is necessary to collect not freshly fallen leaves, but those that fell a year earlier. It is not necessary that the leaves are completely rotten, it is enough that they crumble easily. It is necessary to prepare a little more of them, given that in the process of decomposition they lose in volume.

Any leaves will do, except for oak leaves (they contain tannic compounds). For example, for growing seedlings and seedlings, I use the soil from under old lindens, remote from highways. By the way, the most unfortunate option is to collect land near the house or on the territory of nearby parks, where it is saturated with harmful substances. The land that is brought in for the improvement of the adjoining territories and dumped in heaps is also not suitable. After all, it is not known where it was taken from.

Experts advise gardeners to take land on their site from that corner where vegetables have not been grown for 2-3 years, so as not to introduce pathogens into the soil diseases and pestsdangerous for plants. As a rule, the soil substrate bought in the store had to be sterilized before being sold, but you can still be insured and subject it to disinfection. To do this, use the thermal method, heating the soil on an iron baking sheet or sheet (up to a temperature not exceeding 100oС)? or spilled twice with boiling water.

For growing seedlings, some gardeners use peat cups, others are cassette units, and some are foam boxes. Repeatedly used boxes and vessels intended for growing seedlings are disinfected with a warm solution of potassium permanganate (1 g / l of water).

The earth is slightly compacted and squeezed at the walls of the containers, its surface is well leveled, then shallow grooves are made on it with a ruler every 2-3 cm, the seeds are laid out (hatched or dry) and covered with the same mixture on top (with a layer of 0.5-1 cm ). After sowing, the soil is watered very carefully from a watering can with a strainer, covered with glass for a week, removing it in the morning and evening for 10-15 minutes for airing.

After the emergence of seedlings, the cover is removed, and the containers are rearranged closer to the light. It is very important that the soil retains moisture for longer. Seedlings should not be watered often, they can be sprayed with a spray bottle, but you shouldn't give them enough water. Excess moisture in the soil is reduced by pouring dry sand (2-3 cm layer) or charcoal under the plants.

For growing seedlings, a sill of windows with a southern orientation is desirable so that there is more lighting, since there is not enough sunlight in early spring. If the plants are grown in a room with north-west or north-facing windows, into which the sun can look only in the evening, then the plants will not have enough light. An electric light is needed here.

Some gardeners seek to enhance the illumination of vegetable seedlings by installing large mirrors that reflect more than 90% of the light falling on them. They advise for growing low seedlings to fix the mirror perpendicular to the surface of the windowsill along its ledge, which can almost double the illumination of the plants. At the same time, low mirrors are used so that they do not shade the room.

If the mirror is installed on the jamb of the window, it will become a permanent light reflector - with this method, the illumination increases by 30%. Plants, illuminated by mirrors, feel much better than without additional lighting. Remember that when using reflectors, plants need to be spaced further apart. Mirrors can be successfully replaced with wide strips of aluminum foil.

With the emergence of seedlings, for example, cucumber the boxes are moved to the brightest place, and it is desirable to lower the temperature to 15-17 ° С during the day and up to 12 ° С at night (within 3-5 days). Then it is increased in the daytime up to 20 ... 22 ° С, at night up to 16 ... 17 ° С. Seedlings of vegetable crops are watered with water at room temperature.

Seedlings of various types of cabbage 10-12 days after germination need to open (sit loosely or in separate cups). At this time, the plants will be in the cotyledon or first leaf phase. It will be more difficult to do this later. At the same time, some gardeners practice pinching the tip of the main root of the plants, which contributes to better branching of the root system.

When diving in order to successfully rooting young plants in moist soil, they first make a dimple, where a teaspoon of slaked lime is poured. When transferring, the plant is gently held by the leaves (and not by the stem), set in the hole so that the root does not bend. Then sprinkle with earth and watered abundantly so that there are no voids in the soil.

When picking cabbage plants, each plant is carefully examined, rigidly rejecting the weak, underdeveloped or affected by the black leg and keel. The feeding area for cabbage seedlings should be at least 6x6 cm. After picking, the seedlings are sprinkled with a thin layer of humus with a small amount of ash. To avoid the appearance of mycoses, the seedlings are watered moderately and often ventilated.

Every 7-10 days for soil disinfection it is spilled with a 0.1% solution of potassium permanganate. Once every 1.5-2 weeks, seedlings are fed with a solution of a mullein diluted with water (1:10) or a solution of mineral fertilizers (0.6-0.7%). According to experts, high-quality seedlings, for example, early and late white cabbage, are desirable 50-55 days old, mid-ripening 35-40 days.

Choosing sunny days, the seedlings are taken out in the open air during the day (balcony, loggia, etc.), hardening before transplanting. Practitioners note that plants that have received such hardening after transplantation into a greenhouse or open ground take root faster and better.

It must be remembered that even with the onset of early spring - in May (and even more so in April) warm weather with planting seedlings in a permanent place should not be in a hurry. Plants can suffer from early and late spring frosts, which are not uncommon even in the first half of June. As a result of a cold snap, you can lose seedlings overnight, which have been grown with such difficulty for many weeks. Cucumber seedlings, for example, die when freezing at 0 ... -1oС, unhardened white cabbage seedlings at -3oС, Savoyard -2 ... -3oС. This is how, due to the freeze, my neighbor, unfortunately, lost several plants of the Antillean cucumber, which is rare in our country.

When growing seedlings at home, they try to avoid its neighborhood with indoor plants, which can be sources of harmful insects such as spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, thrips.

Greenhouses and hotbeds pre-prepared for receiving seedlings. To reduce the amount of work done in the spring, a good gardener usually cleans these areas in the fall. If you did not have time to do the work in advance, you will have to do it in the spring. Plant debris (wintering place of pests and concentration of bacterial and fungal infection) is burned. In those areas where there is a bear gnawing at the roots of plants, when digging into the soil, add the preparation "Thunder". In order to prevent late blight and other mycoses some gardeners process tomato seedlings with 1% Bordeaux liquid before planting.

It does not hurt to look again at the plan of the site where the vegetable plants will be placed. For them, not only the length of the daylight hours is important, but also the sufficient intensity of illumination. Experts consider the optimal place of the site, open to the sun's rays in the daytime and having evening shade. Tomato is more demanding of sunlight, while cucumbers and cabbage are less demanding.

Seedlings should be protected from fungal disease. "blackleg", which manifests itself quickly enough. In the evening the plants seemed quite healthy, and in the morning you can find them lying on the ground. Examining diseased seedlings, you can notice the blackening of the tissue at the site of the root collar (a bridge appears between the root and stem).

After 2-3 days, the plant dries up completely, although a closer inspection reveals a slight yellowing of the plant tissue in the same place in the still outwardly healthy plants, the beginning of curvature and thinning of the stem, and some lethargy of the plants. Seedlings slightly affected by the black leg do not develop well, lag behind in development, and the yield is sharply reduced. All types of cabbage are susceptible to this disease. It manifests itself in the phase of cotyledonous leaves, but often at the time of planting. The causative agent of the "black leg" is found and hibernates mainly in the soil or on plant debris (in the form of mycelium or spores).

In the spring, pathogens penetrate early seedlings, feed on plant juices and multiply actively, which leads to illness (often death) of young plants. Blackleg fungus infection can also be found in hulled greenhouses, in stationary greenhouse structures, in seedling containers used for rearing seedlings, sometimes on seeds.

Seedlings of vegetables, planted with a lump of earth, take root more easily, do not get sick, tolerate temporary drought and give an earlier harvest.

Alexander Lazarev,
candidate of biological sciences,
Senior Researcher, VIZR

Mistake 4: lack of seedbed preparation

Preparing seeds for sowing is an important point that farmers often do not pay enough attention to, but in vain. Sowing unprepared seeds can also cause the death of young plants. This is especially true for seeds of our own production, but it is also true for purchased untreated seeds.

Before sowing, the seeds should be treated

What is the reason for this? A significant proportion of infectious diseases are transmitted not only with soil, but also with untreated seeds... Lack of preparation directly affects both germination and subsequent development of plants. The following articles will help you to get acquainted with the rules and procedures for pre-sowing preparation in detail:

  • How to carry out pre-sowing seed preparation
  • Seed preparation for sowing - video selection
  • How to test seeds for germination
  • 8 best preparations for pre-sowing seed treatment
  • How to process seeds before sowing: 13 most effective biological products
  • How to quickly, easily and efficiently prepare seeds for sowing
  • Terms of storage and sowing, conditions for germination of vegetable seeds

You can find a wide range of different preparations for pre-sowing seed treatment in our catalog, which combines the offers of many large garden online stores. See a selection of drugs.

Growing seedlings: 18 success factors

Growing seedlings of decent quality in the spring is the key to a good harvest in the fall. Therefore, the seedlings should be strong, with a thick stem, fleshy leaves and a well-developed rhizome, of normal growth. The article will help you go through the thorny path of growing seedlings and prevent you from repeating common mistakes.

How to grow good seedlings, if most gardeners, instead of greenhouses and greenhouses with ideal temperature and humidity conditions, have only window sills with misted windows, into which the February and then March sun occasionally looks in?

Of course, it is difficult to grow strong seedlings in such conditions, but mistakes should be avoided that worsen the already unsightly conditions for plant growth and development. Let's take a look at the 18 steps to take before the seedlings take root in the open field.

1. Preparation of potting soil

Growing seedlings begins with preparing the soil. It is necessary to prepare a soil mixture from sod land, humus, ventilated low-lying peat, stale sawdust, coarse-grained river sand, taken in the ratio required for cultivation, depending on the culture grown.

The components of the seedling potting mix should be cold treated on the balcony for one and a half months, with two defrosting of the soil. To grow cabbage seedlings, the soil mixture must undergo compulsory heat treatment.2 weeks before sowing the seeds, the seedling soil must be brought into a warm room. During this time, beneficial microorganisms come to life in the soil.

If it is not possible to get high-quality components of the soil mixture, then the best option is to purchase ready-made soil for seedlings prepared for a specific type of plant: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.

2. Choosing a box for seedlings

Good seedlings will only grow in boxes or glasses with good drainage. If there are holes on the bottom of the seedling container to drain excess moisture, then the seeds and seedlings will develop under optimal conditions.

3. Optimum temperature for seed germination

The optimum soil temperature for seed germination is +20 - + 30 ° C. Even if the room is warm, over + 23 ° C, there is no guarantee that the soil temperature in the seedling box is warm.

The optimum temperature for germination of sweet pepper seeds is +25 degrees

If the box with seedlings is located far from the window, then the soil temperature in it is 5 degrees lower than in the room. The soil temperature in a box on the windowsill is 10 or more degrees lower.

At low temperatures (+ 12- + 15 ° C), the seeds of heat-loving crops germinate poorly or completely rot.

4. Preparing seeds for sowing

It is advisable to purchase vegetable seeds ready for sowing, treated from pests and diseases in special conditions, or to disinfect the seeds yourself.

5. Correct sowing of seeds

When sowing seeds, it is necessary to bury the seeds in the soil, according to the instructions on the seed bag or in accordance with the planting depth typical for the specific type of crop.

Planting the seeds too deep makes it difficult to germinate - the seeds germinate rarely or do not germinate at all.

6. Optimum planting density of seeds

Sowing seeds too densely leads to uneven development of plants - the stems become stretched and become fragile. Elongated seedlings are difficult to transplant, they are more likely to get sick and are affected by root rot.

7. Watering should be done on time

Do not water the soil immediately after sowing the seeds - the water pulls the seeds deep into the soil, disrupting the planting depth. The soil must be watered before sowing the seeds, and after sowing, only sprinkle with warm water from a spray bottle. It is warm water (+ 30 ° C), not hot or boiled.

8. Abundant watering, not superficial wetting

It is necessary to water the seedlings abundantly, but without fanaticism. Excessive watering leads to root rot and the spread of fungal diseases (for example, black leg). Insufficient watering leads to overdrying of the top layer of the soil - weak shoots die due to lack of moisture.

9. Watering with water at room temperature

Seedlings should be watered with settled water at room temperature (+ 22-25 ° C), it is desirable that the water is soft: snow or rain. You cannot grow good plants by watering seedlings with cold water.

10. Light for hours

Young plants are demanding on the quality and duration of illumination, starting from the moment of emergence. Insufficient lighting results in the stems being pulled towards the light source.

Seedling boxes should be placed on the southern windowsill. In the south of the room, the intensity and duration of lighting is greater than in the west or east.

Regardless of the type of culture, the seedlings should be illuminated with fluorescent lamps, phyto lamps or sodium lamps so that the total daylight hours are. When sowing seeds early, seedlings should be supplemented even on southern windows.

To improve lighting, it is necessary to install a screen made of foil, foil insulation or a mirror near the box with seedlings so that sunlight is reflected and returned to the seedlings without penetrating the room.

11. Dive in time

The picking of the seedlings should be done after the appearance of 3 true leaves. Late transplanting impairs the quality of the seedlings. After transplanting, it is necessary to shade the seedlings from direct sunlight.

12. Training by transshipment

A good seedling is a trained seedling that is not afraid of replanting. In the process of plant growth, it is necessary to reload the plants from small containers into larger cups.

13. Change of places

In order for the plants to grow evenly, they must be periodically interchanged, starting from the moment the leaves of neighboring plants touch. Regular changing of places trains the plants and prevents the strong plants from hammering the weak ones.

Seedlings need to be changed regularly.

14. Top dressing wisely

It is necessary to feed the seedlings regularly, once every but only after the adaptation is completed and the beginning of intensive growth. If the plants "sit", and do not grow, top dressing can worsen development - organic and mineral fertilizers should be absorbed, and not lie idle in the soil.

Nitrogen and phosphorus should be fed in accordance with the quality of the soil - poor soil is "fertilized" more often than rich soil.

15. Disease prevention

For the prevention of diseases, it is necessary to regularly water the seedlings with the preparation "Rizoplan".

16. Disembarkation on time

Growing seedlings ends sooner or later. At the same time, the main thing is to plant the plants in open ground in time, preventing the plants from overripe. Too mature plants do not take root well in a permanent place.

17. Hardening of seedlings before planting

Seedlings must be hardened before planting in open ground. Hardening of seedlings should be started 2 weeks before transplanting to a permanent place, gradually increasing the time the seedlings are in the open air.

18. Do not water before transportation.

Do not water the seedlings before transporting them to the garden - sluggish plants break less during transportation. Seedlings should be watered abundantly with warm water immediately after arriving at the site.

Preparing the soil and sowing containers

Containers for sowing cucumber seeds

Preparatory work begins in 3-5 weeks with the preparation of containers for seedlings. The root system of cucumbers does not tolerate external interference. Therefore, when growing at home, it is better to sow seeds in separate peat-distilled pots or cups from fermented milk products.

In these containers, cucumber seedlings practically do not get sick with root rot. If the dishes are used repeatedly, and the transplanting of seedlings is carried out by the transshipment method, then it is necessary to disinfect all containers in a 1-2% solution of potassium permanganate.

Preparation of soil mixture

Like other crops, cucumber seedlings need light in composition, but moisture-absorbing soil mixtures, water and air permeable, sufficiently saturated with organic and mineral fertilizers. The seedling period of cucumbers, depending on the variety and type of ripening (early, middle, late), ranges from 25 to 30 days. Therefore, it is better not to feed the seedlings during growth and development, but to sow the seeds immediately in a well-fertilized soil mixture.

Beginners usually buy ready-made disinfected soil and thereby reduce the time spent on preparatory work. Fans of tinkering prepare potting mixes on their own. A universal self-prepared soil mixture usually contains 3-4 ingredients:

  • leafy or sod land (not from conifers),
  • mature compost or ready-made vermicompost,
  • high-moor peat,
  • sand.

All parts are mixed accordingly in a ratio of 1: 2: 1: 1. If there is no peat, you can prepare a mixture of 3 ingredients. Experienced gardeners prepare their own time-tested soil mixtures and be sure to check them for acidity (pH = 6.6-6.8). To know how much mixture and dishes to prepare, take 3 plants per 1 sq. m area.

Seedlings of cucumbers can be grown on peat tablets, placed in plastic containers with a clipped bottom. A tablet 5-8 mm thick is placed in a plastic container, watered, wait for its swelling and a seed is planted. Ready-to-plant seedlings of cucumbers, bending back the cut bottom, are pushed out of the container and planted in the ground.

Disinfection of soil mixture for cucumber seedlings

Ready-made purchased soil goes on sale disinfected, but (just in case) is exposed to frost for additional freezing. The purchased soil mixture is not additionally fertilized, but you can still check with the seller the level of its readiness for use.

A self-prepared mixture in the northern regions from autumn or 2-3 weeks before sowing seeds must be disinfected by freezing or, in warm and low-frost regions, by steaming / calcining, in other ways.

After disinfection, mineral fertilizers and compounds are added to the independently prepared soil mixture, which contribute to the rapid formation of the root system, suppression of fungal and bacterial infections (possibly not completely destroyed during disinfection).

Remember! The most common cause of early death of seedlings and young seedlings is a soil fungal and bacterial infection that causes root rot.

Of the fertilizers, 200 g of ash (glass), 40-50 g of phosphorus fertilizers and 30-35 g of potassium sulfate are added to the soil mixture for every 10 kg. You can instead add 80-90 g of kemira or nitrophoska.

The dried soil mixture can be treated with biofungicides: trichodermine, phytosporin in a tank mixture with bioinsecticides: actofit and phytoverm. A week before filling the seedling containers, the soil mixture can be treated with a working solution Baikal EM-1, Ecomik productive or with a dry preparation Emochka-Bokashi. Moisten the soil. In a warm, humid environment, effective microorganisms will quickly multiply and finally destroy the pathogenic microflora.


The most useful, rich in vitamins and other substances necessary for the human body are found in vegetables and fruits grown in their gardens.

In this section, you will learn how to harvest good crops without the use of various chemicals and artificial fertilizers. We will discuss various methods and effective ways to effectively grow vegetables on your site, share the secrets of growing good seedlings, and talk about how to properly care for garden crops.

If you are just starting to master growing vegetables in your garden, then try to visit this category regularly and study the tips given here in articles on a variety of topics.

We will tell you how to properly grow potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and other vegetables on your own plot.

Following these recommendations, you will always reap a good harvest and delight your loved ones with delicious, healthy food.

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