Soil for seedlings - a mixture of organic components and inorganic impurities. This is the basis necessary for the development of the root system, the normal growth and fruiting of the plant. Yield will depend on proper soil preparation for seedlings.
Which soil is better for seedlings?
You can use the purchased ground for seedlings. Convenient, fast and no hassle. They are all produced on the basis of peat. But here you can face the problem, which mixture to choose? In order to choose a quality soil for seedlings you need to understand the components or consult with a professional in a specialized store.
You can save money and at the same time not be disappointed in the results by preparing your own soil for seedlings. It is not as difficult as it seems. The main thing is to follow the basic rules and recommendations for the harvested soil.
Basic requirements for prepared soil
Prepared soil must be:
- fertile and balanced;
- light, porous, friable;
- well absorb moisture;
- have an average level of acidity;
- contain microflora.
In the prepared soil should not be:
- weed seeds;
- actively decomposing components;
- pathogenic microorganisms, larvae, worms;
- toxic substances.
Organic components and inorganic impurities
To improve the quality of the soil for seedlings use both inorganic impurities and organic components. It is important to know which ones can be used and which ones are not.
Suitable organic ingredients:
- wood ash;
- eggshell( raw, crushed);
- high peat;
- transition peat;
- sphagnum moss;
- lowland peat( after freezing, weathering);
- sawdust of coniferous and deciduous trees;
- heat treated turf ground.
Unsuitable organic ingredients:
- small chips of any wood species;
- lowland peat without treatment;
- leaf ground;
- hay, straw dust;
- turf without treatment;
- composts of all kinds;
- sawdust painted wood.
Inorganic impurities for soil
Suitable for use:
- washed bottom, quartz and river sand( excellent baking powder);
- perlite( increases the looseness and breathability of the soil);
- hydrogel( supports moisture levels);
- vermiculite( has the properties of perlite, contains small amounts of potassium, magnesium, calcium);
- ground foam;
- pumice stone;
Unsuitable for use:
- unwashed river sand;
- quarry sand with clay.
How to make a soil for seedlings with your own hands?
For the preparation of the best soil for seedlings use the land, inorganic and organic components harvested in the fall. Land of moderate fertility for future seedlings can be taken from your site. It should not be too dry and very wet. After removing the layer of 5 cm, cut off the ground with a thickness of 15 cm and placed in boxes. The soil cleared of weeds, large larvae and worms is well sifted. All lumps of earth that come across are carefully “rubbed” in the hands. Then the prepared soil is subjected to disinfection.
Disinfection methods exist quite a lot. They all have both pros and cons. The most commonly used methods are:
Destroying the weeds and part of the pests and not turning the soil into a lifeless substrate, you can use the method of freezing. It consists in a constant alternation: freezing - thawing. Boxes with the ground in the frost, covered from rain. Thoroughly frosted, put in a warm room. Having scattered a layer no more than 8 cm, moisten with water. The boxes of soil are warm for about a week, then they are brought to frost again.
The freezing method partially disinfects and heals the soil, but does not kill the entire infection( spores of keel, late blight).
Steaming is best done a month before applying the soil to seedlings. The soil must be steamed in a water bath with the container lid closed for at least 3 hours. The calcination method takes place in an oven preheated to +40 for about 30 minutes. Heat treatment( steaming and calcining) kills all pathogens, as well as the necessary microorganisms. Therefore, before sowing to the ground, the components necessary for restoring microflora are added.
It is possible to decontaminate an already prepared soil using a medium-intensity manganese solution.
Components that do not require pre-treatment
For a good structure of the substrate suitable: river sand, sawdust coniferous and deciduous trees. Sawdust conifers do not require pre-treatment. The only thing you can not use sawdust, which are impregnated with diesel fuel. River sand is enough to rinse and free from stones.
The composition of the soil
The composition of the soil for seedlings directly depends on the requirements of the crop that you will plant. For example, for pepper, cucumber, onion, eggplant, the following composition will suit: 25% of the ground, 30% of peat, 25% of sand.
For cabbage, the percentage of sand is acceptable to increase to 40%.
For tomatoes, the proportion of earth can be increased to 70%.
Recipe suitable for almost any seedlings: 1 part of drainage, 2 parts of organic matter, 2 parts of the earth, with the help of ash or lime lower the acidity.
If you need to increase the acidity of the soil, you can use dolomite flour as a deoxidizing agent.
During the growth of seedlings it is good to use water with diluted mineral fertilizers. But do not saturate them with soil for seedlings. Everything should be in moderation.
Buy or independently prepare a soil for seedlings, of course, you decide. But having picked up the necessary composition of the soil once, you do not have to constantly spend money on substrates of little-known manufacturers.