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Basil is one of the fragrant representatives of spicy plants, grown fond of truck farmers. Since this is an annual culture, it should be planted annually. Due to the fact that basil practically does not tolerate a low temperature, it is mainly grown by seedlings. This method allows you not only to get the early greens, but also to collect your own seeds for the next season.
At home, growing the seedlings of the basil is similar to other garden crops, taking into account the individual characteristics of this spicy plant. The main activities undertaken to obtain strong, healthy seedlings include:
- selection and preparation of nutrient substrate;
- presowing seed treatment;
- correct sowing;
- proper care of seedlings.
Basil likes a loose and nutritious soil, which you can prepare yourself, mixing:
- 4 parts of peat;
- 2 parts of humus;
- 1 part of sand (washed).
All components are well mixed and must be steamed for decontamination. The nutrient substrate can be purchased at a specialized store. In this case, it will be sufficient to shed it with a solution of potassium permanganate or to treat it with Phytosporin.
In order for the seeds to grow faster and more harmoniously, experienced gardeners recommend to soak them in a solution based on a growth stimulant prepared according to the instructions. In this regard, Zircon or Albit approaches. The treated seeds should be left to dry a little.
Seeds for seedlings can be sown already in late March. In a medium-depth container (about 7 cm), pour in a layer of prepared soil, slightly compacting it. Basil reacts poorly to stagnant water, so at the bottom of the landing boxes before laying the soil it is necessary to lay a drainage layer (pieces of foam plastic, expanded clay).
Seeds lay on the soil surface in rows and fill it with a layer of earth about 1 cm thick. Sparingly sprinkle planting with an atomizer, cover the box with a film and put it on the south window sill.
To shoots do not fight for a place under the sun, it is better to lay out the seeds immediately, observing the distance between them at 5 cm, and in the aisles - 10 cm.
If no seed collection is planned, the basil can be sown immediately into the open ground at the beginning of June. Fresh greenery will ripen in July.
Further care for seedlings
In the room where the container with seeds is located, it is necessary to maintain a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius. After emergence of the shoots, remove the film and lower the temperature to 17 degrees, so that the seedlings do not stretch. Watering should be done with warm water as the top layer of the soil dries. If necessary, you can install additional lighting.
In the phase of the appearance of 2 real leaflets, dive the seedlings into separate cups, when transplanting, mix the ashes and mineral fertilizers into the soil. As soon as 5 leaves are formed on the seedlings, the top should be pinched to stimulate the formation of lateral shoots.
For 10-14 days before transplanting the seedlings in the open ground or a greenhouse it is necessary to begin to temper the plants. You can transplant basil to beds at the end of May.