8 important vegetables grown seedlings
Every gardener and gardener is well aware of the disappointment of unjustified hopes in growing vegetables. By mid-spring, the counters of markets and garden centers were flooding with an assortment of varied seedlings, while the choice between "store" and home, certified and not very different varieties and seedling age does not guarantee that the purchase will pay off.
To avoid unpleasant surprises and forget about cherry tomatoes instead of huge "bull hearts" forever, it is better to take care of growing quality and healthy vegetable seedlings yourself.
Unfortunately, the conditions of the middle strip do not allow you to grow your favorite vegetable crops, afraid of the cold, in a non-seedling way. Despite the fact that many lawful inhabitants of the garden manage to go through the entire cycle of vegetative development from the last spring frosts to the first autumn cooling and make full use of the hot summer, not all vegetable plants are able to please a good harvest when sown in late spring directly into the soil.
Only those vegetables in which the development cycle is short can be grown by the seedlingless method. The same plants that go through a long period from emergence to the beginning of fruiting need early sowing and waiting for the end of May is unacceptable to them.
Indeed, with a vegetative cycle of 80-100 days before fruiting in the conditions of a short warm season (and the favorable period is limited in regions with severe winters to actually three summer months), it is necessary for the plants to grow “by half” before the threat of return frosts disappears. So all summer residents have to grow their favorite heat-dependent vegetables through seedlings.
But the seedling method does not need to be used only for southern crops, because even if you want to get an earlier harvest and enjoy the taste of your favorite, personally harvested vegetables at least a few weeks earlier than generally accepted dates, you can also sow seeds in an open field in a timely manner but for seedlings.
Why grow seedlings of vegetables yourself?
Whether to grow plants on your own, burdening yourself with the care of seedlings, or to buy ready-made young plants that flood the counters in such a large number is a rhetorical question. Even in certified centers, the quality of seedlings remains questionable, and the process of growing vegetables from purchased seedlings is much like a lottery.
The future harvest largely depends on how high-quality seedlings will be, how plants will develop in the early months of their lives. And the only way to get exactly what you want, grow vegetables of the selected variety and guarantee normal care of the plant, saving yourself from many worries, is to grow vegetables for seedlings yourself.
How to find the perfect time for sowing and planting vegetables?
One of the main advantages of independent cultivation of your favorite vegetables is the ability to control the timing of planting. Sowing seeds ahead of schedule, seedlings are deprived of key parameters for its development, as a result of which the amount of the crop, the time of its ripening, and the resistance of plants to diseases and weather whims sharply worsen.
See our detailed material: Dates for planting vegetables for seedlings for different regions.
In order for ready-made seedlings to appear on the market earlier (and looked better), seeds are often sown in January and February, but early sowing does not mean a faster harvest. Everything about gardening should be done on time, and growing seedlings of vegetables is no exception to this golden rule.
When choosing the time for planting vegetables, you must remember that there are no universal rules and recipes. In each particular variety, even similar in all characteristics to another, the duration of the growing season, which determines the optimal planting time for seedlings and the favorable period of transfer to the soil at a constant place, may differ.
Moreover, new varieties most often have improved characteristics and can be planted at a fairly early date. Therefore, when buying seeds, always follow the instructions for each particular variety of vegetable crop.
The desired time for planting seedlings of vegetables in the soil is determined by the specific climatic features of the region. For open ground in the middle zone, it ranges from May 25 to the end of the first decade of June, but not earlier than the threat of late return frosts passes.
To find out when it is better to sow the seeds, you can quite simply: from the approximate date of planting in the soil, subtract half of the growing season, add the approximate period of seed germination (which in vegetable plants ranges from 3 days to 2 weeks), and do not forget to take into account about a week more periods of stunting after diving and transplanting.
For a list of the main vegetables grown by seedlings, see the next page.