Competent work with greenhouses, hotbeds, covering materials
Harvest despite the bad weather. Part 1
Arched shelters in the greenhouse
A large part of the Russian territory belongs to the zone of risky farming. In practice, this means a short growing season, accompanied by frosts, low night temperatures and other delights, thanks to which you can lose the expected harvest overnight.
Alas, in the Middle Urals, everything is exactly the same - frosts last until mid-June (or even longer), and in August cold nights come and there are exhausting drizzling rains. However, even in such difficult conditions, it is quite possible to get impressive harvests of a wide variety of crops, however, for this you have to follow certain rules of the game.
Yes - warm ground
Solar heat alone is not enough to get early harvests in a greenhouse or greenhouse, so you need to think carefully about the technology for heating the soil. There are several ways to warm up the soil, but still the most affordable for most gardeners is the use of biofuels. Horse manure is considered a classic biofuel, which heats up very quickly (within a week) to 60-70 ° C, and then maintains the optimal temperature in the root layer of the soil throughout the growing season.
Using various greenhouses
However, most often, amateur vegetable growers have to use the type of manure that is within reach - cow, pork, sheep, rabbit, etc. Compared to horse manure, they are colder and heavier, warm up slowly, their burning temperature is lower and do not last so long. Therefore, when using such manure, it is imperative to mix chopped straw and other materials that give looseness and accelerate heating (dry peat, sawdust, husk, dry leaves).
It is necessary to start preparing greenhouses and greenhouses for early spring crops in the fall. At this time, all soil should be removed in greenhouses or greenhouses - in order to reduce labor intensity (only in the absence of plant diseases in the past season), only the upper part of the soil can be removed, and the lower part should be left to form ridges. In this case, the soil from the lower layer is raked into several compact heaps.
The fragments of the ridges freed from the soil are filled with a variety of organic residues (leaves, grass, tops, straw, etc.) - better mixed, while the leaves or straw must necessarily occupy about two-thirds of the total volume (this is necessary for rapid heating of the soil in spring) ... In the case of using leaves, they are sprinkled with lime, since leaves from deciduous crops in our region have an acidic reaction.
Pumpkins in a mini greenhouse
In mid-March, the entire surface of the greenhouse is covered with a layer of snow about 15 cm thick so that after the snow melts, the soil is saturated with moisture as much as possible. At the end of March, the entire surface of the greenhouse is covered with a film (preferably black) in two layers to ensure maximum defrosting and heating of the soil while maintaining moisture in it. True, this technique will have an effect only in the presence of sunny days, when the air in a closed greenhouse is very hot. In cloudy weather, the soil will thaw better in the absence of a film - alas, then it will have to be additionally spilled with warm water.
After thawing heaps of soil and organic matter, you should immediately start filling greenhouses or greenhouses with fresh manure. Usually we have this in the first decade of April. Then the manure is sprinkled with fresh sawdust (they increase the air permeability of the soil and absorb excess nitrogen from the fresh manure) and, if possible, mix it with the organic matter laid in the lower layer with a pitchfork. After that, it is advisable to spill organic matter with boiling water taken from the bath. And then immediately throw soil from the heaps prepared in the fall. If the soil has not completely thawed, then you should not wait for complete thawing (this is a long time). It is necessary to transfer the thawed soil at first, and from above evenly distribute lumps of frozen soil over the ridges. After that, you should close the ridges for a week with a film to warm the soil, and after this period, start planting and sowing crops.
Using covering material
Shelters - to the maximum
One of the known ways to extend the growing season is the use of various kinds of shelters. This means both sowing or planting a wide range of crops in greenhouses and greenhouses, as well as covering conventional ridges with a covering material, the use of which greatly simplifies the task of creating shelters.
After planting or sowing, additional arched shelters are installed inside greenhouses and greenhouses, onto which thick covering material is stretched. The air gap formed between the glass of the greenhouse (or the greenhouse film) and the coating of the inner greenhouse works on the principle of a thermos - as a result, it becomes much warmer in the inner greenhouse. Naturally, on very warm sunny days, such shelters have to be ventilated by raising the covering material. It is usually possible to remove additional arched shelters from us only after June 20.
The use of warm soil in greenhouses and hotbeds, in conjunction with additional arched shelters, allows growing seedlings of various crops there (from cabbage to zucchini and cucumbers) and planting thermophilic crops in closed ground much earlier: tomatoes, peppers, etc.
Moreover, the greenhouses and greenhouses prepared and equipped in the way described above represent a real testing ground for growing early spring green products and some early vegetables that the body needs so much in the spring and are offered in stores and markets at impressive prices. The sown area in greenhouses in early spring is completely free, and there is a certain period of time before planting seedlings of heat-loving crops, so it is simply a sin not to use it.
True, you should adhere to two important rules. Firstly, you need to clearly imagine in the beds the places in which the seedlings of tomatoes and other thermophilic crops will then be planted. These fragments of the ridges will have to be left free from crops or taken over with the most early ripening crops - for example, leafy turnips or leafy mustard (both plants are so early maturing that they do not even need to be soaked before sowing) or Chinese cabbage seedlings (if used for greens). Secondly, when sowing green crops, you will have to use all possible techniques to accelerate the growth of greenery. As a result, you will have time to remove these crops before thermophilic plants begin to actively grow.
In the open ground, everything is easier - no arched shelters need to be installed at all, it is enough just to cover the ridges with white covering material, which makes it possible to start sowing or planting plants much earlier, providing reliable protection against adverse weather conditions (night frosts, etc.).
It should be noted that the covering material can be of different thicknesses. As a rule, thin covering materials (density 17 g / m²) are used to cover vegetative plants. However, in early spring (before germination), it is wiser to use materials of higher density (density 25 g / m², 30 g / m²), since they ensure that acceptable temperature conditions are maintained at a more significant temperature drop than covering material with a density of 17 g / m².
Honestly, in the spring, in harsh conditions, it is generally better to keep almost all the ridges (carrots, parsley, green crops, potatoes, cabbage, etc.) under the covering material - this will significantly accelerate the emergence of seedlings and the development of young plants.
It is very simple to use covering material in open ground beds: after sowing seeds (or planting seedlings), the material is spread without stretching (preferably in the direction of the wind) and strengthened with stones at the edges. As the plants grow, they themselves raise the canvas, however, it is necessary to free the edge of the material from time to time in order to provide them with complete freedom.
On beds covered with covering material, plant growth is ensured in more favorable (than without shelter) conditions, and a variety of crops develop well under it.
- Garlic develops faster under the covering material and is protected from onion flies.
- The bow will not go into the arrow, as it will be reliably sheltered from frost and from the same ubiquitous onion fly.
- Carrots and parsley will sprout faster, will not suffer from a lack of moisture, will develop faster, and carrots will not be attacked by a carrot fly.
- The beets will not suffer from frost, and, therefore, will not go into color. In addition, she will not react so strongly to a lack of heat, and, therefore, will develop normally.
- Cauliflower and white cabbage (as well as other types of cabbage) will quickly take root after planting seedlings, they will develop more actively and, moreover, will not be exposed to the invasion of numerous cabbage pests, etc.
Read the next part: Soaking, sprouting, sowing eggplant, pepper and tomato seeds →
Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg
Photo by the author