Unlike most flowers, including a variety of annuals, it is possible to grow aster from seeds not only in the spring, in early April, sowing seedlings in containers, but also in the fall, under the snow. However, the aster is quite capricious, and care for it, especially in the process of waiting for the spitting of the sprouts, is associated with special care. In addition, practicing gardeners recommend preparatory procedures before sowing.
Asters: growing from seed
The ground for aster seeds is composed of 2 parts of peat, 1 part of ordinary land from your summer cottage, and a small amount of washed and calcined sand. Additionally, it is necessary to add 20-30 g of ash or dolomite flour to the substrate, and first mix the resulting soil mixture through a fine sieve to deprive it of foreign elements that are accidentally mixed here and loosen, and then hold for 20-30 minutes. over the steam. This can be done either manually, over a cup of boiling water, or in a double boiler. If it is not possible to steam the earth, it is moistened with a highly concentrated solution of potassium permanganate: such actions are necessary to prevent fungal diseases in asters.
Regardless of whether you sow a flower for seedlings, or immediately send it under snow, seeds need to be soaked in fungicide: this will increase their germination, especially if the seeds are not fresh - after a few months, almost all chances of sprouting are lost. In addition, the seeds collected from the flowers in the area germinate much worse and often do not bloom as abundantly as those that were purchased in the store.
When growing asters from seeds, they are scattered on wet ground through sowing on seedlings, trying to make the layer uniform, but not maintaining any distances between them - not all seeds will sprout. After that, they must be covered with calcined sand, creating a layer 6-8 mm thick from it. If you are working in the open field, sowing aster in the fall, the soil can not be moistened! Its night cooling will lead to the death of the seeds.
The air temperature, where the containers with the seedlings are located, should not fall below 15 degrees - it is optimal to keep it at the level of 18-20 degrees. In this case, the containers must be in the light, but not under direct rays, and also covered with glass or film, in which there are openings for ventilation - one should not allow condensation on the “lid” and high humidity to occur.
The glass is removed when shoots appear in containers: this usually occurs at the beginning of the 2nd week. Watering, carried out by spraying, at this stage is infrequent, the sand on the surface can be dry - aster will take its moisture from the lower layers of the earth. Therefore, an approximate schedule of light soil moistening is 1 every 2-3 days. It is not necessary to moisten the seedlings in the open ground, as in the fall, the land is already significantly moist.
Asters: landing and care
- An aster picking in the open field and at home occurs when the seedlings form at least 3 leaves, and some gardeners wait for the 5th leaf to appear. After this, asters already need to be resettled, since they need more nutrients than before. At the same time, in cold regions in late spring, it is recommended to first harden the seedlings on the balcony for 1-2 weeks - this will allow asters to adapt to light frosts.
- If the planting was late, it is likely that at this stage not only a picking will be carried out, but also the transfer of seedlings to open ground: this usually happens in mid-May or closer to the beginning of June. Practicing gardeners advise not to delay this moment - seedlings should not stretch more than 7 cm, so as not to have a negative impact on the abundance of flowering.
- In the selected area, the land is required to be fed by injecting mineral fertilizer into it. The composition of the soil is desirable to have the same that was selected for seedlings, i.e. mix peat, sand and ash in the hole with garden soil. The plants are deepened so that the compound of the root and the stem goes down to the soil by 1-1.5 cm, and the area near the stem is carefully pressed by the hands, trampling down.
- The area where asters will grow should be constantly well lit, rare shading is allowed. It is recommended to divide it into several tracks, between which a distance of 10-30 cm is kept, depending on which varieties are planted here. Low-growing can be placed quite tight, tall need more space. Basically, asters are planted not in a flower bed or in a flower garden, but along the paths, as a kind of living curb or lawn fence.
- The last important point in the care of asters is watering, which is rarely done (1-2 times a week), but abundantly, and the earth after that will surely loosen. In summer, when the buds are tied, watering once is combined with liquid mineral fertilizer, where potassium and superphosphate predominate. You need to repeat the procedure at the very beginning of flowering.
One-year aster varieties: photo and features
Annual asters are grown from seed through seedlings, since the moment of emergence is necessary to accelerate, as well as to ensure maximum germination of the seeds purchased. At the same time they are sown often in 2 stages: first in April, then at the end of May, in order to get a long bloom. Annuals to frosts are quite stable, withstand low temperatures of up to -7 degrees, in addition, tolerate drought well. Among the varieties of annual asters, gardeners deserve the special love of the following:
"Isadora" and "Harlequin", with white petals, with flowers with a diameter of 13-15 cm. Bushes stretched to 55 cm, can have up to 20-25 inflorescences. Flowering lasts 2 months, the variety is great for cutting.
"Alice" is a flower with sharp cranberry petals, inflorescences on a bush no more than 15 pcs., Each flower has a diameter of 14 cm. Flowering lasts 1.5 months, the variety tolerates drought and cold.
"Bazhena" is a tall shrub (90 cm); in the photo, aster flowers of this variety have a certain similarity with peony flowers, but with narrow and short petals. The color is uneven, from the middle white-pink, to the ends darken. Inflorescences are small, up to 7 cm in diameter, there are 35-40 of them on a bush. Flowering lasts a little less than 2 months.
The "Blue Lagoon" fully corresponds to its name - the petals of this variety have a sky-blue tint, not typical for asters, the inflorescences also look like peony blossoms, also small (6-7 cm), but there are only 10-12 pieces on the bush.
The “prima donna” is a mix-sort, since there can be found both white and blue-violet petals. The average height of the bushes (50-60 cm) is strewn with flowers not thickly (up to 10 pcs.), They bloom for 2 months, for a long time they remain attractive in cutting.
If you grow perennial asters from seeds, their “place of residence” needs to be changed annually in order not to increase the likelihood of root diseases. In addition, they can provoke and planting a flower on a plot where gladioli or tulips have previously grown, as they are subject to the same diseases. But the soil after the marigolds, on the contrary, will improve the condition of the asters.