In any summer cottage area, in addition to fruit crops and ornamental (for example, flowers), there are so-called auxiliary plants, whose role is to enrich the soil, prevent the appearance of pests, etc. All these plants make up an extensive group of siderats, among which phacelia is listed, which is capable, in addition to a purely functional orientation, to exist as an attractive, if not too spectacular, flower.
How and when to sow phacelia as a siderat?
The most important advantage of this group of plants and phacelia in particular is that it can be sown at almost any time of the year, although autumn and spring are most preferred. This is due to several points: first, with sideratami usually there is no waiting period for their flowering or enhanced growth, they should just be on the site; secondly, all of them are highly resistant to cold and other weather conditions, as a result of which they will not die even under snow. But if you want the green manure to increase the green mass by the beginning of the summer season, it is recommended to sow it in the middle of autumn: before winter it will hatch and strengthen, partially stretch the plot, and in the spring, after wintering, wake up first and continue to grow. Such a move is considered successful when a specific green manure is sown to prevent the appearance of weeds on the selected area. Phaselia for this purpose can also be used.
And yet, when to sow phacelia as siderat best? Everything is quite simple with it - if necessary, you can even sow phacelia after the site has been populated with main crops: the growth rate of the grass is very high, after 1.5-2 months. its bunches already reach the maximum height, and buds of inflorescences appear on tops. The classic term for planting phacelia is the beginning of October or the end of March, as soon as the ground can be loosened before the initial sowing. The most important feature of this culture is that it can coexist absolutely with any plant, without at all disrupting its development or provoking the appearance of any diseases, which often becomes the reason for choosing a particular site for a particular shrub. Phacelia is completely universal, but from the point of view of its benefits, it is most relevant for crucifers.
Per 1 sq.m. about 7-10 g of seeds are usually sown, in the fall - up to 14 g, distributing them over the loosened or dug earth, without intentionally deepening them. If necessary, you can sprinkle the sand on top, but usually the soil is simply loosened again, and thus the seeds of phacelia independently penetrate the soil, settling there and starting their development. After 7-8 days, shoots appear, in dry weather this can happen on the 10-11 day. Flowering begins at 35-40 days, lasts about a month, during which time to go through all the phases and fade. At the end of it, the plants stump the stems, because, like all siderats, phacelia begins to fully function only after the elimination of its tops, which, decomposing, supply the soil with a huge amount of nutrients comparable only with the introduction of a large amount of manure. If necessary, the earlier cutting of the stems is allowed if you do not plan to use phacelia as a honey plant.
Phacelia is not only a great siderat, but also a source of honey, as a result of which bees will circle the bushes for a whole month, which lasts flowering plants. Therefore, if you do not want frequent contact with these insects, it is advisable to sow phacelia in or near cereals, which until the fall will stand without your participation, or between flowers in flowerbeds, where in any case humming insects will appear. Or, if phacelia is grown only as siderat, it will have to be mown before the flowering enters the active phase, i.e. in 1-1,5 weeks from the moment of its beginning. For this purpose, deep (8-10 cm) grooves are created along the beds, where the cut stalks of phacelia are laid and sprinkled with earth. However, as the comments on specialized forums show, it is possible not to cover the tops of phacelia - in the open form, it will decompose not worse, although it will be a little slower.
Honey plant pharelia: beneficial properties siderata
The main reason why gardeners grow phacelia is the proportion of nutrients with which it fills the soil at the time of its growth, and which increases after the mowed tops begin to decompose in the ground. With its average yield of 20 tons per 1 hundred square meters, phacelia gives the same result in a given area as the corresponding amount of humus. And if you make a calculation, based on the value of seeds of phacelia and the value of humus, it can be argued that fertilizing the soil through this green manure is a much more profitable undertaking.
- First, it enriches the substrate with potassium, which is contained in its leaves, and the chemical micro and macro elements released from phacelia at the time of their overheating are in a more easily digestible form than those obtained from any chemical fertilizer intended for for feeding.
- Secondly, due to the spreading of bushes that grow in any weather, phacelia allows to protect low plants (up to 50 cm) from wind blowing (why it is sown in open areas), as well as from stagnation of water, because its excess of phacelia immediately picks up the moisture and does not reach the deep layers.
- Thirdly, phacelia is incredibly resistant not only to cold, but also to almost any parasites and diseases. For this reason, it is used as a warming material (mulch) and phytosanitary agent. It is proved that the plant contributes to enhanced protection of potatoes, allowing you to save up to 95% of the crop, and also prevents the lodging of beans and peas. Some gardeners confirm that phacelia can save the land even from the emergence and development of nematode larvae.
- Fourthly, even the roots of this siderat are considered useful: being pivotal, they penetrate into the deeper layers, and in the process of their growth they loosen the earth, as a result of which the air conduction and water exchange are improved. For this reason, phacelia is often recommended to be sown on dense soils in order to contribute to their additional relief.
- Fifth, phacelia is valuable as a honey plant, moreover, even as a kind of “transmitter” of this function: if you plant several bushes next to the fruit crop, the bees will fly to the latter much more often, and pollinate the flowers of the same cucumbers, tomatoes or Peppers it will be easier due to the presence of phacelia next.
Siderets phacelia: reviews agronomists
Despite the fact that siderats such as sweet clover, lupine and white mustard are more common at the hearing, from the entire large group of these plants, phacelia is most in demand because of its versatility, unpretentiousness and a high percentage of nitrogen compounds in its chemical composition. In the reviews and comments left on specialized sites of agronomists, one can find not only odes of gratitude to the plant, but also interesting nuances on its use or cultivation.
- Ruslana: We have been sowing Phaselia as a siderat for 4 years already, and we spent only 1 time on seeds, and, in fact, we have been thinking about buying them for a long time - about 200 rubles are asked for 1 kg now. But, as it turned out, this one-time investment paid for itself - the next spring we just sowed a plot of 80 * 80 only with phacelia, in the middle of summer we collected seeds from it, which were enough for all 5 acres of the vegetable garden. Now we are constantly doing this. Most of all, phacelia struck me with its action on the Chinese cabbage beds: we did not have time to wait until the heads matured, as they died almost completely. After the initial seeding, phacelia managed to harvest almost all the beds, which no one expected.
- Anna: At my site, I sow phacelia in the zone of trees and bushes: which year the harvest from apples and cherries allows me not only to freeze them with a freezer, but also to sell some of the harvested berries. And all because of the presence of 4-5 phacelia bushes planted between the trees - the bees seem to adore her. And before it seemed to me that in this scanty land within the city limits, nothing much could be grown.
- Lydia: My father-in-law told me about siderats when they bought a cottage: he advised me to plant phacelia for the winter, and then in the spring to duplicate the sowing on the same bed. A few weeks later, we also moved the potatoes there, and in the fall I was very surprised when I did not have to throw away half the tubers: there were no pest lesions at all. I saw such a crop only when growing on chemicals.
It is quite possible, not for nothing that it is considered that the best siderat is phacelia. When to sow it, what conditions to create - these questions practically do not emerge even among novice gardeners, because the plant is not at all capricious, and has a high degree of germination. If it is not in conflict, it will find a place on any site, and you will be pleasantly surprised in the fall when harvesting.