Asters, resembling stars, are found in almost every garden. They delight the eye mostly closer to the fall, when the bulk of flowers already fade. Asters also decorate flowerbeds and home vases until they get cold. Caring for them is not particularly complex. Every gardener should know when and how to plant asters on seedlings.
When to plant asters on seedlings?
The term chosen by florist for sowing asters depends on a whole list of factors. Among them, the flowering period, and the general climate, and growing conditions. Annual varieties, which are usually preferred in the middle lane, can be grown both in the greenhouse and in the apartment on the windowsill. The main thing is not to plant the seeds immediately in open ground. Perennials are more frost resistant. Among them there are even those that are able to re-bloom after frost.
With a short day of light and late arrival of heat sowing is carried out closer to April. But early spring or the opportunity to give seedlings artificial light contribute to working with seeds in early March. If, however, seeding occurs in the ground, there is no sense to produce it earlier. But, again, each group of varieties has its own schedule.
In particular, autumn ones are sown in the last decade of March or early April. Those that should please with flowering in early summer, at the very end of February are sent to a warm box. In addition, flower growers are often checked against the lunar calendar, re-compiled for each year. Gardeners are guided by the growing moon. The closer the period is to the full moon, the higher the chance that the plant will stretch weakly.
Aster seedlings: cultivation
Why is planting through seedlings a priority? Growing in a greenhouse or on the windowsill gives you the opportunity to move the flowering dates to earlier dates. Preparation for work with asters is made at the very end of February, and begins with the soaking of seeds. To do this, use any solution that accelerates the development of the root system. From special store tools to simple potassium permanganate.
It will take about 4-5 weeks for seedlings to prepare for transfer to open ground.
The first 7 days are especially important. First, containers filled with soil are selected. It is possible to use a universal substrate for seedlings already prepared by the manufacturer, or you can do it yourself. Mix sod, peat and sand, keeping between them a ratio of 3: 1: 1. It is important that the soil is loose and have enough nutrients.
Small seeds are necessarily connected with a small amount of sand and spill onto the ground randomly. From above they should be covered with earth, the layer thickness of which will not exceed 5 mm. The soil is moistened, the container is removed to any place where the temperature corridor is kept at 14-16 ° C. Experts recommend that before this even walk on the substrate with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Then the container is covered with glass or tightened with a thin film. Condensate formed under them will have to shake off daily.
Seedlings require constant watering. It is produced by abundant spraying. Spray water is prohibited. It will erode the soil, eventually displacing crops or eliminating them from the soil. Florists advise at least once in these 7 days to walk on the seedlings with a fungicide: it prevents the formation of a fungus and is aimed at still fragile seedlings.
How and where to plant asters grown from seedlings of seedlings?
Initially, seeds are laid out in small plastic yoghurt packages, or in one large plastic container. After 1-2 weeks, you usually have to pick the seedlings. For this, more containers are required. For example, disposable cups of 500 gr. What is important to do is create some holes at the bottom. This will allow and to establish air exchange, and to eliminate excess water, if it is. Let asters are rather moisture-loving, they will not tolerate excess.
Smaller seedlings will spend weeks 3 in them. If there are several copies in the same pot, it is required to keep a distance of 5-7 cm between them. It makes no sense to cover them with glass or film. The seedlings themselves move closer to the light.
After picking, regardless of the location of the seedlings, they will also have to be watered daily. Moreover, asters like this procedure to be done in the morning. In the open ground they can be transferred no earlier than May. Before this date there are 2 options. Or send to the greenhouse, if it is possible to maintain a certain temperature. Or create a special small greenhouse.
As soon as the average temperature is set at 8-10 ° C, a place is chosen for it. The bed with dimensions of 1 to 3 m. Is optimal. The soil in a special way is not required. To create the construction, ordinary aluminum arcs are needed, the number of which is calculated as N + 1. N - the length of the beds in meters. That is, at 3 m. 4 arcs are taken, and at 2 m. - 3 pcs. Their location is mandatory in the extreme points of the greenhouse and on each new meter.
From above the design is tightened with a film. The width is calculated from taking into account the length of the arc itself + 20 cm on both sides. The length is based on the length of the bed, to which 1.5 m is added. The film is pressed everywhere with bricks.
In such a greenhouse you can land asters with the purpose of hardening them in April. The film begins to gradually open up. The duration of such procedures should begin from 15-20 minutes, reaching a whole day.
The most attractive varieties of asters: photo and care
In general, the existing and suitable middle lane varieties of asters are easily divided into 4 large groups. They are united in terms of their flowering. In each of the categories there are especially interesting specimens.
- Alpine Astra is included in the first group, before all other flowers delighting summer residents with its small flowers like chamomile. The main range of inflorescences is blue-lilac. Even in the form of seedlings, the variety is not afraid of frost, so it can immediately land in a greenhouse. The soil of Astra requires loamy, the place is sunny. The flowering period - from the end of May. Given the fact that it is a perennial, in the first year of a large number of flowers will not.
- Novobelgic Asters are the beauties of September, allowing you to admire them until the very end of autumn. Baskets of inflorescences are not too large, but their density on the bush is higher. In addition, the degree of terry varies. For example, Porcellan has stunning lavender flowers, lush and large, and the bush is just under 90 cm. PatriciaBallard has a rich pink tint.
Remember that the vegetative period of seedlings of asters is about 3 months. Therefore, it may be necessary to hurry with some early varieties. Knowing this, working with asters seeds will not cause you questions. It is possible that next summer several new beautiful bushes will appear in the garden.