Read the previous part. ← Drought-resistant fruit trees and shrubs
So, first things first: it is better to plant new plants in spring or autumn, it is during this period that a sufficient amount of rain falls, and the plants can easily take root and take root in a new place.
When planting plants in such conditions, it is necessary to dig a hole deeper than usual, and be sure to add leaf humus or garden compost, which improve the structure and composition of the soil and retain moisture at the roots for a longer time.
It is even better to use special moisture-retaining granules or gel, which are abundantly saturated with water during irrigation, and then this water is gradually given to the roots. Such means of "help" should be mixed with soil when planting or transplanting plants. They are especially important for plants that grown in containers, since they allow them to more quickly adapt to open ground.
You should also use mulch on curbs, around shrubs and trees, and on top of pots and baskets of plants. Mulch should be laid out in the spring after warm weather sets in, and the earth warms up and is saturated with moisture. Shredded bark, sawdust, shavings, pine needles, gravel, garden compost or common synthetic material can also be used as mulch materials.
Mulch selection depends on the type of plant (for example, bark, sawdust and needles acidify the soil and therefore are great for rhododendrons). Mulch allows moisture to enter the soil during rain or watering, but makes it difficult for it to evaporate and, importantly, inhibits weed growth.
Weeds must be removed in a timely manner. It is easiest to carry out this operation in the spring, when they are just showing up from the ground. It is better to plant the plants more densely, leaving only the space necessary for the development of roots, which will reduce the evaporation of moisture and prevent the soil from drying out.
Everyone knows that when there is a lack of moisture in the soil, the development of plants stops, and the first sign of dehydration is sluggish leaves or buds. If you do not make up for the loss of moisture at this stage, then the leaves and buds will begin to turn yellow, dry and eventually fall off, which may well lead to the death of the entire plant. The ideal time for regular scheduled watering is a calm late evening when the heat leaves, and the power takes on a cool night.
Of course, let's say watering in the early morning, but amateur gardeners who stay up late in their plots rarely get up so early. It is highly advisable to use sprinklers for daily watering of young crops of grass or freshly laid turf. There is one trick - put a glass container in the spray area and watch - when the water level in it reaches 13 mm - finish watering.
First, it should be noted that for the normal development of a strong and deep root system that can support the plant in the harshest weather conditions, it is necessary that the water penetrates to a depth of at least 60 centimeters. If you have the ability to use sprinkler systems, invest in a modern drip or jet system instead of a traditional sprinkler. Thanks to such a system, the water gets exactly as intended to the roots of the plant and is absorbed to the last drop, without being wasted on watering neighboring weeds.
Before watering, be sure to loosen the soil around the plant and make a small hole so that it is in the middle of the depression. And then all the water after irrigation will remain in this hole and, as it is absorbed, will get to the roots of the plant, and will not spread over the dry soil. And one more little secret concerning the soil - if possible, try not to disturb it once again, because any loosening contributes to additional evaporation of moisture. If you water from a watering can, then it is better to remove the shower head from it and water the plants to the very root, then all the water will fall as intended, and not spread around.
Find an opportunity to use "recycled" water - the one left over from washing, cleaning, washing dishes ... it is suitable for watering ornamental plants, trees and shrubs. For irrigation, do not use only water with residues of bleach, bleach, disinfectants and other strong chemicals. It is advisable to have special barrels in the garden for collecting rainwater. These barrels are connected directly to the pipe, which receives water from the grooves located along the perimeter of the roof of the house. For greater convenience, the barrels can be installed on an elevation so that you can substitute a watering can under the opening tap or connect a hose to it.
So, we got acquainted with the basic techniques that allow plants to survive in extreme conditions.
Among amateur gardeners, and also professionals, there is an active debate about the prospects for using drought-resistant plants in gardening, landscaping cities and summer cottages. I can say unequivocally: this is not only promising and profitable, but also vital, especially in the green areas of large cities, where it is sometimes very difficult to establish stable watering.
What are the best seedlings to buy, because the future harvest directly depends on the quality of the planting material? First of all, it is necessary to firmly remember that the younger the seedling, the more confidently it takes root and adapts to new soil conditions. For example, a two-year-old seedling takes root much faster than a three-year-old, and a one-year-old even easier.
It is best to buy seedlings of various crops in specialized nurseries, because there the planting material is leveled and pure-bred. Some gardeners, mostly amateurs, choose seedlings according to their strength of growth, not paying attention to the main and main part - the root system. But the main attention should be paid to the condition of the roots: the more completely the roots are preserved after excavation, the faster and less painful it will take root.
It is very important that the roots are not dry, but moist, lively and have not only main, but also adventitious roots. Beware of private sellers who usually have “all grades”. This is unlikely, but it is quite possible to run into a wild seedling. After you have carefully studied the root system, turn your gaze to the crown. If there are leaves on the seedling during the autumn purchase, then they must be carefully removed, trying not to damage the buds. The bark of the seedling should also be examined. If it is wrinkled, it means that it was dug up a long time ago and has already dried out, and it is highly likely that it may not take root.
A full-fledged seedling of such common crops as apple, pear, plum, cherry should have a clearly defined conductor, 3-5 skeletal branches, directed evenly in different directions.
The slope of the branches to the trunk should be close to 90o, maybe less, but not less than 45o. Usually, a one-year-old seedling reaches a height of about one meter, and a two-year-old one and a half. Buds at the tops of one-year-olds and branches of two-year-olds should be well-formed, large and intact. Similar requirements should be imposed on seedlings of berry and ornamental shrubs: currants, for example, should have well-developed filamentous fibrous roots, and the aerial part should have 1-3 shoots.
I also want to give advice to gardeners who are planning to collect a collection of different varieties of crops. Having bought a seedling, immediately attach a label on it, on which write the name of the variety with a glass-printing device, otherwise it will be rather difficult to distinguish them from each other over time. Very many farms are now engaged in the production of seedlings of such crops: both research and production at institutes, and private, where planting material is sometimes even better.
The selection of fruit, berry and ornamental plants for drought resistance is also underway, and this is a rather difficult work, since there are still quite a lot of insufficiently studied points here. For example, I can recommend to gardeners well-known drought-resistant varieties of plums and cherry plums - Date, Monforskaya, Green Renklode, Shavkliavi, Vasilievskaya 41, Shabrani, Raisin Eric, Emma Leperman, Gayja arazi.
As for the choice of the newest drought-resistant varieties, there are also disadvantages: these varieties do not always correspond to the description, which means that in different climatic zones they can behave absolutely unpredictably. And here we can only hope for the honesty of sellers who can help make a choice, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the variety in specific conditions.
candidate of agricultural sciences,
department of berry crops GNU VNIIS them. I.V. Michurin,
member of the R&D Academy
Different tree species have different seed dormancy (the period of time from the moment of sowing seeds to the moment of their mass emergence). Distinguish between forced and deep rest periods. Seeds of species that have forced dormancy do not require special preparation for sowing (for example, seeds of birch, oak, elm, spruce, pine, white and yellow acacia, etc.). For seeds with deep dormancy during spring planting, such preparation is mandatory, otherwise they will not germinate (these are hornbeam, linden, ash, euonymus, dog rose, maples, mountain ash, hawthorn, cotoneaster, snowberry, most stone fruit and fruit plants, etc.).
The main types of seed preparation for sowing include: stratification, scarification, scalding with boiling water, water treatment with a contrasting temperature, snowing, soaking, special treatment (with chemical reagents and radioactive radiation).
Stratification - placing the seeds for a while (from 1 to 8 months, depending on the breed) in a humid cold environment before pecking, after which they are planted from the substrate. Seeds are often stratified in washed wet coarse sand (or in a mixture of sand with peat chips in a ratio of 1.5: 1). To accelerate the stratification, the seeds are pre-soaked in water for several days, changing the water daily (the period of soaking depends on the breed: usually for 3-5 days, and the hardest ones, for example, rose hips, for 10 days).
By amateur gardeners at home, seed stratification is most often carried out as follows: a layer of wet sand (or the above mixture) is poured onto the bottom of the pot, on which a layer of seeds is laid, a new layer of sand on them, and so on, until the pot is filled. Then it is watered from above, the pot is placed in a plastic bag and placed in a cold place with a temperature of 0 ... + 5 degrees (in the basement, in the refrigerator). During the entire period of stratification, the pecking of seeds is monitored (they are checked once every two weeks) and the moisture of the sand is maintained.
Scarification - mechanical damage to the hard shell of seeds to accelerate their swelling by carefully sawing, splitting, scratching, grinding with sand.
Scalding with boiling water means heat treatment of seeds (white acacia, gleditsia, Japanese Sophora, etc.) with hot water. To do this, the seeds are placed in a container, filled with hot water (80-90 degrees) and left in it to swell for a day. The volume of hot water is usually twice the volume of the seeds.
Seed treatment with water of contrasting temperature is carried out as follows: the seeds are put in a bag, two large containers of water (hot and cold) are placed next to each other. The bag of seeds is alternately lowered (for about half a minute) into hot and cold water, each time allowing the bulk of the water to drain from the bag after it is removed from the container. The procedure is carried out for 10-15 minutes, and then a bag of seeds is placed in a small amount of fresh hot water and left to swell for a day.
Snowing - burying a container with seeds in the snow 1-4 months before spring sowing (depending on the breed), or laying out gauze (nylon) bags with seeds in a snow pile to increase seed germination energy. To prevent the snow from melting from above, it is covered (with boards, straw, burlap, etc.).
Soaking the seeds before spring sowing, the seeds are placed in a bag and immersed in water to soften the shell and swell their embryo. Soaking of seeds is carried out at room temperature (not lower than 18-20 degrees), the water is changed daily. The time of soaking the seeds depends on the breed (for pine and spruce - 12 hours of larch - 12-24 hours of elm, elm, birch bark - 3-4 hours of mulberry, sea buckthorn, birch, green ash - 2-3 days of walnut, chestnut, sycamore ( in warm water) -3-5 days).
Presowing treatment of seeds with aqueous solutions of microelements for 10-12 hours increases their germination. Accelerates seed germination by using growth stimulants in the process of soaking. Good results are obtained by a half-hour soaking of coniferous seeds in a 0.25% solution of potassium permanganate (2.5 g of potassium permanganate per liter of water).
Potassium permanganate in the process of seed reproduction of plants plays a double role: both a growth stimulator and a seed disinfectant. To prevent damage to seeds by fungi and bacteria that settle on the shell (they interfere with seed germination and cause seedling diseases), it is advisable to pickle the seeds before sowing. Amateur gardeners most often use potassium permanganate for dressing seeds of tree species: dry seeds are kept in its 0.5% solution for 2 hours, stratified - in its 0.2% solution for 10-20 minutes.
Seeds of breeds requiring a long period of stratification are usually sown in open ground in the fall, they sprout earlier and more amicably than with spring sowing, and develop better in the future.
In winter, birch seeds can be sown in the snow.
Early spring sowing of seeds in open ground is carried out for breeds that are not afraid of frost. The seeds of cold-sensitive breeds are sown later, after the end of the spring frost, in well-warmed soil.
In the summer, immediately after harvesting, seeds of breeds are sown that ripen early and quickly lose their germination (seeds of elm, silver maple, white mulberry, tartar honeysuckle, yellow acacia, gold currant, stone fruit, etc.).
It is advisable to sow the seeds of tree species at once sparsely, so that then the seedlings do not have to thin out dense weak shoots will oppress each other. The planting depth of seeds depends on seed size, breed, planting time and soil characteristics. Very small seeds (alder, willow, birch, etc.) are sown on the surface of the soil without embedding, only lightly sprinkling on top with humus, peat chips or earth.
Seeds of conifers (pine, spruce, larch, western thuja, etc.) are sealed to a depth of 1.5-2 cm seeds of acacia, pear, apple, privet, viburnum, skumpia, rose hips - 2-3 cm large seeds (oak, chestnut horse, nut) - to a depth of 10 cm.In soils of light texture, the seeds are embedded a little deeper than in heavy soils with autumn crops - deeper than in spring in dry conditions - deeper than in wet ones when using a shelter - smaller than without shelter.
When planting tree seeds in a closed ground (at home, in greenhouses and greenhouses - where the temperature, air and soil humidity is higher), the germination of seeds increases, and the size of developing seedlings exceeds similar "street" ones by 2-3 times.
In the spring, you need to start in April, when the first leaves begin to appear, you can start feeding.For such feeding, use nitrogen-containing mixtures, for example: urea, humus, ammonium nitrate. They need to be brought into the tree trunk circle. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers activate the vegetation process in plants. It is very convenient to apply fertilizers to the soil when it is loosening or digging.
In a container culture, large-leaved hydrangeas, euonymus, spireas, roses, clematis, maples and even apple trees can be grown!
A container with flowering and deciduous shrubs and small trees is a great way to decorate your garden, add a southern touch to it and, of course, make it unique.
It is known that pests and diseases do not pose a threat to jatrophs due to the insecticidal and toxic properties of all parts of the plant.
Diseases such as root rot, leaf blight can be controlled with a combination of cultivation methods (eg avoiding wetlands) and fungicides.
The seed cake cannot be used in animal feed due to its toxic properties, but it is valuable as organic manure due to its nitrogen content similar to that of castor oil seed cake and chicken droppings.