Useful information

Snakehead: cultivation and varieties

In addition to the wonderful useful properties (Cm. Moldavian snakehead - Turkish lemon balm), the snakehead is very decorative - it has a long flowering period, compact, not falling apart bushes. In addition, it is an annual that blooms in the year of sowing. Therefore, it can be placed on a rabatka, in a mixborder, or created in combination, for example, with marigolds or nasturtium border along the path. In addition, it can be temporarily placed in place of perennials that have fallen out during the winter until you figure out how to replace them by autumn. Nice and useful. And, of course, he is a must-have candidate for a fragrant flower bed or a fragrant garden.

Growing a snakehead in a personal plot

Moldavian snakehead (Dracocephalum moldavicum)

It is not difficult to grow a snakehead on your garden plot. The plant prefers fertile soils of medium texture, not contaminated with perennial weeds such as wheatgrass, dandelion, and sow thistle.

The plant is relatively cold-resistant, can tolerate short-term light frosts, but prolonged cooling during the germination period with an abundance of precipitation causes plants to rot and die. The snakehead is photophilous, prefers areas illuminated by the sun. If you grow the snakehead in the shade, then its aroma will be significantly lower than in the sun. The plant requires a lot of moisture in the initial period of growth, but tolerates drought during the period of full bloom. However, with a lack of moisture in late June and early July, during the period of intensive growth, a strong decrease in the yield of the aboveground mass is observed.

The garden bed is dug up in the fall and at the same time 15-20 g of superphosphate and 12-15 g of potassium salt are added per square meter, when digging in the spring, an additional 10-15 g of nitrogen fertilizers are added.

The seeds of the snakehead are small, they do not need any pre-sowing preparation.

In no case should you soak the seeds of the snakehead in order to accelerate the emergence of shoots. When it gets into the water, the mucus on their surface swells and they turn into slippery balls, which, upon further drying, knock into a dense mass that is no longer possible to sow.

Snakehead moldavian

The snakehead is sown in the first decade of May to a depth of 1-2 cm. It is better to shed the grooves with water before sowing. The distance between the rows is 45-50 cm. Shoots appear in 10 or 15 days, depending on the weather. Please note that there is no crust on the garden bed, otherwise you may not wait for the shoots.

For the first month and a half, the snakehead grows very slowly: timely weeding and loosening are necessary. But then he develops quickly, and the weeds are no longer afraid of him. The plant is not demanding on moisture, however, two or three abundant watering in dry summers will increase the yield and quality of the grass.

Two and a half months after the emergence of shoots, the snakehead blooms. The seeds ripen unevenly. Ripen well after harvesting during the drying process. The central inflorescence is cut off when the last flowers have bloomed on it, laid out on paper or tarpaulin in a well-ventilated area, and then threshed. Seeds remain viable for up to 5 years.

The snakehead can be affected by both pests and diseases. Their "assortment" for each growing zone is different. When sowing too early in unheated soil, as well as during prolonged cold spring, it is affected by root rot. In the phase of cotyledons and the first pair of true leaves, in hot and dry weather, it is damaged by fleas and leafhoppers. Considering that it is used for teas and as a medicine, it is better not to get carried away with chemistry, but to do with something softer, for example, sprinkle plants with tobacco or pour tansy infusion. This is usually enough. But, given that there is still about 2 months before harvesting, you can also apply some kind of insecticide with a short waiting period.

Snakehead varieties

Snakehead moldavian

In 2002 g.two varieties of vegetable snakehead - Gorgona and Gorynych - are included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements Permitted for Use. The varieties are approved for use in all regions of crop cultivation for garden plots, home gardens and small farms. It is recommended to use leaves and shoots (in the budding phase) fresh and dried as a seasoning for vegetable dishes, as a flavoring for canning cucumbers and tomatoes.

Gorynych. Has a pleasant lemon scent. Stem erect, branched, 70-120 cm high. Leaves are opposite, oblong-lanceolate, dark green. The flowers are dark purple, collected in a racemose inflorescence. A wonderful honey plant. Gorynych is mid-season, it is ready for harvesting 10 days later than the Gorgon variety.

Gorgon. Shrub up to 70 cm high with a pronounced anthocyanin (purple) color of leaves and stems. The flowers are blue-violet. The Gorgon attracts by its early ripeness, from full germination to flowering takes 50 days, until the seeds ripen - 100 days.

Two more varieties, in general, similar to the previous ones - Arhat and Egoist.

Albion - a relatively new variety, entered in the State Register in 2008. 50-60 cm in height, characterized by white flowers.

In Moldova, 2 varieties of snakehead were declared - Aroma 1 and Aroma 2. They were mainly considered as varieties for technical purposes - for obtaining essential oil.

Aroma 1 differs from the initial population in greater tallness, a large number of inflorescences on the plant. The variety has blue flowers. The essential oil content is 0.184%. In the oil, the main amount falls on citral (50.4%).

Aroma 2 has white flowers, and an essential oil with a slightly different shade. It is promising for use in the perfume industry.