Patisson is a popular plant of the pumpkin family, which has an original fruit shape. Patissons of various colors in their fruits can look like a disc or a plate, resemble a rosette or an umbrella, often with a convex middle and a wavy edge.
Seed and soil preparation
Growing squash in seedlings is a guarantee of obtaining an early harvest of fruits in climatic zones with a short summer. But it is quite problematic to grow squash seedlings on the window, since it quickly stretches out. In addition, in rooms with dry air, it is often damaged by aphids and spider mites.
It is possible to grow good seedlings of squash only in greenhouses, a greenhouse or under temporary film shelters. The latter is when grooves are dug, fresh manure is laid in them and covered with earth from above. When manure decomposes, heat is released, due to this heat and squash grow more comfortably.
Like all pumpkin crops, squash does not tolerate transplanting well, so it is better to grow seedlings in pots 8x8 or 10x10 cm in size.
The timing of sowing squash seeds depends on the growing area, weather conditions and the type of insulated soil. When using insulated soil or film shelters, the sowing time can be shifted 2-3 weeks earlier.
Seeds of squash do not lose their germination for 6-7 years, but the most suitable for sowing seeds are 2-3 years old. Before sowing, they must be examined and tested for germination. Selected seeds must be warmed up in the sun for several days. This technique also disinfects seeds very well.
Dry fresh seeds of squash are heated for 3 hours at a temperature of 50-60 ° C, or 24 hours at a temperature of 40 ° C, or warmed up in the sun for several days. Such seeds give quick shoots, the plants subsequently form many female flowers.
A good result is obtained by heating the seeds in hot water at a temperature of 48-50 degrees (in a thermos) for 2-3 hours. For disinfection, they are often treated in a solution of potassium permanganate for 20 minutes, followed by rinsing in cold water, and to obtain friendly shoots, they must be treated in a solution of trace elements.
All these procedures accelerate the emergence of seedlings and enhance the initial growth of the plant, which improves the resistance of squash to diseases and pests and reduces the likelihood of damage to young plants.
The safest way to prepare seeds for sowing is to use growth stimulants, which are now in abundance. To do this, use "Potassium humate" or "Sodium humate", "Planta" and "Fitosporin", "Epin", "Zircon", "Immunocytofit", "Crystallin", "Bud", etc. All these preparations simplify the very process of preparing zucchini seeds for sowing and make it more effective.
Then the seeds disinfected and treated with growth stimulants are wrapped in a damp cloth, placed in a plastic bag and placed in a warm place, airing the bag 2-3 times a day. In this case, care must be taken that the fabric is constantly wet, but without excess water.
Hardening of seeds is very effective. To do this, the seeds are placed for 2-3 days in the lower compartment of the refrigerator or quenched with variable temperatures: they are kept at room temperature for 8-10 hours, and then 15-16 hours in the lower compartment of the refrigerator.
It is very important to find the right potting mix. A soil mixture consisting of turf soil - 3 hours, decomposed peat - 3 hours, manure humus - 3 hours, semi-rotted sawdust or river sand - 1 hour is well suited. Add the mixture to a bucket. 1 glass of ash, 1 tbsp. a spoonful of superphosphate, 1 teaspoon of urea, and mix everything thoroughly.
A good result is obtained by a mixture composed of 4 parts of low-lying peat and 1 part of mullein, diluted in half with water. This substrate must be neutralized with wood ash (30-50 g per bucket of mixture).
An excellent and inexpensive soil can be obtained by mixing 2 tsp.ready-made and inexpensive soil "Gardener" (for cucumbers), 2 hours of stale sawdust, 1 hour of vermicompost.
To get strong seedlings of squash, it is advisable to add 1-2 handfuls of Agrovit-bark, Piksy, Biud-soil-2 (pumpkin) to any of the soil mixtures prepared by you, 1 liter can of vermicompost or 1 matchbox urea, two matchboxes of superphosphate and 1.5 matchboxes of potassium sulfate. The calculation of mineral fertilizers is given for 1 bucket of substrate.
Then the nutritious mixture prepared from "home-made" components should be poured with a warm solution of potassium permanganate to fight the black leg.
Growing seedlings of squash
The duration of growing squash seedlings, depending on the terms and conditions, is 15-30 days. Seedlings are grown more often in peat pots (10 cm in diameter) or cubes with a side of 10x10 cm, because the plants do not tolerate transplanting quite well and get sick for a long time.
To grow seedlings at the beginning of the third decade of April, the seeds are pre-soaked and planted in 2 pieces in a pot, pushing them apart. The seeds are laid flat, covered with a nutrient mixture and slightly compacted. Subsequently, when one plant becomes superfluous, it must be cut off from the ground, but in no case pulled out.
Sometimes they grow seedlings of squash with a dive in boxes filled with scalded sawdust. The surface is leveled and after 4-5 cm grooves are made, the bottom of which is sprinkled with humus with a layer of 0.5-1 cm.The prepared seeds are placed 2.5-3 cm apart and sprinkled with sawdust with a layer of 1-1.5 cm.Then they are compacted and watered with a weak solution of macro- and microelements.
Until the emergence of shoots, the pots are kept in a warm place, covered with foil. But as soon as shoots appear, the pots must be installed on the lightest window. In the phase of cotyledonous leaves, seedlings dive into pots. The roots of the seedlings emerge very easily from the sawdust substrate and have almost no damage.
Care for seedlings of squash
The optimal temperature regime for growing squash seedlings: before the emergence of shoots + 18-24 degrees, after the emergence of shoots within 3-4 days - 15-18 ° C during the day, and at night -13-15 ° C. Then, before landing in the ground, the temperature must be maintained at + 17-22 ° C during the day, and at 13-17 ° C at night. In the future, on cloudy days, it should be + 18-20 ° С, on sunny days - 20-22 ° С warm, at night - 15-16 ° С warm.
Seedlings of squash are very demanding on lighting, with a lack of light, the plants quickly stretch out and shade each other. The illumination of the plants can be increased by installing a foil-covered cardboard screen next to the seedlings so that its front side is facing the sun, and the reflected light falls on the plants.
In a greenhouse, it is easier to create the necessary conditions for growing squash seedlings, especially if it is heated, at least on biofuel. But here, too, it is better to grow seedlings in pots.
Water the seedlings only with warm, settled water with a temperature of at least 25 degrees at the rate of 1 liter of water for 8 pots after 5 days. Excess and lack of moisture adversely affect the development of plants.
Watering the squash seedlings with cold water inhibits its active growth and can lead to diseases and plant death.
After 6-7 days after the emergence of seedlings, the seedlings should be fed, preferably with a mullein solution (1:10), and the second feeding should be carried out 3-4 days before planting the seedlings in open ground, preferably with a solution of chicken manure.
In the absence of organic matter, it can be replaced with liquid fertilizers ("Ideal", "Effect") or granules ("Kemira-universal", "Rost-2", "Solution", "Crystallin").
During the entire period of growing seedlings, regardless of the dressing of the plant, it is very desirable to spray the growth stimulator "Epin" every 10 days. After treatment with "Epin", the plants react less to unfavorable conditions, especially the lack of illumination inherent in city apartments.
Air humidity is of great importance, which we do not pay attention to when growing seedlings. Too dry air of the apartment oppresses the seedlings of squash. Therefore, its humidity must be raised by periodically placing a damp cloth rolled in several layers on the nearest radiator and reducing ventilation.
Patissons are very thermophilic, therefore, the seedlings must be hardened before planting in the ground. For this purpose, the seedlings are taken out onto the balcony, placed at the open window.
Dates of planting seedlings of squash in open ground
In open ground, seedlings of squash are planted at the age of 20-25 days. Before planting, the seedlings should have 2-3 true dark green leaves with a short squat stem, and the root system of young plants should tightly cover the entire volume of the cube, the roots should be white, intact. Lanky squash plants are obtained with a lack of lighting, since they have to reach up for the light.
Such seedlings will painlessly take root in the new conditions of open ground. More mature seedlings take root much worse.
In normal spring, seedlings are planted in beds under film shelters in early June, when the danger of frost has passed. Landing is carried out in the late afternoon or afternoon in cloudy calm weather.
The wells must first be shed with warm water. The plant is transplanted with a clod of earth, deepening about 12 cm so that the cotyledon leaves are at ground level. The soil around the roots must be well compacted - then there will be no voids, and water the plants again. To protect them from sunlight for several days, they must be shaded with grass, caps from dark plastic bottles, etc.
The bed must be immediately covered with a film stretched along wire arcs. After 20-25 days, the film cover can be removed, and in bad weather, leave it for the whole season.
Sowing the seeds of squash directly into open ground is done in the middle of the first decade of June, when the threat of frost has passed, and the soil at a depth of 8-10 cm warms up to + 13-14 ° С. Before sowing seeds, the soil should be watered abundantly with hot water and covered with a black film.
Such sowing is best done in 2-3 times with an interval of 3-4 days in order to reduce the likelihood of damage to all seedlings by frost. Immediately after sowing the seeds, the holes must be closed with a film, and after the emergence of seedlings, holes are cut in the film and the plants are released.
Based on materials from the newspaper "Ural Gardener"