Petunias are flowering plants that often decorate gardens, terraces, windows, loggias and balconies. They like flower growers because of the large number of varieties, colors and hybrids, which allows each person to make a unique floral arrangement. For successful cultivation of seedlings it is important to properly prepare the soil for petunias.
The flower is not particularly whimsical, however, if you want to bloom was lush, then you need to follow some basic rules. Not only should the soil for petunia be properly prepared, the success of cultivation also depends on the quality of the seeds purchased. Ultimately, after preparation, the ground should be loose, moisture-absorbing, light and nutritious. You can buy prepared soil for petunias or make it useful for seedlings on your own. About what kind of soil is better suited for petunias and how to make it suitable for seedlings, we will discuss in this article.
Features of soil composition
Type of soil suitable for seedlings of petunia, is determined by the Ferre triangle. Sand refers to large particles of soil. Thanks to him, the soil breathes. However, sand retains moisture poorly, while clay and silt particles do the opposite. According to the Ferret triangle, petunias grow well and develop in sandy-loamy, loamy and clay-sandy soil.
Organic composition of soil for petunias
The degree of fertility of the land is determined by its mineral and organic composition. In black soil about 10% of organic matter, while in low fertile soil - this figure does not reach even 3%.
What is organic? This is the presence of substances useful for plant growth. This number also includes microorganisms splitting mineral components into a form in which the plant is able to assimilate them.
Although it may seem to you that the earth is a substance within which nothing happens, but in fact two processes are continuously carried out in it: the accumulation of organic matter and the mineralization of the soil. This will explain the need for tilling the soil and the need to fertilize it.
Tip! If you decide to buy ready-made land, it is better to purchase several options from different manufacturers and mix it.
The fact is that the composition and quality of the soil is very different and one type of soil may not be suitable for petunia. Mixing different soils will allow you to get, ultimately, strong and lush blooming petunias.
What should be the acidity of the earth
Acidity (pH) is the content of hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution of soil. Soil can have:
- Sour medium with a pH level of less than 6.5. In such an environment, aluminum, manganese, boron, and iron are perfectly absorbed, while magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus are hardly absorbed.
- Neutral environment with a pH level of about 7. In such a soil, nutrients are absorbed evenly, such as macro and microelements.
- Alkaline environment with a pH level of more than 7.5. In such a land, useful elements are practically not absorbed.
As for petunia, neutral soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0 and slightly acidic with a pH of 5.5-6.5 is suitable for its cultivation. To measure the acidity or pH level you do not need to go to the lab. Buy a litmus test to determine the pH in a specialty store. To conduct the test, you will need to fill half a glass with earth, and fill it with water to the top. Then you should stir the composition and leave it for 20 minutes. After that, the contents of the glass should be mixed again and let the ground settle. And finally, put the litmus test in the water. Depending on the color on a piece of paper, the type of soil is determined. If the result is red-purple, then you can plant petunias in the ground from your garden. But if the color is red or blue, then the soil is unsuitable for sowing these flowers.
Another option to check does not require financial costs, since to test the acidity you will need vinegar and soda, products that are always in the kitchen cabinet. So, the check is performed as follows:
- On the soil dripping vinegar. If it starts to sizzle, it means that the soil is alkaline and is definitely not suitable for petunias.
- Put a pinch of soda on the wet ground. If it sizzles, the medium is sour. This soil is not suitable for seedlings of petunias.
- If the earth hisses a little on vinegar, but more pronounced on soda, then this is a sign that it has a neutral environment. This primer is ideal for petunias.
How to change the acidity of the earth
Suppose that the soil on your site is not suitable for petunias. In this case, you can change the acidity or pH level:
- Lime should be added to the acidic medium, and in the digging process add more organic matter, humic fertilizers and nitrates. And you can also add black soil, sod or sandy soil.
- Peat will help to change the pH level in alkaline soil. Ammonium fertilizers are best suited. At the same time it is impossible to use calcium and potassium nitrates.
- If the earth is moderately alkaline, but crumbly, then sphagnum and compost are added to it.
- In alkaline clay soil can be added to 1 pH to 1 m.2 about 2.5 tablespoons of pounded sulfur. Another option - 1 teaspoon of ferrous sulfate. Please note that these components are split for a long time, so you need to make fertilizer for a year or autumn. You can also enrich the soil with peat and sand.
Sowing in peat tablets
In our time, growing petunias has become even easier. Since the agronomists invented special peat tablets for sowing small seeds, which is typical of petunias. First, place the peat tablet on the pallet so that the recess is located upwards. Fill the pan with warm water. This is necessary so that the peat tablets swell. After they finish off, put the seeds of petunias in their grooves.
After sowing, peat tablets cover with glass or plastic bag. Thus, an ideal microclimate will be created for the development of seedlings. This is the easiest way to prepare the soil for petunia seedlings.
Before sowing, the ground should be disinfected. This stage is mandatory. The simplest method of disinfection for 3-10 days before sowing petunias, pour the soil with a saturated pink solution of potassium permanganate. This necessary requirement will protect young seedlings from diseases that may be hidden in the ground.
Another option for disinfection is to ignite the earth in an oven or microwave. The main thing is to do it at a high temperature. The calcination process may look like this:
- Moisten the soil, place it in the baking sleeve, close and make 2-3 punctures in the sleeve with a fork. Calcify the earth in a preheated oven to 150 for 45-60 minutes.
- Clay for petunias can be placed in a saucepan and add water. Make a water bath and warm up for 1.5 hours. Boiling water should be added.
- Disinfection in the microwave is most effective, as it completely destroys the bacteria and fungus. To do this, place the primer in a plastic container, fill it with water so that a pulp mass is obtained. Put in the microwave for 6 minutes.
How to prepare the ground
If you belong to flower growers who do not trust the purchase of land, then you can prepare a mixture useful for petunias yourself. It can be made from peat, turf or garden land, sand. There are two basic rules for the preparation of a fertile mixture:
- If you grow petunias on the balcony, then you should mix 70% red peat with 30% clay.
- If flowers are grown in containers, then it is necessary to mix one part of moss peat and sand with two parts of loamy soil.
If you plant petunias for sale, then make clay with moss peat in a 1: 1 ratio. Loam can be replaced with perlite or fir bark. The quality of the components of the soil should be high. Peat is sterile, so it must always be the basis of the soil. Peat is divided into two types - black lowland and red horse. Black peat has a low acidity and, in fact, is better suited for seedlings. Although its red analogue is different in friability and moisture resistance, it is therefore also suitable for petunias.Tip! To reduce the acidity of peat, add 1 teaspoon of limestone or dolomite flour to 1 liter of soil.
The porosity of the soil is achieved by sand. In the usual red sand a lot of iron oxide, which is bad for the root system of petunias. Therefore, for the preparation of suitable land can not be used. You will need river gray or white sand.
If you mix sand and peat in equal proportions, then it can be used for sowing seeds. But in order to improve the nutritional value of the soil, decomposed compost or humus should be added to this mixture.
Top dressing with special additives
The next stage of land preparation for seedlings is top dressing. To improve the development of seedlings of petunias, you can add to the soil:
- Perlite. It is a mountain volcanic rock that helps loosen the earth.
- Epin. This is an acid contained in plant cells that promotes growth. According to some, epin is a hormone, although in reality it is not.
- Trace elements This may be uniflor.
- Powder Represents sludge passed through a centrifuge. Rarely found in the free market. Improves plant germination.
- Hydrogel This is an inert polymer, excellent moisture retention. As the powder improves the germination of petunias.
So, you already have nourishing soil. Now is the time to sow petunias. And it must be done correctly. Petunias are sown on the soil surface, not sprinkling the seeds. To gently sow small seeds, use a toothpick. With a sharp tip, pick up a small seed and place it in a seed container. The second toothpick mark the place of sowing, as the seeds are almost invisible on the surface of the earth. This way you can sow evenly.
Excellent results are obtained by sowing petunias into the soil with hydrogel. It can be soaked not in water, but in a solution of fertilizer, for example, Kemira or some other. In such a simple way, you can provide petunia seedlings with moisture and additional nutrition.
In order not to cover the seedlings with foil, you can plant them in food containers with a lid. Thus, you get mini-parnikki. Such containers are easy to ventilate, and the lid lets in enough light, which will allow them to grow seedlings right up to picks.
After the seeds are laid out in the ground, you need to sprinkle it with water from a spray bottle. Then the seedlings are closed with a lid or covered with film / glass. In order not to accumulate condensate, do not forget to air the seedlings from time to time.
Expect the first shoots within two weeks. But if it so happened that the seedlings did not appear, then do not wait any longer. Even if they come up later, they will be weakened and there will be a lot of trouble with them. Such concerns do not justify themselves, as a rule.
Now you are familiar with the main features of soil preparation for seedlings of petunias. All that remains is to apply what is learned in practice. And also we offer you to view the video, which will allow you to further expand your knowledge: