Soil Care: Feed the soil, not the plants!

Soil Care: Feed the soil, not the plants!

Read the previous part. ← Soil care: liquid phase or soil solution

Second mistake

The basic law of agriculture is not fulfilled - the technologies of cultivation of agricultural crops are not observed. Gardeners and vegetable growers want to grow good crops, but do not know how to do it, how to manage the nutrient cycle in their summer cottage. This is the second, most gross mistake of our amateurs of farmers.

The error occurs for many reasons. This is ignorance of the basic laws of agriculture, and the pursuit of "ecological farming", and an unfair dislike of fertilizers, this is a kind of laziness, unwillingness to "overwork" oneself

In a relatively closed system soil-plants-fertilizers-atmosphere-soil, there is a balance cycle of nutrients needed by plants. The soil in this cycle plays the role of a banker - it loses nutrients and, under certain conditions, accumulates them. Therefore, it is very important that this cycle of elements is positive, the reserves of nutrients in the soil should not be depleted, but constantly replenished.

Many do not know how to assess the size of the cycle in their summer cottage, what is the balance of the nutrients on it - negative or positive. It's easy enough to find out, though. It is only necessary to collect the biological crop and weigh it. Then divide the weight of the harvested crop by the area where it was grown, and you will receive indicators of the average yield of biological mass per square meter of area.

It can be


, vegetables,

green manure


lawn grass

or other weed. If the total biological mass (roots, aerial part of plants, food part of the crop) is less than 4-5 kg, then the cycle of nutrients in the area and their balance are negative. This means that in this area too few elements are returned to the soil and not enough fertilizers are applied to replenish the balance.

With a positive balance of nutrients on the site, the food yield of plants should be high. For example, the yield of potato tubers should be more than 4-5 kg, cabbage - more than 6-8 kg, root crops - more than 4-5 kg ​​per square meter. In this case, fertilizers should be applied at the average dose given just above in the text. It is only possible to ensure a positive balance of nutrients in the summer cottage and guarantee good harvests every year if the income balance items are accurately fulfilled.

Third mistake

The third mistake of gardeners and vegetable growers - erroneous ideas about the absorption of nutrients and water by plants. You can often hear phrases that it is necessary to "feed the plants", it is necessary to "water the plants." Conventionally, in everyday life you can express yourself this way, but you literally cannot understand and do so. However, many people think that the plants really need to be fed and watered. In fact, this is not the case! It is impossible to feed and water the plants with fertilizers and water.

They do not have a specific organ to absorb food and water. They absorb carbon dioxide through the leaves, and mineral nutrients and water through the roots. Therefore, fertilizers and water must be applied

into the soil

... And then the corresponding reactions and transformations will take place between the soil and the fertilizer. And only after that the process of absorption of nutrients and water by the roots will begin. Plants feed on the basis of metabolic absorption, not absorption.

Gardeners and vegetable growers must ensure good soil fertility; it is the soil that must be fed and watered. It is necessary to focus on caring for it, on the application of fertilizers, on compliance with agrotechnical requirements, that is, to use water and fertilizers for their intended purpose.

The fourth mistake

Gardeners don't know how to use fertilizers. They do not know what they are made for and what they are for.

It must be clearly remembered that plants do not feed on fertilizers.

Fertilizers are produced

in order to fertilize the soil and increase its fertility. There is no special fertilizer that plants feed on. Fertilizers and nutrients are not the same thing. Fertilizers contain nutrients that must be applied to the soil, dissolve in the soil solution and be absorbed by the soil-absorbing complex.

Fertilize the soil, not the plants!... Gardeners and vegetable growers, cultivating plants, for some reason forget about this. Only the soil needs fertilization. Plants do not need food or fertilizers, the soil needs them, since only moist and fertilized fertile soil well provides plants with water and nutrients.

Fertilizers are processed by the soil, the soil, as it were, "digests" them, like animals their own food, and prepares nutrients for plant nutrition. You cannot "feed" the plants with fertilizers, they do not absorb them, the plants take nutrients from the soil - nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and other elements - in ionic form, for example, in the form of NH4+, NO3-, H2RO4-, K +, Ca ++, Mg ++ by equivalent exchange for the corresponding cations or anions secreted by plant roots (H +, OH- and others). But we will talk about this in detail in the following articles, but for now you need to remember that plants need nutrients in ionic form, which are stored in the soil in the absorbed state by the soil-absorbing complex.

Fifth mistake

Gardeners and vegetable growers are too addicted to plant feeding - this is the fifth mistake. They "feed" the plants with anything at all - and organic fertilizers, although the plants do not feed on organic matter at all, and growth stimulants, although they are not fertilizers either, and the most fashionable drugs, which also, perhaps, are not fertilizers. With such uncontrolled feeding, there is no guarantee that vegetable products will not be toxic. This can be guaranteed only after carrying out agrochemical analyzes of plant products.

Science has developed three methods of fertilization - basic (pre-sowing), pre-sowing and top dressing (post-sowing). The first two methods are mandatory for use, they fully satisfy the need for plants in nutrients. Top dressing is only an additional technique and is used only in extreme cases. For example, when, due to technical reasons, due to heavy rainfall, nutrients and fertilizers are washed out of the soil, or when the soil is geologically poor

macro- and microelements

, and the plants show signs of starvation.

In all other cases, feeding is not carried out. Top dressing, if needed, most often it is nitrogen-potassium dressing. But they are also carried out with inter-row cultivation through the soil. In other cases, it is not at all necessary to feed the plants. You always need to fertilize the soil, prepare fertile soil, then no additional fertilizing is needed.

The basic rule is to apply fertilizer before sowing and during sowing or planting of plants, that is, use fertilizer as the main pre-sowing fertilizer. The term of introduction is spring, the method of embedding is plowing, and also apply them when sowing or planting plants in rows and holes to satisfy the need of young plant seedlings in phosphorus. It is not necessary to "feed" the plants randomly; on fertile soils, you can forget about feeding.

The sixth mistake

Gardeners and vegetable growers do not do agrochemical soil analyzes - the sixth mistake. It is necessary to have an agrochemical analysis of the soil, it makes it possible to know everything about soil fertility, correctly and reasonably manage soil fertility and reasonably take measures to improve soil fertility. Agrochemical analyzes make it possible to carry out all agrotechnical work on the soil in accordance with scientific rules and laws of soil science and agrochemistry.

Almost all gardeners and vegetable growers do not have agrochemical data on the fertility of their soil, the parameters and levels of fertility are unknown to them, all work with the soil is carried out blindly.

The rule is that you need to do a complete agrochemical analysis of the soil at least once every three to five years and get the opinion and recommendations of a specialist agrochemist on working with soil, fertilizers and plant protection products.

Read the next part. Soil care: mistakes of agricultural technology →

Gennady Vasyaev, Associate Professor,
Chief Specialist of the SZ Regional Scientific Center of the Russian Agricultural Academy
Olga Vasyaeva, amateur gardener

Read all parts of the article "Soil is the most important thing!"
- Part 1. Soil care: what the soil is made of
- Part 2. Soil care: air, mineral and organic components
- Part 3. Soil care: liquid phase or soil solution
- Part 4. Soil care: you need to feed the soil, not the plants!
- Part 5. Soil care: agricultural mistakes

Marjoram care

When growing marjoram in open ground, it should be watered, weeded, loosened the surface of the beds in a timely manner, fed, and if necessary, protected from diseases and harmful insects. It should be remembered that marjoram, like few garden crops, needs timely weeding and loosening of the soil, otherwise it will negatively affect its growth and development.

How to water

Despite the fact that marjoram is resistant to drought, it belongs to moisture-loving plants, in this regard, it needs to be watered regularly and often. Watering is carried out in the early morning or in the evening after sunset. It is forbidden to use cold water for this. Starting from the middle of the summer period, the number of waterings should be gradually reduced, while the soil will need to be moistened only when a crust appears on its surface. When the bushes are watered, the surface of the site must be loosened.


When 20 days have passed after transplanting marjoram into open soil, it will need to be fed with complex fertilizer. To do this, use a nutrient solution consisting of 15–20 grams of superphosphate, 10 grams of urea and the same amount of potassium salt (per 1 square meter of land). One feeding for this plant is quite enough for it to grow and develop normally.

Collection, drying and storage of marjoram

Marjoram is harvested 2 times per season, namely: in the last days of July and the first in August, as well as in September and early October. When collecting raw materials, the entire leafy part of the bush is cut off at a height of 60–80 mm from the surface of the site, using a very sharp knife for this. After that, the grass is washed and dried very well. To do this, it can be tied in bundles and hung in a well-ventilated and shaded place (under a canopy or in the attic) or laid out on shelves and racks, which must first be covered with paper. When the grass is completely dry, it should be sorted out, while it is necessary to remove injured or yellow foliage. Then the marjoram is thoroughly crushed to a powdery state and poured into glass jars, which must be sealed with a lid. The herb is stored in a dark place.

What to plant after marjoram

As a rule, the area where leaf crops were grown is well suited for planting root crops: carrots, radishes, turnips and beets.

It was in August

One evening we arrive at the dacha to water the garden. It was already possible to dig out the harvest, but the potatoes were still green, and I was in no hurry. And during watering, I accidentally washed away the soil next to the bush with water and noticed something strange - something long, dark and thick. Frightened - I thought some animal was hiding in the ground. I called my husband, showed him, he also did not immediately understand what it was. And when I dug it, it turned out that it was a potato tuber - blue, like an eggplant, about 15-16 cm long, and about 7-8 cm in diameter. So beautiful! My husband and I had never seen such potatoes at that time.

That year I was also surprised by a yellow Japanese zucchini with a length of 1 m 20 cm, cucumbers and tomatoes were also pleased with the harvest, but, unfortunately, such a crop of this particular potato variety, no matter how much later was planted, was never more.

There can be two explanations for this: either the land was still virgin at that time, or the seeds turned out to be very good. I was later told that this variety grows well if the seeds are grown on black soil and planted in sandy soil. Planting should be done deeper, well spud and watered abundantly.

As a result of several years of experiments, the harvest was ordinary and nothing

did not differ from other varieties. Out of despair, we began to look for other varieties and settled on Slavyanka. For our summer cottage, it is more suitable, suits with its appearance, size, and taste, it is well stored. All subsequent years, they were brought in every three years, alternating, manure and peat, but at the same time, all useful things were washed out of the topsoil: water does not linger in the sand for a long time. The imported black soil changed the situation - the moisture now lingered, however, and it became more difficult to care for.

When to plant cineraria seeds for seedlings

The timing of sowing cineraria for seedlings depends entirely on when warm weather sets in in your region and the soil warms up in the open field. If adult plants are able to withstand short-term sub-zero temperatures, then young seedlings in cold soil may not take root, and their leaves at sub-zero temperatures may freeze.

When choosing the time for sowing, keep in mind that cineraria seedlings are planted in the flowerbed at the age of 50-60 days. Seedlings after sowing appear in 10-15 days.

As a result, in the southern regions, silver cineraria can be planted on seedlings from mid-February, since in April it is already warm in the south. In the Moscow region and other regions of the Middle Lane, sowing can begin from mid-March, and in Siberia, the Urals and more northern regions - from the end of March.

Sowing features

There is nothing difficult in sowing cineraria seeds for seedlings, but there is one caveat - they do not need to be embedded in the soil. Therefore, the seeds are distributed over the surface of the earth, and the grooves are not made. Top crops can be sprinkled with a very thin layer of sand.

The soil for planting cineraria can be used neutral for flowers, which is sold in stores. If possible, the substrate is prepared from peat and sand (1: 1).

You can take a box or container as a seedling container, since later young plants will need to be dived.

Crops are sprayed from above with warm water from a spray bottle and covered with glass or foil. Place the containers in a warm place.

Remember to take off your cover for a few minutes every day. This is necessary to remove condensation, ventilate the ground and check its moisture content. If you see that the topsoil has begun to dry out, moisten it with warm water using a spray bottle.

Seedling care

After about a week, you can start waiting for shoots. As soon as they appear, containers with crops are placed on the windowsill. Caring for cineraria seedlings consists in carrying out the usual activities:

The soil is moistened regularly as the topsoil dries up. While the plants are still small, it is recommended not to water the soil, but to spray it with water at room temperature. During the entire cultivation of seedlings, both overdrying and waterlogging of the earth should not be allowed.

Cineraria picking is carried out at the stage when 2 true leaves appear on the seedlings. It is better to transplant in peat pots or disposable cups. When diving, use a fork or small spatula, with which you can easily get the seedling along with a lump of earth and transplant it into a pot.

10 days after picking, young plants are fed with complex mineral fertilizers for flowers. Top dressing is carried out twice a month. Elongated seedlings are fed with Athlete fertilizer.

Two weeks before planting in the ground, seedlings begin to be taken out into the street in order to accustom them to fresh air. Plants are brought out in warm weather and set away from sunlight and drafts.

Features of alstroemeria

Alstroemeria has juicy spindle-shaped roots. The shoots are flexible and erect, in the upper part they have one-piece thin, slightly curved leaf plates of a linear shape in the next order. Such a culture has one feature - resupation: in the foliage, the petioles are strongly twisted by 180 degrees, as a result, the front surface of the plate turns out to be below, and the wrong surface is on top. The flowers can be colored yellow, orange, pink, red or lilac; specks are often located on their surface. The composition of the flowers includes 6 spatulate or lanceolate petals, which are placed in 2 circles, while the petals of each of them, as a rule, differ in shape and color. On the surface of the petals, there are almost always longitudinally located streaks of a dark color; as they approach the middle, they become thinner and shorter. The nectars are located at the base of the petals of the inner circle. Another 2 circles accommodate 6 stamens with elongated anthers. Such a plant blooms in spring and summer, and if you take good care of it, then most varieties and species can bloom again in September. Hummingbirds and various insects are pollinators of alstroemeria flowers. The fruit is a box with spherical seeds inside. The ripe fruit bursts, and the seeds scatter and spread on their own without intermediaries.

When grown in mid-latitudes in winter, such a crop often freezes out. In this regard, it is recommended to cultivate it in such regions in a greenhouse, greenhouse or at home. Such a plant is grown in open soil only in the southern regions with a mild and warm climate.

Transplantation and reproduction of phlox by dividing the bush

If you are interested in the transplantation and reproduction of perennial phlox, then in early autumn (in the first half of September), it is optimal to propagate the plant by dividing the bush (that is, the bush is divided into large parts and transplanted to a new place).

Advice! It is recommended to replant perennial phlox every 4-5 years, followed by reproduction by dividing the bush. The procedure is necessary to rejuvenate the plant.

You can divide a bush of perennial phloxes according to the following scheme:

  • The selected bush must be carefully dug in a circle and removed from the ground, it is gently shaken off the soil.
  • First, on the bush, you need to separate the plexus of the root necks and divide the roots. It is better to separate with your hands, the knife is used only if you cannot divide the bush with your own hands (the knife cuts specifically the fusion zones of the root necks). Each delenka should have 3-5 thick stems, at their base there should be well-formed large renewal buds, and each delenka should have a small number of roots.
  • Shoots are cut to a height of 10 centimeters.
  • It is also recommended to trim the roots, leaving about 15 cm in length.

Now you need to transplant the phlox divisions to another place, step-by-step instructions will help to do this:

  • Choose in advance a suitable place for growing the crop: it should be sunny, with loose, nutritious, moderately moist soil.
  • It is advisable to prepare the site in advance (10-14 days in advance): the soil is dug onto a shovel bayonet, weeds are removed from the ground, after digging, wood ash (100 g per sq.m.) and mineral fertilizers containing potassium and phosphorus (for example, Monophosphate potassium).
  • Before transplanting, you need to make holes at a distance of 0.4-0.6 meters from each other, a depth of about 20 cm.
  • Pour water over each well, wait until the water is completely absorbed.
  • Now you need to plant a phlox cut in the hole, the plant should be a little deeper than it grew before (the top of the rhizome should be about five centimeters below the surface of the earth).
  • Fill the planting holes with soil, lightly compact the ground.
  • Now you should water the plants abundantly. It is also useful to spill a solution of a rooting stimulant drug, for example, Kornevin.
  • After transplanting, you need to mulch the place with a layer of 10-12 cm.

With the end of the summer period, it is important to take care not only of the garden "breadwinners": fruit trees, berry bushes. It is important to devote time to the decorative component of the garden: decorative and flowering shrubs, perennial flowers, including beautiful phlox. After all, you can get not only benefits from the garden, it can and should also bestow aesthetic pleasure, which is easy to achieve with lush and elegant flower beds! And proper fall care will help you achieve those goals.

How to directly care for lilacs?

There are three main points that will help to properly care for a beautiful plant. This is soil care, feeding and pruning.

The soil is dug around the plant every autumn, making furrows 10-12 cm deep. But this is done carefully so as not to damage the roots.

And directly near the root collar, they dig no deeper than seven centimeters. It is not worth leveling the ground. So the "living layer" of the earth's surface is preserved, but at the same time moisture will penetrate well enough to the roots.

Top dressing is carried out annually twice a season: in early spring, when new shoots appear, and already during the formation of inflorescences.

It is during these periods that processes take place, which must be looked after in order to achieve further abundant flowering.

For this purpose, a full range of minerals contained in fertilizers (ammonium nitrate, superphosphate, potassium chloride) is introduced to a depth of 10-15 cm.

For each bush, the amount of substances is applied, according to the instructions for the use of fertilizers.

An important step in the lilac care chain is pruning the bushes. Here you need to take into account the moment that you cannot break the bushes, but you should only trim them carefully with special scissors.

This contributes to increased flowering in subsequent years. Two years after disembarkation, branches are cut off purely for sanitary indications.

But then, when abundant inflorescences begin to appear, the quality of thinning will affect the formation of a beautiful shape of the entire bush. This is done in early spring.

Up to about ten strong shoots, which are at the maximum distance from each other, are left. And the rest of the shoots are cut off.

Lilacs just need to thin out and remove the root shoots in it. This ensures excellent growth of the main trunks and an even distribution of flowering crowns.

If you take care of the lilac constantly, then it will not bring additional trouble, but will only delight the owners with its beauty.

Watch the video: How to improve your soil