Annual garden and perennial asters are one of the most popular flowers in our gardens. How to properly grow asters from seeds, when to plant seedlings, and whether it is possible to get flowering plants after sowing directly into the ground?
Numerous species and varieties of aster attract flower growers with their richness and variety of shapes, incredible palette of colors and exceptionally simple farming techniques. Indiscriminate plants even with minimal care willingly bloom, but before this happens the asters need to be grown.
How to plant asters with seeds? When is it better to begin seeding at home, so that by the time of transfer to the open ground the seedlings were large and strong?
Terms of sowing and seed preparation of an aster to planting
The timing of flowering asters depends on the species or variety. Annual plants are covered with buds 90-120 days after sowing, and perennials bloom only next year. Therefore, more often they are planted on flowerbeds with seedlings, after young asters grow from seeds at home.
Since the seeds of asters after 2-3 years lose their germination capacity, for sowing it is necessary to use fresh, better last year’s material.
Seeds from trusted companies after the opening of the package are ready for planting. A different matter is the seeds collected from the flowers you like or purchased from your hands. On their surface, spores of harmful fungi could remain, so the seed is obligatory, following the instructions, etched with a fungicide.
When to plant the seeds of an aster for growing seedlings? On a flower bed, young plants are transported when the frost is past, and the soil warms up to at least +15 ° C. In the middle zone, this occurs not earlier than mid-May. 3-4 weeks before this time, that is, in the first half of April, they begin to sow.
Soil for growing asters from seeds at home
Asters are unpretentious, they perfectly rise and grow in a soil of different composition, the main thing is that it is moderately nutritious, necessarily loose and light. For seeding, you can take a ready-made universal or floral substrate, and then add a little washed river sand and loosening, moisture-holding perlite.
To protect sprouts, the soil mixture should be well warmed in an oven, for example in a baking sleeve, or sterilized in another accessible way. In extreme cases, you can drench the soil abundantly with a saturated solution of potassium permanganate.
If you have a garden soil and turf soil, suitable for planting seeds with asters, you can make a substrate on your own, adding a piece of sand and half a portion of perlite or vermiculite into two parts of the soil.
Seed seeding aster for seedlings
Seeds of asters are quite large, but light, and the seedlings that arise from them are prone to putrefactive and fungal infections. Therefore, when sowing, the seeds are spread over a previously humidified substrate, but do not deepen, but gently, with a layer of up to 8 mm, priporoshivayut dry calcined sand. You do not need to water the contents of the container after that.
In the light, warm, at a temperature of 15-20 ° C and high humidity of the air, the seeds quickly awaken, swell and peck. The first shoots can be seen in less than a week.
This period is the most important and responsible. On lowering the temperature, excessive watering and other changes in the conditions of cultivation, asters respond to damage by rot. If a “black leg” is seen on the seedlings, such plants are carefully removed, together with the radical coma of the soil, and destroyed. The remaining seedlings need to be treated with a fungicide
When a pair of real leaves appear on the astra, they are dived, transferred to separate cups or a common container, but planted at a greater distance from each other. It is convenient to use peat cells in which:
- There is no risk of flooding plants, thereby reducing the risk of fusarium disease;
- when transplanting into the soil, the root system does not suffer, the seedlings do not get sick and immediately start growing.
In the substrate for young plants it is useful to add a complex fertilizer containing not only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, but also trace elements.
After picking, the seedlings are exposed to a bright spot protected from a draft and direct sunlight. Within 7-10 days the plants are acclimatized. When they reveal 4-5 real leaves, it’s time to do some hardening, increasing the time spent outdoors every day. With the establishment of warm weather, aster grown from seeds at home can be planted in the garden.
Sowing an astra with seeds in the open ground
If spruce seedlings can die at low temperatures, the mature seeds of asters are well tolerated by winter frosts and springing together in spring. This property of culture is used by flower growers who do not want to bother with germination and sowing at home. Seeds are sown immediately into the soil at the place of their future growth and flowering.
How to grow asters from seeds in this way? There are two options to choose from:
- sowing in late autumn, when it is already quite cold, and there is no risk of unwanted shoots;
- early spring on snow or just thawed earth, under a film or covering material.
Seeds planted in autumn pass a natural stratification, so their shoots are usually stronger, friendlier and less affected by volatile weather and diseases.
When to plant asters seeds when grown outdoors? In autumn they sow crops from the middle of October and if the weather allows, until the end of November. In the spring, you can sow even in the snow on the land prepared from autumn and until mid-April. In this case, the planted areas are sheltered. The second term of the spring planting of the asters with seeds comes in May, when heat and additional protection are no longer required.
To ensure that the crops are not too thick, and the shoots are weakened, the seeds are closed:
- on well-moistened soil;
- in grooves with a depth of 1-1.5 cm;
- at a distance of one and a half centimeter.
On top of the crops, sprinkle with peat-humus mixture. If a shelter is required for the crops, it is removed as soon as mass seedlings appear on the plot. At the stage of the formation of this leaf, thinning seedlings is performed. Surpluses should not be thrown away, grown from seeds in the open ground, asters perfectly get accustomed if they are moved to another place.