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When breeding violets, several factors must be taken into account: adherence to the irrigation regime, peculiarities of breeding conditions - room temperature and air humidity, special conditions for caring for certain types of plants.
When dry, the turgor of the leaf is lost, and discoloration occurs. Overfilling is dangerous because the roots rot, and this entails the death of the plant.
To prevent this, you can try switching to wick irrigation.
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Advantages and disadvantages of wick irrigation
The use of a cord, the capillary properties of which ensure the flow of water from the container into the pot with the substrate, moistening it and maintaining moisture, depending on the changing conditions of the plants, is called wick irrigation.
A change in conditions of detention means a change in air humidity, a change in temperature (cold or hot), as well as the growth of the plant itself.
To make a decision to switch to wick irrigation, you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of this method.
Advantages of the method:
- providing good conditions for the growth of violets - plants bloom earlier and bloom more luxuriantly;
- facilitates the work of owners - there is no need for individual watering;
- with a properly selected ratio of water and fertilizer solution, plants do not overeat and do not experience hunger;
- plants do not need watering during a long absence of the owners - no need to ask anyone to water the flowers;
- the possibility of flooding the plant decreases, because water flows evenly during wick irrigation - when the top layer dries up, it rises from the bottom, wetting the substrate;
- violets-mini, growing in very small pots, grow better, namely, on a wick that does not allow them to dry out;
- small pots are used - plants that do not receive food from the soil do not need a large capacity. The cost of such a pot is less than that of a large one, and less substrate is required - small, but savings;
- the smaller the diameter of the pot, the better the violet develops - the flowers are larger, there are fewer leaves.
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Disadvantages of the method:
- with an incorrectly selected cord (large diameter, too high water absorption), the substrate becomes waterlogged, which leads to decay of the roots and death of violets;
- with wick irrigation, the outlet is enlarged. Plants take up a lot of space, which is undesirable when breeding different varieties of violets - less space, fewer varieties;
- during cold weather on the windowsills, the water cools down and it enters the substrate cold, which has a bad effect on the roots of plants;
- when keeping violets on shelves and a rack, you have to take into account the additional load equal to the weight of the container with the solution, and the distance between the shelves so that there is a gap between them and the violets.
For the winter, if the window sill is not insulated, it is better to rearrange the violets to another, warmer place, or transfer to regular watering.
Remove the containers with the solution, and put the pots together with the wick into the trays - at any time you can return to the wick irrigation.
What should be the pot
As mentioned above, violets grow better in small pots, receiving nutrition not from the soil, but from the solution.
A pot diameter of 5 to 8 cm is sufficient to obtain a beautifully shaped rosette with a large head of flowers.
In order to avoid the accumulation of harmful impurities in a small amount of the substrate, it is necessary to transplant violets once every six months.
The usual soil used for growing plants is too heavy for violets, absorbs a lot of water, which is why it becomes compacted and sour.
With wick irrigation, the soil should be loose and breathable. A baking powder (river sand, vermiculite, perlite) is placed in the pots along with peat - the earth is completely excluded.
The soil can consist of:
- store soil for violets + pressed coconut peat + perlite or vermiculite - all in equal proportions;
- coconut peat + perlite or vermiculite - in equal proportions;
- soil for violets + perlite + vermiculite.
To prevent mold growth, phytosporin is added. But if the proportions are violated and the conditions for keeping the violets are not met, then phytosporin will not help.
Coconut peat needs to be washed as it contains a lot of salts. You need to rinse it several times.
Wick or cord
A synthetic cord is used as a wick, since natural material is subject to rapid decay.
The cord must have good water absorption.
The thickness of the cord is selected empirically. Usually, for a pot with a diameter of 5 to 8 cm, a cord thickness of 0.5 cm is used.
When using wicks from nylon stockings or tights, the soil is blocked due to too much water absorption.
Fertilizers are used any suitable for violets. Let's take a look at some of them:
- Agrecol NPK 9: 4: 5 - with growth;
- Agrecol NPK 4: 5: 8 - when buds appear and flowering;
- solution concentration - 0.5 ml per liter of water;
- Fertika - solution concentration: a pack of 100 g per 2.5 liters of water. Add to the solution with wick irrigation at the rate of 1 tsp. for 1 liter of solution;
- Kemira Kombi - 2% concentrated solution: packing 20 g per 1 liter of water. To obtain a 0.05% solution used for wick irrigation: 5 tsp. (25 ml) per 1 liter of water.
If the plant is constantly in a solution containing fertilizer, then the concentration of the solution should be 3-4 times less than indicated in the instructions.
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Wick irrigation system
For the container for the solution, dense disposable cups are used, cut off the bottom of plastic bottles - the content of each plant separately.
If you plan to install several pots, then containers with lids are used, in which holes for the pots are cut.
The height of the containers depends on the choice of the owners of the violets, but should not exceed 8-10 cm - more solution will be required.
Ceramic pots already have holes in the bottom, and when using plastic dishes, holes must be made in them. To do this, use a nail or awl heated on fire.
We cut the cord into pieces 15-20 cm long. Insert one end into a hole 1.5-2 cm or put the wick on the bottom of the pot in a circle with a diameter smaller than the bottom. It depends on the water conductivity of the cord.
In the case of strong blocking of the substrate, the cord can be pulled out gently, leaving a smaller length in the pot.
We pour the substrate, selected according to the composition, and place the pot in the pallet. Spill the substrate with water on top until it is completely wet. If the soil has settled, then add more substrate.
Having drained the excess water, we plant the plant in the ground and put it on a container with a solution. The water in the container must be filled with settled, preferably warm.
The distance from the surface of the solution to the bottom of the pot should be 1.5-2 cm. As the top layer of the substrate dries, water will rise along the cord, moistening the soil to the desired state.
With wick irrigation, the topsoil always remains moist. The soil is poured from above once when the pot is placed on the solution - it does not need more watering from above.
The substrate can dry out if the cord is silted up, and water is not supplied to the pot, or they did not overlook and did not add the solution to the container in time.
The cord must be replaced with a new one by carefully slipping it into the hole using a knitting needle or crochet hook.
In order for the wick irrigation system to work again, the soil is poured from above, and the pot is placed on a container filled with solution.
Overdrying the soil is undesirable, since the lateral roots in the root system die, which affects the development of the plant.
Sometimes algae appear on the walls of containers - these are greens on the walls that do not harm the flowers. Sometimes it is enough to rinse the containers so that the greens are not so conspicuous.
In order to master wick watering, transfer several violets to it. Observing the plants, decide on the choice of the cord, the correct concentration of the solution.
If the violets feel great, the rosettes are even, and the caps of flowers are pleasing to the eye, then you can transfer the rest of the plants to the content of the solution. This will greatly facilitate your work, and the plants will develop in more comfortable conditions.