Petunias are becoming more and more popular every year. And even despite all the difficulties of self-growing seedlings, more and more flower growers, including beginners, are trying to grow petunia species that have charmed them. After all, adult petunias are quite unpretentious, especially modern varieties, withstand both rains and hurricane winds and 30-degree heat. They quickly come to their senses if their appearance turns out to be a bit scruffy after the invasion of the raging elements.
But the most interesting thing is that such an unpretentious flower, like petunia, is distinguished by a rather large capriciousness in the very first weeks of its life, apparently, due to its very small size and relatively slow growth and development at the beginning of the journey. But for the petunias to develop well and quickly in the future, they need a pick.
Many newcomers, having only heard this, as if a terrible and unfamiliar word, are already frightened and refuse in advance to grow their own seedlings of petunias. Although in fact, picking petunias is not so difficult if the plants are strong and healthy. In addition, you can often do almost without it or without it.
All possible options for picking petunias will be discussed in this article.
What is a pick and what is it for?
If we proceed from a strictly scientific definition, then a pick or a dive is the removal of the extreme part of the rod root of a young plant in order to stimulate the branching of the root system. But it has traditionally been the case that more often as picking they understand simply planting plants of seedlings from a common container, where they were first sown, into separate containers, or transplanting into a common large container, but with a greater distance between the plants, usually 3-5. cm.
Attention! The pick is necessary so that each plant has more free space of the earth for growth, development and nutrition of the root system.
At the same time, for some cultures, the obligatory nipping of the root is made, for others, on the contrary, the less touch the roots, the better. It is only necessary to take into account that when pinching a part of the root, the plant, although it is possible, will branch out its root system, but it will lag behind in growth from several days to several weeks.
Therefore, for some crops, the so-called transshipment is used - this is a transplant of plants with minimal exposure and touching the roots, and even better, with an earthen ball on the roots.
Petunia calmly refers to the pinching of the root, but at the stage when the first pick is usually done, the petunia plants are too tiny to take into account their roots, therefore the pick picks up more like a transshipment.
Petunia picking time
The answer to the question “when do you need to dive a petunia?” Is no less important than the procedure itself, since opinions on this matter can diverge significantly. Some advise, dive as early as possible, arguing this opinion by the fact that at an earlier age, seedlings of petunias take root better after picking. Others advise you to wait until the sprouts are strong, because petunia plants are so tiny in the first weeks after germination that it’s scary to even breathe over them, not to replant. Of course, in this case it is necessary to choose a middle ground.
The first sprouts of petunia are two small leaves on a thin stalk and are called cotyledonary leaves. These are not real leaves. It is necessary to wait until another pair of oval leaves unfold above - these are already real. This usually happens 12-16 days after emergence of shoots. After unfolding the first true leaves, the best time comes for picking a petunia.
In principle, it is possible to carry out this procedure later, from the moment of unfolding of the second leaves and even further. But the later the pick will be carried out, the more likely it is that the roots will suffer in the process. It also depends on how densely you have sprouted. If you sowed ordinary undiluted seeds, and you got some semblance of thick forest from seedlings, then you can’t put off picking the petunia.
If the shoots are quite rare and are separated from each other at a distance of 0.5 -1 cm, then we can wait, although, as already mentioned above, this period is the best.
Petunia traditional pick
Such a picking is used for traditional sowing with ordinary undiluted seeds, when shoots are obtained or are simply very thick or uneven, either thickly or empty. So, how to dive petunia, so that it is well caught in the new place and did not linger in development. The following is a step-by-step instruction on the pick process itself.Tip! Before proceeding with the picking, in 20-30 minutes it is necessary to water the seedlings well, so that the soil softens and becomes more pliable.
You will need the following accessories:
- A set of cups or any other containers where you will transplant petunia seedlings. The size is better to take, starting from yogurt cups and more;
- Toothpick or matchstick;
- A stick or unpolished pencil, about 1 cm in diameter;
- Loose fertile soil. You can take any purchased with a neutral reaction and add a handful of vermiculite to 5 liters of land.
It is better to stick the cups on the cups with the help of a scotch label with the inscription of the petunia variety and the date of the pick.
- The cups are made with an awl from the bottom of the hole, then drainage from expanded clay or small stones is poured in a layer of 1-3 cm and they are filled with soil, not reaching the edge of 1-2 cm.
- The soil in the cups is moistened and after the water has been absorbed a little, indentations up to 1-2 cm are made with a pencil or a stick.
- At the next step, carefully match the first sprout of petunia with a match or toothpick and pick it up by the base (as in the photo above) with a small lump of earth, transfer and lower it into the well prepared in the cup, deepening it to the very cotyledon leaves.
- After that, with the same match or a toothpick, sprinkle the soil on a thread-stalk and with it lightly seal the soil around the sprout. If you can’t keep a sprout of a petunia with a match, you can help yourself by holding it with your fingers or tweezers, but only for the cotyledon leaves.
- After all the sprouts are transplanted in this way, they will need to be very carefully, better from a syringe without a needle, pour water under the root. Under each plant just a few drops.
If there are a lot of shoots - more than 20-30, then it would be more rational to transplant them in the same way, but not in separate pots, but into one large capacity. The distances between the grooves should be at least 2-3 cm. In this case, however, you will most likely need another picking, or you can plant the seedlings of the petunia directly from the tank directly into the ground. It all depends on its development during this time.
Other ways of picking
Recently, more often they sow petunia on seedlings, using coated seeds. In this case, the seedlings are rarely thickened, because the seeds are not so small, they are not very many and it is quite easy to decompose initially on the surface when sowing, keeping a distance of 2-3 cm.
Method of landfill
In this case, instead of transferring the germs to other containers, the method of pouring the earth to the roots of plants is used.Important! If you are going to use this lightweight picking method, then from the very beginning it is necessary to sow petunia in deep trays, at least 6-8 cm, and pour a small layer of earth in them - about 2-3 cm.
To do this, you need to prepare a disposable plastic spoon and a toothpick (or a match), as well as a primer for filling. Having scooped up a little earth with a spoon, gently pour it to the bases of the sprouts, starting from the most extreme one, and supporting it simultaneously from the other side with a toothpick. You can fall asleep in such a layer that it reaches the cotyledon leaves. When you fall asleep one row, go to the next, until you reach the end of the tank. Then the plants are carefully watered from a syringe. You can also use watering from a plastic bottle, in the lid of which 3-5-8 holes are made. Screw the lid and pouring through it, you can not be afraid of strong jets of water that can damage delicate shoots.
The way to deepen sprouts
If you have sown the seeds of a petunia in a fairly deep tray and the thickness of the soil is sufficient, from 5-6 cm, then there is another way to facilitate picking of seedlings of petunias.
You need to prepare a small stick with smooth edges, so as not to damage the seedlings or the unpolished pencil. With the help of this stick a small depression is made directly next to the sprout, then the sprout of petunia very gently shifts into this depression, with the help of a slight pressure on the base of the germ. With the same stick the soil is additionally picked up so that the little stalk turns out to be compressed by it. After this procedure is done with all the sprouts, the seedlings are moistened as described above.
As a result of the last two described methods of picking, which, formally speaking, are not picking, but perform its functions. That is, the sprout turns from a long unstable thread with leaves into a stocky seedling, which, thanks to additional soil, grows many more active roots on the recessed part of the stem.
Growing seedlings of petunia without picks
Another innovation in recent years for growing seedlings has become peat tablets. That they should be used for growing seedlings of petunia without picking. Since by the time when the roots of the seedlings begin to appear outside the pill grid, the seedlings of petunia will have time to turn into quite powerful bushes. They can easily be placed in any larger container and put on the sides of the ground. In this form, the seedlings of petunia already live easily before landing in the ground and, perhaps, will already begin to lay buds.
Another possible way to grow seedlings of petunia without picking is sowing seeds one by one in one pot. This method is almost the same as growing petunia in tablets and only requires careful selection of the soil, which must be both air and moisture permeable.
Interestingly, with the development of petunia seedlings in peat tablets and in individual pots, at the stage of the appearance of the first true leaves, you can also try to carefully grow the seedlings using the second method described above. This will help the seedlings grow additional roots and grow faster.
A pick in and of itself is not something difficult, it only requires attention, patience and accuracy. After a little practice, you can easily apply any of the above methods of picking in practice, and the petunias will thank you for their lush and long flowering.