Phacelia: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seeds, varieties
The herbaceous annual and perennial plant of phacelia (Phacelia) is a representative of the Borage family. According to data taken from various sources, this genus unites 80–180 species and even more. In nature, phacelia is found in North and South America, while it prefers to grow in sunlit open areas with well-drained soil. The name of such a plant comes from the Greek word translating as "bunch", this is due to the appearance of its inflorescences. The species of phacelia tansy is cultivated for the most part as siderata. Such a culture helps to improve the structure of the soil, enriching it with nutrients. Some species of phacelia are cultivated by gardeners as ornamental plants. In addition, this plant is considered an excellent honey plant, which can attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.
Features of Phacelia Siderat
Phacelia tansy or Ryazan is an annual plant that reaches a height of more than 100 cm, on its surface there is a bristly pubescence. The bush has an upright stem with glands, about 20 lateral shoots grow on each of them. Basal cirrus-dissected leaf plates reach a width of 3-15 centimeters, and a length of 6-20 centimeters. The composition of the leaves includes cirrus-toothed leaves of a lanceolate shape. As a rule, the stem leaf plates are sessile, however, they sometimes have short petioles. Complex corymbose-umbellate inflorescences consist of many wide-bell-shaped flowers about 1 centimeter long, and they are painted in a lilac-blue hue. The stamens in the flowers are about 1.4 cm long, due to which they protrude noticeably from the corolla, they include anthers of an oblong-elliptical shape and bare threads. The fruit is a wide egg-shaped box, which reaches about 0.5 cm in length, inside it has 2 wrinkled seeds of dark brown color.
This type of phacelia is considered not only a honey plant, but also a universal green manure. It is sown both before and after any culture. For example, after mustard, it is forbidden to sow the site with plants belonging to the cruciferous family. This frost-resistant siderat differs from others in that it builds up green mass very quickly, and it is also able to inhibit the growth of weed grass. Phacelia helps to reduce the acidity of the soil and its enrichment with nitrogen and potassium.
Phacelia as siderat When to sow phacelia
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Growing phacelia as siderata
What time to sow
Phacelia is very popular with gardeners and gardeners who use it as green manure. Sowing dates depend on what you want to achieve:
- Phacelia seeds can be sown immediately after the snow cover has melted. Shoots that appeared after half a month will actively build up green mass. If you leave grass on the soil surface after mowing, you will get a wonderful mulch, and if you shallow it in a shallow soil, a good humus will come out.
- If this plant is used as a honey plant, then it is sown between rows of other crops throughout the season. After withering, the bushes are mowed, and then they can be used as mulch or fertilizer. If necessary, in the vacated areas again sow phacelia.
- If sowing is carried out after harvesting from the last summer weeks and through the second half of autumn, then in this case such a green manure will contribute to the improvement and restoration of the soil, as well as it will saturate it with nutrients and improve its composition.After mowing, phacelia can be left on the surface of the soil as mulch, in which case it can save the root system of perennials from freezing, while the soil will not undergo erosion, and useful substances will not be washed out of it by rains in autumn.
- Winter sowing is also used. As a result, seedlings appear at the beginning of the spring period, they are mowed shortly before planting the main early crop. In this case, the sowing of seeds must be carried out very densely, since after a frosty winter their germination is affected.
It is not necessary to stratify the seeds of such a plant before sowing, since they have a fairly high germination capacity. The soil in the area is loosened with a rake, and then seed is scattered on its surface. Seeds have a dark color, in this regard, it is impossible to make out on the soil. Therefore, for the convenience of sowing, it is recommended to combine them with dry sand.
When sowing such green manure between rows of other crops, a furrow is made from a depth of 20 to 30 mm, after which it is watered with a small amount of water and sowed in it fatseliya. After that, the groove must be repaired. If sowing was not carried out on a sultry dry day, then crops do not need additional watering.
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Such a culture needs watering only before the seedlings that have appeared grow and grow stronger. If the sowing was carried out in the winter or at the beginning of the spring period, then you will not have to water the plot, since the soil is already saturated with moisture. If it rains systematically during the season, then you do not need to water this siderat at all. However, during a prolonged dry period, the phacelia plot needs to be watered occasionally. Still need to regularly loosen the surface of the soil around the plants to a shallow depth.
In order for the lush green mass to grow in the bushes, they should be fed with organic matter (for example, Optim-Humus, Baikal EM-1, Bokashi, Shine-1), which includes effective soil microorganisms. Such dressing should be carried out strictly adhering to the instructions attached to the fertilizer.
Mowing such grass is carried out during the formation of the buds. If it is mowed later than necessary, then the shoots and foliage will become very rough, and this will significantly slow down their decomposition. And with a slower decomposition, a large number of harmful microorganisms enter the soil from the rotting mass. After the grass is mowed, it must be sprayed with a drug that helps speed up processing, and then digging the top layer of the soil. Such grass is actively decomposed, and subsequent humification of the soil is also observed only if there is moisture in the ground, and therefore, during a drought, the site will have to be regularly watered. When the grass is embedded in the soil, its surface is leveled, and then this area is again sown with this green manure. This method allows for one season to get 3 or 4 crops of this grass, while in the next season, such a plot can be planted with vegetable crops.
Diseases and pests
Such a culture is very resistant to any diseases and harmful insects, and it can also protect against them plants that are grown nearby. In order to prevent the defeat of vegetable crops with various diseases and harmful insects, it is recommended to sow phacelia in the aisles.
Types and varieties of phacelia with photos and names
As mentioned above, the species of tansy tansy is very popular among gardeners and gardeners, its detailed description can be found at the beginning of the article. Other types and varieties of such grass are also cultivated, but as a rule, they are grown as ornamental plants.
Phacelia silver (Phacelia argentea)
In nature, such a rare species is found in northern California, while it prefers to grow on coastal sandy slopes and dunes. The height of the ascending and drooping shoots is about half a meter.The surface of the glossy sheet plates is covered with white pubescence, which is why they acquire a silver color. White small flowers are collected in spherical heads.
In nature, this phacelia is found in the "redwood" forests in California. Extending worm-shaped shoots form low mounds. The final inflorescences consist of large arched hanging flowers of a bell-shaped lavender-blue hue.
Spear Phacelia (Phacelia hastata)
In the wild, the species is found in the United States of America, and he prefers to grow in thickets of wormwood and coniferous forests. The height of the bushes is about half a meter. The flowers are small white or light purple. This view differs from the others in that on the surface of the leaf plates there are almost parallel veins and dense silver hairs. This species has a fairly popular variety - Alpina: the bush has spreading shoots and short inflorescences of a lavender-purple hue, in nature you can meet up to 3.5 thousand meters above sea level.
Silky Phacelia (Phacelia sericea)
Under natural conditions, such a fairly popular plant is found in North America from Colorado to Alaska and from Utah to New Mexico. The bush has several or only 1 unbranched stem, reaching a height of about 0.45 m. On the surface of the plant there is pubescence, consisting of silky delicate silver hairs. Leaf plates deeply cut. The flowers have a lavender, blue or purple color and long stamens, making the plant outwardly similar to monarda or lupine. Varieties:
- Ciliosa. It is found in nature on the grassy slopes of Oregon. In height, such multi-ciliate phacelia reaches about 20 centimeters. From greenish-gray foliage, on the surface of which there are thin hairs, such grass forms a rug. The color of the flowers is purple.
- Verna. This species is found in nature among basalt stones in Oregon. The bushes reach a height of about 25 centimeters. The final inflorescences of the racemose form consist of white or bluish flowers.
Phacelia bellflower (Phacelia campanularia), or Phacelia californian, or California bell
A species native to southern California. The height of such an annual is about 25 centimeters. Upright and fragile shoots are painted in a pale red color. The greenish-blue weakly lobed petiolar leaf plates reach a length of about 60 mm, along the edge of them there is a brown-red border. Pistoid-shaped unilateral inflorescences consist of bell-shaped dark blue flowers, reaching about 30 mm across, at the base they have dark spots. The most popular variety is Blue Bonnet: rich blue flowers adorn the bush, reaching a height of about 0.4 m.
Phacelia twisted (Phacelia congesta)
At the tops of the shoots, twisted inflorescences grow, consisting of blue small flowers, which in diameter reach no more than half a centimeter. Stems in length reach about 0.5 m, they are decorated with greenish leaf plates, on the surface of which there is a dense pubescence.
The height of the bush is about half a meter, its leaf plates are densely pubescent. Small flowers in diameter reach about 30 mm, the corolla is white inside, and its outer surface is covered with specks of purple. Such a plant appeared recently as a result of selection.
Still cultivated species such as: Phacelia multifolia, full-grain and Lyell.
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