Features of sowing dill and parsley in the winter
As a general rule, it is customary to sow greens in the spring, when the earth has already warmed up enough. However, since there are always a lot of other urgent work on the site during this period, it is always tempting to transfer the maximum part of planting activities to a more autumnally calm season in this regard, so that after the snow melts, young shoots will immediately see. About whether planted and how to plant dill and parsley in the winter, will be discussed in this review.
Is it possible to sow parsley and dill in the winter?
In order to understand whether parsley and dill can be planted in autumn, one simple rule should be remembered: those crops are planted in winter, the winter hardiness of which allows the temperature drop characteristic of this climate zone to be tolerated. We advise you to learn how to quickly sprout dill seeds. Those plants in which the leaves are smooth and undescended have a high winter hardiness (the presence of villi on the leaf plate is designed to protect it from extreme heat, this feature is characteristic of heat-loving crops). Since parsley and dill do not have villi on the leaves, these crops are suitable for winter sowing no worse than onions, garlic, beets, carrots or celery.
Moreover, this method of planting has a significant advantage over the spring, as it allows you to get the crop a few weeks earlier. The fact is that the seeds of dill and parsley are protected from the outside by a dense layer of essential oil, due to which the process of germination of these plants under normal conditions can stretch for a whole month.
To speed up the process, the seeds must be germinated by soaking in water for several days, but in this case they can be planted only in very well-warmed soil. Thus, in spring sowing, seedlings in any case have to wait no earlier than at the beginning of May, and the active sun at that time very quickly burns tender shoots, preventing them from getting stronger. Winter planting, by contrast, provides the opportunity to have on your table the first fresh greens already in late March - early April (unless, of course, the spring came out early).
Did you know? Parsley is very rich in vitamin C. Its green branches of ascorbic acid contain four times more than in lemon.
Another plus of winter planting of greens is that the seeds undergo natural hardening in cold soil, so unexpected spring frosts, even if they occur after warming, will not be dangerous for seedlings.
The best varieties for winter cultivation
Despite the foregoing, not all types of greenery are equally well suited for wintering in the ground. For autumn planting, it is necessary to choose varieties that have maximum frost resistance, especially when it comes to those regions where winters are quite severe.
Below are the varieties of parsley and dill, which can be safely planted in autumn in the temperate zone:
|Cold-resistant varieties of parsley||Cold-resistant varieties of dill|
When is the best time to plant?
In addition to the correct choice of variety, the technology of winter sowing of greens also involves a competent choice of planting time. The trick is that the seed that has fallen into the ground must have time to acclimatize before the onset of frost, otherwise it will simply freeze before the start of spring.
However, on the other hand, if sowing is carried out in September, when the soil is still quite warm and besides it is abundantly moistened by early autumn rains, then the seeds will begin to sprout quickly and the first young seedlings will be destroyed by the frost that has come to this point. If perennial parsley after such stress can still "wake up" in the spring, then dill will be completely destroyed.
Important! The period of winter planting of greens should be determined based on the degree of cooling of the soil. A general recommendation would be: wait until the first frost sets in and start sowing at a time when the surface layer of the earth is frozen to a depth of no more than 2-3 cm.
If you start from the readings of the thermometer, then on average they should be from 0 to + 3 ° C during the day and not lower than –3 ° C at night.
The calendar dates for sowing can vary greatly, not only depending on the region, but also taking into account weather conditions, which also vary significantly from year to year. However, approximately in the middle lane, favorable conditions occur in the second half of October or a little later, in the southern regions of Russia, as well as in Ukraine, sowing is carried out in November - from the middle to the end of the month.
Technology for planting and growing dill and parsley
The technology of winter planting of greens has a number of significant differences from the rules for conducting the same work in the spring, and these features must be taken into account.
Video: Sowing dill and parsley in the fall
Preparing seeds for winter sowing is both a simple and a complex process. Simple, since no soaking, germination and dressing of seeds during this period is absolutely impossible. It is difficult, because for this very reason the quality of the seed material is very difficult to determine.
Important! In autumn, seeds should be laid in the ground only absolutely dry and not sprouted. Also, in no case should you water the garden during or after sowing. Any measures that stimulate the germination of seeds during planting in the winter can lead to their death.
For autumn planting of parsley and dill, it is especially important to purchase seed material from a trusted producer, and the only thing that should be done with the seeds at the stage of their preparation for sowing is a visual inspection and rejection of the smallest or obviously damaged specimens.
Preparation of beds
But the preparation of the beds for planting greens in the fall requires some attention. Start by choosing a place. Both dill and parsley grow well exclusively in warm and very well-lit areas. In addition, both cultures normally tolerate gusts of wind, but feel bad in places where air circulation is difficult.
Greens are no less demanding on the composition of the soil: the earth must necessarily be fertile, rich in organic matter, humus and the main minerals (nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, etc.), light and loose. An acid-base balance is preferable to a neutral one - greens do not grow well on acidic soil, but liming is also undesirable before planting (this is especially true for dill, which changes from green to red from excess of lime).
The best predecessors for greens are cucumbers, cabbage, potatoes, beets, carrots.
Another secret of planting greens is the orientation of the beds from north to south. With this arrangement, the seedlings are more evenly lit and warmed up in the sun.
Choosing a place for the future beds, you can begin to prepare it. It is better to carry out this procedure in early autumn, since at that time it was easier to dig up the ground that did not freeze, in addition, after digging, the soil should have time to sag and settle.
At the same time as digging, fertilizers must be added to the ground. If there is no way to fully enrich the garden with organic matter, you can use mineral dressings, for example:
|Chemical element||Drug name||Consumption per 1 m², g|
The excavated bed must be loosened and leveled as best as possible. Then, in order to prevent germination of weeds and waterlogging of the soil, it is recommended to cover the prepared area with any improvised material (a sheet of slate or roofing material, cardboard, coniferous paws, etc.). Important! With nitrogen fertilizers during winter sowing, you need to be very careful, since this mineral stimulates rapid and active germination, which in this case should not be allowed, otherwise the plant will die in winter.
Sow parsley or dill in the fall, taking into account the following rules:
- Depth of seeds should be more significant than during spring sowing, because the soil near the surface freezes too much. Therefore, furrows must be dug with a depth of at least 4–5 cm. The standard row spacing is 10–12 cm.
- Sowing seeds into a prepared furrow is necessary more densely, making allowance for the fact that culling of non-viable seeds has not been carried out and, in addition, individual specimens can freeze until spring. For all such losses, usually an additional 15–20% is laid in comparison with the spring planting.
- Good results are obtained by pre-mixing the seeds with river sand. In this form, putting them into the furrows is much more convenient, and the result is more uniform.
- It is best to fill up the furrows not with earth, but with light and loose organic matter - peat, humus, sawdust or sand mixed with soil. Such a cover, on the one hand, will additionally warm the seeds in winter, on the other hand, it will facilitate their germination after warming (the heavier the soil layer, the more difficult it is for the germ to break out).
- After planting, it is advisable to cover the bed with a layer of mulch. As such, you can use fallen leaves, straw, hay or coniferous paws.
Did you know? The scientific name for parsley is Petroselinum. This word has daily Greek roots and literally means "celery growing on stones." According to one version, the diminutive suffix to the Latin root was the first to be added by the Poles, and already the Polish "pietruszka" took root in other Slavic languages, including Russian.
Caring for winter greens is not particularly difficult. As soon as the snow melts and the air warms up a bit, the mulch should be removed from the garden and wait for the first shoots. Then the bed needs to be thinned out a bit so that young plants do not interfere with each other. Late frosts in winter crops are usually not scary, however, if the temperature drops to critical levels (short-term below –6 ° C or long-term below –3 ° C), the bed can again be covered with light agrofibre or other breathable material. The frame is not necessary at all.
If, despite all the efforts made, obvious “bald patches” are noticeable on the bed, fresh dill or parsley seeds can be planted on such plots, but in this case it is better to germinate them by soaking them in water or growth stimulators.
When the warm weather is finally established, the care of the green beds goes into the normal phase, common to winter and spring crops.
Agrotechnical measures, starting from this moment, include only such:
- watering as the soil dries (both dill and parsley are hygrophilous plants);
- loosening and weeding the soil (both procedures can be omitted if mulching is used);
- fertilizing with mineral fertilizers (no more than 2 times during the growing season, and in the last phases, the amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer should be limited and spraying should be done along with root dressing).
Among the dangers that may lie in wait for green beds, it should be called:
- the actions of moles (it is from these rodents that winter crops suffer most);
- invasion of aphids;
- fungal infections, especially rot.
Did you know? In ancient Greece, parsley was considered a symbol of Persephone - the goddess of fertility, the wife of the kingdom of the dead Hades.
You can be saved from diseases and insect pests with the help of appropriate fungicidal and insecticidal preparations (it is better to use modern biological agents that are safe for health and the environment). As for moles, a variety of repelling devices can help here - from ordinary impellers or rattles to more complex ultrasonic devices.
The dill has a growing season of about 40 days, and leaf parsley usually ripens in 60–80 days. For different varieties, these dates may vary slightly, but the trend generally remains: a full crop with autumn sowing of greens can be removed, depending on the growing region, in late spring or early summer. However, several fresh twigs for salad can be had regularly already with the advent of the first warm days.
Also learn about the technology of growing dill in a greenhouse.
Autumn planting of parsley and dill is not just acceptable, but even has a number of undeniable advantages. It is important only to choose the right variety of greens, paying attention to its winter hardiness, and also to conduct the sowing procedure taking into account the features provided for winter planting. And then in the spring, friendly seedlings turn green on the bed before the proponents of the traditional method of sowing can begin to carry out this work.