In the cold season, when the harvest season is already over, we often lack fresh greens in our diet.
The solution to this issue can be the cultivation of some crops at home. One of the most popular plants for the home garden is sorrel.
This plant exhibits anti-inflammatory, antiscorbutic, tonic, stimulating digestion, hemostatic and tonic effects. Learn how to grow this plant at home.
Can I plant greenery on a windowsill or balcony?
In order to enjoy the juicy sorrel leaves in winter, you do not have to wait for the summer season or buy it in the store. This culture feels good at home too. There are over 200 species of sorrel. They can differ in taste, germination, size of shoots and leaves. Different types can also differ in the most suitable cooking methods. But most of them can be grown on a windowsill or in an insulated loggia without much hassle.
The best varieties
Almost all varieties of sorrel can grow at home.but is best suited for this.
Large, green, oblong-ovoid leaves. Gives a good harvest, moderately sour, resistant to stemming. Well suited for use in salads, fresh.
Large, yellow-green leaves of a wide ovoid shape. In terms of productivity and taste, it is not inferior to the Altai. Leaves are more fleshy. Suitable for cooked dishes: soup, pie, canning, etc.
Early variety. The leaves are small, light green in color. Moderately acidic, with a high content of vitamin C... Suitable for fresh consumption.
The leaves are large, green. Yields good, but not stem-resistant. Universal in use.
The choice of variety depends on the desired method of preparation, preferences in appearance.
How to choose the right place?
Sorrel is a rather unpretentious culture. In the home garden, it will feel great both on the windowsill and on the insulated loggia. But there are several nuances in choosing a place.
For growing sorrel, as with any greenery, it is best to choose a window facing south. However, he is patient with a little shading. In winter, when the sunny day becomes short, it is recommended to install additional lighting. It is necessary so that the shoots of the plant do not stretch out. An additional light source can be a fluorescent lamp installed at a height of about 60 cm.
Sorrel is a fairly cold-resistant plant... The optimal temperature range for it is from + 5 ° С to + 20 ° С. Under natural conditions, it is able to withstand frosts down to -7 ° C. But in a home environment, it is better not to create such stressful conditions for him. If you have a loggia that maintains a positive temperature even in winter, then this will be the best option.
Soil for growing sorrel is best to choose slightly acidic, fertile, peaty. Soil can be brought from your summer cottage if it is suitable for growing this crop. In this case, it is worth carrying out a disinfecting procedure in order to destroy pathogenic bacteria and avoid plant diseases in the future. Alternatively, you can use a commercially available universal substrate. Don't forget about the drainage layer.
Which pot to take?
You can use a flower pot, plastic container, wooden box to grow sorrel.... A wooden container for the size of the window sill is best suited. The height of the planting pot should be at least 20 cm for good growth and development of the root system. It is advisable to fill the drainage layer at the bottom of the container. It is also necessary to have holes to remove excess moisture.
- When choosing seeds, first of all, you need to focus on the plant variety. It is also necessary to check the expiration dates, storage conditions, the integrity of the packaging. It is best to buy seeds from specialized stores.
- After you have decided on the choice of seeds, prepared the soil and container for planting, you can start growing. First of all, it is recommended to soak the seeds in warm water overnight, covered with gauze. You can add a special nutrient solution for quick emergence.
- Further, in the previously prepared soil, it is necessary to make small grooves about 1 cm deep at a distance of 7-10 cm from each other. Pour seeds into them at a distance of 4-5 cm between themselves. After sowing, the furrows should be covered with soil, the soil should be abundantly moistened. For more intensive germination, you can cover the container with plastic wrap.
- The germination time depends on the sorrel variety, it usually takes from 3 days to a week. After the shoots have appeared, the film should be removed. After 3-4 leaves have formed on the seedlings, the plants should be thinned out if necessary.
Growing by forcing
There is another way to grow sorrel at home. This is the division of rhizomes and forcing greens from them. This method can be used if sorrel of the variety you need is already growing in your country house.
- In an adult bush (2-3 years old), you need to dig out the rhizome. It is better to do this in late October - early December.
- After that, the rhizome is shortened to a length of 10-12 cm and planted in prepared moist soil.
- For the first week, the container should be kept in a cool place, then brought to a warm place. During the entire process, the soil must be abundantly moistened.
This method is only suitable if you already have a plant in your country house. And it takes significantly more effort and time than growing from seed. In addition, on the rhizome, you can transfer pathogenic bacteria from open ground to home conditions, which threatens diseases of both the sorrel itself and other domestic plants. Therefore, it is recommended to grow sorrel from seeds.
Forcing greens from the rhizome is carried out in boxes, at a temperature of + 17- + 20 ° С... A root is planted in a planting container prepared as described above, the soil is abundantly moistened and periodically fed.
Crop care at home
- Sorrel loves moisture, but in moderation, so you need to moisten the soil as needed.
- 1-2 times a month, you can carry out top dressing with universal fertilizer for indoor plants in accordance with the instructions.
- It is also necessary to loosen the soil so that moisture and oxygen better penetrate the roots of the plant.
- After the seedlings have been thinned, the temperature, sunlight and moisture should be monitored. If you observe these factors, then soon the sorrel will delight you with a fresh harvest.
If you grow sorrel on a balcony or loggia, you should not place it in the place of drafts. If the temperature does not drop below + 5 ° C at night, then you can not bring it into the room.
If sorrel grows on your windowsill, remember that it does not like direct sunlight.... During the growth process, it is not recommended to frequently rearrange the container with seedlings.
You can harvest sorrel when the leaves reach 7-10 cm in height. They should be cut off with scissors or by hand, carefully so as not to damage the growth buds. The harvested crop is recommended to be eaten immediately, as long as all vitamins and useful properties are preserved in it.
After pruning the first crop, the plants will continue to delight you with fresh greens for a long time. In place of the cut leaves, new ones will appear..
Sorrel also gets along well with other plants with similar conditions. You can plant it along with arugula, spinach. But so that the plants do not interfere with each other.
Diseases and pests
The most common diseases and pests of sorrel:
Watch carefully so that they do not appear on sorrel and other houseplants. In order to avoid these troubles, it is necessary to carry out the correct tillage before sowing.
Growing greens at home in the winter is an excellent solution during a period of vitamin deficiency. It does not require much effort and special skills, and your green mini-garden will delight you with fresh and tasty greens even in the most severe frosts.