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The protection of a seedling allows germination at a time or in conditions that would have been unfavorable directly in the ground.
This protection goes from the judicious choice of a location of sowing (coastal, teenagers) to the culture in terrine or box in a greenhouse, through the protection of bells and tunnels, or the sowing in chests or under chassis, on more or less hot layers (natural or artificial layers).

Steps

  1. Sowing in place or in nursery
  2. Characteristics of the different types of layers
  3. Sowing in a warm greenhouse

Sowing in place or in nursery

The coastal is a good way to protect early crops. The sloping face of the flower bed benefits from the least rays of the sun.

The coastal is a good way to protect early crops. The sloping face of the flower bed benefits from the least rays of the sun.

The coastal
This is the simplest and most natural way to promote seed germination early in the season. It is simply an earthen platform of variable width (about 1 m), leaned to 40 cm from the foot of a wall (so as to provide a passage), facing south, towards which it is inclined in order to receive the sun's rays vertically as early as possible in the morning (average slope: 20%). Seeding is done on the fly or in rows, usually for transplanting.
The back, little practiced today, can be defined as a coastal unprotected by a wall.

The plastic tunnel, easy to install and open in good weather, can protect an entire plank of culture in the garden.

The plastic tunnel, easy to install and open in good weather, can protect an entire plank of culture in the garden.

Tunnels
Translucent soft plastic, they facilitate the emergence of seed sown on the coast, in place or nursery. These means of temporary protection, within which there is a significant warming from the first rays of the sun, will be used for early planting as well as for the late preservation of crops.

The bell, made of glass, or nowadays often made of plastic, allows a punctual protection of isolated vegetables (melons for example).

The bell, made of glass, or nowadays often made of plastic, allows a punctual protection of isolated vegetables (melons for example).

The bells
Whether they are made of glass or plastic, they are used to look for the same effects but they also offer an easy movement adapted to isolated or unitary seedlings.

This small English bell, with separate windows, is very easily movable.

This small English bell, with separate windows, is very easily movable.

This glass bell with separable walls is very practical because it allows to leave one or two open sides depending on the chosen orientation, which is largely as effective as lifting the bell to let aeration.

Protection by paillots of a wooden chest.

Protection by paillots of a wooden chest.

The chests and glazed frames They offer more effective protection of seedlings because they are real shelters for plants. We distinguish here simple wooden or metal frame chests and masonry frames (less and less common in our gardens).
In all cases they consist of an entourage and a removable glass surface. The interior is filled with soil on which are sown. The temperature inside this shelter will vary first depending on the sun. But it is insufficient during the winter or early in the season to warm the atmosphere of the chassis and create the conditions of germination a booster heating is necessary. It is obtained by the manufacture of layers or by the installation of electrical resistances.

Cutting a chassis with a warm layer.

Cutting a chassis with a warm layer.

The sowing under chassis They are generally done in lines, often in the direction of the smallest width of the frame. Here again the seedlings are intended for transplanting, with the exception of ephemeral crops (radish) or those of chilly plants (cucurbits). The frames should be opened as soon as the sun causes excessive temperature, and mulched when frost is felt. To avoid the sun too bright, we place racks to shade on the windows.

Characteristics of the different types of layers

Layer typeconstituentsTemperature
reached
Period of use
Hot layerFresh manure (horse)More than 20° CFrom November to March
Warm layer2/3 fresh manure
1/3 old manure
15° CJanuary
1/2 fresh manure
1/2 old manure
February
1/3 fresh manure
2/3 old manure
March April
Cold layerOld man and leavesequal to that of the groundMay to October

Sowing in a warm greenhouse

Sowing in a box (or terrine) is done in a fine earthy mixture, rich in humus and light, with a sub-layer of gravel for drainage.

Sowing in a box (or terrine) is done in a fine earthy mixture, rich in humus and light, with a sub-layer of gravel for drainage.

The greenhouse seedlings They are usually in small boxes, rare today being the large greenhouses that offer grounded parts arranged on the ground (greenhouse backed). We used to sow in wooden boxes or in earthen pots.
The sowing in a box must be in an earthy mixture rich in humus, light and very permeable. The ideal here is to mix top soil, peat, sand and compost and sift the whole before filling the box. A drainage layer consisting of shards of pots and gravel is placed at the bottom of the latter and then filled with the earth mixture.

The seeds are generally divided into lines, on the ground previously packed (but not too much) with a small wooden bat.

The seeds are generally divided into lines, on the ground previously packed (but not too much) with a small wooden bat.

After surface leveling and settlement of the soil, the seeds can be sown on the fly, followed by sealing and possibly sieving of potting soil. The humidification of the whole is done first by drench that is to say by soaking the box in a few centimeters of water so as to allow a rise of water by capillarity. To limit evaporation, place a window on the box, set so that it still allows air to pass.

A mini greenhouse, with integrated electric resistors is a real warm layer and promotes a very fast emergence of plants.

A mini greenhouse, with integrated electric resistors is a real warm layer and promotes a very fast emergence of plants.

There are today in the trade of Mini-greenhouses, which are in the form of boxes surmounted by a clear plastic bell with ventilation holes, in which the seedlings are practiced as indicated above.
Cucurbitaceae can be sown in peat cups that break up after placement, which avoids the shock of fatal transplantation to these plants. Their sowing can be done very early in the greenhouse, provided that it is heated, or that the cups are placed on heating tablets (by electric resistances) which are nowadays modern greenhouses. We can also put them in a mini heated greenhouse.

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