Warm beds: taking care of an early harvest


The end of winter and the beginning of spring are the most difficult months, when conservation is already pretty fed up, and you don’t want to buy young greenery grown in some unknown way. Because pannie harvest «vitamins» on their own beds — the dream of any summer resident. But the climate is not at all conducive to our desires and needs.

However homo sapiens would be called something else if he did not know how to find successful solutions in any difficult situation. I won’t talk about technical innovations today — in the realities of the private economy, this is, to put it mildly, a luxury. But using the experience accumulated by previous generations and modern ingenuity is our option. Therefore, today we will talk about warm beds.

Someone only heard about them, someone successfully uses them, and someone has already managed to be disappointed …

The pros and cons of this method will be summarized at the end of each section, but for now a few words about all the possible options for warm beds, based on biological processes and geography.
Many must have noticed that the first spring clearings appear on the hills and on the south side of the buildings.
In the first case, the law of geography works: the higher, the further south. Actually, the method of high beds is based on this. Vertical walls warm up faster, in order to speed up the process they are placed strictly along the north-south line and made narrow from 40 to 70 cm (ideal for high yields) with passages 1 m wide.
If high beds are made along the west-east line, but with a slope to the south, then the effect of rapid warming will be even greater, because the angle of incidence of the sun’s rays will increase: each degree of slope will give a conditional shift of the beds by 100 km to the south.

But keep in mind that in summer it will be much hotter in such a bed and it may require shading.

NUANCE: all high beds are subject to rapid drying, which is good for areas at risk of flooding and bad for vegetable gardens without wind protection. So that the soil does not dry out to a critical level in your absence, high (above 15 cm) beds must be equipped with drip irrigation.

So, high boxes are one of the options for warm beds, which will speed up an early harvest 7-10 days earlier. Do you want faster? There is also such an option.
No heating, only natural processes! The whole method is the transfer of the process of biological decomposition of organic matter, accompanied by the release of heat passing in the compost pit into an ordinary bed.
The period of intense heat release is in the active phase for about six months, so making a warm bed in the spring does not make sense: in spring, the heating effect will be minimal, and in summer, the roots of plants simply “cook”. The bookmark of the «heating element» is done in the fall.
If this type of bed is created for a winter greenhouse, then Baikal-type preparations and its analogues are used to speed up the process.

Is it still possible to lay a similar open garden bed in the spring?

Consider for yourself: the aforementioned compost ripening accelerators begin to act in just two weeks.

Given that a warm bed will be sown in mid-March, then it must be done at least by the beginning of the month. If the weather is favorable, then why not.

For those who are not yet familiar with the device of such a bed, I give a diagram:

Laying sequence: a fine-mesh net is laid on the bottom — it will protect against rodents.

The bottom layer consists of thin branches left after pruning the garden.

The layer above is sod taken from the area under the bed. It is turned upside down.

Next comes a layer of summer-cut grass, last year’s leaves, in general, everything that can become humus by spring. And only a layer of fertile soil is poured on top of it.

IMPORTANT! Warm beds according to this method have several features:
  • heated soil in early spring will give a quick start to plants and will warm the roots, however, the difference in daily temperatures and spring frosts can destroy tender seedlings, therefore it is important to build seedlings over the garden before planting seedlings in the ground elementary greenhouse from a glass frame, film or geotextile, density at least 50 g/m2;
  • in summer, the process of heat release will not be so intense, but all the same, the soil should be cooled in time by irrigation (within reasonable limits).
There are two more types of beds that can protect the soil from hypothermia and overheating at the same time.
The essence of their “work” is simple: the walls are laid out from a heat-insulating material, the middle is filled with a fertile soil mixture, and covered with dry thermal insulation (a layer of straw and a film) on top. In the spring, the shelter (only the top one!) Is removed, the bed is covered with a greenhouse, and after a week the bed is ready for planting seedlings.
Straw beds — the same high beds, but lined with bales of straw. The disadvantage of straw beds can be the fact that rodents will surely find a winter shelter in warm straw, which will not refuse to feast on the sweet roots of young seedlings in spring.

The option is suitable for winter greenhouses.

manure beds completely (including the bottom) is made from a mixture of manure and straw. They also need to be insulated with a dry shelter for the winter and covered with a greenhouse in the spring.

The walls not only warm, but also fertilize the soil, however, such beds are completely unsuitable for tomatoes (they will begin to “fatten” and forget about fruiting). But this is a good way to get an early harvest of cucumbers and radishes.

It may not be suitable for a winter greenhouse because of the smell, which will not interfere in the open space, and will increase significantly in the walls of the greenhouse.

What else to read on the site:

Vertical garden: mini-beds with maxi yields

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