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Growing sorrel in a summer cottage is more a hobby than a professional activity. But, if you make a little effort, you can not only be content with a small amount of greens with an original taste, but also grow sorrel for sale.
Naturally, it is possible to consider sorrel as an industrial culture, but for this it is necessary to study not only the agricultural technology of the plant and ensure stable proper care for it, but also choose the right variety (for example, grow broadleaf sorrel), invest a lot of money in high-quality seeds, place for growing greens, storage room and sales contract. This venture is not bad, but it is necessary to deal with the process very seriously, not with the scale of a greenhouse of 20 m2 or the same garden, otherwise the sense will be insignificant. And therefore, we will not do business from everything that is available in the country, but simply learn how to grow sorrel for ourselves, so that the fresh leaves are enough for the summer period for our own consumption, and that all the qualities of the plant are preserved in the best way.
Sorrel is very useful for the human body, but only in its early, young form, when fresh leaves contain a complex of vitamins (PP, B2, C, A) and acids (citric and malic). When the plant grows old and produces peduncles, oxalic acid accumulates in the leaves, which is already harmful to the body. Therefore, grow sorrel and collect a young crop for a wide variety of dishes, and we will try to help you with this.
Growing sorrel in the country
Choosing a place to plant sorrel
To get a good crop, you must correctly determine the location of the crop. For sorrel, this is a slightly shaded place, quiet and with partial light by warm sunshine, with moist fertile soil, but always without stagnation of water in the garden. The best sorrel soils are drained peat, sandy loam and loam with humus. Also, you should monitor the level of groundwater in the area of one meter, and the acidity of the soil - pH 4.5-5.
Sorrel is sown in the ground in spring, but it is advisable to prepare the soil in the fall. To do this, add 6-7 kg of humus, 30 g of superphosphate and not more than 30 g of potassium chloride per square meter of beds. In the spring, just before sorrel is sown in the soil, it is necessary to supplement its content with ammonium nitrate (2 g), potassium salt (2 g), superphosphate (4 g), urea (40 g) and again humus, but already 3-5 kg. All of these fertilizers are applied based on the quantity per square meter of beds.
Preparation of sorrel seeds before sowing
To get good seedlings and a stable crop, we recommend preparing the seeds. To do this, they should be soaked for 48 hours and soaked in gauze. Also, it can be treated with special nutritional compounds, but this is not necessary at all.
Sowing sorrel seeds
Growing sorrel from seeds is as follows. Seeds are sown in prepared soil, to a depth of about 1.5 cm, every 3-5 cm and with a row spacing of 12-15 cm. Sowing is mulched with peat or another mulch convenient for you. After sowing, the garden bed can be covered with foil, in which case the first seedlings will appear after 4-6 days. If you expect shoots without a film, then it will take up to two weeks.
After the first small greens appeared on the soil surface, the sorrel must be thinned out, leaving a distance of 10 cm between future bushes.
Early spring sowing makes it possible to harvest already this year, but sorrel can also be sown in the ground in summer and in winter. Summer sowing strengthens well before winter and gives greenery in early spring. Sowing in the winter is done so that the seeds do not germinate this year and do not freeze. Only then in the spring is a harvest possible. Sowing in the winter often falls out, and therefore, our summer residents are accustomed to ignore it.
The first thing to observe is timely watering, otherwise drying out the soil can lead to the rapid development of peduncles and the deterioration of the quality of the crop. It is important to remove the flower stalks, which, nevertheless, have risen above the sockets.
The soil in the ranks of the sorrel should loosen and mulch, do not forget about fertilizers, which is best done with mullein with the addition of potassium and phosphorus (mullein 1: 6 with water + 15 g of these mineral fertilizers).
In the autumn period, in order to support the formed outlets before wintering and to lay forces in them for the next year, about 4-5 kg per square meter are introduced into the sorrel aisles with humus or compost, as before planting. This will help to mulch the rhizomes of already adult plants that are exposed during the harvest period.
Harvesting sorrel occurs at the moment when the plants form 4-5 middle leaves. Fresh green leaves are cut with a sharp knife, a few centimeters from the soil level. In the process, the main thing is not to damage the apical buds of the plant so that the sorrel can give birth further.
After each cut of the leaves, the plants are fed so that they do not weaken, the soil is watered and mulched.
Sorrel diseases and pests
Sorrel greens are often affected by powdery mildew. From the side of pests, the main attacks come from aphids, false caterpillars of a sorrel sawfly and leaf beetle of a sorrel.
The most correct way is to properly prevent diseases and pests, and not to use harmful chemicals that accumulate in the leaves. For this, it is necessary not to start the beds, to thin out the plants in time, to provide decent care with weeding and harvesting the weed. The use of chemistry is possible only after the final harvest.
As you can see growing sorrel in the garden is quite simplewithout problematic processes. In the same way, sorrel is grown at home, if you decide to get greens without going to the cottage. The main thing is proper soil and seed preparation, care and top dressing.