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Ground cover plants are invariably in demand by gardeners who want to disguise not particularly presentable places on the site and "bald spots" in flower beds. Many of them are very decorative and unpretentious. Yaskolka meets both criteria. There are several varieties of it, all of which are suitable for beginners. Growing a snow carpet from seeds and further care for it is within the power of even inexperienced gardeners.
Yaskolka Biberstein, on the basis of which the cultivar Snow Carpet was bred, has been known to gardeners for a long time, since the 20s of the 18th century. She was not subjected to targeted and multi-stage selection, such as roses, chrysanthemums, lilies. Outwardly, it differs slightly from its "wild" relative. Experts only worked on the size of the flowers (they became 0.5-0.8 cm larger in diameter) and shoots, forcing them to creep.
From the “ancestor” of the shingle, the Snow Carpet inherited all the qualities due to which this weed was considered extremely tenacious. It successfully adapts to the peculiarities of the local climate and the vagaries of the weather, takes root in a substrate of almost any quality, requires minimal maintenance, and does not need special preparation for winter.
Description of the variety and characteristics
Yaskolka Snow Carpet is a plant from the Clove family. In nature, its "relatives" are found throughout Eurasia, North and South America, the North African coast, even in Australia. The name (in Greek "horned") is due to the specific shape of the fruit. However, "cultural" varieties are rarely tied.
Yaskolka Snow carpet is a herbaceous perennial with intensively branching, thin shoots covered with a thick short "pile". Above the soil, they rise to a maximum of 25-30 cm, then nod and spread.
The roots are very developed, actively growing in width and depth. They occupy an area of about 1 m2 in one specimen of the Snow Carpet. The stems that lie on the ground take root quickly.
Leaves without petioles, whole, small (4-5 cm), rather narrow, also with an edge. Because of this, they take on an unusual silvery-green hue. The size of the sheet plates allows you to reduce the evaporation area, and the snow carpet can go without moisture for a long time.
Flowering begins at the end of May, stretching for about a month. The flowers are about 2 cm in diameter and look like stars. The petals (there are always 5 of them) are snow-white, the core is bright yellow. The edge of each is as if slightly "torn". Blossoming of chickweed Winter carpet is very abundant. The buds are concentrated at the tops of the shoots. Because of this, the plant resembles a snowdrift.
The flowers at the Yaskolka Winter carpet are modest, but there are a lot of them
Important! Regular pruning of the winter carpet during the season will cause the plant to bloom again in late summer and early fall if the weather is warm and sunny.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
The indisputable advantages of the Winter Carpet chippers include:
- Decorativeness throughout the active growing season. The flowering plant and its foliage look very beautiful.
- Wide range of applications in landscape design.
- Cold resistance. In central Russia and even in the more severe climatic conditions of the Urals, Siberia, the Far East, the yaskolka successfully winters. It can withstand temperatures as low as -40 ° C.
- General undemandingness to the gardener. This also applies to the quality of the substrate, and the place of planting, and care during the growing season.
- "Stress tolerance". Yaskolka Winter Carpet is not particularly sensitive to heat, drought, direct sunlight. She will survive if the summer turns out to be cool and rainy.
- Very good immunity. Pest attacks, fungal diseases for shingles are an exceptional phenomenon.
- Ease of reproduction. The purchased seeds are distinguished by excellent germination, the seedlings quickly take root and start growing after planting in a flower bed. The plant reproduces without the participation of the gardener - the stems take root, the root system expands.
The last advantage of the winter carpet in the eyes of some gardeners is, on the contrary, a disadvantage. If it is not cut off regularly and in a timely manner, it can quickly "creep" through the flowerbed and the plot, simply "hammering" other flowers and other herbaceous plants. Gardeners have not been able to identify other objective disadvantages over several centuries of cultivation.
Not all gardeners like the fact that the Winter Carpet is actively growing.
Yaskolka Winter Carpet reproduces successfully even without human help. Often, he even faces the opposite problem - how to restrain the growth of a flower. In addition to planting seeds, there are two vegetative methods:
- Division of the bush. Instances at the age of 3-4 years in the spring, before the beginning of the active growing season, are dug up together with an earthen lump, trying to injure the root system to a minimum, divided into 3-4 equal parts with a sharp knife or shovel, and immediately transplanted to a new place.
- Cuttings. At the end of June or at the beginning of July, the top is cut off with a length of 12-15 cm, without buds. All leaves are removed from the lower third, the base is kept in a solution of a root formation stimulator for 2-3 hours and immediately planted in a permanent place. Until the stalk starts growing, it is important to protect it from direct sunlight.
Cuttings of chickweed Winter carpet take root quickly, in 10-12 days
Important! Vegetatively propagated chickweed, the Snow Carpet blooms as early as the next season. From specimens grown from seeds, this will have to wait 2 years.
Planting and caring for a perennial snow carpet
Growing seedlings of perennial chickweed A snow carpet from seeds at home is a task that even a novice gardener can cope with. Preparing a flower bed is also easy. It is only necessary, if possible, to take into account the "wishes" of the plant, of which he has a minimum.
When to plant chickweed on seedlings Snow carpet
The timing depends on the region of cultivation. The Snow Carpet seedlings are ready for transplanting into the ground at the age of 25-30 days. It is carried out when the risk of returnable spring frosts is minimized. For central Russia, the favorable period begins in mid-May, in a more severe climate it is worth waiting until early June, in the south it can be planted already in early May. Accordingly, chickweed seedlings are sown during April.
Soil and seed preparation
Preparing a flower bed for a Snow Carpet begins with choosing a suitable place. In principle, the plant will take root almost anywhere, but in completely inappropriate areas, the pace of development slows down sharply, flowering turns out to be poor. Yaskolka prefers good lighting or light partial shade. The quality and fertility of the substrate is unimportant if it is not swampy and the groundwater does not approach the surface closer than 1 m. The ideal option is a rather light, sandy soil with a slightly acidic pH.
The preparation goes like this:
- 20-25 days before planting, dig up the flowerbed to a depth of about one shovel's bayonet, adding humus or compost (2-3 l / m²).
- Immediately before planting, loosen the soil, mark holes 8-10 cm deep with an interval of at least 50 cm (preferably 70-80 cm) between them.
Important! When planted in the wrong place, the plant will try to independently "migrate" from the flower bed to where it considers the conditions more favorable for itself.
Seed preparation for planting requires a standard one. Although, in principle, you can do without it at all, the germination of the planting material is good. From the seeds of the Snow Carpet, first select those that will not germinate for sure (they float if they are placed in a container with a saline solution), then the remaining ones are soaked in the biostimulator for 30-40 minutes.
Planting a snow carpet for seedlings
Planting seeds for seedlings is carried out according to the following algorithm:
- Fill peat pots or plastic cups with a special seedling soil or a mixture of peat with a "baking powder" (sand, perlite, vermiculite) in equal proportions.
- Create a "greenhouse" by covering them with glass or plastic bags. Remove containers in a dark place. Provide a temperature of 22-25 ° C. Ventilate daily to remove accumulated condensation.
The percentage of germination of the seeds of the Snow Carpet is large, but they germinate unevenly. The process takes 10-20 days.
Seedling care and planting in open ground
Containers with seedlings are transferred to a well-lit place. They are watered no more than once every 10-12 days. Fertilizers are not required before transplanting to a flower bed. A pick, if more than one seed was planted in one pot, is carried out when the seedlings reach a height of 5 cm, and they will have 2-3 true leaves.
It is more convenient to plant shingle seeds immediately in separate containers, so that later you do not have to dive the seedlings.
It is best to plant chickweed flowers in open ground on a cloudy but relatively warm day. About an hour before the procedure, the soil in containers with seedlings is watered abundantly. This will make it easier to remove them without damaging the roots and soil clod on them.
Plants are planted in prepared holes. If desired, a handful of sifted wood ash or a teaspoon of complex fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be thrown to the bottom. The gap between the earthen lump and the walls of the hole is filled with soil. Having reached the top, it is carefully tamped down, the seedlings of the Yaskolka Snow carpet are watered abundantly, spending about a liter of water for each.
Important! If you need to restrain the "spreading" of the flower outside the flower bed, it is recommended to immediately enclose it with slate, digging the strips vertically to a depth of 15-20 cm.
Yaskolka Snow carpet is a truly problem-free plant, caring for which takes a minimum of time and effort from the gardener. The flowerbed does not require weeding, mulching and loosening. Weeds simply cannot break through the dense "carpet", the soil under it is not baked with a crust, and the water does not evaporate quickly.
The plant requires the following agrotechnical measures:
- Watering. The shingle can do with natural precipitation. But if dry and hot weather is established for a long time, it is recommended to water it every 5-7 days, spending 8-10 liters of water per adult plant.
- Top dressing. If the substrate is quite fertile, enough humus or rotted compost poured onto the flower bed every 2-3 years in spring. With poor soil on the flower bed, once a month during the active growing season, any complex fertilizers for decorative flowering perennials or natural organic matter (infusions of manure, bird droppings, "tea" from weeds) are applied.
- Pruning. If the snow carpet grows too much, during the summer the "unnecessary" shoots are simply shortened. If desired, you can give the correct geometric configuration, the bush tolerates such a "haircut" well. When flowering is over, it is recommended to get rid of all faded buds and shorten the stems by about a third, stimulating branching.
- Preparing for winter. If especially severe frosts are predicted, the flower bed can be closed with 2-3 layers of any air-permeable covering material. It is better not to use lapnik and fallen leaves.
After flowering, it is recommended to cut the chickweed shortly.
Important! Chip bushes Snow carpet at the age of 10 years can be rejuvenated by carrying out a radical haircut in the spring and leaving only hemp 2-3 cm high from the shoots.
Pests and diseases
Yaskolka A winter carpet with minimal care and a well-chosen place for planting does not suffer from diseases and pests in principle. Excellent immunity is one of the main advantages of the plant.
The only problem a chick grower can face is rot. It develops if you are too zealous with watering, not considering how often it rains, turning the flower bed almost into a swamp. Another reason for the appearance of rot is planting in muddy or peat soil, where water stagnates for a long time.
Having found “watery” dark spots on the leaves of the chrysalis, blackening and damping the bases of the shoots, mold in the flowerbed, it is necessary to sharply reduce watering, allowing the soil to dry out 8-10 cm deep. All damaged parts of the plants are cut off, capturing another 0.5 cm of tissues that seem healthy in appearance. Severely affected specimens are destroyed completely.
In the future, you need to adjust the irrigation schedule. Within a month after the detection of the disease, use not ordinary water, but a solution of any fungicide, reducing the concentration of the drug by half compared to that recommended in the instructions.
Important! The chippings need sanitary pruning. Eggs and larvae of pests successfully winter in dry leaves and buds, which then attack the plants planted nearby.
What plants is combined with
Judging by the photo of flower beds and reviews of the Snow Carpet shingle, gardeners prefer the most obvious options for its use in landscape design - the creation of "green" carpets or "rivers" that occupy the space between tiles or boulders, decoration of alpine slides and rockeries.
A chisel rug is a suitable option for filling any empty spaces on the site
It looks impressive, but by combining the Snow Carpet with other plants, you can create more original flower beds. Suitable "neighbors" are:
- any large bulbous (lilies, tulips, certain varieties of daffodils);
- all flowers in a blue-violet range (lavender, sage, cornflowers, bells, armeria, sisyurinhia, echium);
- ornamental-leaved plants with silvery, whitish, bluish-gray leaves, used to create the so-called lunar gardens (rejuvenated, "cultured" wormwood, yarrow).
Companions in a flower bed for a chickweed A snow carpet must be selected so that they can withstand its growth
Important! Do not plant small bulbous plants that bloom at the same time (May-June) next to the Snow Carpet. It will simply "strangle" crocuses, muscari, bulbous irises.
Growing chickweed A snow carpet from seeds is a task that even a novice gardener can cope with. The plant lives up to its name. The flower beds really look like non-melting snowdrifts. Non-flowering chickweed retains its decorative effect until the end of the active growing season. Gardeners appreciate it for its undemanding care, fast growth rates, ease of reproduction, and the original shade of the leaves.
Reviews of Yaskolka Snow Carpet
Margarita Chernova, 26 years old, Samara
The Snow Carpet was shared with me, then a completely inexperienced gardener, by a neighbor in the country 3 years ago. During this time, the stalk has turned into a luxurious carpet with a diameter of about 2 m. The plant is completely problem-free, all care goes to watering and periodic pruning.
Svetlana Vasilyeva, 45 years old, Belgorod
Yaskolka The snow carpet on my site is more likely a river. The plant fills the gaps between large stones and tiles very beautifully. For more than 10 years, I have never had any pain. As for leaving, you can probably do without it at all, but I still water and feed from time to time.
Tatiana Selina, 37 years old, Kemerovo
I bought Yaskolka Snow Carpet, taking into account, first of all, frost resistance and unpretentiousness. The plant shows both of these qualities to the full. Another flower very quickly "spreads" over the site, you have to often prune, give away planting material to neighbors and friends.