Eggplant is a favorite vegetable of many. It is healthy, tasty, and it is not so difficult to grow it in the open ground, as is commonly believed. We will tell you what it takes.
The process of growing eggplants is very similar to the breeding of other popular nightshade: peppers and tomatoes. Start with the correct selection of seeds. For growing at the summer cottage, it is recommended to take early ripe fruit varieties that are resistant to adverse weather conditions. Usually they are better tolerated by abrupt changes in weather conditions, and also less affected by disease and pest damage.
Eggplants are heat-loving plants, so it is considered that they can be grown in open ground only in the southern regions. However, today there are many examples of successful cultivation of this crop in the middle lane, as well as in the Far East and the Urals. It is only necessary to choose the right varieties depending on the region.
Growing eggplants in the open field, it is important to properly prepare the landing site. Choose a sunny, protected from the wind plot. But keep in mind that eggplant loves heat, not heat. When the air temperature is about 28 ° C under the scorching sun, the plant will instantly shed the ovary, and you can forget about the long-awaited fruits.
The soil should be fertile and well drained. It is important that during the growth of the roots of eggplants can "breathe", so you should not plant the plants in heavy clay soil. In addition, this culture is very fond of water. Only at high humidity eggplants can give a decent harvest. Therefore, they need to be watered regularly, in no case allowing overdrying of the soil.
The bed for eggplants should be processed in the autumn. It is necessary to dig up the soil well, previously having brought in it phosphate and potash fertilizers at the rate of 60 g (each) per 1 sq.m. In the spring, remember to add nitrogen based fertilizers. They are embedded in the top layer of soil at the rate of 40 g per 1 sq. M. Just before planting the seedlings, you can also make a complete mineral fertilizer in the soil - 50-60 g per 1 sq. Km. m
Remember - do not plant eggplants after other cultures of the Solanaceae family - tomatoes, peppers, potatoes. In addition, this plant is not recommended to plant in the same place where they grew eggplant last season.
How to grow eggplant seedlings
Sowing eggplant seeds for seedlings usually begin in the first half of February. To do this, you should immediately take individual cups so that the seedlings do not have to dive, because eggplants tolerate this procedure very poorly.
Land can be purchased at a specialty store (a universal soil will be suitable) or taken from a vegetable garden. In the latter case, the soil should be disinfected (calcined in the oven, shed with boiling water or a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate) to get rid of pathogens and pests.
Before sowing the seeds, they are recommended to check for germination. It is enough to take 10 seeds, wrap in cloth and place in warm water for a day. After that, the "bag" should be placed in a warm place, keeping it moist. If after 4-5 days of such maintenance at least 5 seeds are sown, the seed is suitable for sowing.
All remaining eggplant seeds need to be pickled in a pink solution of potassium permanganate for half an hour, then wrap them in a damp cloth, put them in a warm place and wait for them to wilt. Such seeds sprout already on the 5-6th day after sowing. You should not bury them too much in the ground; it is enough to lower them into small holes up to 1 cm deep.
Water the seedlings need at least 3 times a week until it is ready to "move" into the open ground.
Terms of planting seedlings in open ground:
- in the southern regions of Russia - the end of April - the beginning of May;
- in central Russia, as well as in Belarus - the end of May - the beginning of June;
- in the Far East, the Urals and Siberia - the beginning - the middle of June.
It is difficult to name the exact dates of planting eggplants, because they are also largely dependent on the weather conditions of a particular season. Planted seedlings "blue" should be when the soil at a depth of 10 cm warms to 15 ° C.
Transplant plants to a permanent place should be very careful not to damage the roots. That is why in the wells, which should be a little more seedling pots, seedlings are best lowered straight with an earthy ball. The distance between the holes should be at least 70 cm, and between rows should be about 50 cm.
Before planting eggplants, pour a little hot water into each hole, and if the soil in the plot is not too fertile, add fertilizer: a handful of humus or compost, ¼ tsp. superphosphate and 1 tbsp. ash.
Eggplant seedlings should be planted vertically and to the same depth at which they grew in separate containers. Otherwise, the plants may not settle down. It is recommended to immediately install pegs with a height of about 60 cm next to each specimen. After the seedlings are planted, it should be sealed with hands, watered and mulched with peat or humus.
For eggplants to grow for your joy, and for the envy of your neighbors, it is not enough just to plant the seedlings in the ground - you still need to properly care for them. For example, the soil around young plants should be loosened regularly and weeds removed in a timely manner. Watering eggplant is often necessary, but this should be done only in the morning or in the evening.
On hot days, plants need pritenyat from the scorching sun. To do this, you can stretch a dark fabric over the bed or drive pegs along the perimeter of the bed and put a plywood sheet on them. But remember that culture needs shadow only in the heat and in the open.
In general, eggplant - the culture is quite thermophilic. Therefore, if the spring nights are still cool, the plants should be covered with a film or non-woven material. This will protect them from hypothermia, which means - will save the future harvest.
Three eggplants feeding
To get a good harvest of eggplants, you need to feed them every 2 weeks. For the first time after transplantation into open ground, plants should be fed with complex mineral fertilizer at the rate of 20 g per 10 l of water (for each plant - 0.5 l of solution). The second time it is recommended to feed the eggplants with organic matter (mullein or bird droppings): Dissolve 1 kg of fertilizer in 10 liters of water and leave for a week, pour 0.5 liters under each bush.
Urea solution (1 tbsp of urea per 10 liters of water) has proven itself as a third supplement. In this case, under one plant you need to pour out 1 l of fertilizer. This feeding can be repeated after 2 weeks, because it stimulates the formation of ovaries.
Eggplant can be harvested about 150 days after the first shoots. Fruits need to be plucked in time so that they do not outgrow. In addition, the eggplants “lingering” on the bush prevent the formation of new ovaries.
Ripened fruits are cut with a sharp knife, grabbing a long part of the stem. Store eggplant should be in a dark cool place (6-8 ° C). Preferably on a bed of straw.
There is a persistent misconception that eggplant is a difficult culture to grow. We hope we managed to convince you that everything is not so difficult. The problem can only occur during transplantation, so this procedure should be carried out very carefully. Otherwise, if you choose the right variety and care for the plants properly, a good harvest of eggplants in the open field is guaranteed.