Eggplant: cultivation and care in the open ground and greenhouse, planting on seedlings
The herbaceous perennial eggplant, also called dark nightshade (Solanum melongena), either blue or badrijan, is a representative of the genus nightshade. Under natural conditions, it can be met in India, South Asia, as well as in the Middle East. Thanks to ancient Sanskrit texts, scientists learned that eggplant began to be cultivated about 1,500 years ago. It was the Arabs who were the first to spread this culture around the world. Eggplant was brought by them to Africa in the 9th century AD. In Europe, this vegetable appeared in the middle of the 15th century, but it became popular only in the 19th century.
The height of the eggplant bush varies from 0.4 to 1.5 m. The large, next-placed leaf plates have a rough surface, they are painted green, sometimes with a purple tint. Semi-umbellate inflorescences consist of 2-7 flowers, which can also be single. In diameter, bisexual purple flowers reach 20–25 mm. Flowering is observed in July – September. The fruit is a large cylindrical, round or pear-shaped berry, it can reach a length of about 0.7 m, and about 0.2 m across. The fruits weigh about 1 kilogram, they have a shiny or matte dark purple color. Inside them there are flat small seeds of a brownish color, they ripen in the last summer or first autumn weeks.
Three golden rules for growing eggplant
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Growing eggplant from seeds
Sowing Eggplant Seeds
Eggplant belongs to the Solanaceae family, and it is considered its most thermophilic representative. Frosts can destroy it, so in the middle latitudes it is grown exclusively in seedlings. The ripening time of early ripening varieties is 100 days from the moment seedlings appear. In late-ripening varieties, the ripening period is about 150 days. Sowing seeds for seedlings is recommended to be done in the first half of March, while it should be noted that during the planting of eggplants in open soil, the ground should warm up to at least 18 degrees, while only seedlings that are not less than 75 days old can be planted.
The seeds of this plant need pre-sowing preparation. Experienced gardeners recommend choosing the seed of the second, not the first year of storage, as it is more viable. To activate the seeds, they must be immersed for three days in a solution of potassium humate (3%). Then they are planted one by one in individual pots or cassettes. They need to be filled with a moistened substrate, which includes humus (20%), horse peat (60%), sawdust or sand (5%), vermicompost (5%) and turf land (10%). In the soil mixture the seeds need to be buried only 10 mm. When the sowing is done, the substrate should be tamped, after which the container is covered with glass or film on top.
Growing eggplant seedlings
Tanks with crops need to be removed in a warm place (about 25-26 degrees). If everything is done correctly, the first seedlings will appear after 1.5–2 weeks. After most of the seedlings appear, the shelter must be removed, while the containers are rearranged in a warmer and well-lit place. To care for such seedlings is quite simple. From the moment of sowing and before the buds appear on the bushes, it is not necessary to water the seedlings. Eggplant seedlings do not need high humidity. During the formation of the buds, an increase in humidity of the air and substrate will be required.
If fertile soil was used for sowing seedlings, then it is not necessary to feed it. If the substrate contains a small amount of nutrients, then the seedlings will need to be fed 2 or 3 times with a weak Kristallin solution (per 1 bucket of water from 12 to 15 grams).
Make sure the seedlings have enough light. If it is not enough, then the plants will be very elongated. If a long cloudy weather is established, then in the room where the seedlings are located, the air temperature must be reduced by a couple of degrees (for this you can resort to airing), and you also need to reduce the humidity of the air and substrate.
THE CORRECT SEEDING OF EGGPLANTS! PART 1. GROWING SEEDLINGS EXTENDED.
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It has already been said above that eggplants react extremely negatively to picking, so individual containers should be used to plant them. But if seedlings have 1 or 2 real leaf plates, they need to be transplanted by transshipment, while using individual pots of a larger volume (diameter about 10-12 centimeters). This procedure can be called a pick. Before transplanting, the seedlings are well watered, after which the plantlets are carefully pulled out together with a lump of earth from old pots and placed in new ones. Hardening of seedlings should begin half a month before it is planted in open soil, while the temperature of the content must be reduced gradually, as a result, its result should be equal to 14-15 degrees. Immediately 2 days before planting, seedlings should be left on the street for the whole daylight hours, if the weather is warm, then you can not bring it even at night. Hardening allows you to make seedlings more resistant to wind, as well as improve their adaptation to direct sunlight and colder temperatures. Seedlings that are designed for planting in a greenhouse, do not need to be hardened.
Eggplant planting in open ground
What time to land
Planting eggplant seedlings in open soil should be done only when the earth warms up to at least 18 degrees, while the plants should be 8-10 weeks old (from the time of emergence). The height of the seedlings by this time should be from 16 to 25 centimeters, also the plants should have from 8 to 10 real leaf plates, and sometimes there are also several shaped buds. It will be very good if, after planting the eggplant in the open soil, the threat of freezing frost is left behind. As a rule, the most suitable time for planting eggplant in open soil is the first days of June.
For planting eggplant should choose a well-lit area, which should be protected from gusts of wind. Eggplant is recommended to be planted on a site where cabbage, cucumber, carrots, onions, garlic, zucchini, beans or peas were previously grown. For planting, you should not choose the site on which pepper, physalis, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants were previously grown.
Best of all, this vegetable crop grows in sandy or loamy soil. It also grows quite normally on heavier soil, but it needs to be prepared before planting. To do this, it is necessary to add humus and peat to it (1 bucket per square meter of land per bucket), and also sawdust or coarse river sand should be added to it. It is recommended to prepare the soil in advance in the fall, about 6 months before the seedlings are planted on the site, while fertilizers should be applied when digging the soil to the depth of the shovel bayonet. Also, manure can be added to the soil if desired: it is used fresh in the fall, and in the spring you can take only rotted manure. Experienced gardeners recommend preparing a site for eggplant in the autumn, while in spring after the snow has melted, the soil should dry well. After that, using a rake, it should be well loosened. If the soil is poor, then at the same time the following fertilizers should be applied to it: 1 tsp is taken per 1 square meter of the plot. urea, 2 tbsp. wood ash and 1 tbsp. potassium sulfate and superphosphate.
Planting eggplant in the open ground. How to plant eggplant
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Rules for landing in open ground
On a site it is necessary to make landing holes. Between them, a distance of 0.3 to 0.4 m must be observed, while their depth should be 20-30 mm higher than the height of the container in which the seedlings are located, while the row spacing should be approximately 0.6 m. After that, prepared landing the holes should be filled with water. Planting seedlings is made in the resulting dirt in the pits. Before planting, the eggplants must be well watered, they are pulled out of the pot together with a lump of earth, after which they are planted in open soil. After the plants have been planted, the earth around them must be tamped. Then the surface of the site must be mulched with peat or dry soil.
During the first 15 days, the ground under the planted bushes should be moist all the time. In order to prevent excessively quick drying of the soil, its surface must be mulched with peat.
Growing eggplant in a greenhouse
For growing in a greenhouse, experts advise choosing hybrid varieties, and the best of them are: Purple Miracle, Nutcracker and Bagheera. Rules for planting eggplant seedlings in a greenhouse:
- Plants should have 8 or 9 true leaf blades.
- The root system of seedlings must be developed very well.
- The height of the plants should be at least 20 centimeters.
- Planting in a greenhouse should be done after the seedlings have reached the age of 65–75 days (from the time of emergence).
It is very important to properly prepare the beds in the greenhouse. In the autumn, the soil is cleaned of plant debris, after which it is disinfected, for this, a solution of copper sulfate (1 bucket 2 tbsp.) Is used. Fertilizers should be applied to the soil 20 days before the seedlings are planted in the greenhouse, 60 grams of superphosphate, 15 grams of magnesium sulfate, 4 kilograms of humus, 30 grams of ammonium nitrate and the same amount of potassium sulfate are taken per square meter. Then you need to dig the soil, after which the surface of the beds is leveled. The depth of the planting pits should slightly exceed the height of the pots in which the seedlings grow, while the distance between the bushes should be 0.45 m, and the row spacing should be approximately 0.6 m.
Immediately before planting in the greenhouse, seedlings must be well watered. The plantlet must be carefully removed from the container along with a lump of earth, after which they are transferred to the landing pits. The void in the holes must be filled with soil, after which it should be tamped. Planted eggplant must be watered. This culture is quite hygrophilous; in this regard, special attention should be paid to watering. Please note that the planted plants a second time can be watered no earlier than 5 days after transplantation. The further irrigation regimen is once a week, when the fruiting period begins, the eggplant will need to be watered more often (2 times in 7 days). Watering is done in the early morning and lukewarm water is used for this. When the eggplants are watered, it is necessary to ventilate the greenhouse, since the humidity in it should not be increased. The recommended temperature for eggplant cultivation is 28 degrees. It should be noted that the greenhouse should not be hotter than the recommended temperature, so you need to pay special attention to ventilation, especially if it is very hot outside. In addition, in the heat it is necessary to regularly water paths in greenhouses as well. You need to feed the plants a couple of times throughout the season:
- The first time before fruiting begins, half a month after transplanting the seedlings into the greenhouse. To do this, use mineral and complex fertilizers (Kemiru or Mortar).
- The second dressing is arranged after the fruiting begins. To do this, use phosphorus-nitrogen fertilizers (for 1 tbsp. Of water, 1 tbsp. Of superphosphate and ammonium nitrate is taken).
Organics should be applied to the soil only 1 time, immediately before planting the eggplant.If you add it later, it can provoke an active growth of greenery, as well as lush flowering, but there will be no ovaries on the bushes. It should be noted that in the greenhouse the bushes grow relatively fragile and rather tall, so it is recommended that they be tied to supports. Also, experts advise to remove lateral processes from plants, while only 5 of the most powerful ones need to be left.
Due to improper care, tobacco mosaic or late blight can affect eggplants when growing in a greenhouse; diseased bushes need to be sprayed with a solution of Fitosporin or Zircon. For prevention, it is recommended to systematically ventilate the greenhouse, because these diseases develop due to excessively high humidity. In the greenhouse, these plants can be damaged by such insects as whiteflies, aphids and spider mites. To prevent the appearance of pests, you also need to regularly ventilate the greenhouse.
MYTHS ABOUT GROWING EGGPLANTS in a greenhouse
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When growing eggplants in open ground, they should ensure timely watering, weed removal, loosening of the soil surface between rows, top dressing, and also late-ripening and mid-ripening bushes will need formation.
How to water
Especially strongly these plants need watering during mass fruiting. During the first decade after transplanting seedlings into the soil, abundant watering can cause bushes that have not yet taken root, can weaken very much. For irrigation should use lukewarm (25 to 30 degrees) water. Pouring it carefully under the root, while trying so that the liquid does not fall on the surface of the leaf plates of the bushes. When the plants are watered, gently loosen the surface of the soil between the rows, while tearing out all the weeds. During the season, the surface of the site must be loosened at least 5 times so that a strong crust does not appear on it. However, if after planting the site is covered with a layer of mulch (peat), then it will be possible to significantly reduce both the number of loosening and weeding.
How to Tie Eggplant
Greenhouse eggplants are much higher than those grown in open ground, so they should be tied up. Tie bushes in three places, while using stakes or trellis. As soon as the bushes are planted in the soil, you should start forming them in one stalk, and after a while he will need a garter to the support. The most powerful shoot should remain on the bush, while all other lateral processes must be cut off. If there are only flowers and leaves on the bushes, their stability is quite good. But after the formation of the ovaries and during the growth of the fruit, there is a multiple increase in the load on the stem, in connection with this their resistance decreases sharply (especially in tall varieties). The method of growing single-stem bushes is perfect for greenhouses, because it is very compact, so you can save a lot of space. If this vegetable crop is grown in open ground, then in this case the formation of bushes into several stems is recommended.
To make the bushes more magnificent after their height is 0.3 m, you need to pinch the top of the main stem. In an overgrown bush, use the secateurs to remove all the upper side shoots, except for the 2–5 strongest ones. When pruning, keep in mind that the remaining shoots should be evenly lit.
These plants need to be fed often enough, about 1 time in 15-20 days. The first top dressing is performed after 2-3 weeks after transplanting seedlings in open soil. Mineral fertilizers should be used for top dressing, with 10 grams of superphosphate and ammonium nitrate, as well as 3 to 5 grams of potassium sulfate, taken per 1 square meter of the plot.These fertilizers can be replaced by crystalline, ammophos or nitrophos (per 1 square meter from 20 to 25 grams). During the following dressings, the fertilizer rate must be increased by 1.5–2 times, but do it gradually. After top dressing is done, do not forget to water the plot. Also, this culture can be fed with slurry. This plant also needs foliar top dressing, for this foliage on the bushes need to be sprayed with a solution of boric acid of a weak concentration. If the summer turned out to be cool, then it is recommended to spray eggplant foliage with a solution of trace elements. Remember that a solution prepared for spraying plants on a leaf should be several times weaker than that which is poured under the root.
Eggplant in the open ground. (07/20/16)
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Eggplant Diseases and Pests
Most often, eggplants suffer from mosaic, late blight, black leg, columnar and gray rot.
The black leg is considered a fungal disease. In the affected plant, the root neck becomes black and collapses. After a disease of the root system occurs, the bushes dry and die. Most often, this disease affects eggplant seedlings, and the excessively high humidity of the air and substrate provokes its development.
Due to the mosaic, the gardener may lose about 15 percent of the eggplant crop. In an infected bush, an unusual motley color appears on the surface of the leaf plates. As a rule, plants are affected by this virus during a dive.
Phytoplasmic columnar disease most often damages those plants that are grown in the open ground, while greenhouse plants are less likely to be affected. In the affected bushes, the leaf plates acquire a purple-red color, while the upper ones become corrugated. Shoots become thicker and more fragile, deformation, drying and falling of leaves is observed. Carry such a circadian disease.
Gray rot is also a fungal disease, and its spread occurs through infected plant debris. This fungus is especially active with high humidity, while the temperature should be at least 20 degrees. In the affected plants on the foliage, fruits and shoots, water spots of a dark color form, on the surface of which after some time a gray coating appears. As the disease develops, inflorescences, as well as fruits, are affected. Peduncles become black and dry, and the fruits first form blurry, like subcutaneous, spots, which gradually become larger.
Diseases and pests
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The greatest danger to this culture is represented by such harmful insects as spider mites, aphids and bare slugs. Spider mites, as well as aphids, are sucking insects that feed on plant sap. They pierce the surface of the shoots and leaf blades, as a result, their drying, withering and twisting is observed. Slugs damage foliage, leaving only streaks from it, and they also harm fruits.
In order to cure eggplant or get rid of harmful insects, bushes need to be processed in a timely and correct manner. But it is better to prevent infection by the disease than to fight it. For prevention purposes, crop rotation rules should be observed; for this, these plants cannot be planted in the area where undesirable precursors, for example, nightshade ones, previously grew. Eggplants also need to ensure proper care, and preventive treatment of the soil on the site and seed before planting is also needed. For seed disinfection, they are immersed for 30 minutes in a strong solution of potassium permanganate or in a weak solution of hydrochloric acid.Soil treatment is carried out before planting the eggplant, then when they take root, and also after all the fruits are collected and the plant debris is removed from the site. In this case, copper-based products are used for tillage, for example, Bordeaux mixture or copper sulfate. Thanks to these preventive measures, plants will be protected from infection by mosaic or late blight. If the eggplants still get sick, then they will need to be sprayed with a solution of Fitosporin or Zircon. If the bushes are hit by a column or a black leg, then they will not be able to cure, but in order to prevent, it is recommended to disinfect the substrate and seeds before sowing.
If the bushes are not very large number of slugs, then you can try to collect them manually. But in the event that there are a lot of pests, then the surface between the rows must be loosened, and then covered with a layer of a mixture consisting of tobacco dust, wood ash and lime. From other pests, it is recommended that the bushes be sprayed before flowering and after flowering with insecticides, which quickly decompose, for example, Karbofos or Keltan, or you can use Strela, which is safe for humans, if desired.
YIELD METHOD FOR GROWING EGGPLANTS. SUPER SOLUTION WITH Birch tar from the Colorado potato beetle !!!
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Eggplant collection and storage
Harvesting eggplant can begin 30–40 days after flowering, and they should become brilliant. Only semi-ripe fruits are suitable for harvesting. It should be borne in mind that unripe or overripe fruits are tasteless. There are 2 types of maturity, namely: biological (fruits are fully ripe, but tasteless) and technical (fruits are suitable for collection and eating). A pruning shears are used to cut the fruit, leaving the stalk two centimeters long.
Eggplants are not suitable for long-term storage, in connection with this they need to be used as food or winter salads and caviar can be prepared from them, and it is recommended that they be pickled or salted. Also, if desired, the fruits can be dried, after cutting them into circles. For about 4 weeks, eggplants can be stored in a dark and cool (no more than 2 degrees) place. Also, the eggplant can be folded in a box in one layer, with each fruit should be wrapped in a paper sheet. Then the container is transferred to a cool place where the eggplant can maintain its freshness for some time. They can also be folded into a bag made of polyethylene, which is placed in the ventilation hole, it can also be removed in a dark and cold place. And the best place to store such fruits is the shelf of the refrigerator. Remember that they can only be stored in a dark and cold place.
BEST TESTED VARIETIES OF EGGPLANTS AND SEEDING TIME!
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Types and varieties of eggplant
Today, there is a classification of eggplant, dividing this culture into 3 subspecies: European, Eastern and Indian.
- Eastern subspecies. Most varieties included in this subspecies are early and medium early. The bushes of such plants are not very tall, spreading or semi-spreading. Thin stems and shoots are painted in violet-green color. Small green egg-shaped leaf plates have petioles and violet-colored veins. Not very large fruits have a serpentine, pear-shaped, spherical, sickle or cylindrical shape, as well as a dark purple color. The pulp of the fruit is white or light green with a slight bitterness.
- Western subspecies. It includes late-ripening and mid-ripening varieties. The bushes are semi-spreading or closed, they can be of medium height or high. The shoots are thick and green, at their peaks there is purple pigmentation, which is manifested rather weakly.On the surface of large sheet plates of an elongated ovoid form there is pubescence, they have a green color, in some cases there is a brownish tint in the area of the petioles and veins. The shape of relatively large fruits can be different, after they reach technical maturity, their color will change to violet-brown, violet-black, violet or dark violet. The pulp is colored white-green or white-yellow, it differs in different degrees of bitterness.
- Indian subspecies. It is represented in the culture quite widely, but in the middle latitudes the varieties included in this subspecies are not grown.
The most popular varieties of the western subspecies, which are excellent for growing in mid-latitudes:
- Valentine. This early ripening variety is notable for its yield and resistance to tobacco mosaic. Black-purple fruits have a standard size of 5x26 centimeters. They have a long elongated shape, as well as great taste.
- Purple miracle. This hybrid is early, it is characterized by productivity and resistance to wilting. Purple fruits weigh about 350 grams on average. The pulp has no bitterness and is colored light green.
- Czech early. This is a high-yielding early variety. Low bushes are compact and strong. The form of dark purple glossy smooth fruit is ovoid. White-green pulp has no bitterness.
- Handsome black man. This early ripe variety was created by Danish breeders. The height of the bush is about half a meter. Cylindrical fruits have a very dark color, they weigh about 240 grams.
- Delicacy. Early grade. The bush reaches a height of 0.4 m. Dark purple fruits have a white flesh without bitterness.
- Golden egg. This early hybrid is usually grown as an ornamental plant. The average size of the fruit is similar to a goose egg.
- Donskoy. This variety is medium-yielding. The mid-height bush is medium spread. The shape of the fruits is pear-shaped, they weigh about 180 grams.
- Epic. This early variety is high-yielding and unpretentious. The fruits have an unusual teardrop-shaped dark purple color 10x22 centimeters in size.
- Donetsk fruitful. This early ripe variety has a dark color, fruits reaching a length of 15 centimeters in length and 40 mm in width. They weigh about 160 grams.
- Black Beauty. This early ripe variety has a high yield. The fruits are very large, they weigh about 0.9 kg.
- Maria. Dark purple not very large fruits have an elongated shape, they weigh about 220 grams. Fruits ripen very quickly, due to which their not very large size is compensated.
- Barbentane. The early variety is characterized by productivity and a long fruiting period. The fruits are shiny dark purple.
- Nautilus. The fruits of this mid-early variety are dark purple and have a saber shape, they weigh about 0.5 kg. The variety grows well in the greenhouse.
- Arap. The height of the tall bushes is about 100 cm. The length of the fruits is about 25 centimeters, they are painted in a very dark shade of brown-purple color.
- Albatross. The variety is mid-season and high-yielding. The height of the bush is about 0.5 m. The pear-shaped fruits of the violet-blue color weigh about 0.45 kg.
- Solara. This early variety is notable for its unpretentiousness and productivity. Large fruits of dark purple color weigh about 1000 grams.
BEST VARIETIES OF EGGPLANTS !!!
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