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Video: Eggplant: Variety Selection And Growing Seedlings
Little blue ones ask to go to the kitchen
"Little blue", but actually "little white", and "little black", and "striped", and "red", etc. - this is the popular name of one of the most revered plants in the world of the family of nightshade - eggplant.
The cuisines of the world are replete with excellent dishes from this vegetable. But in the North-West of Russia, it is not widespread, which is not surprising: the culture is thermophilic, does not tolerate frosts (and they are the main scourge of the region's vegetable growing).
However, breeders, having worked on this crop, have created early maturing varieties and hybrids that are successfully grown in the region in film shelters and greenhouses.
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Now only self-respecting and respected gardeners grow eggplant, and tomorrow, we hope, it will become a familiar culture.
A few words about growing seedlings. The seeds of your chosen variety and hybrid are disinfected within 20-30 minutes. in a dark solution of potassium permanganate, if they have not already been processed. It would be nice to put them in a tissue bag in a solution of one of the complex fertilizers and stimulants such as "Crystalon", "Kemira-Lux", "Ideal", "Potassium humate" or "Sodium humate", "Zircon", "Epin", etc. according to the instructions, now the choice is great. However, a solution of wood ash is also suitable. Then the seeds are washed and placed on a saucer with a damp cloth or filter (toilet) paper at a temperature of 25-28 ° C for 1-2 days, not allowing them to dry out.
The seeds are pecked, they are sown in pots, boxes, etc., and preferably in ready-made soil for tomatoes and peppers. Such seeds sprout for 5-6 days. If the temperature regime is not maintained, then seedlings may appear in 2-4 weeks. It is better to put the box on the windowsill immediately, placing a couple of wooden blocks under it. It must be insulated with a film from glass, vents, creating a temperature of 24-26 ° C.
Now the most important and controversial: sowing time. It is believed that from germination to flowering, eggplant needs about 100 days and must be sown on February 1-15. But we will sow early varieties and hybrids, which generally need 90-130 days from germination to technical (removable) ripeness! And further. Early crops (in February) have to be supplemented with artificial light (better with fluorescent lamps such as LB-40, LD-40), which, however, is not superfluous in March to accelerate the development of seedlings.
Now let's look at another aspect of this problem. It is better to plant seedlings in greenhouses in the bud phase, at the latest, otherwise flowers and ovaries may fall off, and it will take more than a month for the plants to bloom again. This means that in this case the season will practically be lost. In our conditions (unless, of course, you have a "warm" bed, that is, you have not put biofuel in the form of manure, straw or other organic material in a layer of 40-60 centimeters and since the end of April have not created a "combustion" process) in an unheated greenhouse, seedlings can be planted around the twentieth of May, and even then there is a threat of frost, and the plants additionally have to be covered with lutrasil, spunbond or similar material.
Now let's make the final calculations: a good age for seedlings of nightshade crops is about 60 days, and for seedlings at least 5-10 days, in total, it takes about 70 days, at least. So it turns out: when planting seedlings in greenhouses in mid-May, sowing must be done no later than mid-March, and depending on the early maturity of the variety, from mid-February to mid-March. Further, starting with the appearance of real leaves, the seedlings are sprayed weekly with liquid dressings.
Now about the main thing - about varieties and hybrids
In the "State Register of Breeding Achievements Permitted for Use" in the Russian Federation for 2003 there are 32 varieties and hybrids of this crop. Moreover, the following varieties and hybrids are allowed for all light zones: Amethyst, Banana, Berinda, Vikar, Galine, Matrosik, Pelican, Ping-Pong, Robin Hood, Lilac, Snowy, Solaris, Violet Miracle, Frant, Ekavi. Additionally, for the first light zone (which includes the regions of the North-West of the Russian Federation), varieties and hybrids are allowed: Lolita, Bataysky, Orion, Begemot, Nutcracker. Note: they vary greatly in maturity and are grown primarily in industrial glazed winter greenhouses.
Well, if we turn to the table, which presents the main new varieties and hybrids that are "in circulation" in the amateur sector in the North-West of the Russian Federation, we will note that there are significant differences with the State Register: many varieties and hybrids are not registered at all in German I think the way out is simple: every gardener (or rather, every experienced gardener) will try different varieties and hybrids himself and choose the most successful for himself from those that have already been tested in the region. And breeders and wholesalers will have to worry so that the best of them are included in the State Register already in 2004.
And in conclusion, I note that, of course, you can buy eggplant fruits in the market. But you experience incomparable pleasure when you hold in your hands the handsome fruits that you have grown, which you have not yet been able to grow before. And when you see the admiring, even envious eyes of neighbors and friends, you feel pride, which gives way to the anticipation of delicious dishes that this wonderful vegetable will present to you and your friends. I wish you success!