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Video: Eggplants Grow In The Leningrad Region
In the previous issue we published a detailed article about eggplants of the candidate of agricultural sciences, general director of POISK SPb LLC V.P. Alekseeva. It also provided a list of all varieties and hybrids of eggplant included in the State Register of the Russian Federation.
Continuing this topic, we publish an article by our regular author, gardener-experienced worker L. D. Bobrovskaya, in which she shares her secrets of growing eggplant near St. Petersburg.
I have a lot of garden supplies in my house. And among them are jars, in which eggplants are appetizingly flaunting: baked, salted, pickled, sote, eggplant with tomatoes, indispensable eggplant caviar, dried eggplant flour and many other preparations. Savoring these delicacies on winter evenings, I remember lop-eared bushes with cheerful bright lilac flowers and dazzling yellow stamens in the center.
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I have been dealing with eggplants for a long time, when there were no specially bred varieties for the north, but there were only early ripening varieties from the southern regions such as Almaz, Dwarf Early and a couple of others. I started with experiments. Very quickly I became convinced that in the open field, even in the sunniest places, the earliest varieties of harvest do not give. But in a simple tunnel-type greenhouse, which on the north side is constantly covered with a film, and on the south side it is all open, closed at night, the harvest was very good. Especially in the hot summer. And the eggplant never got sick.
Now everyone knows that it is not difficult to grow eggplants in our region, but only in a greenhouse and only by seedlings. After all, eggplant is an even more thermophilic culture than tomato and even pepper. The best temperature for eggplant growth is 20-30 ° C. They do not suffer, even if it is 35 ° C. At 15 ° C and below, growth stops, and flowers and ovaries crumble. If the plant is kept at a temperature of 5 ° C and below for a long time, then irreversible changes can occur in it, and it will not be possible to get a decent harvest. This means that you do not need to take out the seedlings to the dacha too early, when it is still cold in the house, and you do not need to plant them in the greenhouse early.
A bit of history
The homeland of this plant is Southeast Asia, in particular India and Burma. There, long before our era, they began to cultivate eggplants and learned how to skillfully cook them. From there they went to other regions. Eggplant is highly prized in Japan. On the Polynesian islands, the locals certainly ate eggplants during plentiful feasts to better digest the meat they had eaten. All their huts were lined with these plants, because the eggplant is a perennial plant. The settlements literally drowned in their thickets, the fruits reached a weight of 3-4 kg. Eggplants were grown in large quantities in Jamaica, where large fruits were fed to slaves, who really liked them.
But the Europeans - the ancient Greeks and Romans - did not eat eggplants for a long time, because they were afraid of insanity. They even called them "rabies apples". Later, some gardeners began to grow eggplants as ornamental plants. And only over time, Europeans appreciated the taste and benefits of this tasty and healthy plant.
About the benefits of eggplant
And how not to love eggplants, because they are much more nutritious than their nightshade brothers, peppers and tomatoes. In addition, they contain many useful substances. These are soluble sugars, fiber, pectin, a lot of vegetable protein, fats, minerals, which include salts of phosphorus, calcium, manganese, iron, aluminum. Of the vitamins, groups B and C prevail. The bitter taste of its fruits is due to the presence of glucoalkaloid, M solanine in them. The Japanese especially appreciate the bitter taste of eggplant. Its fruits help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and prevent it from being deposited on the walls of blood vessels. It is useful to eat eggplants for people with atherosclerosis and liver disease.
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Over the past decade, breeders have received many new varieties and hybrids of this crop. Early and mid-season varieties are suitable for our zone. The violet color of the fruit is most common, therefore vegetable growers often call eggplants "blue".
The earliest ripening, with purple fruits, varieties Robin Hood, Czech early, in which the fruits are oval. A little later, Early long purple ripens with fruits up to 24 cm.With white fruits: Ping-Pong F1 hybrids - its fruits resemble testicles in shape, and Pelican F1 - fruits up to 19 cm long, 200 g in weight, without bitterness, as well as Swan F1 - in this hybrid, the fruits sometimes have a lilac hue. White-pink fruits weighing up to 200 g of rounded-oval shape are of the Piggy variety. Lilac fruits of the hybrid Lilac fog F1.
An elegant dark purple with a cherry tint of an elongated-oval shape, the fruit of the Lolita F1 hybrid - weight up to 270 g. Fruits ripen at the end of July. By mid-August, a dense thick pear-shaped hybrid Hippo F1 ripens. It has dark purple fruits up to 300 g in weight. The pulp is of medium density, yellowish white. The bushes have a height of 70 cm. At the same time, the elongated saber-shaped fruits of Don Quixote ripen. Simultaneously with them, an early ripening hybrid Bagheera F1 ripens with dark purple glossy fruits up to 300 g in weight, without thorns at the stalk, a bush up to 90 cm high.
One of the earliest ripening hybrids - the Nutcracker F1 - an oval-shaped fat man with an average fruit weight of 200-350 g, our experienced gardeners presented specimens weighing more than 1 kg at the exhibition last season.
Relatively recently, the early ripe hybrid Violet Miracle F1 and the Alekseevsky variety appeared - they have dark purple glossy cylindrical fruits. Maxik F1 - fruits 25 cm long, excellent taste. Giselle F1 - withstands drops and drops of night temperatures. It should be noted a variety with an unusual striped color of the fruit - mid-season Matrosik - excellent taste, fruit up to 250 g.
Of the old varieties, Diamond and Black Beauty (Black Beauty) are still popular, from which gardeners are able to get good yields of large fruits.
New this year: Esaul F1 - a plentifully fruiting hybrid, fruits without bitterness, dark purple, even. Lava F1 - a high-yielding hybrid, fruits are even, smooth, with a sharp top, dark purple. Yatagan F1 - fruits are saber-shaped, dark purple to black, glossy.
All modern varieties and hybrids produce mostly dense white or green-tinged flesh without bitterness. The height of bushes in film greenhouses usually does not exceed 50 - 70 cm. The earlier the variety, the smaller the size of the bush, as a rule.
Growing eggplant seedlings
Our magazine wrote in detail about soil preparation and sowing seeds for seedlings in previous issues (see "Flora Price" No. 1, 2 - 2004). Let me remind you that the desired age of seedlings when planting in a greenhouse is 50-60 days for early-maturing varieties, 60-70 days for mid-season varieties. But in practice, many gardeners do not take into account such subtleties. For example, I start sowing on March 13-15, regardless of the early maturity of the variety. I pickle purchased eggplant seeds in a 1% solution of potassium permanganate for 20 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly.
I fill my seeds with hot water - 60 - 70 ° С, about half a glass, and keep them until the water cools down. This is for the seeds to wake up. Then I put the seeds in a Petri dish, put them in a warm place, where the temperature is 25-30 ° С. On days 4-5, they usually hatch, sometimes purchased seeds hatch even for 12-15 days. I transfer the seeds with tiny white sprouts to the ground. This is difficult because wet seeds are incredibly slippery and can break off the sprout. I cover them with 1 cm layer of earth, cover them with glass, put them in a warm place. I sow each seed in my own glass with a volume of at least 0.5 liters, I grow plants without picking.
To stimulate germination, many gardeners soak eggplant seeds in solutions of humic acids, as well as in solutions of trace elements. I do not use these techniques, because in practice I have not found any noticeable effect from this.
You can sow dry or hatched seeds into a common vessel with a distance of 2-3 cm between them. In this case, the plants will have to dive in the phase of the first true leaf, and leave a time reserve of about a week for survival after the pick, i.e. you will have to sow a week earlier, compared to the no-sowing option. The pick must be done carefully, with a lump of earth, so as not to damage the roots, because eggplants suffer greatly from this. When diving, the seedlings are usually buried up to the cotyledons.
I transfer the seedlings in the loop stage to a bright place, under a fluorescent lamp, which works 16 hours a day. So the plants do not stretch and develop faster. At stage 3-4 of this sheet, the backlight is reduced to 12 hours. When the sun begins to shine brightly, I transfer the plants to the windowsill. I pour it with warm water, per liter of which I add one or two drops of some liquid complex mineral fertilizer, for example, Uniflor Rost.
Usually gardeners watered with water without fertilizers, but give the seedlings at least two additional fertilizing. The first - during the formation of true leaves: ammonium nitrate 10 - 15 g - for the growth of leaves and potassium sulfate 15 g per 10 liters of water - to increase immunity. The second - 10 days before planting the plants in the greenhouse - with a complete mineral fertilizer such as Kemira Lux or Crystallin or any other fertilizer you have.
Read the next part. Growing eggplants near St. Petersburg →
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