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Agrotechnology For Growing Eggplant
Agrotechnology For Growing Eggplant
Video: Agrotechnology For Growing Eggplant
Video: How To Grow Eggplant From Seed At Home (A Complete Step by Step Guide) 2023, February
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  • Features of culture
  • Agrotechnics of eggplant

    • Sowing dates for eggplant
    • Eggplant seed treatment
    • Ways of growing eggplant seedlings
    • Eggplant seedlings and care for them

Features of culture

Eggplant
Eggplant

Eggplant. Variety Universal

This culture is very popular among residents of the Krasnodar Territory, other southern regions of Russia, in Ukraine (where eggplants are lovingly called "blue"). But, for example, in the North-West of Russia, in Siberia, eggplants to this day remain a rare culture, and for many even exotic.

Why it happens? First, probably because eggplants are not eaten raw, and not everyone knows how to prepare various dishes from them. Secondly, eggplants are more warm and light-loving than tomatoes and peppers, and it is not entirely easy to get a noticeable harvest of their fruits even from good seedlings - this plant does not tolerate transplanting well. So is it worth spending time and energy on growing such a capricious and unreliable crop in terms of harvest?

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My brother and I think it's worth it. First of all, because eggplant has a special, incomparable taste. Few of those who have tried skillfully prepared eggplant dishes (by the way, they are not so difficult to prepare) will refuse to try them again. The fruits of this plant also have valuable dietary and medicinal properties: their consumption helps to eliminate cholesterol, dry leaves are used to treat gout, liver diseases, etc.

Most eggplant dishes increase your appetite. One should only bear in mind the fact that eggplants contain very few acids, and therefore canning them without acetic acid is dangerous due to the possibility of botulism.

Eggplants, like peppers, are perennial plants by nature, but in our climate they are grown as annuals. This plant has a long taproot and adventitious roots up to 50 cm long. The absence of additional roots eliminates the need for hilling plants after planting them in the ground.

Eggplant leaves are large, almost round, tender, often with a purple tint. Through the leaves, due to their size, there is a strong evaporation of moisture, so eggplants do not tolerate drought at all. Eggplant plants are branched, from 30 to 100 cm in height, depending on the variety. Their stems, especially with a lack of moisture, quickly turn wood from below. That is why they do not tolerate transplanting well and do not form additional roots from the trunk.

Eggplant flowers are bisexual, single, rather large and beautiful, their color can be from blue to purple, and the pistils are bright yellow. This plant, like its relatives - peppers and tomatoes - is self-pollinated. Eggplant fruits are cylindrical, pear-shaped, spherical, egg-shaped. Most often they are purple (but there are varieties with orange, green, emerald, yellow, white and even red fruits). The mass of ripe fruits is from 50 to 500 g, depending on the variety. They are fleshy, but not juicy.

Agrotechnics of eggplant

Eggplant
Eggplant

The growing season of eggplants is about 160 days, so seeds for seedlings must be sown no later than March 10 (except for early maturing varieties). Eggplant is a very light-loving plant, it does not tolerate even short shading.

And since this is a short-day plant, during the first 10-15 days after germination, it has enough light for 12-14 hours for early-maturing varieties and 10-12 hours for southern varieties. Lighting should be strong and bright, so you only need to grow seedlings on windowsills with a south orientation. Or you need to provide additional lighting for the eggplant seedlings. The soil for its cultivation must be necessarily loose, light with a neutral reaction.

Sowing dates for eggplant

Experts believe that the optimal age of seedlings when planting in the ground should be approximately 60-70 days. In our area, it is planted in the ground at the end of the first decade of May, which means that the seeds must be sown to obtain seedlings around the second half of March. This recommendation is based on the fact that at earlier sowing dates, the seedlings outgrow, and they will take very bad roots.

In more northern regions, where eggplants are grown in greenhouses or hotbeds, the timing of sowing seeds for seedlings should already be calculated taking into account the climate, but I think that even there, in good greenhouses with hot soil, it is quite possible to plant seedlings in the ground in mid-May. and, therefore, in this case, you need to sow seeds for seedlings earlier: for early ripening varieties - March 1-15, for later ones - even at the end of February.

With proper cultivation of eggplant seedlings in pots, from which later, when planted in the ground, it can be removed without disturbing the earthen coma, plants even with an ovary will take root normally, and the ovary will not fall off. The advantage of sowing earlier is that 60-70-day-old seedlings have only buds, and 80-90-day ones have flowers and even (in early ripening varieties) an ovary. By sowing earlier, we will extend the growing season of eggplants and speed up the fruiting time, which means we can get a larger harvest.

Eggplant seed treatment

For sowing, it is better to use the seeds of the previous year. Eggplant seeds are warmed up for four hours at a temperature of + 25 … + 30 ° C and 40 minutes at + 50 ° C, processed with potassium permanganate (hold in a 1% solution for 20 minutes, then rinse with water). Then they are soaked in a solution of biological stimulants - aloe or mummy. It is better to use biologically active water - snow, rain or magnetized water.

You can soak the seeds in an infusion of ash (1 matchbox for 1 liter of water, leave for a day, then strain). For those gardeners who do not have time for such preliminary preparation, the easiest way remains: soak the seeds 2-3 days before sowing in gauze moistened with rain or snow water.

The soil for seedlings must be loose, permeable and fertile. You need to add old rotted manure or compost (up to 1/3 of the volume) and mineral fertilizers to it: 40 g of superphosphate, 20-30 g of potassium salt (or 40-60 g of ash) and 10 g of ammonium nitrate or other nitrogen fertilizers. These recommendations must be followed punctually, since eggplants are prone to diseases in a lean and insufficiently permeable soil, they will develop so slowly and poorly that they will not have time to harvest in summer.

As you know, eggplants are very sensitive to the disease of the "black leg", therefore, before sowing seeds, the ground must be disinfected - watered with a dark purple solution of potassium permanganate or (less desirable) heated with boiling water. Without these precautions, most of your seedlings may not survive to the ground.

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Ways of growing eggplant seedlings

Eggplant
Eggplant

And this is also eggplant

Since eggplants do not tolerate transplanting well, including picking, some gardeners prefer to grow seedlings without picking, and immediately in pots 10x10 cm in size.In each of them they sow 3 seeds. After emergence, the strongest plant is left, the rest are plucked out.

If you are going to carry out a pick, then it is better to sow seeds in boxes no more than 10 cm high to a depth of 1.5 cm every 3 cm from each other (just like tomatoes and peppers). Regardless of whether the seedlings are grown with or without a pick, then each bush must necessarily grow in a separate pot, from which it can be removed before planting in the ground without the slightest disturbance to the root system.

Eggplant seedlings and care for them

Seedlings appear 7-12 days after the seeds are soaked. At temperatures below + 20 ° C, eggplants may not sprout at all. After sprouting, the seedlings should be immediately placed in the brightest and relatively cool place. The first 3-4 days it is desirable to maintain the temperature + 17 … + 20 ° С during the day and up to + 10 ° С at night. Then the daytime temperature can be gradually increased to + 25 … + 27 ° С, and the night temperature - up to + 15 … + 18 ° С. This adjustment is done by simply moving the seedling box away from the outside window frame. After the appearance of the first true leaf, reject small, flawed plants - they still will not give a normal harvest.

The pick is carried out in the phase of the first true sheet. It must be carried out carefully, trying not to wrinkle or damage the spine. After picking, the seedling must be deepened to the cotyledons, and at the same time it is important to ensure that the root does not bend. When growing seedlings in pots without picking, you do not need to fill them with soil to the very top, so that there is room for adding soil to the cotyledon leaves. Sprinkle the soil gradually - within two to three weeks after the appearance of a real leaf.

The dived seedlings need to be shaded for several days, and then gradually accustom them to the sun, covering the window glass with thin paper or newspaper for the time of sunshine (first in two layers, then in one). It is known that picking delays the development of any seedlings, especially eggplant. Therefore, if you are going to carry out a pick, sow the seeds, preferably ten days earlier. At the same time, some vegetable growers are sure that, although dive seedlings lag behind a little at the beginning of their development, then more lateral roots grow in them, and they become stronger.

Watering seedlings

Eggplant
Eggplant

Eggplant varieties Purple head

Eggplant is a rather capricious culture. They do not tolerate overdrying of the land in the beds, or stagnant water. They should be watered only with warm water, without waiting for the leaves to wither. But do not water the plantings if the soil is still wet. Try to prevent water from getting on the leaves when watering, because this can lead to fungal diseases.

In late April or May, when the stems begin to stiffen from below, they sometimes crack at the soil surface. At the same time, the seedlings begin to lie down, although at first they do not fade and have a completely healthy appearance. In this case, the seedling must be sprinkled with disinfected soil 3-4 cm, water it and tie it to a thin peg. Usually these measures are enough, the barrel will straighten.

Before planting eggplants in open ground, you need to gradually harden them, taking them out into the air. But at the same time, the seedlings can be damaged and lie down from gusts of wind. Therefore, it is advisable to tie each seedling to a peg. And be sure to water abundantly.

Since eggplants are very sensitive to cold, they can be left in the air overnight only if the outside temperature is not lower than + 7 … + 8 ° С. The results of hardening can be seen already on the third or fourth day: the seedlings will become larger, the stems and leaves will acquire a bluish or purple hue, characteristic of healthy plants.

Top dressing of seedlings

During the period of growing seedlings, it is recommended to feed the plants twice. The first time 15 days after the dive: for 10 liters of water 0.5-0.7 g of ammonium nitrate, 1.5-2 g of superphosphate, 1-1.5 g of potassium salt. This amount of solution is usually enough to feed 10 plants. After 10 days, the second feeding is carried out: dilute 50 g of bird droppings in 1 liter of water, leave for 5 days, then dilute this volume 10 times. It is advisable to combine top dressing with irrigation with warm water (+ 25 ° C). A week before planting seedlings in the ground, it is useful to carry out foliar feeding of plants with microelements: 0.5 g of potassium permanganate, 0.3 g of copper sulfate, 0.3 g of boric acid per 1 liter of water. One liter of this solution can be sprayed over the leaves of nearly a hundred plants.

Special techniques for growing seedlings. You can pinch the growth point in some plants after the fifth true leaf. After that, the seedlings will stop growing for three weeks, but development will continue - lateral buds will appear. As a result, the seedlings will become much healthier and smaller. Such plants will be more convenient to transport, they are easier to take root in the ground. And since the fruits of eggplants just grow on the side shoots, such a pinching in many varieties can give a significant increase in yield. Sometimes it is advised to pinch after planting in the ground, but in this case there may not be enough time for the development of lateral shoots.

Planting eggplant seedlings in the ground

Eggplant
Eggplant

The timing of planting eggplant plants in a permanent place in a garden bed or in a greenhouse is approximately the same as for seedlings of tomatoes and peppers. It is important to consider local climatic conditions here. In the open field, you must first select and prepare a place.

It is desirable that it be elevated and sunny, and the soil needs loose and fertile, on which any nightshade crops - potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, physalis - have not grown for several years before. On the side from which the wind blows more often, the future bed must be protected so that it does not break young plants. In greenhouses, you also need to carefully prepare the beds.

And when planting seedlings, you need to add both in the open ground and in the greenhouse, in addition, for each square meter, 1-2 buckets of humus or compost, 1 liter of wood ash and mineral fertilizers - 60-70 g of nitrophoska. When planting seedlings, the distance between plants is left at 30-40 cm, and between the rows should be 50-60 cm.

Before planting in the ground, the seedlings need to be watered well, then the seedlings will more easily withstand the transplant, and it will be more convenient to remove it from the pots, there will be no damage to the roots. Eggplant plants with a lump of earth are placed in the ground vertically, a little deeper than they grew in pots. After planting, watered with warm water. Like any other seedlings, eggplant seedlings are best planted in cloudy weather or in the evening, when they do not have to immediately get under the bright and hot rays of the sun. During plant survival, it is advisable to slightly shade them with a covering material or film for several days.

Eggplant care

After planting in a permanent place, the plants need the same care as other heat-loving crops. It consists in regular watering (8-10 times per summer: 5-6 l / m², in greenhouses - 1-2 times a week depending on the weather), fertilizing, loosening the soil and fighting pests and diseases - verticillium wilting, gray rot, spider mite, whitefly, in the middle lane and to the south, the plant is damaged by the Colorado potato beetle.

The soil should not be allowed to dry out, because it harms the plants, since their root system is located in the upper layer of the soil. Water the eggplant abundantly, but only with warm water. Then carefully loosen the soil after watering to a shallow depth of 3-5 cm. Improper watering greatly affects the growth of plants and the future harvest. Eggplant is very sensitive to high humidity. An excess of moisture leads to the development of fungal diseases, and also makes pollination difficult. It is better to water only at the root so that the water does not get on the leaves and flowers. You do not need to sprout and huddle eggplants.

During the growing season, eggplants are fed after 10-15 days with a solution of mullein fermented for 2-3 days in a ratio (1: 5), wood ash (200 g per 10 l of water) or chicken droppings in a ratio (1:15). If there is no organic fertilizer, complete mineral fertilizer can be used. During the period of mass flowering, it is advisable to make two foliar dressings with microelements (2 tablets per 10 liters of water) or an ash daily infusion (2 glasses of ash per bucket of water).

To enhance the branching of eggplants, pinch the tops of the stems at a height of 25-30 cm, if you have not done this yet on the seedlings after the appearance of the fifth leaf. When properly formed, plants should have 3-4 lateral shoots with five to six evenly spaced fruits.

Harvesting

Eggplant
Eggplant

Eggplants are removed in a state of technical ripeness 26-40 days after flowering, depending on the variety. It is very important not to miss these deadlines, since unharvested ripe fruits inhibit the growth of the following. If you harvest the crop ahead of time, then the young fruits will begin to wither.

Moreover, they are tasteless, as they contain a lot of acid and tannins. They cannot be ripened like tomatoes. And overripe fruits are also not suitable for food - their pulp becomes rough and inedible. Therefore, the fruits are harvested half-ripe - in technical ripeness, which is determined by the strong shine and intense color of the fruit. It depends on the variety, most often it is purple-black, but it is also white, and yellow, and green. At this time, eggplant seeds are small, and the flesh is tender.

The size of the fruit during harvesting also depends on the variety. In varieties with an elongated shape of the fruit, its length is at least 10 cm, in varieties with fruits of a different shape, they are guided by their diameter, it should be at least 5 cm. To reduce the tendency to wilt, the fruits are cut with a pruner together with a cup and a stalk. In the refrigerator, eggplant fruits can be stored for up to two weeks. The yield of this crop in the middle lane is 3-5 kg ​​/ m².

Diseases and pests of eggplant

When growing eggplants, gardeners may encounter diseases and pests - "black leg", wilting, mites, aphids, slugs and the Colorado potato beetle.

Preventive measures against diseases consist in spraying seedlings and plants in the ground with Bordeaux liquid (10-15 days after planting). When the disease "black leg" appears, it is necessary to stop watering and dry the soil, then loosen it and sprinkle it with wood ash. To get rid of this disease will help the drug "Hom", diluted in a proportion of 4 g of the drug per 1 liter of water (it is enough for 10 square meters).

It is necessary to observe seedlings and adult plants, especially in greenhouses - are there aphids and mites? When aphids appear, it can be dealt with purely mechanically, removing it from the plants with tweezers. Pay particular attention to the underside of the sheet. If there are many pests, special spraying can be applied against them. A good effect is given by spraying with celandine infusion: pour a bucket of fresh celandine herb with water, leave for a week, then dilute the infusion with water three times. Garlic infusion is also used: insist 200 g of garlic shooters in 3 liters of water, then dilute the infusion with three buckets of water. A good result is obtained by wetting the leaves with soapy foam.

Read the next part. Interesting varieties of eggplant →

Valery Brizhan, experienced gardener

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