How to grow eggplant
Of all nightshade crops, eggplant is the hardiest and most resilient in the fruit development phase and is ideal for growing in our climate zone. Moreover, they show the best results not in greenhouses, but in open ground. In the mild climate of Belarus, summer temperatures and moderate air humidity are very favorable for the formation of flowers and the growth of fruit mass.
It is necessary to start sowing seeds for seedlings 80-90 days before planting seedlings on the site. These figures are made up of the fact that it takes 7-10 days for seed germination, and the optimal age of seedlings before planting in the ground is 70-80 days. It is at this age that seedlings are most resilient and easily adapt to new conditions.
Growing eggplants is even more exciting than tomatoes and peppers, because the “blue ones” have a huge number of highly decorative varieties with fruits of different colors (white, yellow, red, brown, striped) and shapes (round, oval, plum-shaped). Fruit weight varies from 60 grams to 0.7 kg. There are shrub varieties that can be grown all year round on the windowsill. Among them are baby eggplants with a compact tree-shaped crown densely dotted with miniature fruits.
To grow seedlings, you will need loose nutrient soil with a neutral reaction. You can take it ready for vegetable crops or cook it yourself by mixing the land from the site with humus, peat, perlite and coarse river sand. It is easy to “zero out” acidified soil by adding chalk or dolomite flour. Just be sure to warm the garden soil in a water bath to destroy all harmful microorganisms.
Secrets of healthy seedlings and rich harvests
- Eggplant seeds are soaked for a day in warm water (25-30 °) or in a growth stimulator. Until the emergence of seedlings germinate under the film. If you bought seeds from us, disinfection with a solution of potassium permanganate is not required — we are responsible for the quality.
- Close up in the substrate to a depth of 4-5 mm, cover with a film and put in a bright warm place with a temperature of 28-30 °.
- Sowing methods that do not require subsequent picking are more preferable: eggplants painfully endure root injuries.
- Moisten the crops by spraying — so as not to crush the seedlings. Moreover, warm water is not lower than 22 °. Avoid waterlogging and waterlogging of the substrate.
- After the formation of the first true leaf, the temperature of the content can be reduced to 18-22 °. Do not let the seedlings get used to greenhouse conditions — after all, they will soon be in open ground.
- When landing on the site, do not place eggplants next to tomatoes — these crops do not like close proximity.
Growing seedlings without picking
Take plastic or peat pots and place one seed in each. (the age of plants is counted from the moment when the cotyledon leaves take a horizontal position). Plastic cups are easy to cut with scissors without injuring the root ball. When growing in a peat pot, there is a danger that the seedlings will be spoiled with food and begin to act up when transplanted into poorer garden soil. You will have to generously fertilize the planting holes with leaf humus and peat, or apply a complex NPK fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium + trace elements).
When the seedlings grow up and braid the container with roots, you will notice that growth has slowed down — the fourth leaf is born reluctantly. Transfer to larger pots. This is not a pick! And it won’t harm plants.
The subtleties of growing seedlings with a pick
Experienced gardeners who know the techniques of careful gentle picking use the following methods of growing seedlings:
- In a container . They take rectangular plastic containers 12-15 cm deep — they are conveniently placed on window sills. Grooves are laid in the soil with a depth of 4-5 mm and the seeds are transferred with tweezers, observing a rhythm of 2-3 cm. The less often the plantings, the easier it is to dive.
- In a snail . They take a plastic tape 8-10 cm wide and sprinkle it with a layer of earth 1-1.5 cm thick. Stepping back from the edge 2 cm, close up the seeds. The tape is rolled up and placed under the film in a pot of a suitable size. Disadvantage of the method: less friendly germination of seeds. Advantage: it is easier to remove the seedlings from the belt than to take them out of the container.
Seedling picking is carried out after the appearance of cotyledon leaves. Planted in the ground after the formation of 7-8 full-fledged leaves, choosing a sunny area, protected from direct midday rays. If there is a threat of night frost, cover seedlings with breathable non-woven material.
To get larger fruits, 5-6 ovaries are left on the bush, forming a plant in 1-3 stems. Shrub varieties with miniature fruits look amazing in flowerpots on terraces, balconies and loggias. We wish you a successful summer season, bright summer colors and a rich and generous harvest! But never forget that, like other plants, eggplants are subject to the negative effects of diseases and pests. How to deal with them — read in our material.