Eggplant - heart balm
Eggplant is native to Southeast Asia, and therefore loves the hot subtropical and tropical climate. More than 1500 years ago, eggplant was cultivated and grown in China and in the countries of Central Asia. This vegetable has spread thanks to the Arabs who brought eggplant to Africa and the European Mediterranean.
Eggplant, or Dark nightshade (Solanum melongena) Is a species of perennial herbaceous plants of the genus Paslen (Solanum), a popular vegetable crop. It is also known by the name of badrijan (rarely bubridjan), and in the southern regions of Russia eggplants are called blue.
The famous traveler A. B. Clot Bay, traveling through Egypt and describing garden plants, notes that in the country eggplant is called Armenian cucumber (not to be confused with Armenian cucumber - Melon variety), which is of two types white and purple.
Eggplants are not only the usual dark purple color, but among them are absolutely white, and almost black, yellow and brown. Their shape is also quite diverse - from cylindrical to pear-shaped and spherical.
Eggplant is a herbaceous plant with a height of 40 to 150 cm. The leaves are large, alternate, prickly rough, in some varieties with a purple hue. The flowers are bisexual, purple, with a diameter of 2.5-5 cm; single or in inflorescences - semi-umbrellas from 2-7 flowers. Eggplant blooms from July to September.
Eggplant fruit - a large berry of round, pear-shaped or cylindrical shape; the surface of the fetus is matte or glossy. It reaches a length of 70 cm, in diameter - 20 cm; weighs 0.4-1 kg. The color of ripe fruits is from gray-green to brownish-yellow.
When fully ripened, they become coarse and tasteless, so they are used slightly immature for food. In unripe fruits, the color varies from light purple to dark purple. Eggplant seeds are small, flat, light brown; ripen in August-October.
Eggplants are placed after the early white or cauliflower, cucumbers, legumes and green crops. If the site is not sunny, provide reliable protection against cold winds, planting rocky plants.
In the fall, after harvesting the precursor, the soil is loosened loosely with a hoe to provoke the germination of weed seeds. Two weeks later, they dig it to the depth of the bayonet of a shovel, without breaking the clod. For digging, make compost or peat (4-6 kg per 1 m²) and mineral garden mix or nitroammophoska (70 g per m²). Sour soils lime.
In early spring, the soil is harrowed with an iron rake and kept in a loose state prior to planting. On the day of planting, they dig it up and fertilize (400 g per well) if they do not have time to make it in the fall.
Eggplant is best grown on insulated beds or ridges. In the middle of the beds 90-100 cm wide, a groove 20-30 cm wide and 15-20 cm deep is torn out. Loosening materials (humus, sawdust, sand, straw cutting mixed with the ground) are laid in it and carefully covered with earth. Plants are planted on both sides of this groove. Roots, penetrating deeper, find nutrients and the oxygen they need.
In the non-chernozem zone of Russia eggplant is grown through seedlings. Seeds in greenhouses or greenhouses are sown for 60 days of planting in the ground. In the Moscow region this is the end of February - the beginning of March.
Sowing is carried out in boxes (followed by picking) or in pots (without picking). The composition of the soil mixture can be different, for example: turf land and humus (2: 1), turf land, peat and sand (4: 5: 1), peat, sawdust and mullein, diluted with water (3: 1: 0.5) . Add to it (g per 10 kg): ammonium sulfate - 12, superphosphate and potassium salt - 40 each. The prepared mixture is placed in boxes and leveled. 1 day before sowing, it is abundantly watered with warm water.
If the seeds are not germinated, then seedlings appear after 8-10 days, germinated - after 4-5 days. The shoots are created with good illumination, and the air temperature is reduced to 15-18 ° C, so that the root system develops better.
After the appearance of the first true leaf, seedlings dive one by one into pots 10 × 10 cm in size. Strong, healthy, well-developed plants are selected. For 2-3 days, until they take root, seedlings are shaded with paper from sunlight. Since eggplant weakly restores the root system, they do not tolerate picking poorly.
With a weak growth of seedlings, top dressing is necessary. To do this, use a solution of bird droppings (1:15) or mullein (1:10), fermenting for at least 2-3 days (a bucket per 1 m²), full mineral fertilizer (50 g per 10 liters of water). After top dressing, plants must be watered with clean warm water from a watering can with a strainer or sprayed to avoid burns.
Seedling care consists of regular watering, loosening of weeds and top dressing. Watering protects plants from premature lumbering of the stem, which ultimately causes a sharp decrease in yield. But you should not greatly overmoisten the soil: this adversely affects the condition of plants and the future crop. In addition, high temperature and high humidity pamper the plants. Watering and feeding is best done in the morning.
Two weeks before planting, seedlings are prepared for open ground conditions: they reduce the irrigation rate, and intensively ventilate. 5-10 days before transplantation, the plants are sprayed with a 0.5% solution of copper sulfate. On the eve of the landing, atypical, weakened and sick people are rejected. Seedlings are abundantly watered. Properly grown seedlings should be low, with a well-developed root system, a thick stem, five to six leaves and large buds.
Seedlings are planted in open ground when the soil warms up to a temperature of 12-15 ° C and the danger of the last spring frosts passes. This usually happens in the first decade of June. But if you protect the plants with film frames (they are installed on the beds a week before planting), then eggplants can be planted at the end of May.
On the beds, eggplant is planted with two-line ribbons (the distance between the ribbons is 60-70 cm, between the lines 40, between the plants 30-40 cm). Landing on a ridge in one row (distance between rows 60-70 cm and between plants 30-35 cm). On light soils, eggplant is planted on a flat surface according to the pattern of 60 × 60 or 70 × 30 cm (one plant per well) or 70 × 70 cm (two plants per well). Wells with a width and depth of 15-20 cm are prepared in advance. Before landing, they are deepened, loosened the bottom and watered.
Seedlings with a lump of earth are carefully released from the seedling containers. In peat pots, the bottom is broken for better development of the root system after planting. Seedlings are planted vertically, buried to the first true leaf. The soil around the plants is well compressed and immediately watered.
When planting in cloudy weather, plants better take root. Seedlings planted on a hot day are shaded daily (from 10 to 16 hours) until the plants take root. A week after planting, new plants are planted on the site of the fallen plants. When the colds return, the plants are covered with insulation materials at night.
Eggplants grow best in greenhouses, where they create favorable conditions.
The soil must be loose and permeable. In the spring, they dig the soil, make compost or humus (4-5 kg per 1 m²) and garden mineral mix (70 g per 1 m²). After that, the soil is leveled and watered.
Seedlings are grown in pots with a diameter of 10-20 cm or in plastic bags (two plants each). It is planted in heated greenhouses in late March - early April at the age of 45-50 days, in unheated - in early May at the age of 60-70 days.
Seedlings are planted on beds (which is best), ridges or a flat surface. Plants are placed with two-line ribbons (the distance between the lines is 40-50 cm, between the extreme rows 80, between the plants 35-45 cm).
After planting, the eggplant is immediately tied to the trellis, like tomatoes. Care consists of top dressing, watering, cultivation, weeding, and protection against frost.
The first top dressing is carried out 15-20 days after transplanting, introducing urea (10-15 g per 10 liters of water). At the beginning of fruiting, eggplant is fed with a solution of fresh mullein (1: 5) with the addition of superphosphate (30-40 g of 10 l of water). Every two weeks, top dressing is used with a solution of wood ash (200 g per 10 liters of water) or mineral fertilizers (gram per 10 liters of water):
- ammonium nitrate - 15-20,
- superphosphate - 40-50,
- potassium chloride - 15-20.
After top dressing, the plants are watered with clean water to rinse off the remaining solution.
Eggplant is watered abundantly, under the root, as a lack of moisture reduces yield, increases the bitterness and ugliness of the fruit. But waterlogging is also unacceptable. After each watering, the soil is loosened to a depth of 3-5 cm. Weeds are systematically removed.
Greenhouses are regularly ventilated, avoiding overheating and high humidity: this contributes to the reproduction of aphids. In May, the Colorado potato beetle can penetrate into the greenhouses, therefore, the lower part of the leaves is regularly inspected and destroyed by the discovered eggs. Eggplant productivity with a high level of agricultural technology reaches 6-8 kg per 1 m².
Eggplants in greenhouses work well (nine plants are planted under the frame). They are also grown on balconies. Seedlings are planted in late May - early June in large pots with a diameter of 10-40 cm and a depth of 30 cm.
The plant is heat-demanding and hygrophilous. Seeds germinate at a temperature not lower than 15 ° C. If the temperature is above 25-30 ° C, then the seedlings appear already on the 8-9th day. The best temperature for growth and development is 22-30 ° С. At too high a temperature and with insufficient humidity of air and soil, the plants drop flowers. If the air temperature drops to 12 ° C, then the eggplant ceases to develop. In general, they develop more slowly than tomatoes.
Water them abundantly. Lack of soil moisture reduces productivity, increases the bitterness and ugliness of the fruit. But bad and waterlogged, in a protracted inclement weather, for example, eggplant can suffer from diseases.
The best soils for this vegetable plant are light, structural, well-fertilized.
It is noted: with a lack of nitrogen in the soil, the growth of tops is slowed, and this promises a decrease in yield (few fruits will be planted). Phosphorus fertilizers have a beneficial effect on root growth, the formation of buds, ovaries, and accelerate the ripening of fruits. Potassium contributes to the active accumulation of carbohydrates. With a lack of potassium in the soil, eggplant growth stops, and brown spots appear on the edges of the leaves and fruits. In order for the plant to be healthy, trace elements are also necessary: salts of manganese, boron, iron, which are required to contribute 0.05-0.25 g each per 10 m2.
For tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, the best root top dressing from prepared soil mixtures with a high content of humus, organic matter; macro-, micronutrients, growth stimulants - this is Signor Tomato, Fertility, Breadwinner, Bogatyr vegetable - Giant.
For extra feeding on plants - "Impulse +". Fertilizer promotes the formation of ovaries, increases the resistance of plants to fungal diseases, accelerates the ripening of fruits.
In the traditional sense, eggplant is an elongated purple fruit. But breeder scientists have long departed from tradition and create new varieties, surprising us with color, shape, size and yield.
- F1 Baikal - mid-season and vigorous (plant 1.2 m long) hybrid, recommended for film greenhouses. Like F1 ‘Baron’, they sow seedlings at the end of February, and they plant them in the greenhouse at the end of May. Pear-shaped fruits (length 14-18 cm, diameter 10 cm), dark violet, glossy, weighing 320-370 g. The pulp is white, with a green tint, without bitterness, medium density. The yield of one plant is 2.8-3.2 kg.
- F1 Tender - a novelty of the Yummy series. A distinctive feature of the new hybrid is the white color of the fruit. Ripening period is average. Plant height 50 cm, fruit length - 18 cm, average weight - 200 g. The pulp is dense, white, without bitterness, with a low content of solanine. The yield of one plant is 2 kg.
- F1 Sadko - This hybrid is distinguished by the original color of the fruit - they are purple, with white longitudinal stripes. The plant is medium-sized (50-60 cm), mid-ripening. The shape of the fruits is pear-shaped (length 12-14 cm, diameter 6-10 cm), average weight 250-300 g. Pulp of medium density, without bitterness, great taste.
- F1 Baron - a hybrid with a height of 70-80 cm of an average ripening period. Seedlings are sown in late February, and in late May, seedlings are planted in the greenhouse. Fruits are cylindrical in shape (length 16-22 cm, diameter 6-8 cm), dark purple, glossy, large - 300-350 g. Pulp of medium density, yellowish-white, without bitterness. The yield of one plant is 2.8-3.1 kg.
- Albatross - high-yielding, mid-ripening, large-fruited fruit. Pulp without bitterness. Color in technical ripeness is blue-violet, in biological - brown-brown. Well kept.
- Ping pong - mid-season, high-yielding. The fruit is spherical in shape (90-95 g). In the phase of technical ripeness, white, slightly glossy. The pulp is dense, white, without bitterness.
- Lunar - early, fruit 300-317 g. The pulp is dense, yellowish-white.
- Bebo - mid-season, the fruits are snow-white (300-400 g).
- Sailor - early, fruit with lilac and white stripes, weight 143 g, without bitterness. The pulp is white.
Diseases and Pests
Aphid - The most dangerous pest of eggplant, which causes great harm. Aphids appear on leaves, stems, flowers and feed on plant juices.
Control measures: treatment of plants with rapidly decomposing insecticides. Sprayed before and after flowering. During fruiting can not be processed. The following solution is used from folk remedies: 1 glass of wood ash or 1 glass of tobacco dust is sent to a 10-liter bucket, then poured with hot water and left for a day. Before spraying, the solution must be well mixed, filtered and add 1 tbsp. a spoonful of liquid soap. Spray the plant in the morning, preferably from a sprayer.
Spider mite sucks juice from the underside of eggplant leaves.
Control measures: prepare a solution for which they take a glass of garlic or onion and dandelion leaves passed through a meat grinder, a tablespoon of liquid soap is diluted in 10 liters of water. Filter, separating the pulp, and spray the plants in any phase of development.
Slug naked not only eat eggplant leaves, but also damage the fruits, which then rot.
Control measures: keep plantings, grooves around the planting bed clean and pollinated with freshly slaked lime or a mixture of lime, ash and tobacco dust. When watering, try not to pour water into the grooves. In hot, sunny weather, daytime it is necessary to do loosening to a depth of 3-5 cm. Loosening the soil is accompanied by pollination with ground bitter pepper (black or red), at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 1-2 m², or dry mustard (1 teaspoon per 1 m² )
Blackleg it is especially pronounced at high soil and air humidity, as well as at low temperature. With this disease, the root stem of the eggplant is damaged, it softens, thins and rots. Often the disease develops during the growing of seedlings due to thickened crops.
Control measures: adjust temperature and watering. In the event of the occurrence of this disease, the soil must be dried, shredded and sprinkled with wood ash or dust from crushed charcoal.
Wilt disease manifested in dropping leaves. The cause may be fungal diseases: Fusarium, sclerocinia. If you cut a piece of the stalk near the root of the neck, you will see brown vascular bundles.
Control measures: sick wilted plants are removed and burned, the soil is loosened, rarely watered and only in the morning. Next year, pepper and eggplant are not planted in this place.
Premature yellowing of leaves eggplant most often occurs due to non-compliance with the temperature regime, insufficient watering.
Control measures: You can use the drug "Emerald", which prevents premature yellowing of leaves.
Insufficient pollination of flowers can be the cause of the appearance of non-standard (curved) fruits. To prevent this, it is necessary to apply artificial pollination of flowering plants, that is, in hot, sunny, calm weather, lightly shake the plants.
Lack of moisture in the soil, high air temperature cause lignification of the stems, falling buds and leaves in both pepper and eggplant.
In open areas, it is necessary to protect the eggplant planting from the wind using the wings - plantings from tall crops that are pre-planted with seedlings around the beds (these are beets, beans, chard, leeks), and best of all they bear fruit under the film.
Eggplants are not only thermophilic and water-demanding, but also very photophilous. Therefore, shading causes a lag in the growth and flowering of plants.
Since the root system of eggplant is located in the upper soil layer, loosening should be shallow (3-5 cm) and must be accompanied by mandatory hilling.
Fresh manure is not added to the bed before planting eggplants, as they will give a strong vegetative (leaf) mass and will not be able to form fruits.
Young eggplant seedlings, planted on a bed, can not withstand low plus temperatures (2-3 ° C), and autumn fruiting plants withstand frosts to -3 ° C. This allows you to keep eggplant plants in a greenhouse or in the garden until late autumn.
Eggplant is especially useful for older people. They should be recommended for edema associated with weakening of the heart, with gout.
Dietitians recommend including eggplant in the menu of those suffering from liver and kidney diseases.
Thanks to copper and iron, eggplant helps increase hemoglobin, therefore eggplant dishes are recommended for anemia in children and pregnant women.
The trace elements contained in them are perfectly balanced, they have vitamins B1, B2, B6, B9, C, P, PP, there are also active substances that have a positive effect on the activity of the cardiovascular system and kidneys.
We hope that our tips will help you grow these wonderful vegetables!