Eggplant is a thermophilic plant native to India. In temperate latitudes, the plant was planted in a greenhouse, however, with a competent approach, you can get a good harvest by growing eggplants in the open field.
- Eggplant varieties for open ground
- Features of germinating eggplant seeds
- Planting eggplant seedlings
- Outdoor eggplant care
Eggplant varieties for open ground
Eggplant is considered a difficult crop to grow. Productivity directly depends on climatic conditions. For open ground, it is better to use less whimsical varieties: their yield is average or above average, but the probability of getting fruits in the open field is much higher than that of high-yielding hybrids.
When choosing an eggplant variety, first of all, attention is paid to the ability to ripen the fruits of the plant in the open field. The taste of the vegetable is no less important.
The following varieties are suitable for growing eggplants in temperate climates:
- Robin the Hood
- Pink flamingo
The early ripe variety "Alekseevsky" grows up to 70 cm in height. The bush bears fruit of a dark purple cylindrical shape. The length reaches 15 cm. The flesh is white, dense, not bitter. The average fruit weight is 150 g. The average yield is more than 6-8 kg / m2.
The early ripe variety "Robin Hood" gives ripe fruit 110 days after germination. The height of the bush reaches 110 cm. The eggplant is pear-shaped and lilac in color. Weight about 300g, length - 17cm, diameter - 9cm. It is mainly grown for pickling and preservation as it perfectly retains its taste and harmonizes pleasantly with spices.
Eggplant "Almaz" is recognized as one of the most productive varieties in the open field. A bush 65 cm high yields ripe fruits 150 days from germination. In good weather conditions, up to 8 kg / m2 of vegetables can be harvested. Eggplant color ranges from dark purple to brownish brown. Average fruit weight 150 g, cylindrical shape, length 17 cm, diameter 9 cm.
The bush of "Pink Flamingo" grows up to 150 cm. Ripe fruits are obtained on 120 days. Eggplant weighs up to 450 g. The variety has a narrow, slightly curved cylindrical shape. The color of the peel is pink, the flesh is white, and has a pleasant taste.
"Vakula" refers to an early maturing variety, bears fruit on 110 days. Ripe eggplant weighs up to 150 g, has a purple skin and white flesh, elliptical fruit.
For planting eggplants in open ground, it is better to give preference to early maturing varieties, this will increase the chances of harvesting. When choosing a variety, it is important to pay attention to the plant's resistance to disease, as this is one of the reasons for a poor harvest.
Features of germinating eggplant seeds
The time from sowing a plant to a ripe fruit in early maturing varieties is about 140 days, therefore, to obtain a harvest in early / middle autumn, seeds must be planted in late March - early May. But at this time, there is a high probability of night frosts.
Eggplant is a thermophilic plant and, if the temperature drops below 13 degrees, its growth completely stops. The best solution for eggplant is seedlings.
The process of growing seedlings can be divided into 3 main stages: preparation, planting and care.
Preparation for sowing consists in:
- Checking seeds for germination. To do this, it is enough to soak the seeds in warm water for 5 minutes. Suitable for planting are seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the dish.
- Preparing seeds for planting. Eggplant seeds are difficult to germinate, but this process can be accelerated a little if the seeds are soaked in aloe juice for a day before planting.
- Preparing the soil. Eggplants are very demanding on the composition and quality of the soil. It is better to germinate eggplant seeds in sod land. Before planting, humus, peat, superphosphate and wood ash are introduced into it. You can also add sawdust, they will give the soil more looseness.
Landing. Seeds are planted in prepared containers, these can be cups, cassettes or boxes. The seeds are planted to a depth of 1.5 cm with a distance of 3 cm, then the containers are covered with foil and placed in a warm, dark place with a temperature of at least 25 degrees.
Care consists in regular watering with warm water, the soil should not dry out, but the swamp should not be arranged, as this can provoke the appearance of a "black leg". As soon as the entrances appear, the boxes are transferred to a bright place, but not in direct sunlight. In the first week from germination, the temperature is maintained at 16 degrees, all subsequent ones are about 25.
The seedling period for eggplants lasts up to 70 days, during all this time it is necessary to regularly loosen the soil. The plant is accustomed to 12-hour daylight hours, therefore, to improve growth conditions, it is illuminated for up to 12 hours.
Often, shortly before planting seedlings in open ground, they are hardened. At the beginning of hardening, the temperature is lowered to 15 degrees for a couple of hours, on the following days the temperature is gradually lowered to street temperature, and the time is increased to a day.
Germinating eggplant seeds is a rather troublesome process, but these small efforts will help to further increase the quantity and quality of the crop.
Planting eggplant seedlings
One of the most important aspects of planting seedlings is choosing the right site. When choosing a site, the following tasks should be solved:
- What cultures can be predecessors
- Cultures that can become neighbors to eggplant
- What soils are best suited
- Sunlight intensity
- Wind speed and moisture content of the site
The predecessors of eggplant can be almost any plant with the exception of nightshade. These include peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes. The time gap between the landing is at least three years. The best precursors are cabbage, onions, carrots, and legumes.
Since eggplant does not like shade, it is better to plant low-growing crops in the neighborhood: onions, sorrel, garlic.
Light, loose sandy soils rich in humus are optimal for eggplants. If the soil is loamy or clayey, then you can add humus, peat, sawdust and sand, this will significantly improve the yield of the plant.
The plant loves sunlight, so it is better to choose a well-lit place without shade. As for the wind, the eggplants need to be protected from the northerly winds. A great way is to plant a backstage from, for example, corn.
Eggplants tend to lean more towards dry rather than wet soil, so it is better to look at the area at the top for planting.
Seedlings are planted when the plants reach 12 cm in height. By this time, they have formed about 7 true leaves. The bushes are planted with ribbons every 30 cm between the bushes. The distance between the ribbons is 90 cm, and between the rows 50 cm.
Before planting a bush, 2 liters of water are poured into the hole, abundant watering is repeated several times after 3 days.
It is important to note that seedlings are planted only after the spring frosts have been left behind, and the ground has warmed up enough.
Choosing the right site for sowing is one of the essential factors for obtaining a good harvest, so it is worth planning and preparing a place for eggplant in advance.
Outdoor eggplant care
First of all, care consists in watering the plant every 10 days. The volume of water is calculated from the fact that the soil should be soaked to a depth of 50 cm. During growth, the plant requires three main fertilizing: during mass budding, before and after mass harvesting of fruits.
To increase the weight of the fruit, the 4 largest stems are left on the plant, the rest are removed. Yellowed leaves and weeds should also be removed regularly. The last important point of care is pest control. For this, the plant is promptly treated with specialized preparations.
To get an excellent eggplant harvest, you need to carefully consider all stages, from the selection of seeds to harvesting. At first, it may seem that growing eggplants in the open field is a difficult task, but hard work and attentiveness to the plant will allow you to get what you want.
See how to grow eggplant in the video: