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Eggplants appeared in Russia in the 18th century from Central Asia. And they were grown only in the southern regions of Russia. With the development of the greenhouse economy, it became possible to grow eggplants both in the middle lane and in areas with a more severe climate. Nowadays, eggplant cultivation has become commonplace for our summer residents, who affectionately call them "blue". Although now new varieties have been bred, the color and shape of which are not at all similar to traditional eggplants.
Benefits for the body
Eating eggplant in food has a beneficial effect on the entire body. The high potassium content keeps the heart muscle in top working condition. Dietary fiber and fiber improve intestinal motility. Eggplant is a dietary product that improves blood composition, removes cholesterol. The use of eggplant is shown to everyone, without exception, especially to elderly people for the prevention of atherosclerosis.
Seed preparation and sowing time for seedlings
Eggplant is a magical plant that helps fight serious ailments; each of us can grow it in our own backyard.
Naturally, as for the vast majority of other heat-loving plants, eggplant cultivation begins with the preparation of seeds and sowing them for seedlings.
A single and accurate answer for all conditions and circumstances to the question of when to plant eggplants for seedlings in the Moscow region simply does not exist. This is due to the fact that the specific landing date depends on many different factors:
- Eggplant growing conditions (open or protected ground);
- Period for harvesting (distinguish between early, mid-early, late varieties);
- The time it takes for seedlings to appear. Eggplants take longer to germinate than other crops, about 10 -12 days;
- Age of seedlings for planting in the ground. Eggplant seedlings are ready at the age of 55 - 65 days;
- The growing season of the plant (the time from emergence to harvest). Eggplants have a long growing season of 100 to 150 days. Therefore, one cannot do without growing seedlings. Otherwise, in central Russia, it will not be possible to get an eggplant crop;
- Climatic conditions. Take an interest in long-term weather forecasts. In the middle lane, both early and late spring are possible, and snow also falls in April.
In the Moscow region, spring according to phenological terms begins at the end of March - mid-April and lasts until the end of May and even the beginning of June.
In the first half of March, there is a struggle between winter and spring coming into its own. Daylight hours gradually increase, frosts and warm sunny days alternate. From the second half of March in the Moscow region begins to melt snow. The snow disappears in about 2 weeks. By the beginning of April, the average daily temperatures cross zero. The soil thaws by the 20th of April, at this time frosts are possible in the Moscow region, which will periodically return until almost 20 May. The thawed soil makes it possible to do garden work.
In May, the average daily temperatures are low + 10 + 11 degrees. Returns of cold weather are possible.
June is a warm month, but during this period prolonged rains and cold snaps are possible. The average daily temperature in June in the Moscow region is + 14 + 15 degrees.
July is the warmest month in the Moscow region. August is harvest time.
Important! Remember that eggplants are the most thermophilic culture, it is not for nothing that they are called "warm legs". The main condition for planting eggplants in a greenhouse: the soil should warm up to +20 degrees.
With the numbers in front of your eyes, it's easy enough to calculate the approximate time for planting seeds. Attention! Since eggplants love warmth, we will plant seedlings in the greenhouse from May 1 to May 10.
Provided that the soil has warmed up enough for the plants to adapt and grow. Perhaps you have a warm garden bed or a heated greenhouse. From the estimated date of planting eggplants in the ground according to the calendar, we count back the time for the growth of seedlings: 65 days, and the time for the emergence of seedlings: 12 days. We get the middle of February, approximately February 12 - 18.
It should be borne in mind that some vegetable growers recommend planting eggplant seedlings even later than the first decade of May. In this case, the timing of sowing seeds for seedlings is quite logically shifted to the end of February.
By this time, it is necessary to prepare the container for planting and the soil. Buy eggplant seeds earlier, as before planting, the seeds require preparation to improve germination and protect future plants. When buying seeds, pay attention to the production date. There is a rule that works in the vast majority of cases, namely: the fresher the seeds, the better they will sprout.
After purchasing the seeds, you need to perform simple preparatory measures. They are as follows. Inspect eggplant seeds at home in good light first. Then sort them into small and large, and discard damaged seeds and those with dark spots.
After completing all of the above, small and large seeds should be planted separately. This will allow you to get uniform, even seedlings, strong seedlings will not drown out weak ones.
Disinfection and hardening of seeds
Eggplant seeds must be disinfected before planting. The most popular and simplest way is to place the seeds in a weak potassium permanganate solution for about 20 minutes.
There is also another fairly common method of seed disinfection. It is as follows: stir 3 ml of hydrogen peroxide in 100 g of water (use a syringe for dosing), heat the mixture to a temperature of about 40 degrees and lower the seeds there for 10 minutes.
Some gardeners carry out stratification. In fact, it is a procedure for hardening seeds, but longer, allowing the activation of biological forces. This method is based on the fact that in nature, mature seeds fall to the ground and lie in cold conditions until spring. The meaning of stratification is to try to recreate conditions as close as possible to natural ones. Eggplant seeds are mixed with sand, moistened and placed in the refrigerator. They are kept on the bottom shelf for one to four months. And only after that they sow for seedlings.
The seed hardening procedure increases the future yield. The seeds are placed on cheesecloth or on a thin layer of sand, moistened and placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for 12 hours, then taken out and kept for a day at room temperature, then placed back in the refrigerator. So, repeat 3 times. When hardening, it is necessary to ensure that the gauze or sand is always wet.
After selection, hardening and stratification procedures, the seeds can be planted in the containers intended for this. Many planting experts recommend germinating them first. Although not required. For germination, the seeds are placed on damp gauze and left at room temperature. As soon as white seedlings appear, the seeds can be planted in the ground. The germination procedure speeds up the emergence of seedlings.
Planting seeds for seedlings
Important! When growing eggplants, one feature of the plant should be taken into account - it tolerates picking very badly.
Therefore, immediately plant the seeds in separate containers. You can use plastic cassettes, peat pots or tablets that allow you to transfer the plant without injuring the root system into a large container.
The seedling soil mixture should be fertile, light and loose in composition. You can take ordinary garden soil, while necessarily enriching it with purchased high-quality soil and adding a little sand or vermiculite. The latter helps to improve the quality of the soil, allowing it to remain loose, while at the same time a crust does not form on the surface. Vermiculite is able to absorb excess minerals, and then give them to plants. In addition, it protects the plant roots from temperature extremes.
When planting seeds, do not deepen them too deeply. The best option is considered to be embedding to a depth of 0.5 cm, maximum 1 cm. The soil must be moistened before planting, and then covered with glass or film. The next important task is to provide the seeds with a temperature of +25 degrees. It is this mode that is considered the most ideal for the early emergence of seedlings. Otherwise, the emergence of seedlings may take more than 2 weeks. How to plant eggplants for seedlings, look at the video:
As soon as shoots have appeared, the temperature must be lowered. During the day +20 degrees, at night + 17. 2 weeks before disembarking to a permanent place, start hardening the seedlings. To do this, take it out onto the balcony, first for 2 hours, and then for the whole day.
Strong seedlings, ready for planting in the ground, have a strong trunk, 8 leaves of a rich green color and a height of about 30 cm.
Eggplant is a valuable vegetable crop, the cultivation of which has a number of nuances, to which we tried to draw your attention.