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Eggplants are close relatives of tomatoes and potatoes. They grow in Moldova, Transcaucasia, Ukraine, in the southern regions of Russia, as well as in Central Asia. The fruits of the plant are used for food. Eggplants are canned, boiled, stewed, pickled, caviar is prepared from them. Dishes made from them are hearty and very healthy.
What are the benefits of eggplant?
Eggplants contain B vitamins, vitamin PP, ascorbic acid, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium. Small amounts of manganese, copper, aluminum, zinc, cobalt are contained.
Eggplant contains salts of manganese, cobalt, iron, copper, which are part of eggplant, help to stimulate hematopoiesis, increase hemoglobin, and the formation of erythrocytes.
Eggplants, thanks to their constituent pectin and targonic acids, potassium salts, contribute to the elimination of cholesterol from the blood, as well as the cure of atherosclerosis. Contributes to the normalization of liver function. In terms of their calcium content, they surpass pumpkin, carrots, onions, peppers, melons. They have a mild diuretic effect.
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Basic soil requirements for growing eggplant
Eggplants love fertile soil. Therefore, when digging the soil, organic and mineral fertilizers are added to it. If the soil is fertile in itself, then only humus and mineral fertilizers are introduced into it. Eggplants grow well on light soil. On heavy soils, compact bushes form, and this is not always good for the plant.
Eggplant has a very powerful root system. It is when fertilizing the soil that the emphasis is placed on potassium. With a weak development of stems in a plant, the proportion of nitrogen should be doubled. The rate of soil acidity is 6.5-7.2. from a lack of magnesium in the soil, the plant may develop poorly, so you need to monitor its presence in it.
Eggplant. Growing from seeds
Eggplants do not tolerate transplanting quite well, since its root system suffers during this process. It is recommended to grow seedlings directly in peat pots, without subjecting them to picking. If, nevertheless, the plant has to dive, then this should be done with the utmost care.
Growing and caring for eggplant seedlings
On the 10-15th day after planting, the eggplant seeds are already sprouting. Growing seedlings without picking takes 40-45 days; when picking - 50-60 days. For good germination of seeds, the plant requires an air temperature of 22-26 degrees Celsius. When the first shoots appear, the temperature is lowered to 13-16 degrees Celsius. This contributes to the correct development of the root system, they become strong, and the sprouts do not stretch out. After five to six, the temperature regime should be increased to plus 20-25 degrees. This temperature must be maintained until the seedlings are planted in the ground. Immediately before planting, the plant should be hardened by the sun. To this end, pots with eggplant seedlings are brought out in the sun for 10-15 minutes. This should be done within two to three days, two to three times.
Planting eggplant seedlings in open ground
Before planting seedlings in open ground, the site is first outlined and holes are made (planting grooves). In this case, the distance between the rows should be 45-50 cm, between the plants directly in the row itself - 25-30 cm. Water from one to three liters should be poured into the finished wells. Seedlings are immediately planted in a moistened hole. Then the holes are covered with dry earth. This promotes good rooting of seedlings, as well as their survival rate. Seedlings should be watered every two to three days.
Growing and caring for eggplant
Growing and caring for eggplants consists in feeding, watering and treating weeds.
During the growth of the plant, 3-5 dressings are made. Two to three weeks after planting the seedlings, the first feeding is done. Eggplants do not require earlier feeding, since their root system is still poorly developed, which cannot yet absorb useful elements.
Before the appearance of fruits, fertilizing is carried out with mineral complex fertilizers. When fruits appear, fertilizing is carried out with nitrogen-phosphate fertilizers: one tablespoon of superphosphate and one teaspoon of ammonium nitrate are diluted in 10 liters of water. For better dissolution of superphosphate in water, it is best to make an extract from it. Organic fertilizers promote the growth of plant stems, so they should be used in moderation.
Biud - an organic fertilizer made on the basis of mullein and recommended for use by many gardeners. Dilute it in a ratio of 1:20.
Organic fertilizers can be replaced with fermented grass. Nettle infusion is perfect for this. It is insisted for three to five days, then filtered and then diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 2.
Organic and mineral dressings should be carried out alternately. To stimulate the growth of eggplant, root feeding should be done 12-15 days after planting. During the fruiting period of eggplant, it is recommended to sprinkle the soil with ashes. If the plant does not bloom well, then it is sprayed with boic acid, which is dissolved in hot water. An excess of green mass in a plant indicates a lack of potassium in the soil, a weak development of a plant indicates a lack of nitrogen. Foliar feeding of the plant with microelements is carried out in wet and cool weather.
Watering the eggplant
Watering the plant is best done regularly, since eggplant is a moisture-loving culture. Lack of moisture leads to the fall of the fruits and flowers of the plant, as well as the cessation of development. Water the eggplants with warm water. The water temperature should be at least 20 degrees. After planting seedlings in the ground, eggplants are watered for the first time on the fifth day. After watering is carried out once a week. If the weather is hot and dry, watering should be done more frequently. Water the plant under the root so that the stems and leaves remain dry.
Crop cultivation involves loosening row spacings and controlling weeds. Eggplant is a thermophilic culture. Therefore, during its growing season, it is necessary to carry out frequent cultivation of row spacings. This contributes to good warming of the soil. The process of loosening row spacings is repeated 4-5 times per season. The nature of the soil as well as the weather conditions can affect the frequency of tillage. The first loosening of the row spacings must be carried out to a depth of 8-10 cm, subsequently - 10-12 cm. The quality of the soil affects the depth of loosening. In wet and dense soil, the first loosening is carried out to a depth of six to eight cm on the third day after planting, and later on by 8-12 cm.
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Growing eggplant outdoors
As soon as the height of the stem in medium and vigorous varieties of eggplant has reached 30 cm, the plant must be tied up. In this case, one should take into account the fact that the plant will still grow, and the thickness of its stem will also increase. Therefore, when tying up, leave a reserve for the plant. During development, eggplants form three stems. As soon as the first and strong side shoots of the eggplant have formed, they should be tied to the trellis. The process is repeated two to three times a week. It depends on the growth of the plant. The remaining side shoots less than one meter in height should be removed. This process is the most difficult and monotonous. Additional shoots can be left in the summer, but this will reduce the growth rate of the plant, and will also lead to the formation of additional fruits. In order to reduce the "thickening" of the plant, two small leaves are removed from it near the tops.
Other work on the formation of plants:
- pinching secondary flowers;
- ridding the fetus of the petal ring.
These works reduce the appearance of gray mold. To reduce the density of the leaves, they should be trimmed. The emergence of secondary shoots should be removed immediately.
Low-growing eggplant varieties and hybrids are much easier to care for. At the beginning of plant development, two or three of the strongest lateral shoots are selected, and the rest are removed. All shoots and leaves are also removed from the main stem. The bushes are cleaned of yellowed and diseased leaves, as well as deformed fruits. At the end of the season, pinch the top of the stems, leaving five to seven small ovaries each. The flowers that appear on the plant are also removed at the end of the season. Strict adherence to these techniques allows you to get good and large fruits. Removing flowers from a plant does not in any way change the overall yield.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that when growing a plant, you should not blindly follow all the above instructions. It is best to observe the plant and its development. This will help you better understand what exactly he lacks at this or that moment of his development. And the result of your observations and labors will be a high-quality, useful and large harvest.