Eggplant in a greenhouse - growing rules and the best varieties
Eggplants - tall upright plants with wide heart-shaped leaves of dark green color and large bright fruits - create a special mood in the beds. And in the kitchen they are a popular product for a wide variety of dishes: eggplant is fried, stewed and canned. Of course, to grow a decent crop in the middle lane and to the north is a difficult task. But subject to the agrotechnical rules of growing, it is quite accessible even to a novice gardener. Especially if you grow eggplant in a greenhouse. We will talk about the agricultural technology of greenhouse eggplants in the article.
Preparing a greenhouse for growing eggplant in the fall
It will be just fine (although not necessary) if you prepare the greenhouse beds for growing eggplants from the fall. To do this, you need:
- remove all post-harvest residues from the beds and take them outside the greenhouse (burn, dig, lay on decay),
- plentiful watering provoke shoots of weeds.
And then, according to the state of greenhouse soil, you can do different things:
if the soil is fertile enough, then, according to the filamentous shoots of the weeds, it is necessary to disinfect the soil, for example, with a solution of copper sulfate, dig a shovel on a bayonet and leave until spring.
if the soil is poor, then first make the necessary organic and mineral fertilizers: per 1 sq. km. m area of 0.5 buckets of any organics (humus, vermicompost), sprinkle (if necessary) the soil with dolomite flour (50 g / sq. m), add mineral fertilizers (more convenient 60 g / sq. m of nitrophosphate). Then the soil is treated for disinfection with a solution of copper sulfate (3-4% solution is prepared in hot water). After a few days, the soil is dug up on a bayonet shovel and left until spring.
Spring preparation of the soil in the greenhouse for planting eggplant
If in the fall fertilizers were not applied and the soil was not prepared for planting eggplants, then in the spring, 20-25 days before planting seedlings, humus and mineral fertilizers were added to the soil, per 1 sq. M. m of area: organics 4-5 kg, nitrophosphates 50-60 g, magnesium sulfate 15-20 g (can be replaced with dolomite flour, 50 g).
Fertilizers are applied on a flat surface and the soil is dug up to a depth of 20 cm. Then watering is carried out. The prepared area is covered with a film and after 3 weeks seedlings are planted.
Attention! Spring preparation of the soil in the greenhouse for planting seedlings begins when the first real leaf appears on the seedlings of the eggplant seedlings.
How to grow eggplant seedlings at home, see the article Growing eggplant seedlings.
Planting eggplant seedlings in a greenhouse
Eggplant has very delicate roots. They are easily damaged during transplantation, which significantly lengthens the plant survival period. The least damage to the roots is obtained when growing seedlings in seedling cassettes. If possible, it is most practical to plant seedlings grown in peat-humus or peat pots without removing plants.
Some gardeners advise carefully cutting the pot on each side. You can remove the bottom, so the root will grow freely inland and not bend until the bottom of the peat pot decays in the soil.
Eggplants are heat-loving plants whose root system does not tolerate low temperatures. Therefore, before planting, the soil in the greenhouse should warm up to a temperature of + 15 ... + 16 ° C, and the air - to + 18 ... + 19 ° C, not lower.
Landing is best done in the morning or in cloudy weather. If the conditions are different, then the planted plants must be pritenit, especially in the first 3-4 days after planting.
The soil before planting (2-3 days) must be leveled, watered to a wet (not wet) state. Watering is necessary, as the eggplant roots are very delicate and dry soil can damage them.
The eggplant bushes, even undersized, are quite voluminous, sprawling, so they are planted in one row (with a small area allocated for the crop), leaving a distance between bushes of 40-45 cm. If the area allows, planting can be thickened by placing the bushes in 2 rows in staggered with a distance between rows of 50-60 cm, and in a row of 35-40-45 cm (depending on the type of bush).
Having chosen the planting scheme, prepare planting holes with a depth of 12-18 cm. A handful of wood ash is introduced into the hole, mixed with soil. If the soil is not fertilized, then you can make fertilizer in the hole before planting. Pour into a hole up to 1.0-1.5 liters of warm water (preferably a light solution of potassium permanganate).
Seedlings are planted along with a soil lump. Bare roots will certainly be damaged and the survival of such plants will take 10-15 days, which will subsequently affect the timing of the early harvest. The plant in the well is gently crushed (without pressure), slightly watered again from above. Planting is mulched with small dry humus, peat, sawdust 2-3 years ago or other mulching material.
Attention! The survival of the plant is indicated by the appearance of a new leaf on the planted bush.
Eggplant care in the greenhouse
It is better to grow eggplants in a greenhouse separately from other crops or arrange them so that it is possible to create the necessary temperature conditions and provide sufficient humidity of the soil and air, additional lighting on cloudy days.
Air temperature and humidity mode
For eggplants, the average daily air temperature is optimal in the range + 24 ... + 28 ° С. Varieties resistant to temperature changes develop well and bear fruit at a temperature of + 18 ... + 24 ° С. A higher temperature causes flaking of flowers and a decrease in set, and a lower temperature (especially a decrease to + 13 ... + 15 ° C) stops the growth of plants. Reduce the temperature by airing or watering the tracks with cold water, shading the sunny side.
Optimum humidity ranges from 60-70%. During the fruiting period, it is advisable to reduce the air humidity to 60% in order to protect the overgrown bushes from fungal diseases that require high humidity.
Remember! Plants are watered only under the root so that the leaves remain dry. Water entering the leaves causes them to be damaged.
Plants need to adapt to new conditions, so the first watering is carried out no earlier than after 4-5 days.
Watering is carried out only with warm (+ 25 ° C) water, otherwise the beginning of flowering is delayed up to 10 days.
Lack of water (even short-term) causes the falling of ovaries and stunted plant growth. Soil moisture, especially during fruiting should be maintained at 75-80%. During fruiting, watering is carried out every 3-4 days.
Watering is carried out in the morning, then the soil is necessarily mulched, and the room is ventilated so that there is no greenhouse fog with increased humidity and a drop. Ventilation should be free of drafts. Irrigation rate depends on the condition of the soil. Water should moisten the upper (20-25 cm) layer of soil.
The next watering is prescribed when the soil is dried in the upper 3-5 cm layer (phalanx of the index finger) or 1 time per week (before fruiting). At high temperatures and bright sunny days outside the greenhouse, the frequency of watering indoors is increased.
Eggplants spend a lot of nutrients on the formation of fruits, therefore top dressing is required, and they are carried out, depending on soil fertility, 3-5 times per season.
Usually, top dressing is "timed" to the post-irrigation period (one day after watering). The first feeding is carried out after 2 weeks, when the root system that has taken root can fully supply the plants with the necessary nutrients. It is better to carry out a water-soluble complete fertilizer - “Solution”, “Kemira” in a dose of 30-40 g / 10 l of water.
In the second top dressing (plant growth), you can cook an extract from organic fertilizers. On a bucket of water 2-3 kg of cow manure or bird droppings, insist 3-4 days. Dilute the mother liquor in 10-15 liters of water and pour 1.0-1.5 liters under each bush. You can add a handful of wood ash under the bush (there are many trace elements in it).
In the next feeding (the beginning of flowering), plants need nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizer. You can prepare a mixture of ammonium nitrate and superphosphate in a ratio of 2: 1 and make a teaspoon with top or 45-50 g of mixture per square meter under the bush. m. In order not to mess with the preparation of the mixture, diammophos or nitrophos can be used for top dressing.
In the same period, to improve flowering, foliar top dressing with boric acid can be carried out at the rate of 1 g of acid per 5 liters of hot water. Cool the solution and sprinkle the plants.
With the beginning of fruiting, plants need phosphorus-potassium fertilizing (a mixture of potassium nitrate and superphosphate). The mixture can be replaced by top-dressing with nitrophos, the norm is 45-50 g / sq. If the fruiting is prolonged, then top dressing with a nitrophosic or nitrogen-phosphorus mixture is repeated. Add additional wood ash.
Huge plants require enhanced nutrition, so every 2–3 weeks additional foliar fertilizing (after watering) is carried out with microelement solutions, infusions of fermented green herbs.
Currently, the fertilizer market offers new forms and combinations of nutrients in complex complex fertilizers. Using these forms for fertilizing the crop, remember that the crop grows, and not the vegetative mass, nitrogen fertilizers should not prevail in fertilizers when feeding.
By loosening when caring for eggplant, they do a double job: they destroy weeds and soil crust and increase oxygen access to the roots. Loosen the soil to a depth of 4-5 cm, so as not to damage the roots close to the surface of the soil.
It is better to use the hoeing loosening or hilling (raking up the finely loosened soil to the plants). Loosen the soil, depending on the moisture level of its upper layer, usually 2-3 days after watering.
Garter and pinching plants
It is more practical for eggplant in greenhouse conditions to grow undersized varieties and hybrids. They do not require a garter, in which often fragile stems break off. It is better to leave 2-3 strong shoots on the main stem.
Eggplanting is not necessary for eggplant. No need to injure plants once again. If necessary, remove the lower non-bearing stepchildren and lateral shoots (up to the first bud), which, when growing, impede the formation of the first flowers.
Toward the end of the season, emerging flowers and ovaries are removed from the upper branches and pinch the tops of the shoots. In this case, the nutrients will be aimed at increasing the mass of already growing fruits. It is best to leave 5-7 ovaries on one bush. The fruits will be larger.
With poor fruit setting, use the technique of artificial pollination. The pollen of the opening flower is transferred from the yellow anther with a soft brush to the stigma of the pistil of another flower. If you are not sure of success, then it is more practical in the morning to shake the plants slightly. Eggplant pollen is heavy and scatters no more than 1 m, so this technique will contribute to a more complete pollination.
Pest and disease protection
Proper and complete preparation of the greenhouse for wintering, its disinfection will drastically reduce the level of damage to plants by diseases and pests.
In eggplant, the fight against diseases and pests is difficult. This is a long-term reusable crop culture. The use of chemical protective equipment on such crops is prohibited.
It is possible to actually reduce the level of damage to plants by diseases and pests if the requirements of agricultural technology are met carefully and by using biological agents during the growing season. Currently, biological preparations are entering the market of protective agents that protect plants well from gluttonous pests and rapidly spreading diseases and do not negatively affect human and animal health.
The most common eggplant diseases are late blight, anthracnose, rot, verticillum wilt. From biologics during the growing season, eggplants can be processed on the leaf after 10-12-15 days all season with biologics in tank mixtures using Planriz, Gliokladin, Gamair, Fitosporin, Alirin-B, Bactofit and etc.
Using biological products, it is necessary to comply with the recommendations. Otherwise, the beneficial effect may not occur.
The main eggplant pests in the greenhouse - whiteflies, aphids and ants, thrips, spider mites - are also destroyed by biological products. The most common are Bitoxibacillin, Fitoverm, Lepidocide, Basamil and others. Actofit can be used to treat plants even during harvesting, and Mikoafidin, Aversectin-S, Avertin-N »Are more effective in the early stages of eggplant development.
Which eggplants are suitable for growing in a greenhouse?
According to the habit of the bush eggplants are divided into 3 groups: undersized, medium-tall and tall. For a greenhouse or tall greenhouse with temporary shelter, it is better to choose medium-sized or low-growing varieties. But keep in mind that undersized form a smaller crop. Tall are worse suited for greenhouses, as they occupy a large area and it is better to grow them in open ground.
By maturity in greenhouse conditions, it is more advisable to grow early and medium early varieties, the technical fruiting of which begins in 90-110 days.
By the quality of the fruit the optimum is a variety or hybrid that is resistant to temperature fluctuations (which is important if the greenhouse is not heated), which is resistant to a complex of diseases, has good taste, and forms a high yield.
Recently, experienced gardeners give preference to hybrids. They are more resistant to temperature changes, diseases and pests. Hybrids are more productive (especially tall), but they are inferior to grades in the taste qualities of the fruits (pulp density, its aroma, taste, etc.).
For details on varieties and hybrids of eggplant, see the article Best New Varieties and Hybrids of Eggplant for a greenhouse and open ground.
The varieties and hybrids that I grow (or grow) myself are described below. I picked varieties and hybrids so that in any summer weather to get a crop.
The best varieties of eggplant for the greenhouse
Eggplant "Black Beauty" - mid-season, compact bush. It does not require high temperatures for growth and development. It differs by the location of fruits in the lower part of the bush weighing 200-250 g. Ripens to technical ripeness in low light for 110-115 days. The fruits are oblong-cylindrical in shape, the color of the peel is dark purple to black glossy. The pulp is tender, medium density with a pleasant taste, light green in color. Resistant to disease. It is used for cooking all types of dishes and canning.
Eggplant "Sailor" - for lovers of exotic. The variety is medium early. High (up to 1 m). The average yield (up to 8 kg / sq. M). Fruits in shape are typical for eggplant, weighing up to 500 g. The main color of the peel is light or dark lilac with a white strip. The pulp is tender, the finish is pleasant, without bitterness. You can eat raw. The use is universal.
Eggplant "joker" — variety of Russian selection. Interesting arrangement of fruits. On each inflorescence, a brush is formed of 3-7 small fruits (50-130 g). Fruiting is very early, not more than 6-7 kg per sq. The first fruits in technical ripeness are removed after 80-85 days.The color of the fruit peel is lilac, saturated, with a transition to light lilac. The shape is often teardrop-shaped, but may be oblong oval. The taste of the pulp is pleasant, very delicate. Resistant to tobacco mosaic and rot.
Best greenhouse eggplant hybrids
Eggplant "Marzipan" F1 — early bush compact. The hybrid is very fruitful. The fruits are rounded, bright purple. The pulp is very tender, has a pleasant sweetish-fresh taste, without bitterness. Used for cooking fresh fruit and canning.
Eggplant "Bagheera" F1 — early bush compact, stunted. High yielding hybrid. Forms up to 12 kg of fruits with 1 square. Skoroplodny, fruits of technical ripeness are ready for 100-110 days. The mass of the fruit is from 250 to 350 g, the shape is oval-oblong, the color is purple dark, the flesh is greenish-white, without bitterness. Almost not sick. It tolerates transportation and storage. Bagiru can be grown in small containers on window sills and stands.
Eggplant "Bull Heart" F1 — mid-ripening (technical ripeness of fruits occurs on 110 days). The fruits are very large. The mass of the fruit is more than 500 g, the skin color is purple, shiny. The pulp is white, dense, without bitterness. Fruits are stored up to 2 weeks. Used for preparing dishes from fresh fruits and eggplant caviar.
Eggplant "Fabin" F1 - ultra-early, half-spreading bush undersized. Resistant to verticillosis and other diseases, little damaged by spider mites. The fruits are elongated dark purple, with a glossy sheen, weighing 120-150 g, have a pronounced mushroom taste. The fruits are characterized by a long shelf life without loss of presentation and quality. Used for various dishes from fresh fruits and for pickling.
Eggplant "Bibo" F1 – for lovers of exotic. Hybrid of Dutch selection. Ripening dates from medium to medium. Tall (1 or more m). High yielding. The peel of the fruit is white, the shape is typical of eggplant. The flesh is without bitterness, white, delicate, soft in texture, delicious in taste, with a pleasant aftertaste. Resistant to pests, fusarium and viruses.
Eggplant "Purple Miracle" F1 - a hybrid unresponsive to daylight hours the entire growing season. Early ripe, stunted. It has comprehensive resistance to diseases and pests. Productivity is average. Fruits weighing up to 200 g, elongated like a spindle, peel of dark purple color, shiny. The pulp is medium density, without bitterness. Used for all types of processing, including pickling.
Dear Reader! You are invited to an article based on your own many years of experience in growing eggplants in sheltered ground. Complete it with your experience in the comments, we will be glad to communicate.