It is not so easy to grow planting material for some crops. For example, growing eggplant seedlings at home is considered by many amateur vegetable growers to be an extremely difficult task. Nevertheless, knowing the rules for soil preparation, sowing seeds and subsequent care for seedlings, you can get strong seedlings that can please with active fruiting already in the middle of summer.
- How to choose eggplant seeds
- Preparing eggplant seeds for planting
- When to sow eggplant
- Preparing the soil mixture
- Is it obligatory to pick eggplant seedlings
- Care for eggplant seedlings at home
- How and what to feed
- Planting seedlings in a greenhouse and open ground
How to choose eggplant seeds
To obtain a high yield, you will need to choose high-quality eggplant seeds.
When choosing varieties, do not forget that:
- hybrids are characterized by increased resistance to diseases and stresses caused by weather conditions;
- it is better to give preference to seeds from manufacturers whose products comply with Gosstandards; the package must contain the details of the company and its legal address.
Watch a video with recommendations for choosing seeds:
Preparing eggplant seeds for planting
It is more rational to buy vegetable seeds that have been pre-treated with fungicides: they are more resistant to fungal infections.
To increase germination, seeds should be prepared for sowing. Heat treatment is recommended to awaken the seeds and increase their resistance to diseases. Among the recommendations there is a variant of heating the seeds for 2-4 hours in the oven at a temperature of +50 C, but the quick method is fraught with the risk of overheating, as a result the germination of seeds will deteriorate. So it should be used very carefully.
Gentle heating is a more acceptable method. Seeds in tissue bags are placed near a constant heat source, for example, a central heating battery, for a long period, about 3 months. Recommended temperature + 30 C.
It is even easier to perform hydrothermal heating. The tissue bag is placed in a container with warm water, the temperature of which reaches + 40 C, kept for 3 to 5 minutes.
At the second stage of preparation, the seeds are etched for 20 minutes in a bright pink solution of potassium permanganate or 10% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Then the seeds are hardened: placed on a damp cloth, covered with the same cloth. Incubated alternately at room temperature (about 20 hours), transferred to the refrigerator for 7-8 hours. Hardening is repeated for 7 days.
A couple of days before the planned planting, the seeds are soaked in rain or melt water. There should be enough liquid so that it does not completely cover the seeds. After soaking, the seeds are dried, they should become crumbly.
When to sow eggplant
Transplant eggplant seedlings into open ground (greenhouses) at the age of 65 to 70 days. Sowing dates will have to be determined individually, taking into account the climatic features of the area.
The following are recommended for sowing seeds for the middle strip:
when growing a vegetable in greenhouse conditions - the second half of February, transplanting into a greenhouse - the second half of May;
when grown in the open field - sowing March 12-16, transplanting into the ground - from May 20 to June 10.
Preparing the soil mixture
How to prepare the soil for eggplant seedlings at home should be described in detail. Of course, you can buy a universal substrate, but it is better to prepare the mixture yourself, taking into account the special requirements of the selected culture.
The optimal variant of the substrate is indicated in Table 1.
|Sod land||2 l|
|Potassium salt||1 tablespoon|
Other recipes can be used:
- add 3 parts of peat to 1 part of wood sawdust, spill with a mixture for germinating seeds;
- for 2 parts of humus, add 1 part of sod soil, or 1 part of peat and 0.5 portions of sawdust.
You can also use soil from the beds where cabbage or cucumbers were grown.
The resulting substrate is poured over with boiling water, heated in the oven or frozen at temperatures below _15 C, the disinfection of the soil should not be abandoned, the procedure will help protect the seedlings from lesions by common infections.
To improve the fertility of any mixture, potassium sulfate, urea, ash, superphosphate can be added to it.
Let's watch a video on how to grow eggplant seedlings at home:
Is it obligatory to pick eggplant seedlings
It usually takes 10 to 14 days before germination. Further care can be carried out in different ways: with the use of a pick and without it.
Depending on the option chosen, sowing containers are selected:
- if without a pick, then immediately prepares a personal container for each bush;
- in the option with a pick, the seeds are sown in large containers, then planted.
Plants can be dived after the first true leaves appear. Small seedlings are carefully removed from the ground, together with clods of earth, transferred or transferred into personal peat pots.
Plants are placed in a well-lit room, avoiding direct sunlight on delicate leaves. If necessary, in the case of a large number of cloudy days, the seedlings will need to be illuminated. For this, either special phytolamps or fluorescent lamps are used.
Planting into the ground is carried out after the development of 6-7 true leaves, while the first leaves, cotyledons, do not count. During the planting period, the height of the bushes should be 20-25 cm.
In order not to disturb the very delicate roots of plants, experienced vegetable growers recommend growing each seedling in a personal pot, perhaps in a peat pot. In prepared pots, 2 or 3 seeds are sown, after the emergence of shoots, the strongest shoots are selected, the rest are removed.
Care for eggplant seedlings at home
To get strong seedlings, you will need to create favorable conditions for growth and adhere to the rules of care.
It is important to maintain the temperature regime, it should be borne in mind that the requirements for temperature at different stages of plant development will be different.
The first two weeks after the emergence of seedlings, the thermometer readings should not exceed + 15-17 C, during this period there is an active strengthening of the root system.
Further, the temperature is increased to +25 C during the day, at night it should be reduced to + 20 C. The night temperature gradually decreases to + 14 + 15 C, this will simplify the process of adaptation of plants to life in open ground.
Watering seedlings is carried out carefully, constant excessive moisture can provoke the development of fungal diseases, in particular, black leg. The disease is practically untreated and leads to the death of the bushes. The best option is rare (about once a week) watering with plenty of water. It should be kept at room temperature. Watering is recommended regularly, too dry soil does not contribute to the active development of plants.
In February-March, seedlings may suffer from insufficient lighting. You can notice the lack of light by weak, elongated stems. The recommended duration of daylight hours is from 10 to 12 hours, based on this, you can calculate how many hours of additional lighting will be required. At home, fluorescent lamps are used to eliminate the problem; they are installed at a distance of half a meter from containers with seedlings.
Let's watch a useful video about caring for seedlings:
How and what to feed
Vegetable growers have different attitudes towards feeding. Some believe that the natural balance of nutrients in the soil will allow plants to grow normally. But if you want the seedlings to be strong and 100% viable in open field conditions, you will still need to additionally add a small amount of fertilizer.
For plants grown with a pick, the first feeding is done 10 days after germination, without picking - on the 7th day. Top dressing is aimed at stimulating the development of the root system. And in one and in the other case, you can apply:
- yellow Kristalon solution (10 g per 5 l of water);
- 1 teaspoon of potassium nitrate dissolved in 10 liters of water;
- a solution prepared from a mixture of 1 tsp. ammonium nitrate, 3 tablespoons of superphosphate, 3 teaspoons of potassium sulfate in 10 water.
The amount of the applied solution is determined by the capacity of the earth in the container, it must be completely saturated with water. Before feeding the plants, it should be watered well, otherwise there is a threat to burn the roots.
Planting seedlings in a greenhouse and open ground
The disembarkation time depends on the readiness of the seedlings and weather conditions. In any case, you should wait until the threat of recurrent spring frosts disappears. The approximate time for planting in the greenhouse is the second half of May, in the open ground - the first days of June.
Treatment of plants with a 0.5% solution of copper sulfate will help prevent the development of fungal infections; the procedure is performed about two weeks before the planned planting. From this period, they begin to actively harden the seedlings. At first, they simply open the window for a few minutes, then the airing time is increased, the containers with the seedlings are taken out into the open air, keeping for several hours. One day before planting, it is advisable to transfer the containers with plants to the greenhouse and leave overnight. The soil in the containers should be well moistened.
A high-quality eggplant seedling looks like this:
- well-formed plants with a strong stem;
- height from 20 to 30 cm;
- number of sheets from 6 to 12, color - bright green;
- the presence of formed buds is possible.
As you can see, the step-by-step instructions for growing eggplant seedlings at home do not contain difficult recommendations to follow. It is not very difficult to create conditions for the formation of strong plants, proper care will definitely contribute to obtaining a high-quality harvest of a vegetable loved by everyone.