Eggplant picking - how, when and why to do it
When growing eggplant seedlings, experienced gardeners use picking - planting young seedlings in separate cups. If the picking is carried out correctly and on time, then the seedlings will survive further planting in the open ground without problems, because all that needs to be done is to carefully remove the plant from the pot. The earthen lump will not be disturbed, because it will be braided by the roots, and the roots themselves will not be damaged. As a result, the plant will undergo a period of adaptation to new conditions without stress and will start growing faster.
Do I need to dive eggplant
Eggplants are one of the most thermophilic vegetables grown in our gardens. In order to have time to get a crop of southern beauties in central Russia, seeds are sown for seedlings in early spring. Eggplant seedlings are grown in two ways - with subsequent picking and without it.
Properly grown eggplant seedlings will delight a good harvest
Each method has its supporters and opponents. According to some, eggplants do not tolerate picking, are sick and are stunted. Others are convinced that pricked plants grow their root system faster, grow and develop better. In addition, sowing seeds in a box saves space in the first step. This is especially true if seedlings require lighting, and there are a lot of seedlings.
Seedlings grown in a common container, save space at first, but in the future she definitely needs a pick
If eggplants are grown in small quantities - 20-30 pieces, then you can sow the seeds immediately in separate pots or cups. To check the validity of the judgments of experienced gardeners, it is worthwhile to conduct your own experiment - to plant eggplant in two ways and compare the results.
You need to dive eggplant seedlings at a certain time - when 2-3 seedlings appear in the seedlings. This usually occurs 3-4 weeks after emergence. Previously, this is undesirable, since the seedlings have too weak root system, and they may simply not withstand the transplant. It is impossible to delay the timing of the dive, since the sprouted roots are difficult not to damage during transplantation.
After the appearance of two or three true leaves, seedlings can be peaked
Eggplant seedlings, grown by all the rules, usually tolerate a pick. If the seeds for sowing were properly prepared and sown in suitable soil, and the seedlings received enough heat, light and useful trace elements, then the seedlings should be strong and healthy. Such seedlings can easily cope with the upcoming pick.
It is better to prepare the soil for dive seedlings yourself. To do this, mix the store substrate for seedlings with garden soil (gardeners usually harvest their soil for the winter) in a 1: 1 ratio. For looseness, add a little vermiculite or coconut substrate, sand and ash to the mixture. Garden soil is necessary so that the seedlings can easily transfer further planting in the open ground and not experience stress when changing the soil.
Eggplant seedlings need to be well watered for 2-3 hours before a pick. It is much easier to take plants out of the moist earth, while the roots are less injured. For a dive, prepare cups or containers with drainage holes and a volume of approximately 0.3 liters.
Cut milk cartons are compact and roomy - ideal containers for planting eggplant seedlings seedlings
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- Fill the cups with nutritious soil for seedlings of vegetables.
- Make a recess in the center of the glass with a wooden stick (for this it is convenient to use a sushi stick).
- Insert a stick or small fork under the roots of the sprout and gently pull out the plant, holding by the leaves.
When picking, taking the plant out of the soil, hold it by the leaves, and not by the stem
- Shorten the long root by pinching or cutting off.
- Immerse the sprout to the cotyledon leaves in a recess in a glass.
- Gently sprinkle the roots with soil and pour water.
- When the water is absorbed, and the earth settles - to fill up the dry soil.
To improve the survival rate of seedlings when diving into water for irrigation, you can add a regulator of root formation and growth of Zircon - 4 drops per 1 liter of water. The solution of the drug increases the resistance of plants to various diseases and helps to cope with stress during transplantation.
Video: picking eggplant in a proven way
How to care for seedlings after a dive
Spiked seedlings will have to pay a little attention. In order for the seedlings to be well received, it is necessary to put them in a bright, warm place, away from drafts. In no case should sunlight be allowed to sprout on seedlings. Until the seedlings take root, and this takes 7-10 days, you do not need to give any additional fertilizing. Watering must be done very carefully - with warm, standing water and not before the soil surface dries.
How to feed seedlings after a dive
10-12 days after the picking, you can feed the rooted eggplant seedlings for the first time. Obligatory elements of top dressing are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, but seedlings can not do without trace elements. Magnesium, boron, iron, zinc and a number of other substances must be present in the fertilizer in chelated form.
Sulfates, when combined with water, decompose into charged ions and easily bind to the soil. As a result, they become difficult to access for plants, and accumulating in the soil, metal ions become poisonous. Typically, fertilizers contain chelates, but if the package does not contain such information, make sure that the description does not contain the word “sulfate” or the formula SO 4 .
Video: fertilizers for seedlings
For the first and subsequent top dressing, you can use Fertika Lux mineral fertilizer for vegetables, flowers and seedlings. The drug is diluted in room temperature water at the rate of 20 g per 20 l of water. The resulting solution is watered seedlings in the morning.
Fertika Lux fertilizer solution will provide seedlings with all necessary elements
It is advisable to alternate mineral dressings with organic ones, but seedlings do not need to be fertilized more often than once every 10 days. Overfeeding for seedlings is harmful, as it outgrows from excess micronutrients and takes root worse after planting in open ground.
From organic top dressing, eggplant seedlings will appreciate a solution of vermicompost, Gumi-Omi for vegetables or universal. In the garden departments today there is a very large selection of both mineral and organic fertilizers. Manufacturers always write on the packaging the consumption rate, the method of preparation of the solution and the timing of the use of the drug. In order not to harm the plants, you must strictly adhere to these recommendations.
Gumi-Omi organic fertilizer for tomatoes, eggplant and pepper will not only make up for the deficiency of trace elements, but also enrich the soil with humic acids
Over the years of growing seedlings, I found for myself the best option for sowing eggplant and peppers. I tried to sow without picking - seedlings grow well only in small containers, but over time they become cramped and the question arises of transshipment in large containers. If sown immediately in volumetric glasses - seedlings grow poorly. With a pick, it turns out better, but you have to monitor the seedlings so as not to miss the right moment - it is also not very convenient. Therefore, the seeds of eggplant and peppers are sown in peat tablets - they do not take up as much space as pots and relieve further picking. When the seedlings grow up and the tablets become cramped for them, I plant the plants in containers of suitable sizes. It is very easy to do this - I put a little soil on the bottom of the pot, put a tablet with a sprout and cover it with earth from all sides. Boxes from kefir and juices, which I collect all winter, perfectly cope with the role of pots. They keep their shape perfectly, stand up tightly, without voids in the drawer, and the drainage holes are easily pierced with an ordinary kitchen knife. Seedlings do not get sick after such a transplant, because the root system is not broken and I do not have to think whether it will take root or not.
Sowing eggplant in peat tablets is a great alternative to picking
Pickling can be considered a necessary technique if the eggplant is sown in a box. The healthy seedlings, spread in due time, can easily withstand this procedure, and good soil, warmth and proper top dressing will provide excellent seedling growth and successful planting in the open ground in the future.