Eggplant in Siberia: why it is not exotic

Eggplant and Siberia: it would seem that the concepts are incompatible, but this is not so. Of course, in summer it is very warm in Siberia, but not for long, and eggplants need a long and hot summer. Therefore, until recently, this vegetable was exotic in the Urals. But breeders tried, and enthusiasts got the opportunity to successfully grow this heat-loving culture in Siberia.

The best varieties for Siberia

Since eggplants have a long growing season, the choice for Siberia is obvious: only early or even super early varieties can be grown here. Well, in a pinch, you can plant mid-early, but they will require more careful care. Fortunately, now there are several dozen suitable varieties, and even the State Register of the Russian Federation recommends many varieties and hybrids of eggplant for cultivation in all climatic zones, without exception.

Eggplant for open ground

It is more reliable to use hybrids (F1) for eggplants, which are not very simple in agricultural technology, in the zone of risky farming, but some old varieties are not much inferior to them. Now there are a huge number of options, but in Siberia, if you want to grow eggplant in the open ground, you need to choose from early or even super-early varieties and hybrids.

  • Agate F1 - a high-yielding hybrid, has such a short growing season that sometimes you can do without seedlings: at the end of spring, you can try to sow prepared seeds under the film, and before the first frost some part of the crop will ripen. Fruits of eggplant shape and color, typical for eggplant, weighing 200–250 g, high yield. The hybrid is resistant to disease.

    Agate is one of the few eggplants that can produce fruits by directly sowing seeds in the garden.

  • Diamond is a mid-season well-deserved variety, grown since 1983. The time from seedling emergence to technical ripeness is 109–149 days; this period strongly depends on climatic conditions. The bush is stunted, 45–56 cm high. The fruits are cylindrical, dark purple in technical ripeness, brownish brown in biological ripeness. The mass of the fruit is 100–150 g. The taste is excellent. Relatively resistant to disease.

    Diamond is one of the most famous varieties.

  • Bull Heart F1 - a mid-early hybrid, the fruits are ready for use 4 months after sowing the seeds. Tall bushes, required binding, oval-shaped fruits, weighing 300-400 g, shiny. Increased pain tolerance, fruiting extended.
  • Emerald F1 - eggplant with a strong aroma and taste of mushrooms, is characterized by increased cold and disease resistance. From sowing seeds to the readiness of the first fruits, 100-110 days pass. Green eggplants, oval, weighing up to 300 g. It is considered one of the easiest hybrids to grow, capable of bearing fruit in any climatic conditions.

    Emerald-looking fruit meets its name

  • Bourgeois F1 is a tall early ripe hybrid. The bush requires compulsory formation, but at the same time its highest resistance to diseases is noted. Fruits for a long time. Fruits weighing up to 500 g, similar in shape to tomatoes, are well transported and stored.
  • King of the North F1 - a hybrid with reviews from enthusiastic to not very. Able to produce crops even at very low temperatures, does not like intense heat. Productivity reaches 14 kg / m2. From seedlings to harvesting takes about three months. The fruits are large, very long and thin, often lying on the ground.

    The king of the north sometimes looks like black bananas: a bunch touches the ground itself

  • Bataisky is a mid-ripening variety; it takes 118–142 days from mass seedlings to the technical ripeness of the fruit. Bushes are above average height (45–75 cm). The fruits are cylindrical in shape, color from dark purple to black, the surface is shiny. The fruit mass is 140–220 g. The pulp is white, without bitterness. The quality of canned products is good and excellent. Productivity and morbidity are average.
  • Vera - a grade recommended for use in home cooking and canning, early ripening. The period from full germination to harvesting 100–118 days. Fruits are pear-shaped, weighing 120–200 g. Yield is stable, but low.

    Vera is one of the varieties traditional for Siberia

  • Salamander is a variety designed specifically for the Siberian region. It is resistant to sudden changes in temperature from frost to hot weather, which is typical for some regions and territories of Siberia. And the bush and medium-sized fruits, early ripe. The fruit is cylindrical, purple, weighing about 250 g. Taste good.
  • Siberian argument F1 - included in the State Register for cultivation in the open ground and under film shelters, mid-season. The plant is tall, club-shaped fruits, weighing about 150 g. Taste quality of the products is excellent, productivity is average.

Eggplant for the greenhouse

In principle, any eggplant can be planted in a modern greenhouse. But late-ripening varieties in Siberia may not ripen even in a greenhouse. In addition, saving space, vegetable growers try to grow tall and productive varieties and hybrids in greenhouse conditions.

  • Giselle F1 - a hybrid universal in the use of fruits, can be grown both in greenhouses and in unprotected soil, but in good greenhouses the yield is much higher: up to 14 kg / m2. Fruits weighing up to 500 g, a cylindrical shape, standard for eggplant coloring, are well stored. The first harvest is about 110 days after sowing the seeds.

    Giselle is popular in all climatic zones.

  • Romantic - an early ripe variety, differs from most varieties with fruits of soft purple color, the shape of the eggplant is oval. Bushes about a meter tall, average yield. The variety cannot be considered easy to grow, it can be planted only in good greenhouses: at the slightest cooling, it easily gets sick with fungal diseases.
  • Balagur is a very early ripening variety, after sowing seeds, fruits can be tasted after 90 days. The bushes are tall, literally like a Christmas tree hung with lilac small fruits weighing about 100 g: on one bush they can grow up to 100 pieces. The taste is great. The variety is characterized by increased resistance to colds and diseases, but it requires careful bush formation.

    Joker differs in that there are always a lot of fruits

  • Maria is a high-yielding mid-ripening variety; in Siberia it can be grown in greenhouses and under simple shelters. Bushes grow to 70–75 cm. Resistance to diseases is quite high, the same applies to temperature changes. Early ripe. The fruits are cylindrical, weighing about 200 g. Taste good, average yield.
  • Early ripening 148 is an old, well-known variety. It can be used both for open ground and for greenhouses. Bushes are undersized, compact. The fruits are ready for harvesting 110 days after sowing the seeds. Productivity is low, fruits weighing 100-200 g, pear-shaped. Unpretentious to conditions, bears fruit before the start of frost.

Growing conditions

A lot of time passes from sowing seeds to harvesting an eggplant: the most early-ripening varieties bear fruit only after three months or more. Unfortunately, this vegetable can be planted in the garden only at the beginning of summer: it needs real heat. Even in the south, to get early production, eggplant is grown through seedlings, and in Siberia, the seedless method is practically not applicable.

In principle, eggplant doesn’t need anything supernatural: they need warm, constantly moist and very fertile soil. Heat loving, as well as a long growing season stopped the promotion of culture in harsh climatic regions for a long time. In Siberia, summer residents usually open their season for May holidays. At this time, the preparation of beds for eggplant begins, although it is better to do this in the fall.

If there is a good greenhouse, you can prepare a place for eggplant in it. Although, of course, the best vegetables grow under the sun, and eggplant is no exception. But outside the greenhouse, they still have to prepare a temporary shelter: build a greenhouse from the arcs, cover it with a film. Rows of eggplants should be placed from north to south for better lighting and warming by the sun. The best predecessors for eggplant are cabbage, onions, pumpkin and bean crops. Do not plant them after tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.

Eggplants need space and good lighting

In the autumn, the garden bed must be cleaned of vegetable debris and dug with fertilizers. Eggplant is very demanding on the composition of the soil. It must be loose, breathable and saturated with humus and mineral fertilizers. At least 1 and a half buckets of humus or compost and a liter jar of wood ash are added per 1 m², as well as a tablespoon of superphosphate and potassium sulfate. If the earth is clay, you should definitely add peat, rotted sawdust, sand, give a high dose of compost.

Growing seedlings

Growing eggplant seedlings begins very difficult, but when the seedlings grow older, the main difficulties will be behind. Not every gardener takes up this matter: eggplant seedlings require a lot of work and patience.

When to plant eggplant for seedlings

Eggplant seeds, especially those unprepared, sprout for a very long time, and prepared seeds do not sprout at the same time. The first seedlings may appear after 6-8 days, and then a couple of weeks later the following may appear. Therefore, one has to start preparing for sowing seeds even in winter, regardless of whether eggplant is supposed to be grown in a greenhouse or in open ground.

The best dates for sowing seeds in Siberia are the first days of March. In this case, seedlings can be expected in mid-March, and the appearance of buds - in late May. Just after that, you can plant eggplants under film shelters. With a later sowing, it will be possible to plant seedlings in open ground in June, when frosts will end in Siberia. Shelter may not be needed, but the yield will be less: only the first fruits will ripen before the onset of cold weather.

If transplanting seedlings into the greenhouse is supposed, sowing is carried out a week and a half earlier, after February 20. Of course, seedlings can be planted in a heated greenhouse even in April, but it is difficult to cook it even in a winter apartment in a city apartment: there is not enough sunlight, the plants will stretch, and it can be too cool on the windowsill.

Video: growing eggplant seedlings

Sowing preparation

Eggplant is best sown immediately in medium-sized peat pots. But for this you need to immediately spend a lot of seeds (sow at least 3 pieces in a pot so that the pots do not disappear due to poor germination). And they will take up space for three whole months in the apartment. Therefore, initially often they are sown in a small common box, and then dive. However, this culture does not respond very well to picking, so many summer residents sow seeds in small glasses, and then transfer them into larger pots without disturbing the root system.

Soil preparation for seedlings is of great importance. If there is peat and sand, the mixture can be made independently by mixing good soil and peat in half and adding ten percent of the sand. About 50 g of any complete mineral fertilizer and a handful of wood ash should immediately be added to the bucket of the mixture obtained. Such a soil should be disinfected by pouring it with a pink solution of potassium permanganate.

For growing a dozen bushes, it is much easier to buy ready-made soil in the store, choosing the one where it says about eggplant.

Seeds before sowing are also disinfected by preparing a solution of potassium permanganate in a dark color. The process of seed dressing lasts 20-30 minutes, after which rinsing with clean water is mandatory. If eggplant is supposed to be grown in open ground, seed hardening in the refrigerator (in wet tissue for 3-4 days) is also necessary.

On the day before sowing, it is worth treating the eggplant seeds and growth stimulator, this well increases the germination and strengthens future plants. The easiest way to use Epin-Extra or Zircon, strictly according to the instructions. You can take the juice of the agave, diluting it 5 times with water and holding the seeds in the solution for several hours. Some gardeners germinate seeds before sowing, but this is not necessary: ​​for several days of preparation they have already swollen enough.

Sowing seeds for seedlings

Fill small cups with prepared soil, where 2-3 seeds are sown (one by one, if there are few seeds, but it is possible that empty cups will remain). The sowing depth is about 1.5 cm. A layer of snow several centimeters is laid on top. Melted, it evenly soaks the soil and compacts the soil as much as necessary. In addition, snow water activates growth processes.

The cups should be covered with glass or a transparent film and put in heat, the optimum temperature until emergence 25–28 ° C. Until that time, bright light was not necessary, but immediately after the formation of the first “loops” on the surface, the cups would need to be transferred to a bright place, otherwise the seedlings would quickly stretch. If the soil surface dries up in anticipation of seedlings, it must be carefully moistened with water.

Seedling Care

The first shoots will appear in seven days, but they are likely to be few. As “loops” appear, the glasses should be transferred to a well-lit cool window sill, with a temperature of 16–18 ° С. This regimen is required for five days, then the temperature is gradually raised to 23–25 ° С (several degrees less at night) and kept until the seedlings are grown. When it is clear which shoots are behind the others, they are carefully removed, leaving the strongest in the glass.

Seedlings are watered with settled water with a temperature of about 30 ° C, they do this 1-2 times a week, but in moderation: from waterlogging of the soil there is an increased risk for seedlings to get sick with a black leg. Two weeks after germination give top dressing: 1 tablespoon of urea in a bucket of water. The cups are periodically turned to the light source so that the seedlings do not bend.

Seedlings grow unevenly, and transshipment into larger pots must be performed selectively. Do this very carefully, trying to extract a plant from the cup with all the available soil. The most suitable volume of containers for transshipment is about a liter, the soil is the same as in glasses. Fill it up enough to remove all the voids, and then pour it with warm water. Further care is the same as before transshipment.

Ready eggplant seedlings - not a tiny plant at all

15–20 days before transplanting seedlings into the garden, they temper it, taking it out onto the balcony, first for a short while, and then for several hours. At the same time, the temperature on the street should not be too low: 12-14 ° C for seedlings - not enough. On the morning of the day of transplantation, the seedlings are well watered. Ready for planting seedlings should have a height of 20–25 cm and 5–8 large green leaves. So she becomes about the age of 2.5 months. If buds have already arisen - excellent.

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Transplanting seedlings into the ground

Eggplant can be planted in a good greenhouse in Siberia at the end of April, but usually it is done in mid-May. With a lack of heat, an additional covering non-woven material is additionally used. In open ground without shelter, planting seedlings in Siberia can be breaded in mid-June, when the soil warms up well. It is possible a couple of weeks earlier, but in this case, first set up the arcs, cover them with a film, then replace the film with a double layer of spunbond, by mid-June remove the shelter only in the afternoon.

Landing

It is desirable that by the time of disembarkation, the average daily air temperature should not be lower than 20 ° C. And since this cannot be expected in Siberia, the beds are prepared for a long time, trying to make sure that by the time of planting the soil warms up to at least 15 ° C. Experienced gardeners prepare warm beds for eggplant. To do this, choose a well-lit place, closed from the north winds.

As early as the previous summer, they dig a hole 20–25 cm deep in size of the future beds. A variety of organic waste is added to it: sawdust, foliage, small twigs, grass, garbage, etc. If there is peat, all this is generously sprinkled with it. Periodically water the future garden with tinctures of manure or bird droppings. Fall fall asleep clean fertile soil.

The sides of the obtained high beds are fenced with boards, slate, etc. In the spring, the beds are sprinkled with wood ash and a week before the seedlings are planted, they are well shed with warm water with the addition of mullein. After that, cover with a film for heating. On the day before transplanting seedlings, the soil is loosened, and then holes are made to the size of pots with seedlings. The planting scheme depends on the variety, but between the bushes should not be less than 35 cm, and between the rows - from 50 to 70 cm. Try to plant eggplant in the evening, when the sun is no longer baking.

When planting seedlings, temporary shelter is required

When planting, seedlings are almost not buried, the slope of the eggplant is also not required. Peat pots are planted whole, transplanted from other seedlings with all the contents of the pot. It is advisable to immediately provide pegs if the variety requires garter. Plants in the garden are watered with warm water, and the soil around the bushes is slightly mulched. Be sure to cover planting with non-woven materials.

Video: bed for Siberian eggplant

Greenhouse Planting

Eggplant in Siberia can be planted in a greenhouse in the last days of May, and in a greenhouse 1-2 weeks earlier. In greenhouses, especially polycarbonate, the required temperature conditions are created early for eggplants. When planting seedlings, one must pay attention to the temperature of both the air in the greenhouse and the soil, it should be no colder than 14 ° C.

In advance, you need to carefully prepare the beds in the greenhouse. In the fall, all plant debris should be destroyed and the soil prepared. If plant diseases were noted, it is better to completely change the soil. In autumn, it is worthwhile to form a bed, digging the soil with fertilizers. A week before planting seedlings, the garden bed is watered with a light blue solution of copper sulfate and covered with a film.

After a couple of days, the film is removed and the soil is allowed to reach a state where it will be possible to work with it. Deeply loosen, level with a rake and plant seedlings. Landing patterns are the same as in open ground. For tall varieties, it is convenient to use a checkerboard fit. Planting technology is the same as outside the greenhouse.

Video: planting seedlings in a greenhouse

Sowing seeds in the garden

In the south, when growing eggplants, you can do without seedlings. But in Siberia, this can be done only by taking a lot of risk, and choosing super-early varieties and hybrids for such cultivation. In this case, the use of greenhouses does not even have a serious advantage over open ground.

In order to have time to get the harvest of the earliest eggplants, they must be sown in the garden at the very beginning of May. At this time, in Siberia, they were only going to the country for the first time, so the garden should be prepared in the fall, and then a film shelter should also be built. By the time of sowing, the soil at a depth of 10 cm should warm up to at least 15 ° C. You can pour the bed with hot water, and then cover it with a film.

The seeds are sown very densely: their germination in Spartan conditions may be insufficient. In rows that are arranged after 50-60 cm, seeds are sown every 5-6 cm. After emergence, seedlings are thinned several times, removing the weakest specimens. The film is removed only when the present summer.

Landing care

The first time eggplants in the garden grow very slowly, growth resumes in two weeks, when the seedlings take root. First you need minimal care: you just need to keep the soil slightly moist and loose. Throughout the summer, care includes watering, fertilizing, loosening and forming bushes.

Eggplant in the open ground

The soil on the eggplant bed should always be slightly moist. Eggplant requires a lot of water, but excessive waterlogging should be ruled out. It is necessary to water only with water warmed up in the sun, under the root. In Siberia, they are trying to plant seedlings with buds, and until they open, the plants are watered once a week: in the morning or in the evening, spending about 1 m2 of water about a bucket. As soon as the flowers have blossomed, it is necessary to water more often. Water temperature - not lower than 25 ° C.

After each watering or rain, loosening is carried out. Hilling plants in Siberia is not used. Of course, weed must be constantly controlled. Up to setting fruit, top dressing is not necessary, unless, of course, the bushes grow normally. But then eggplant is often fed twice a month. At the same time, infusions of mullein or bird droppings are used for the first time, and nitrogen should not be given during the period of mass fruit growth, therefore, only superphosphate and potassium sulfate are used. You can replace this mixture with wood ash infusion.

Most eggplant varieties and hybrids require the formation of bushes, but in open ground in Siberia, eggplants are often allowed to grow naturally. Nevertheless, it is necessary to at least nip off unnecessary stepsons, while they have just appeared. Such an elementary operation allows eggplants to conserve strength and direct them to the growth of fruits. The yellowing lower leaves are also removed. It is necessary to sacrifice a part of the ovaries: in the conditions of a short summer it is difficult to get more than 7-8 fruits on the bushes.

What appears from the axils of the leaves must be removed as early as possible.

In Siberia, you have to constantly monitor the current weather. When it is hot outside, the beds are kept open, and if the temperature drops below 15 ° C, the bushes are covered with non-woven materials. In late August, the bed is again covered with a film. The most responsible vegetable growers also monitor the length of daylight: eggplants produce better fruit in a short day. Therefore, if possible, in the morning and in the evening they cover the plantings from excess light.

Eggplant in the greenhouse

Eggplants in Siberia also require care in the greenhouse: in a wet cloudy summer it is hardly possible to get more than two fruits from a bush, even in closed ground. This culture needs light and warmth. Sun illumination should be maximum, and the temperature inside the greenhouse should be of the order of 25–30 ° C, almost in the absence of diurnal fluctuations. During the day, in the greenhouse in the heat, you can easily maintain the temperature by simply opening the window and doors, but they must be closed at night. Water containers placed in the greenhouse help.

It does not rain in the greenhouse, which means watering is needed more often than on the street. If, when growing in unprotected soil, you don’t have to come to the site in the middle of the week, you need to visit the greenhouse daily: without airing in the hot season, the temperature can go off the scale, and in case of heat the eggplants do not set.

The feeding regimen does not differ from that when growing in open ground, and the formation of bushes is required. Indeed, in greenhouses they try to plant tall varieties, therefore, at least, the bushes should be tied to trellises or stakes.

In the greenhouses on the bushes leave a minimum of shoots

When the bushes grow to 30 cm, pinch the top on the main stem, after which the side shoots begin to grow. Ultimately, they leave no more than five. If a sufficient number of fruits has formed on the shoot, and the shoot continues to grow, they also pinch the top. All formation operations are stopped a month before the last harvest: now the forces of the plant must be directed to the ripening of the fruits.

Diseases and Pests

The most common diseases are eggplant in a greenhouse, where high humidity occurs. In open ground, pests are more annoying.

Major diseases

  • The black leg is a disease of seedlings; it rarely affects adult plants. From this fungus, the neck of the eggplant root darkens. Treatment is not possible. Sick specimens are removed, the soil in their place is treated with bleach, in other places sprinkled with ash.

    The black leg destroys seedlings on the spot

  • Mosaic is a viral disease, leaves acquire a mosaic pattern, and the fruits are covered with yellow spots. It is difficult to cure such a disease; plants have to be removed.

    Mosaic only looks harmless in appearance, it can destroy plants

  • Gray rot is a fungal disease, manifested first by dark spots, then a gray coating. Sick parts of the plant are cut off, the rest can be spread with a paste containing Trichodermin.

    Gray rot can leave without a crop

  • Late blight is a dangerous disease of any solanaceous crops. Leaves are covered with brown spots, dry up and disappear. The fruits rot and deform. Sometimes Zircon or Fitosporin preparations help.

    Late blight often develops in the cold

  • Powdery mildew is one of the most common fungi. First, a white coating appears on the lower leaves, then on the rest, goes to the fruits. Treatment is Fitosporin or Trichodermin.

    Powdery mildew is hard not to recognize: as if flour sprinkles the whole plant with flour

The most dangerous pests

  • The Colorado potato beetle - the well-known minke whale - harms the eggplant no less than a potato, nibbling the leaves clean. Beetles have to be collected manually and destroyed.

    Colorado potato beetle: very beautiful, but no less harmful

  • Aphid is a small insect, looks like small grayish dots at the bottom of leaves, sucks the sap from plants. It is possible to apply Fitoverm or Iskra-bio preparations for spraying.

    Aphids are able to suck all juices up to the death of plants

  • Slugs - eat both leaves and fruits. Everyone knows these nasty creatures, it is possible to fight them, but difficult. It can be both baits (they willingly go for beer), and special preparations that are scattered on the ground, for example, Sludge eater.

    Slugs are very unpleasant creatures that can destroy all landings

  • Whitefly is a butterfly that gnaws holes in leaves. In open ground, spraying with Confidor helps.

    Whitefly: the butterfly is small, but there is a lot of harm from it

Harvesting and storage

Eggplant fruits in Siberia ripen no earlier than August. By the end of summer, during the warm season, on each bush in the open ground, you can collect up to 5-7 fruits. Eggplants are harvested in the phase of technical maturity: the fruits must grow to the required size, acquire the color characteristic of the variety, and collect juicy flesh. Seeds at this time are white, soft, unripe. Harvested weekly, cutting off the fruit secateurs along with the peduncle. Overripe eggplants are unsuitable for food.

Eggplant is stored for no more than three weeks. They must be stored with the stalks, the best temperature during storage is 1–2 ° C, relative humidity is 85–90%. Since it is difficult to store them, they try to process the fruits in the very first days after harvest.

In Siberia, the summer is warm, but short, which is not enough for the successful cultivation of eggplant. Nevertheless, using various tricks, gardeners get good yields of this tasty vegetable here. They do this both in greenhouses and outside them, but they plant mainly early ripe varieties and hybrids and take care of them very carefully.

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