How to care for eggplant seedlings at home
Eggplant is a heat-loving culture that is cultivated through seedlings. Growing plants does not cause much trouble with the right approach to the process. This will require creating and maintaining optimal conditions. It is worth considering that today seedlings of this culture can be obtained in addition to the traditional, also in many modern ways.
Care for eggplant seedlings at home
To get strong and healthy eggplant seedlings, just sowing seeds is not enough. Young seedlings need to provide proper care, consisting of a set of measures. Therefore, it is worthwhile to dwell on all the nuances in more detail.
Seedling growing conditions
To achieve a good eggplant crop, the following rules for selecting seed material must be observed:
- Productivity and resistance to temperature changes.
- Choose according to the region of cultivation.
- Sowing should be done with prepared seeds.
- Give preference to a trusted manufacturer.
Before sowing, the seeds must be correctly selected and prepared
Seeds with a germination rate of more than 50% are considered suitable for planting. After their purchase, pre-sowing preparations are carried out:
- soaked in a solution of potassium permanganate in a weak concentration;
- 3 ml of hydrogen peroxide are dissolved in 100 ml of water, then heated to + 40 ° C and the seeds are lowered into the liquid for 10 minutes.
For sowing eggplant, nutritious, light and loose soil with a neutral reaction is used. Planting capacity is filled on ¾ with soil, after which seeds are planted, sprinkled with earth, moistened with weak potassium permanganate and covered with a film. Land for sowing should warm up to + 25˚С.
Lighting and temperature for growing seedlings on the windowsill
After emergence, from the first days they need to provide additional lighting. A considerable stream of light is received from plants by the sun, but this is not enough for the seedlings, which are planted in February. Conventional incandescent bulbs are not suitable for artificial lighting. The best option for backlighting will be LED or fluorescent lamps. Such sources practically do not radiate heat, but they give a lot of light. When arranging backlighting, it is important to position the lighting as close to the plants as possible, usually at a distance of 150 mm. Turn on lights 2 hours before dawn and in the evening.
For eggplant seedlings, it is necessary to provide daylight hours of 14 hours.
Lack of light negatively affects the development of plants and the later formation of buds. If the lighting is weak, then the seedlings will stretch, will be pale and weak.
No less important is the temperature regime for seedlings. After the emergence of seedlings within 1-2 weeks, it is recommended to maintain the temperature within + 15-17 ° C, which will strengthen the root system. Then the indicator is increased to + 24–26 ° C in the daytime and + 17–19 ° C at night, with a gradual decrease to + 13-14 ° C. Thus, conditions close to natural are created after the plants are planted in the ground.
For normal growth and development, seedlings need the right light and temperature conditions
Watering and humidity
One of the agrotechnical methods that contributes to the normal development of seedlings is watering. Eggplant irrigation should be regular, frequent and plentiful. For these purposes, you need to use warm and standing water (+ 25˚С). Do not allow the soil to dry out. Otherwise, premature lignification of the stem will occur, resulting in a decrease in future yield. However, waterlogging of the soil also will not lead to anything good.
Seedlings are watered for the first time on the third day, using a sprayer. The procedure is performed with a frequency of 5 days. The best time for irrigation will be in the afternoon hours. If the room is hot and the earth dries faster, the seedlings moisten after 3 days. To ensure access of oxygen to the roots, under each plant it is necessary to loosen the soil.
With excessive humidity and temperature changes, the development of a black leg is possible.
Eggplant irrigation should be regular, frequent and plentiful
No less important for growing eggplant seedlings is top dressing. In order to ensure optimal conditions for growth, mineral fertilizers such as superphosphate, ammonium sulfate, and potassium salt are alternately used (after 10–15 days) as a feed. If there is a weak growth of seedlings, you can apply organic matter, for example, a solution of mullein (1:10) or bird droppings (1:15).
The first top dressing of seedlings is performed 2 weeks after the appearance of sprouts. Repeat the procedure 2-3 weeks after the first. A solution of 12.5 g of superphosphate, 5 g of ammonium nitrate and 3 g of potassium salt diluted in 10 l of water is used as food. After replenishment, plants must be watered with clean water.
Feeding, as well as watering, is best done in the morning.
Video: fertilizing eggplant seedlings
The opinions of most experts boil down to the fact that eggplant seedlings do not need to be pinched. As for the root, it really needs to be pinched, but only if the planting is done too late, the plants are stretched and the root for the new tank is too long.
Eggplant, as you know, transplant is poorly tolerated. Based on this, many gardeners use peat containers (pots, glasses) to obtain seedlings, which avoids picking. Since 2–3 seeds are initially planted in the packaging container, as the seedlings develop, weak shoots are removed. As a rule, leave one strong plant. The rest do not have to be thrown away: they can be dropped into separate containers, perhaps they will take root.
When sowing eggplant seeds in a seedling box, planting should be done carefully so that the roots receive minimal damage. Pick-up is carried out when the first true leaflet appears. For the procedure, you can use land of the same composition as for planting. Until the plants are planted in the ground, they must master about 1 liter of land. Therefore, you should select the capacity of the appropriate volume.
The picking process itself is reduced to the following actions:
- First, the plants are slightly watered.
- New pots fill half with earth, watering.
Capacity for seedlings is filled with soil mixture
- Make a recess in the soil in the form of a cone.
- In old containers, the soil is kneaded and a seedling is pulled out together with a land lump. The soil from the lower roots is slightly shaken off.
A seedling of eggplant is being pulled out of an old container along with a lump of earth
- Cut off the tip of the longest root.
- Place the sprout in a new container so that the spine does not bend.
The sprout is placed in a new container so that the root does not bend
- Sprinkle the roots with soil, slightly pulling the stalk up so that the roots stretch out.
Sprinkle the sapling with soil, pulling the stem slightly up, so that the roots stretch out
- The earth is tamped and watered seedlings.
The earth is tamped and watered seedlings
Until the seedlings take root, it should be shaded from bright sunlight.
Video: picking eggplant seedlings
Ways to grow seedlings and care for it
If before eggplants, and any other vegetable crops were grown in the old fashioned way, today you can get seedlings in a variety of ways. Let's consider them in more detail.
Seedling in swaddling clothes is a rather unusual method and especially relevant for those gardeners who experience a lack of free space for growing plants at home. The essence of the method is that the seeds are wrapped in a plastic film or bag.
The advantages of the method are as follows:
- space saving;
- reusable film;
- convenience when picking seedlings;
- the volume of the soil mixture is reduced;
- the method can be used as a fallback;
- protection of seedlings from diseases transmitted through the soil.
Growing eggplant seedlings in diapers saves space
However, this method also has disadvantages:
- seedlings develop somewhat more slowly due to less light;
- picking may be required;
- poor development of the root system.
Before sowing eggplant seeds in diapers, you need to prepare the following materials and tools:Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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- polyethylene film;
- toilet paper;
- small containers (you can use disposable plastic cups);
- rubber bands for money;
For growing seedlings in this way, which is also called "in Moscow", the seeds can not be prepared. The landing procedure consists of the following steps:
- The film is cut into long strips 10 cm wide and 50 cm long. One layer of toilet paper is placed on top of the film.
- Humidify spray paper.
- They retreat from the edge of 1.5 cm and place the seeds with tweezers with an interval of 5 cm.
- Top cover with the same strip of polyethylene.
- The resulting strip is rolled up, trying to avoid displacement of the film layers.
- The roll is fixed with an elastic band for banknotes, marked.
- Set the diapers in a plastic container, pour water (4 cm).
- The container is placed in a bag and punched holes for air exchange.
Video: growing seedlings in a diaper
In peat tablets
This method allows you to grow quite strong plants. This is explained by the fact that in addition to peat, a peat tablet contains nutrients and growth stimulants necessary for young seedlings. Before planting seeds, tablets need to be properly prepared:
- Pick up a container and lay the tablets with the recess up.
- Use warm water for pouring.
- It is necessary to fill in gradually, within 2-3 hours, which will allow you to evenly distribute nutrients.
- Remove excess water from the sump.
To use peat tablets, they are pre-filled with water
The procedure for planting eggplant seedlings in peat tablets is as follows:
- 1-2 seeds are placed in the tablet. For distribution, you can use a toothpick.
In prepared tablets spread 1-2 eggplant seeds
- Fill the seeds with a thin layer of humus.
- Cover the pallet with polyethylene or glass and set in a warm place. Landings are periodically aired.
After sowing, the container with tablets is covered with a bag and put in a warm place
- 2 weeks after the first leaves are formed, mineral fertilizers are added to the water during irrigation.
Video: sowing eggplant in pills
In the snail
Another option that saves space and effort is sowing eggplant in a snail. For this method you will need:
- the soil;
- laminate backing;
- plastic bag;
- an elastic band for money.
Landing consists of the following steps:
- Cut the substrate into strips 10-15 cm wide. The length of the tape can be any.
The substrate is cut into strips of arbitrary length and a width of 10-15 cm
- Pour the soil mixture on top of the tape with a layer of 1.5–2 cm and lightly tamp.
A 1.5–2 cm layer of earth is poured on top of the substrate
- Continue to fill the soil and begin to roll the substrate in a roll so that the ground is inside the cochlea.
The soil is gradually sprinkled and the substrate is rolled up.
- Fix the roll with an elastic band.
With a rubber band fasten the roll
- The earth is slightly compacted and moistened.
- When water is absorbed, indentations are made with a pencil with an interval of 3-4 cm and a depth of 1 cm.
- One seed is placed in each well and sprinkled with earth.
One seed is placed in each well and sprinkled with earth.
- The finished snail is installed in a pallet, covered with a plastic bag and placed in heat.
After sowing the seeds, the snail is covered with a bag and transferred to a warm place
Watering is not necessary until the seedlings hatch.
When shoots appear, good lighting must be provided, while drafts and cold air flows should be avoided. The film is removed gradually and only after the seedlings get stronger.
On toilet paper
Eggplant seedlings can be obtained in a landless way on toilet paper. To do this, you will need:
- Plastic container;
- toilet paper;
- hydrogen peroxide solution (2 tablespoons per 1 liter of water).
Sowing seeds is carried out in the following order:
- Tear off a small piece of toilet paper so that it can be folded into 8-10 layers.
The toilet paper is torn so long that it can be folded in 8-10 layers
- Put paper on the bottom of the container and moisten it with a peroxide solution using a syringe.
The paper is laid on the bottom of the container and moistened with a solution of hydrogen peroxide.
- They moisten the toothpick in water, touch the seeds one by one and evenly distribute them on the surface of the paper.
Using a toothpick, the seeds are placed on paper.
- Cover the container with a lid or polyethylene and put it in a warm place.
After sowing, the container is covered with a lid and placed in heat
- After the emergence of seedlings, seedlings are transferred to the light, which eliminates the extension of seedlings.
Chinese growing method
A rather dubious method of obtaining eggplant seedlings is Chinese, which today can be heard from some gardeners. Its essence lies in the planting of plants aged 120-130 days, which is allegedly practiced in China. However, it is worth considering that today there are varieties that are able to produce crops 100 days after emergence, and the optimal phase of plant development for transplanting into the soil occurs at the beginning of the formation of buds. Seedlings that were planted during flowering, as a rule, drop flowers. It takes time for new ones to form.
The optimal age of eggplant seedlings for planting on the site is 60–80 days from the time the shoots appeared, and it takes about a week from sowing the seeds to the appearance of sprouts. To plant seedlings in early June, sowing should be performed no earlier than the beginning of March. Whether or not to use this method even as an experiment is up to you.
Diseases and pests of seedlings
In order to timely identify that plants need treatment from a particular disease or pests, you need to be able to determine them.
There are many ailments to which eggplant seedlings can be subjected. The most common of them are black stalk, mosaic, bacterial spotting. Proper care and timely protection is the key to plant health. If the problem arose, urgent measures aimed at treatment should be taken.
The black leg, which has another name - root rot rot, affects not only young seedlings, but also adult plantings. The reasons for its occurrence are too wet soil, which leads to rotting of the roots, low temperature, dense plantings, as well as insufficient lighting. The disease should be fought by spraying with a solution of such drugs as Trichodermin, Planriz, Fitolavin, Farmayod, Fitosporin-M. Treatment with Hom and Previkur is also carried out.
The black leg is due to excessive soil moisture
In this disease, which is caused by fungi, the lower leaves are first affected, then the stem, which leads to withering and death of the plant. The appearance of the disease can be judged by a white coating. To a greater extent seedlings are exposed to the disease in greenhouse conditions. For the fight, Pentafag-S, Fitosporin-M preparations should be used. In addition, spraying is carried out using means such as Quadris, Tiovit, Cumulus, Privent (0.1%).
Powdery mildew is easily recognized by white plaque on the leaves
Like other solanaceous, eggplant is exposed to late blight. When plants are damaged, brown spots appear on the leaves, after which the foliage dries. To avoid infection, first of all, you should give preference to varieties that are resistant to the disease, and also observe crop rotation on the site, that is, do not plant eggplant in and near those places where solanaceous family crops (potatoes, tomato, pepper).
Various means can help in the fight against the disease. You can start with folk, for which they use garlic infusion (1 tbsp. Crushed garlic in 3 liters of water, insist a week, dilute 1: 1 with water before processing). In addition, you can apply Bordeaux liquid or a solution of copper sulfate (0.2%), which is sprayed with plants. You can also use biological products: Fitosporin-M, Alirin, Gamair, Baxis. From a complex of diseases, fungicides such as Quadris, Ridomil, Thanos are suitable.
Brown blots of phytophthora quickly spread, leaves dry
Withering of plants is caused by mushrooms. Pathogens are transmitted using seed. First, the root system is affected, then the leaves, after which the plant dies. It is necessary to fight Fitosporin-M, Fitolavin, Farmayodom, Gamair.
If it is not possible to stop tracheomycotic wilting at the beginning of development, it will be necessary to destroy all plants
The disease occurs as a result of leaf damage by the speckled or tobacco mosaic virus. The virus multiplies in the soil and is spread by pests such as spider mites and aphids. To fight, resort to spraying with drugs Farmayod, Fitosporin M, and also perform feeding with Uniflor-micro (2 tsp. Per 10 l of water).
The spots look like a mosaic, and the leaves seem mottled
The occurrence of the disease contribute to temperature fluctuations, waterlogging. The causative agent is a fungus. Treatment is carried out by drying the soil, watering with the same drugs as with the mosaic. Plants are also treated with Horus, Anthracol.
White or gray moss on the stem is the first sign of rot disease
In addition to diseases, pests can cause significant damage to the future crop, which indicates the need to conduct daily inspection of plants to identify and neutralize parasites.
The first sign of a pest is twisted foliage. You can fight with the infusion of garlic (2 heads are crushed, 1 l of water is poured and infused for 5 days, 1: 1 is diluted with water before spraying) or onion husks (100 g of husk is poured with 5 l of water and infused for 5 days). It is possible to treat plants with biologics Actofit, Fitoverm, Entobacterin, Strela. Tanrek, Biotlin. If the funds listed do not help, then Intavir, Karate, Spark, Kinmix are used.
You can detect aphids by looking under the leaves of plants and noticing that they began to curl
The harm done consists not only in the suction of the juice from the plants, but also in the release of substances that create a favorable environment for the development of fungi. The pest loves high temperature and dry air, so it is important to maintain optimal conditions when growing eggplant seedlings. The fight consists in treating with garlic infusion or with Actellic, Permethrin, Malathion, Aktara, Neudosan preparations.
Whitefly infects plants in indoor and greenhouse conditions
The presence of a pest on plants can be judged by the withering and falling of the leaves, the appearance of black dots on the back side. To get rid of the tick, they are treated with infusion of garlic, onion peel. In an extreme case, they resort to spraying with drugs Actellik, Fitoverm, Aktofit, Apollo, Akarin, Vermitek, Fufanon.
It is sometimes possible to detect a spider mite only with the defeat of most of the plant
Thrips suck juice from leaves, after which spots remain on them, which leads to the death of the plant. The fight should be carried out with extracts of mustard, garlic, onion peel. Of the drugs, you can use Actellik, Bovelin, Fitoverm, Aktofit, Apollo, Akarin, Vermitek, Fufanon.
Several generations of thrips can survive in greenhouse conditions
Growing eggplant seedlings at home is reduced to maintaining light and temperature conditions, timely watering and top dressing. In order for plants to grow healthy, you need to constantly monitor their condition and check for diseases and pests. In case of problems, appropriate control measures should be taken in a timely manner.