There is an opinion that growing eggplants in the Urals – in Perm and Yekaterinburg does not make sense, since they do not ripen. Even how they ripen and even in the open field without a greenhouse.
First of all, in order to grow eggplant in the Urals, you need to choose the right variety. These should be early varieties with a fruit ripening period of 90-120 days from the moment of germination or medium-early varieties that ripen in 140 days. The following varieties are well suited for our region:
Dwarf early 921 . Early maturing, 100 days pass from germination to technical ripeness. The bush is low – up to 50 cm, branching. The fruits are round-pear-shaped, dark purple in color, weighing 100-120 g. Taste qualities are good. Productivity up to 2 kg per bush.
DELICACY 163 . The variety is early ripening, the bush is quite low – 30-40 cm. The fruits are medium-sized, up to 100 g, dark purple, with white tasty pulp. The number of fruit set should be controlled and only 8-10 pieces should be left on the bush.
EARLY MATURE 148 . The variety is early. From germination to technical ripeness, 110-115 days pass. The height of the bush is up to 50 cm. The fruits are pear-shaped, 5-7 cm long, weighing up to 150 g. The color of ripe fruits is dark purple. The pulp is dense, light green, without bitterness.
DONETSK HARVEST . Early ripe, matures in 110 – 115 days. Fruiting is extended, but in the first half of the fruiting period, the return of the crop is friendly. Up to 15 fruits weighing 140 – 160 g are formed on the plant. The fruits are cylindrical, touch the soil or lie on it. The length of the fruit is up to 15 cm, the color is dark purple, the flesh is white.
CZECH EARLY . Early ripe high-yielding variety. The plant is powerful, compact, medium-sized. The fruits are dark purple, ovoid, shiny, smooth. The pulp is dense greenish-white, without bitterness. Productivity up to 1.5 kg per bush.
QUARTET . One of the best early ripe varieties for open ground. Fruit ripening occurs on the 107-122nd day after germination. The plant is semi-spreading, 40-60 cm high. Leaves with purple pubescence, small. The flowers are light purple, the calyx is darkish. The fruits are shortened pear-shaped, 11-14 long, 6-8 cm in diameter. The surface is matte. The color of the fruit in technical ripeness is violet-green, in biological ripeness it is green or yellow-violet, the flesh is pale green, medium density, without bitterness. Fruit weight 102-120 g. Productivity up to 20 kg per 10 m2. The variety is resistant to bacterial fruit rot.
CZECH BEAUTIFUL . The variety is early ripe, relatively new. The plant is 50 – 60 cm high. The fruits are beautiful, firm, regular cylindrical shape, weighing 200 – 250 g.
DIAMOND . Variety of medium early maturity. The bush is compact, low. The fruits are dark purple, medium size, with good taste.
Of the hybrids of domestic selection, F1 Lolita, F1 Behemoth, F1 Solaris should be distinguished. All of them are quite suitable for growing in the Urals.
Eggplant seeds are small, they need to be sown not deep. With a depth of more than 6 mm, many seedlings may die. It is better to sow the seeds on the ground watered in advance, to fall asleep also in advance with slightly moistened soil, it is good if with the addition of sand. Otherwise, small eggplant seeds may float to the surface when watered after sowing. Seeds germinate slowly, sometimes only 15 days after sowing. It is better to cover the box with a film before germination so that the top layer of the earth does not dry out. But immediately after the emergence of seedlings, the film should be removed and the box placed in the brightest place. It should not be too warm, a good temperature is 14-16 degrees. Only in the second week after germination, you can bring the temperature to 23 – 25 degrees. Seeds should be sown from February 1 to February 20. Later it’s already bad, the plant will not have time to develop enough. While the days are short you need to lengthen them with artificial illumination up to 10 – 12 hours. Water the plants as the soil dries up, but not often, once every 3 to 4 days. Watering should be plentiful, but care must be taken that the water seeps well and does not stagnate.
Eggplant seedlings are less capricious than tomatoes, they never outgrow, they are more tolerant of temperature changes and irregular watering. Picking seedlings should be carried out as early as possible, immediately with sufficient development of the cotyledons. This is because the eggplant is hard to restore the damaged root system, it is better to disturb her least developed. The first top dressing is carried out 2 weeks after picking. Fertilizing with a solution of mineral fertilizers gives excellent results: 15 g of ammonium nitrate and 15 g of potassium sulfate per 10 liters of water, or 30 g of nitroammophoska for the same amount of water. After feeding, the seedlings are watered with clean water. As soon as the outdoor temperature allows, the seedlings need to be hardened off. At 15 degrees, you can completely take it out into the street, just cover it at night.
Seedlings are planted in the soil, deepening the roots by no more than 2 cm. It must be said right away that it is impossible to grow eggplants in a cold area blown by the north wind, on heavy clay soil, poor in nutrients. The birthplace of eggplant is India, he is a southerner. Plant it in a sunny, wind-sheltered spot. A week after planting, it is imperative to cover the plant with a film cap, and if it is an eggplant ridge, create a film tunnel. This is regardless of the weather, to create a humid microclimate without air movement during the period of restoration and growth of the root system.
Eggplant loves soil that is deeply loosened, light sandy or loamy. Good for growing eggplant, of course, and black soil. The plant is responsive to fertilizing with both infusions of organic mullein or bird droppings, and mineral fertilizers. Most of all, eggplants need phosphorus-potassium supplements.
It is good if you manage to grow 90-100-day-old seedlings before transplanting into the soil (this is from the moment of germination).
It is not necessary to form eggplant plants. But for better development of the ovaries, side shoots and leaves that shade the flowers are removed. You can carry out additional artificial pollination of flowers, transferring pollen from one flower to another with a brush. The reason for poor setting can be high humidity, which often happens when growing in a greenhouse. When the plants reach 40 cm, they pinch the tops of the shoots. In our Ural conditions, it is imperative to carry out the normalization of the ovaries, leaving 5-6 of the largest on the bush, and pluck the rest.
After plucking out excess ovaries, remove all newly formed flowers.
You need to cut the fruits with a secateurs with a part of the stalk. So they will be stored much longer, do not lose freshness up to three weeks.