Growing eggplants in a greenhouse is more convenient and efficient than growing in a vegetable garden
If you are good at growing great tomatoes, growing eggplant shouldn't be too difficult for you. Overall, the process from sowing to harvesting is very similar for both vegetable crops, with minor differences.
Planting eggplant seedlings in a greenhouse
For beginner gardeners, it is better to first learn how to grow "blue" in a greenhouse, where vegetables will be reliably protected from the wind, spring frosts and nighttime cold snaps, and where it is much easier to create temperature conditions suitable for eggplants. Eggplants in a greenhouse will grow and bear fruit better than in the open field if they are provided with sufficient moisture.
The soil in the greenhouse should be prepared in the fall.
First of all, in order to successfully grow eggplants in a greenhouse, you will need to prepare a soil rich in organic matter. It is usually mixed from garden soil, compost, peat and manure, adding loosening materials for better aeration and permeability of the soil. The soil in the greenhouse should be prepared in the fall, so that in the spring, before planting eggplant seedlings, you just have to dig up the greenhouse beds, water thoroughly and warm the soil. It is desirable that the temperature of the ground for planting eggplants is at least +19 degrees.
Video about tips for growing eggplant in a greenhouse
You can grow eggplant seedlings in advance at home, so that in the middle of spring you can transplant the seedlings into a heated greenhouse or at the end of spring - into a greenhouse without heating. If you don't want to bother with sowing seeds and growing young plants from them, you can buy cassettes with eggplant seedlings ready for planting in a specialized store.
Planting eggplant seedlings in greenhouse soil:
- under the seedlings, they make holes in the ground a couple of centimeters deep above the glass with the plant - eggplants do not like deep deepening;
- each hole is watered with warm water and eggplant seedlings carefully removed from the cups are installed;
- cover the holes with soil;
- water a little;
- so that a soil crust does not form, you can sprinkle it on top with a thin layer of peat.
Nothing is planted next to eggplants in the greenhouse
When planting seedlings on a greenhouse bed, a distance of 60 cm is usually maintained between them, but here it is important to take into account the peculiarities of the eggplant variety you have chosen - will sprawling bushes turn out or will the plants be compact? Sometimes vegetable growers plant eggplant seedlings one at a time in pots up to 30 cm in diameter.
Nothing is planted next to the eggplants in the greenhouse, since this vegetable crop needs low air humidity with high soil moisture. Only tomatoes can be suitable neighbors, but then the eggplants should be planted from the sunny side so that tall tomato bushes do not shade them.
Features of eggplant care in greenhouse conditions
Eggplant needs a lot of moisture, even more than peppers. The weak root system of "blue" is not able to provide the entire plant with sufficient moisture, and as a result, the flowers, along with the ovaries, fall off. Successful cultivation of eggplants in a greenhouse is possible only with regular, correct watering:
- the water should be about +25 degrees (flowering is delayed from cold water);
- you can water only at the root - the eggplant leaves must remain dry;
- watering is carried out in the morning;
- immediately after watering, the soil must be mulched, and the greenhouse must be ventilated so that the air humidity does not increase;
- pour so much water that it penetrates to a depth of 20 cm;
- after planting eggplant seedlings, the first watering is carried out after five days, then they are watered once a week, and during fruiting - twice a week or more often in extreme heat.
In greenhouse conditions, it is important to pay attention to temperature
If you can only manage eggplant on weekends, divide your weekly water requirement by two and water the plants equally on Saturday and Sunday.
In greenhouse conditions, it is important to pay attention to temperature - for comfortable growth, eggplants need a temperature of about + 24 + 28 degrees. When the temperature rises on hot days to +35 degrees and more, fruit setting becomes difficult, and when the temperature drops to +13 degrees, eggplants may stop growing. To better control the temperature in the greenhouse, install one thermometer under the roof and the other closer to the ground. Airing (just do not create a draft) and watering the paths between the eggplant beds helps to reduce the temperature.
If the sun is too hot, it is advisable to shade the windows in the greenhouse (shading is especially important for young seedlings in the first three days after planting).
If the sun is too hot, it is advisable to shade the windows in the greenhouse.
In the first two weeks after planting seedlings, it is useful to shallowly loosen the soil, raking it in small heaps to the plants. Subsequently, loosening should also be carried out no deeper than 5 cm, since the root system of eggplants lies in the upper layer of the soil, and it is easy to damage it. Each loosening ends with light hilling.
Depending on how the eggplants are formed, you need to feed them three to five times throughout the season. The first feeding with complex fertilizer is carried out when the seedlings have already taken root (two weeks after planting). Before the start of fruiting, eggplants require feeding with phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. With the appearance of the first fruits, eggplants are fed with nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizer.
The day before applying root dressings, the eggplants are watered, and immediately after feeding the plants are slightly spud. As top dressing, a solution of mullein, bird droppings, nitrophoska, wood ash can be used. The latter is poured onto the beds in addition to liquid fertilizing during flowering and fruiting of eggplants.
The day before applying root dressings, eggplants are watered
Since eggplant shoots are very fragile and break easily, especially under the weight of large fruits, they should definitely be tied to a solid support: install a trellis in the greenhouse, pull a wire over the rows of eggplants, or just dig in a massive peg near each plant, equal in height to an adult eggplant bush ...
Compact varieties do not need tying, their stems are stronger and stronger. If you are afraid that the bushes will not support the weight of the fruit, remove the extra shoots from the main stem so that only two or three of the strongest ones remain.
Eggplants, unlike tomatoes, do not need to be pinned. Most importantly, remove yellow leaves and deformed fruits from plants. Lower infertile stepchildren may even be useful - in hot weather, they will protect the soil from drying out.
However, some vegetable growers, to obtain larger fruits, stepchild eggplants, when lateral shoots begin to develop intensively from the axils of the lower leaves, making it difficult to form the first buds. These stepsons are removed to the first bud. In the future, it is undesirable to injure the plant.
Video about the formation of eggplant
You can also speed up the ripening of the fruit towards the end of the season by pinching the tops of the shoots so that the eggplants no longer waste energy on the growth of the bush, but direct them to the remaining fruits. For this reason, the new formed flowers should also be removed, anyway, before the frost, nothing will have time to form from them.
Growing eggplants in a greenhouse may seem daunting at first glance, but if you follow all the recommendations above, good yields will not be long in coming!