Formation of eggplant bushes
Stalking eggplant is a very troublesome task. Many vegetable growers do not take it because of the exactingness and slow growth of the crop. It often happens that even under optimal cultivation conditions, the bushes grow to a height of one and a half meters, and very few fruits are tied to them. Why this happens, whether it is necessary to form a plant, what methods of pruning exist and what eggplants need for abundant fruiting - learn about all this later in the article.
Eggplant Care Information
Among all solanaceous crops, eggplants occupy a special place because of their heat and moisture lovingness, as well as their sensitivity to bacterial and fungal diseases. Such plant characteristics fully justify the preference of the seedling method of growing it.
The success of this lesson depends on the timeliness of sowing seeds, external factors and care.
Did you know? In ancient Greece, eggplants were called "rabies apples" and believed that their systematic use in food leads to clouding of the mind.
For the full development of eggplants, it is necessary to provide good lighting and a stable temperature regime at the level of + 22 ... + 25 ° С. If the thermometer column drops at least 2 degrees below the minimum values, pollination, ovary formation and plant growth will stop.
Heat, moisture and timely top dressing are the key to good productivity. Therefore, drying, cracking and waterlogging of the soil should not be allowed. In temperate climates, it is recommended to water the crop twice a week in the evening. Using only settled and warmed up water.
After each moistening, you need to loosen the earth and weed weeds.
During the growing season, the culture requires 2-3 fertilizing with complex mineral fertilizers. Depleted land is recommended to be fertilized every 2 weeks. In this case, in order to avoid burns, the nutrient solution should not fall on the foliage. Greenhouse bushes, especially of indeterminate varieties, are cut to the measure of growth.
Did you know? European gardeners for a long time bred eggplant for therapeutic and decorative purposes and only from the XVIII century began to eat their fruits .
Under favorable conditions, in early ripening varieties flowering occurs 45 days after sowing, and the first crop can be harvested 32 days later. Depending on the characteristics of breeding, the period of technical ripeness of the crop varies from 80 to 150 days. Improper care will significantly slow down the growth of sprouts.
Why form bushes of eggplant
On the open ground, eggplant bushes grow powerful roots and stems, so the vast majority do not require pruning of leaves, side shoots and tops. But greenhouse conditions stimulate the intensive development of biomass. At the same time, culture directs all its nutritional resources to the growth of stems, to the detriment of fruiting.
In addition, under the shelter of eggplant tall selection create a shadow for neighboring plants, and their wide foliage thickens the bed. Thus, a favorable environment is formed for the life of fungi and pathogenic bacteria.
In conditions of high humidity in the absence of natural ventilation, pathogens of the black leg, spotted mosaic, gray rot, late blight and columnar are born. A concomitant factor in the pathogenic environment is pests.
Did you know? Regular use of eggplant helps to normalize the acid-base balance, water-salt metabolism, remove toxins, significantly reduce cholesterol and blood sugar, strengthen blood vessels and heart muscle.
Shrub Formation Requirements
Untimely and illiterate stepsoning reduces crop yields. The fatal mistake of beginning vegetable growers is the chaotic removal of the upper part of the stems and side branches, because each eggplant variety is characterized by its own characteristics when forming bushes.
In order not to harm the plants and increase the volume of their fruiting, you should be guided by the following rules:
- It is better to start trimming excess biomass on eggplant 2-3 weeks after transplanting seedlings to a permanent place.
- The pattern of formation of bushes is determined depending on the variety.
- Low-growing greenhouse specimens are not allowed to grow above 35–40 cm (in open beds, such a variety forms independently). If the central sprout exceeds the permissible level, its top is removed, thus preparing the plant for further pruning. It consists in eliminating the stepsons that appeared after a while.
- Eggplants of indeterminate selection form into 1 stalk, not sparing flowers and ovaries on extra shoots. Indeed, the essence of pruning is to support the vitality of the strongest and most promising branches by removing their competitors. By reducing the amount of leaf mass, air circulation improves and nutrients are evenly distributed throughout the plant.
- Categorically it is not recommended to pinch plants that are lagging behind in growth and weakened by diseases. Such bushes will not give a good harvest.
- When cultivating eggplant in open ground, you can not trim in sultry or rainy weather. Dampness and excessive amount of ultraviolet radiation will lead to defective development of bushes, and can also contribute to infectious diseases.
- Formative procedures on the vegetable garden are best done in the morning or evening.
- Early ripening varieties do not stepchild.
- Removing excess tops must be done manually. Overgrown thick shoots are cut with a secateurs.
- Eggplanting is carried out every 2 weeks.
- All biomass that formed below the branches of the central stem is removed. Lower stepchildren are recommended to be left only with rare watering so that they shade the root.
How to form eggplant bushes, gardeners determine, based on the quality of seedlings and its varietal characteristics.
Important! The best predecessors for solanaceae are all legumes and melons, as well as cucumbers, cabbage, onions. It is not advisable to plant eggplant after potatoes, tomatoes and garlic .
In one stalk
This technology is acceptable for small greenhouses, as well as for visually weakened and all tall plants. In the process of trimming, the gardener chooses the strongest stem and, after eliminating the excess biomass, ties it vertically to the support with the help of fabric twine or string.
Rigid wire is not recommended for such purposes, as it injures fragile plant fibers.
When forming bushes with one central stem, pinch off the top when it reaches 30 cm. This will contribute to the intensive build-up of side stepsons. The time for their removal comes in a few weeks. Carefully inspect the sprouts.
It is important that one ovary remains on them, and the branches with fruits should remain without the upper part. Sprouts on which there are no flowers and ovaries are subject to removal.
In two stems
This method is more effective because it allows up to 12 fruits on each bush. It is practiced on all tall varieties of eggplant grown in a greenhouse and on the open ground, which are characterized by thin tops. The pruning procedure consists of selecting 2 large shoots and removing the remaining biomass.
In this case, it is important to pinch off both tops, which will increase the supply of nutrients to the resulting ovary. Only the largest ovary should remain on the bush. New blossomed buds are also subject to removal.
The step-by-step formation of bushes provides for the initial pruning of the main stem and the subsequent selection of 2 central stems from overgrown stepchildren.
Important! Excessive amounts of nitrogen-containing fertilizers contribute to the development of biomass.
Three or more stems
Such pinching is acceptable for healthy greenhouse plants with thick shoots, since other instances will not withstand the severity of the ripening fruit.
The process of forming bushes, as in the previous methods, involves pinching the central sprout when it grows to 30 cm in height, and further isolating several well-developed shoots from the formed stepsons.
How to properly shape eggplant
The crown formation of eggplant bushes with insufficient removal of lateral shoots will not bring the expected results, and in the case of excessive pruning is fraught with death of the plant due to severe stress.
In greenhouses and greenhouses
Eggplant grows intensively under shelter. Some specimens can reach 160 cm in height, but at the same time differ in poor productivity.
Important! When feeding eggplants with peat and manure, preliminary processing of the substances used is required, since the first component contributes to the oxidation of the soil, and the second generates a pathogenic environment. Peat is deoxidized with dolomite flour, and manure is watered with a solution of copper sulfate (5 g per 10 l of water).
To prevent the growth of giant bushes, you need to follow the instructions below:
- Wait until the seedlings grow to 25-30 cm. If you planted seedlings of this height in a permanent place, you need to give them at least a week to adapt to new conditions.
- Manually pinch off the top of the main sprout.
- After about 2 weeks, when a new shoot forms on the bush, select 1, 2 or more of the strongest stepchildren (their number depends on the chosen method of pruning), and delete the rest. The same should be done with foliage, flowers and ovary, which are located below the first branch.
- Watch the development of the bushes. Over time, new branches will appear on it in the leaf sinuses, which are subject to liquidation. From each branch, leave the strongest sprout. Pinch the faint stepsons after the second leaf growing over the ovary. 1 fruit should remain on it.
- In the case of three-stem pruning, which is allowed in large polycarbonate greenhouses when planting bushes at a distance of 80 cm from each other, remove the growth points (shoots) 30 days before harvesting. The cessation of development activates the direction of nutrients to ripen fruit.
In the open ground
The process of pinching eggplants growing in open beds is more gentle than greenhouse ones. The fact is that excessive removal of biomass will expose the soil near the stems, thereby contributing to the rapid evaporation of moisture. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, it is recommended that only thickened shoots be removed.
It will also be useful for you to find out why and what to do if the leaves of the eggplant fade and if the eggplant dries.
The formation of such plants is carried out according to the algorithm:
- After 10-15 days after transplanting seedlings to the garden, manually remove the tops on tall varieties of vegetable crops. It is important that by this time the central sprout reaches a height of 35 cm.
- Then, when a side shoot appears, select the desired number of stems and nip off all the extra stepsons.
- To avoid burns on the bushes, treat the resulting wounds with wood ash or liquid lime. Otherwise, they will be delayed for a long time, which will affect the development of the plant.
- Twice a week on the bush, it is necessary to remove the fruitless shoots, ovaries and shoots formed under the branching of the main stem.
- In dry and hot weather, the lower processes can be left to protect the soil from drying out.
- In rainy summer leaves and fruits should not touch the soil, otherwise they may become sick.
Useful tips gardeners
So that the resources and labor spent do not disappoint, experienced vegetable growers advise:
- Pinching the undergrowth on eggplants grown in open ground is not recommended in hot and humid weather. Indeed, such conditions contribute to the development of a pathogenic environment.
- Leave the lower stepsons in greenhouse eggplants in cases where the room has minimal humidity. This is done in order to retain soil moisture.
- Do not allow stepsons to outgrow.
- Strictly ensure that there is no deformed foliage on the bushes.
Important! If you use a secateurs to trim overgrown stems, be sure to disinfect it before and after working with any antiseptic.
And timely removal of excess biomass, on the contrary, will improve productivity.