Hello, dear friends - summer residents and gardeners! Today I have planned sowing eggplant seeds for seedlings. I usually sow eggplants in February: in the first half of the month I sow varieties of late and medium ripening, and in the second half - early varieties of this culture.
To grow eggplant seedlings, I decided to use my favorite method, which allows you to check the germination of seeds before sowing, and after the emergence of seedlings - to select the strongest seedlings for picking in separate cups. This method will require small pieces of any thick film or oilcloth. You can cut strips from used milk bags or cut clear plastic wrap into strips.
Since I will be sowing the seeds on toilet paper, it is best to cut the film strips the same width as the paper roll for convenience. To cut a strip of the desired width from a milk bag, I cut off the welded seams on two long sides, then fold the resulting strip several times, apply a piece of paper to it to determine the width, and cut off the excess.
To disinfect the resulting piece of oilcloth, you can wipe it with some kind of disinfectant. For this purpose, I use the pharmacy chlorhexidine, a small amount of which I put on a cotton pad and wipe the film with it on both sides. Instead of chlorhexidine, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate.
It is advisable to put some kind of towel under the film, and a layer of toilet paper should be laid on top of the plastic strip. To prevent the paper from moving, spray it with water and then place another layer of paper on top.
I pour the eggplant seeds into a saucer. If you are going to sprout two different varieties at the same time, you will need spacers, for example, thin strips of oilcloth, on which you will need to write the variety with a marker. I use disposable coffee stirrers as dividers, on which I stick a piece of adhesive plaster with the name of the variety. I put the divider with the name of the first grade on the left edge.
Place the eggplant seeds by moving from the separator to the right. It is faster and more convenient to do this with a wooden toothpick, cutting off the sharp tip from it. Dip the trimmed tip into water, pick it up one seed at a time and put it on the paper, stepping back 1-1.5 cm from the top edge.Leave an interval of 1.5-2 cm between the seeds. Sow with a margin, because, firstly, do not all seeds will germinate, and secondly, some non-viable seedlings will have to be discarded.
When all the seeds of the first grade are laid out on paper, put a separator with the name of the second grade near the last seed and continue sowing other seeds from it. After planting is complete, the spacers and seeds should be secured in place by pressing down on top of them with another layer of toilet paper. Then the oilcloth, together with the seeds, must be rolled into a roll from right to left, so that when unfolding all varieties and dividers remain in their places.
Now take any glass, pour some warm, settled water into it, put the twist with the seeds up in it and cover the glass with a transparent bag to make a mini-greenhouse. Keep eggplant crops near radiators, where the temperature is kept within 27-29 ⁰C. As soon as the sprout loops begin to rise from the twist, move the glass to the light, but do not remove the package yet: wait until all the seeds germinate.
I have already sprouted eggplants, sown two weeks ago in the same way, and I am going to select the strongest seedlings and cut them open. For the transplant I will use 400 ml disposable cups. At the bottom of each cup, I make two cuts with scissors to drain excess water, and so that more of these cups can fit into the tray, I cut off the top rim from them. I fill the glasses with ready-made seedling soil with an acidity of 5.5-6.5 pH so that there is a space of 1.5-2 cm to the top edge.
Make recesses in each glass in the center of the soil and spill them with water. Then select the strongest seedlings with well-developed cotyledons and transplant them into cups. The seedlings come off very easily from the wet paper. If some paper remains on the spine, don't let that bother you. Roots that are too long can be pinched a third of the length: this will stimulate the development of lateral roots.
When diving, I bury the eggplant seedlings by half the stem. After transplanting, I water the soil and stick a piece of masking tape with the name of the variety on the tray. To facilitate the rooting process for seedlings, you need to hold the tray for the first 2-3 days under diffused light at a temperature of 18-22 ⁰C. For example, on a table near the window. If during this time the seedling leaves of the seedlings do not lose their turgor, you can rearrange the seedlings under the lamps for additional lighting.
Germinating seeds in toilet paper saves you a lot of space. If this method piqued your interest, try it out in practice. And I wish you good luck, friendly seedlings and good mood.
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The process begins with the preparation of the workplace... You will need a flat surface on which it will be convenient to place all the necessary equipment. Any table will do, it is most convenient to work on it.
A strip 10 cm wide will be needed. The gardener determines the length himself, based on the number of seeds of one variety. Sowing different varieties is not recommended due to different germination times and possible differences in plant height.
Marigold seedlings in a snail
Also, the determination of the length can be influenced by the volume of the vessel into which the finished "snail" will be installed.
The best option would be to choose transparent plastic container. Subsequently, this will be useful for controlling the water level in it, which will feed the plant roots with moisture. The vessel should be one and a half centimeters thicker than the "snail". This is so that you can effortlessly place a roll of seeds in it.
You will need three rubber bands, they will serve as retainers. Two for the "snail" itself, so that it does not turn around. The third is needed to secure the plastic bag. It will serve as a cap for the "snail" in order to maintain a humid microclimate and warmth.
Sprayer will be needed for watering the finished "snail" after sowing the seeds.
You can clearly see what materials are needed for sowing in the "snail" in the video of the author Yulia Minyaeva:
This work can only cause uncertainty and anxiety in the gardener who first started this method of growing seedlings. To protect yourself from possible failure, you can use a fallback.
Carry out additional sowing in the usual, traditional way - in seedling boxes. In this case, it will be possible to compare crops and give preference to the best option.
You can sow seeds in a snail even on toilet paper
So: having spread a strip of substrate on the table, with the narrow side facing you, you should proceed to the uniform arrangement of the soil on it. A handful of soil is taken from a nearby bucket, leveled over the entire width of the base. The height of the earthen layer can be 1.5-2 cm. It is not necessary to fill up the entire length of the tape at once, it is rather inconvenient.
It's like baking a roll with a filling. Therefore, for the female half of gardeners, the process will not seem complicated.
Having rolled up the sown part, hold the roll with your left hand, and add earth with your right hand, level it, lay the seeds and roll it up again. The action is repeated until the length of the stem or seeds runs out.
Next, the finished "snail" should be placed vertically. It is important here not to confuse the top and bottom of the roll.
We fix the parcel with seeds with rubber bands and the whole structure is rearranged into the prepared container. You can use plastic boxes in which the seedlings were previously grown. It can hold several snails. They are quite stable, and placed next to them will eliminate the risk of overturning.
If there is a slight subsidence of the earth during the rearrangement, it should be added. It is required that the ground is flush with the edges of the base material.
Water the crops from a sprayer, put a bag on top and secure with an elastic band on a roll. Access to the container must be open. This will be needed for further watering, if the need arises.
Fully equipped "snail" is sent to germinate seeds in the warmest place. For some, these are the upper shelves in the kitchen, and some put vessels with seedlings closer to the central heating radiators. It all depends on the crop sown.
The emerging shoots loops warn of the need to remove the shelter and move to a bright place!
"Snails" are also used for sowing flowers. They are especially good for sowing cold-resistant varieties. In favorable weather, they can be immediately planted in open ground, bypassing the picking stage.
The biggest advantage of this method in a city apartment is the saving of space on the windowsills. Compact, vertical, they quickly become a favorite seedling vessel for many summer residents.
Seedlings in a "snail" are located at the same distance from each other, which does not interfere with their identical development. This is another advantage of this seeding method.
Plants also receive sunlight in equal amounts, besides, there is the possibility of free access to each "snail". There is no need to turn the entire box to turn the plant with the opposite side to the sun. This is very inconvenient and quite time consuming when the entire window sill is filled with seedling boxes. In the case of "snails", it is enough to turn it around its axis, and the problem will be solved.
Much less potting mix is required, which is also important. It often happens that a gardener cannot prepare a sufficient amount of potting soil, due to the lack of storage space in a city apartment. In this case, you have to use purchased soil. For "snails" you need a minimum amount. And this is a very big plus for snails. In addition, there is a significant savings in the family budget. The gardener will save on the purchase of soil for crops.
Snail leek seedlings
Reuse of substrates is possible. They should be thoroughly washed with soap and water and dried. During storage, they will take up a minimum of space in comparison with seedling boxes.
It remains to wait for the shoots to appear. And when they grow up, a new job awaits the gardener - transplanting a young plant, diving.
Before proceeding to the description of this method, it is necessary to clarify that the "snail" is a self-made construction for sowing seeds. And in the "swaddling clothes" are planted plants that require picking.
Before getting started, you need to make sure that everything you need is prepared for this.
A low capacity with fertile and moist soil should be located in the immediate vicinity. Working with wet soil is more convenient, it crumbles less.
Plastic bags, they will serve, directly, as a diaper. Their size depends on the age of the seedlings. For a seedling with five leaves, small breakfast bags measuring 18x27 cm are suitable, larger plants need more space.
It is more convenient to work on the table using a shallow dish or tray. It is easier to remove the scattered earth from them.
The "snail" should be released from its fastening and carefully unfold the roll to the first sprout. Use a spatula to remove the plant from the substrate and set it aside for a while.
In the middle of the surface of the package, located on the tray, pour a full, with a good slide, spoonful of earth. If it is more convenient for someone to do this with their hands, then a handful of soil will be enough. Align a little, crush and water well (of course, not to dirt), and preferably from a sprayer.
Place the prepared plant on the surface of the earth. If the root system of the plant is strong and extends beyond the boundaries of the lower edge of the bag, they need to be tucked slightly towards the top.
Pinching the roots should not be done, so as not to deliver additional stress to the young plant. Pinching is practiced if the seedlings have one long, underdeveloped root.
At the top, the packet should end at the cotyledonous leaves. Another spoon (or handful) of earth is poured over the roots. Now you need to fold the bag so that you get a glass with a sprout inside. If the gardener does not like the fact that the ground crumbles a little from the bottom of the "diaper", the situation can be corrected with the help of toilet paper.
In the middle of the bag, at the bottom of it, lay a double layer of paper. Sprinkle the earth, arrange the plant and first wrap the paper up. You will get the bottom of the glass, and then roll the film into a roll, stuffed from the ground with the root system. The paper will not bring any inconvenience to the seedlings, it will soon get wet. If there is a lack of soil on top of the package, it must be poured over and, if it is dry, watered.
If the gardener is not sure about the reliability of the seedlings bundles, he can strengthen them with an elastic band. In any case, they are tightly placed in the container so that there is no possibility of them falling.
Watering the plants depends on how the plant is “swaddled”. If the package has a polyethylene bottom, then water is poured from above, onto the ground at the base of the stem. For cups without a bottom, water is poured directly into the container.
When transplanting seedlings from "snails" to "swaddles" there is the possibility of interrupting work at any time, without harming the rest of the plants. They simply won't be disturbed. The snail should be rolled up by sprinkling a handful of earth on the edge, secured with an elastic band.
Seedlings will calmly wait in the wings.
Significant space saving in the early spring gardener's garden bed - the windowsill. Vertical rolls with seedlings, tightly installed in the container, do not take up much space. It is convenient to turn them with the opposite side to the light, if its inclined growth is noticed.
Planting seedlings ripened in "swaddling clothes" is no different from planting plants unpacked in plastic cups or a common seedling box. For them, in the same way, gradual hardening is required, and only after that young bushes of vegetables are planted in open ground. Shade from hot sunlight for several days and routine care appropriate to the culture is required.
Having missed the sowing work, having read the news in the newspapers and looking at various sites on the Internet, the gardeners are ready to start sowing work. First of all, this, of course, is the cultivation of seedlings. It would be nice to minimize the cluttering of our window spaces, the pulling away of the soil by children and pets, to avoid problems with airing the rooms and the increasing number of cleaning your apartment. And all this for her, the desired seedlings.
So folk craftsmen came up with ways to grow seedlings without land: in compact boxes, glasses, on toilet paper. It does not take up much space and requires a minimum of maintenance.
The seeds have a certain supply of nutrients, which are quite enough for germination and initial development of seedlings. Nevertheless, it is important to know and take into account that with their further development, it is still impossible to do without land. Therefore, you will have to transplant the seedlings into pots or nurseries.
Focusing on the dimensions of the surface on which you plan to dry the tapes (for example, the length of the table top), unwind 80-120 cm of the canvas (working with longer strips will be simply inconvenient) and fold the tape like an accordion. If you use perforated toilet paper, your task will take a little less time, and the accordion will be more accurate.
If earlier 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.
Seedlings in diapers is a rather unusual method and is especially relevant for those gardeners who lack free space for growing plants at home. The essence of the method is that the seeds are wrapped in a plastic wrap or bag.
The advantages of the method are as follows:
Growing eggplant seedlings in diapers saves space
However, this method also has disadvantages:
Before sowing eggplant seeds in diapers, you need to prepare the following materials and tools:
For growing seedlings by the considered method, which is also called "in Moscow", the seeds need not be prepared. The landing procedure consists of the following step-by-step actions:
This method allows you to grow fairly robust 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, the tablets must be properly prepared:
To use peat tablets, they are pre-filled with water.
The procedure for planting eggplants for seedlings in peat tablets is as follows:
Put 1-2 eggplant seeds in prepared tablets
After sowing, the container with tablets is covered with a bag and placed in a warm place.
Another option that saves space and effort is sowing eggplant into a snail. For this method you will need:
Landing consists of the following steps:
The substrate is cut into strips of arbitrary length and width 10-15 cm
A layer of earth 1.5-2 cm is poured on top of the substrate
The soil is gradually poured and the substrate is rolled up
Using an elastic band, they fasten the roll
One seed is placed in each recess and sprinkled with earth
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, you need to provide good lighting, while drafts and currents of cold air should be avoided. The film is removed gradually and only after the seedlings get stronger.
Eggplant seedlings can be obtained in a landless way on toilet paper. For this you will need:
Sowing seeds is carried out in the following order:
Toilet paper is torn off so long that it can be folded in 8-10 layers
The paper is placed on the bottom of the container and moistened with hydrogen peroxide solution
Using a toothpick, the seeds are placed on the paper
After sowing, the container is covered with a lid and placed in a warm place.
A rather dubious method of obtaining eggplant seedlings is Chinese, which today can be heard from some gardeners. Its essence lies in planting plants at the age of 120-130 days, which is allegedly practiced in China. However, it should be borne in mind that today there are varieties that are capable of producing a crop 100 days after germination, while the optimal phase of plant development for transplanting into the ground falls on the beginning of bud formation. Saplings that have been planted during flowering tend to shed flowers. It will take time for new ones to form.
The optimal age of eggplant seedlings for planting on the site is 60–80 days from the moment the shoots appeared, and it takes about a week from sowing the seeds to the appearance of shoots. To plant seedlings in early June, sowing should be done no earlier than early March. Whether it is worth using this method even as an experiment or not is up to you.
Picking is the transplanting of seedlings in a separate container for each root. In this case, in the case of eggplants, truncation of the main root is not necessary. These works are carried out when 2-4 true leaves are formed on the plants.
You can water the transplanted eggplants 3-4 days after the pick. During this time, protect the plants from direct sun exposure so that they can adapt more easily. Provide the first three days with a temperature regime of 18-20 degrees.
More information about sowing eggplant for seedlings can be found in the following video:
Growing eggplant seedlings requires responsibility and dedication. With the correct sowing date, competently carried out preparation for sowing seeds, as well as with proper care, the seedling material will turn out to be strong and of high quality.