WE'LL HELP VEGETABLES RIPE - CARE AT THE FINISH
For a tomato, the period from fruit set to browning is about 60 days (it takes 30 days to ripen, then another 20-25 to ripen). This means that if the autumn turns out to be warm, then all the ovary present on the bushes at the beginning of September has a chance to ripen or, at least, reach a stage of ripeness at which it is possible to harvest the fruit without reducing its marketable quality.
At the end of August, the tops of the tomato bushes are pinched, if this has not been done earlier, all old leaves, overgrown stepsons, as well as the brushes that have already bear fruit and are just beginning to bloom are removed. Even if the latter set fruit, they will not have time to grow them to the required size. 2-3 leaves are left above the brushes that already have ovaries to provide them with nutrition.
Doors and windows of greenhouses are tightly closed. They are opened only during the day and then for a few hours in sunny weather, when there is no rain and it is warm outside.
In order not to provoke fungal infections, watering the tomatoes is stopped, and the mulch layer between the bushes is renewed. Mulch will not only retain moisture, but will also become a barrier to diseases that develop in the upper layers of the soil (including the worst enemy of tomatoes - late blight).
Fertilizing with potassium will also contribute to faster filling and improved taste of fruits.. Before it is carried out, all browned fruits are removed from the bushes, after which the plants are sprayed with solutions of potassium sulfate or monophosphate (1-1 g per 5 liter of water). You can replace these preparations with an extract from ash; in addition to potassium, it contains all trace elements. A glass of ash is poured into 1 liters of hot water, allowed to brew overnight, then the infusion is filtered, the volume of water is increased to 2 liters and the bushes are sprayed over the leaves.
In August - September the ripening of sweet pepper fruits is in full swing. Peppers reach removable (technical) ripeness, when they have not yet fully acquired the characteristics inherent in the variety, but are already suitable for food, 30-45 days after the formation of the ovary. Therefore, all the fruits that have formed by the end of August are left on the bushes, while regularly removing the emerging buds and barren shoots.
The degree of ripeness is determined by lightly pressing the walls of the pepper. If you hear a slight crunch, it means you can remove it.
However, peppers that are fully ripened on the bushes are much more aromatic and tastier. In this situation, experienced gardeners do this. The first fruits are harvested as soon as light traces of color appear on the sides. But the second wave is already left to ripen on the bushes if they do not plan to store the crop for a long time.
In order for the peppers to acquire a bright color and aroma, in August–September they are given the same feeding as tomatoes. They can be replaced by adding ash under the bushes.
Sweet peppers harvested during biological ripeness are not stored for long, it must be used immediately after removal. But under certain conditions, fruits picked at technical maturity can be stored for up to two months, allowing them to ripen as needed.
Eggplants are also harvested when they reach technical ripeness.. In hot weather, the fruit is ready for consumption within a week after flowering. But it will reach its maximum size only after 2-3 weeks, and this is the best time for collection. The appearance of yellow and brown, and in some varieties, red-brown color indicates the approach of biological ripeness. The faded “little blue” becomes coarser and loses its juiciness. Hard ripening seeds also do not improve the taste. But unripe fruits should not be picked either: they will not ripen on the windowsill, like peppers or tomatoes, but will wither.
The ripening of tall eggplant varieties is accelerated, carefully cutting the stem lengthwise by 7-10 cm and spreading the cut with a wooden stick. This reduces the amount of nutrients and water entering the plant, forcing it to stop leaf growth and direct the flow of nutrients to the fruit. For low-growing varieties, another technique is more suitable: tear off some of the roots. To do this, grab the bush at the base of the stem and gently pull it up so that the thin, but most active roots are torn off. Having received stress, the plant will direct all its forces to ripening the fruits. This technique is also suitable for low-growing tomatoes, peppers and white cabbage.
It is more practical to age potatoes
Typically, potato harvesting begins en masse at the end of August. But in order to more accurately determine when it’s time to start this, it is better to first dig up the tubers for testing and rub them with your fingers. If the peel holds tightly, it means the tuber is ripe and contains enough starch. If the peel peels off easily, it is too early to dig the potatoes. Fully ripened tubers are stored better and longer, and they produce high-quality seed material.
Several techniques help speed up the ripening of tubers, and at the same time improve their quality.
Mowing the tops. This not only accelerates the ripening of tubers and promotes the formation of a denser peel, but also limits the entry of infection into the soil from affected leaves and stems. This technique must be applied in a timely manner, no earlier than 10-14 days before harvesting. Calendarly, this moment falls on the second half of August.
Spraying with a concentrated solution of mineral fertilizers. The treated tops dry out quickly, which causes the tubers to become more starchy and develop a rougher skin.
For treatment use a 20% superphosphate solution. This is how they prepare it. Pour 2 kg of fertilizer into 3-4 liters of boiling water and stir occasionally. After the infusion has cooled, it is drained from the sediment into another container. The remaining superphosphate granules are again poured into 3-4 liters of boiling water, mixed thoroughly and left for 8 hours. Both solutions are mixed, the volume is adjusted to 10 liters, filtered and used to spray potato tops. Treatment is carried out 20-25 days before the expected harvest. The prepared working solution is enough to spray potatoes over an area of 500 sq.m.
Treatment with a more complex composition, including ammonium nitrate, superphosphate and potassium sulfate, will increase the yield of potatoes, and at the same time contribute to the aging of the tops. Each element is added to the solution in a concentration of 2% to 5% (that is, take 20 g or 50 g of each fertilizer per 10 liters of water). To spray plants on an area of 75 sq.m, 10 liters of this solution is enough. Treatment is carried out after flowering has completed. The closer to harvesting the tops are processed, the higher the concentration.
And it happens that the harvesting time has come, but the tops are not going to dry at all. Then it can be dried artificially. This technique is called desiccation and is widely used in industrial plantings. Herbicides are usually used for this. In garden plots, for this purpose, you can spray the tops with magnesium chlorate (60 g per 1 liter of water) or copper sulfate (50 g per 1 liter of water).
Reference by topic: How to speed up the ripening of vegetables? gardening tips
© Author: Natalia Zastenkina, agronomist Photo by Lyudmila Mogilevich
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