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Pepino fruit: description and tips for growing

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Pepino or melon pear is a vegetable of South American origin. To evergreen shrub pleased fragrant and tasty fruits, you need to know all the secrets of its cultivation.

Care for pepino is quite simple, so the plant is gradually gaining popularity in our latitudes.

Pepino Characteristic

Pepino is an evergreen low shrub. It bears bright and juicy fruits, the shape of which resembles a pear. The taste of pepino resembles a sweet melon, a slight taste of pineapple or mango is felt. The consistency of the fruit pulp is more like a melon.

Pepino is 90% water, so it is recommended to include it in the diet menu. You can make various preparations from the fruits of melon pears: jam, compotes, mashed potatoes, or used raw. In addition, pepino perfectly amenable to drying and freezing, while valuable nutritional properties are preserved.

Before eating, it is advisable to peel the vegetable, as it has a bitter taste. But the seeds do not need to be removed. Fruits of melon pears are well stored and easily tolerate transportation. In America, pepino is grown for trade.

By type of growth, pepino looks more like a tomato or pepper. It is a shrub that grows strictly upwards and can form several stems. It develops quite quickly, needs support. Five months after the rooting of the cuttings, the plant blooms and sets fruit.

How to grow pepino in Russia

Don't forget that Pepino is from South America. Under the conditions of the harsh Russian winters, the shrub is grown as a tub plant. A melon pear can withstand a short-term drop in temperature to -5 degrees, but it will not tolerate frost sustainability.

Growing pepino and caring for shrubs will require certain skills. It is best to propagate the melon pear by cutting, which allows you to increase the yield of the plant. When sowing seeds of pepino, the nutritional value of fruits is lost, they turn out to be less juicy and useful, and the yield is sharply reduced.

In addition, pepino is demanding for irrigation and irrigation, although it can withstand short-term drought. Under adverse conditions, the shrub suspends growth and sheds leaves.

Growing pepino from cuttings

For vegetative propagation of pepino need cuttingscan be rooted stepchildren plants. They retain varietal characteristics, rooted easily, seedlings bloom earlier.

In order to grow pepino every year independently, it is necessary to have a mother bush. The selected healthy plant is transplanted into the tub in the fall and brought into the house. The shoots of the shrub are shortened by about a third of the length, watering is reduced. The room temperature should be at least 8 degrees.

In early spring, the pot is transferred to a room with a temperature of up to 16 degrees, gradually increase the watering and make feeding. When shoots appear, they are cut and rooted in a light substrate. During this period, the cuttings need a humid environment, so the container with the cuttings is covered with a bag or placed in a greenhouse.

Planting cuttings of pepino in the greenhouse

The earlier the seedlings are planted in the ground, the sooner the shrub will begin to bear fruit. The landing is carried out according to the following rules.

1. On 1 square. meter have up to 3 plants.

2. The soil temperature should not be below +20 degrees.

3. The air temperature in the greenhouse should not fall below 22-25 degrees during the day and 18 at night.

Before planting seedlings in the ground, it should be prepared. Cucumber, onion, beans or garlic are good precursors of pepino. The beds are loosened and dug up since the fall.

Pepino is planted in trenches whose depth is up to 25 cm. The distance between the rows is about 7 cm. In the spring, fertilizers are applied to the beds:

• rotted manure - 3-4 kg / 1 sq. M. m,

• mature compost - 4-5 kg ​​/ 1 sq. M. m,

Pepino seedlings are planted in a staggered manner, deepening a few centimeters. After planting, the pepino water and mulch the soil well, which helps to keep the soil moisture. Pepino seedling survives very well, under favorable conditions, the indicators are 100%.

When the plants adapt, trellises are installed along the rows so that the shoots of the shrub are not broken by the severity of the fruit.

After 2-3 weeks you can begin to form a shrub. We leave only 2 stalks, remove all the extra shoots and stepchildren. They significantly reduce the yield of the plant.

Pepino bushes heavily, stepchildren break out every three days, leaving small peneces in the sinuses. Such a technique does not allow new stepchildren to form in the same sinuses.

How to care for pepino

All care for shrubs comes down to the main actions:

• regular loosening of the soil, which increases soil aeration,

• regular watering and spraying,

• spraying against pests and diseases.

Water pepino every few days, letting the soil dry out between watering. Top dressings allow to achieve plentiful fruiting.

The first time additional food is made in 10-12 days after transplanting to the ground. It is best to use a solution of mullein or bird droppings at this stage. Feeding is carried out on wet soil. If the solution gets on the tender leaves, then it should be washed off.

The second time pepino feed after flowering, when fruit are tied. Use infusion of green fertilizers.

The third dressing falls on the period of abundant fruiting. It is best to use mineral fertilizers:

• ammonium nitrate - 15 gr,

• superphosphate - 10 gr,

• potassium sulfate - 15 gr.

All components are mixed and dissolved in 10 liters of water. Carry top dressing in the evening or early in the morning after watering.

Pest and disease control

Pepino relatively recently appeared on our beds, but shrubs have already been chosen by pests. The most common ones are:

In addition, pepino is affected by diseases such as late blight and bacterial rot. There are no specially developed preparations for pepino. To combat diseases and pests apply complex fungicides and insecticides, which are recommended for tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

Protect from pests and diseases not only need planting pepino, but also uterine plants. In winter, it is better to use infusions of tobacco, horsetail, marigold, wormwood, or onion peel to fight diseases and pests. Spraying is carried out several times with an interval of 5 days.

Pepino fruit ripening

Depending on the method of cultivation, the melon pear pleases with fruits twice a year: in the fall and in the spring. If you grow a shrub in the greenhouse, then fruit picking occurs in August - September.

Pepino fruits ripen 2.5 months. Mature vegetable is soft, its color changes to cream or light yellow, dark characteristic bands are visible on the skin. Pepino fruits can be harvested immature, they are able to reach the store or in the refrigerator. But here it is not worth delaying with cleaning. Overripe fruit loses its taste, poorly stored.

If you follow all the rules of care, the cultivation of pepino does not cause much trouble. It is important to remember that the shrub needs sunlight, fertilizing, watering and loose soil. Cutting a tub plant at any time of the year.

A bit of history

Pepino fruit is a plant known since ancient times, originally grown in Peru. Fruit culture first appeared in Russia in 1890. She was represented at the agricultural exhibition in St. Petersburg, and after that they started to grow it in palace greenhouses. For some time the interest in this plant disappeared, but modern breeders tried to revive it, and now this culture has become known in our country. Special varieties were bred that successfully acclimatized in Russia - these are Ramses and Consuelo.

The rare fruit is famous for fragrant fruits and exotic coloring. Because of the peculiar taste of this plant is called differently. For example, in Spanish, the word from which the name of the fruit originates means "sweet cucumber."

Semi-perennial perennial is a branched shrub about 1.5 m tall, which is called evergreen. Interestingly, the plant has leaves like pepper, and blooms like potatoes. By the way, it belongs to the family Solanaceae.

Since there are 25 varieties of this culture throughout the world, its fruits are very diverse and differ in quality, shape, size and color. Most often they are yellow with purple dashes or monophonic. The flesh is pale yellow or almost colorless. The amazing sweet and sour fruit is rich in juices, since most of it (92%) consists of water.

To taste, the fruit resembles a melon, and in shape many find in them a similarity to an ordinary pear. Hence another name of pepino - “melon pear”.

Growing conditions

For those who ever grew tomatoes on the balcony, will not be a problem to grow pepino. This plant may have several places of growth. This option can be a greenhouse, loggia, window sill, terrace, greenhouse, balcony and open ground.

The miracle culture has certain requirements for its cultivation. It cannot develop if the air temperature is less than +13 o C. If during the whole period of its growing season the temperature is maintained from +20 to +25 o C, then the plant will feel comfortable. Since the culture is thermophilic, it does not tolerate extreme weather extremes. For this reason, in our country it is grown in greenhouse conditions. In this case, you should know that the plant does not tolerate heat well. For this reason, pepino produces more fruits in September than in summer.

Evergreen shrubs need to create high humidity. This applies to both soil and air. You need to ensure that the earth around the trunk of the plant does not dry out. The optimum humidity for pepino is 80%.

For sweet cucumber is a danger of draft and wind. The fact is that the root system of this plant is located in the upper soil layer, and under adverse conditions it can break.

Seed propagation method

The plant reproduces well with seeds. They can be purchased at the store or removed from a well-ripened fruit. Working with seeds includes several simple tricks:

  • Seed material is laid out on a damp cloth, wrapped and placed in a transparent container. The jar is sealed and put in a warm, dark place.
  • Within a week, the seeds should turn. After their swelling, the jar is moved to a well-lit place.
  • It is necessary to carry out the airing of the seeds and the wetting of the napkin.
  • You need to carefully monitor the condition of the cotyledons. Pepino seeds are planted at the time of their disclosure. Pre-prepare glasses with fertile soil.
  • Seedlings gently placed in the grooves, along with the remnants of a paper napkin. To create a greenhouse effect, a plastic bag is put on each pot of seed.

Gardeners, who have already encountered the reproduction of this culture, noticed that pepino seeds do not have good germination. On this basis, the method described below is more efficient.

Cuttings

Growing pepino seedlings not only accelerates the growing season of the plant, but also implies its transplantation into open ground. If you plant the cuttings when the optimum temperature is established, then by August it will be possible to remove the ripe fruits. But professionals in growing exotic plants will have to accept the fact that after the first frost they die.

Plant new shoots as follows:

  • For cuttings you need to prepare spacious pots with well-structured and enriched soil.
  • Sprigs are cut from the bush, on which there should be 7-8 leaves. After planting, the cutting of the 2 lower leaves is removed, and the rest is shortened a little.
  • For normal rooting of seedlings, the pots are placed in a dark place and covered with a film. When the root system is strengthened and the culture is well established, they are transferred to the light.

Soil preparation and landing

The soil for growing pepino is better to cook in the fall. It is necessary to make fresh manure and phosphate-potassium fertilizers. The plant well accepts soils with neutral acidity and with a reduced amount of nitrogen.

If you plan to plant cuttings in open ground, it is better to choose the places where cucumbers, garlic and beans were grown before. Planting is carried out when the weather has already stabilized and there is no likelihood that the plant will fall under frost. Better to do it at the end of May.

Before you start planting, the soil is treated with potassium permanganate.

The grooves are shallow (25 cm), and compost is added to each of them.

Pepino seedlings are placed in a staggered manner, with a distance of 50 cm between them, and 70 are left between rows.

After planting is completed, the crop is watered abundantly, and the soil around the seedling is covered with dry soil. Such actions prevent excessive evaporation of moisture and contribute to the better rooting of the plant.

The first thing that cannot be ignored is that the evergreen shrub needs garter and shaping. Only under such conditions you can get refined fruit pepino.

The bushes of an exotic plant are quite massive, so you need to take care of high-quality support using fittings, metal pipes or wooden pegs. Otherwise, the plant will fall to the ground, begin to creep and will not bear fruit.

Obligatory procedure for growing pepino is pasynkovanie. Culture very rapidly throws out extra shoots, which should be disposed of in time. Masking is done every 7 days. When unwanted shoots reach 5 cm in length, they are removed, while leaving a small part of them at the stem. This technique will slow down the further education of the stepsons.

In the fall, the plant is removed from the ground and pruned. Leave a quarter of the total size of the bush and remove excess shoots. It is transplanted into a convenient pot, reduce watering and stop feeding. In the spring the shrub is returned to the garden.

Indoor cultivation

Pepino seedlings in the greenhouse are planted in April.

Before the formation of the first fruits of the plant requires moderate moisture. When fruits begin to appear, the volume of water needs to be increased. It should be remembered that due to excessive moisture the plant may undergo fungal diseases, and the fruits will begin to crack.

Regardless of where the crop is grown, it needs additional feeding. Fertilize it the same way as eggplants. A mixture of complex fertilizers can be prepared from saltpeter (10 g), potassium sulfate (15 g) and superphosphate (15 g).

Kadku with fruit pepino in the summer you need to regularly make the street. Weather permitting, it can be left for the whole season. This will allow the plant to get enough sunlight and heat.

It is important not to forget that the plant needs regular soil loosening.

Growing pepino. When and where to plant

For a middle strip, a melon tree or a sweet cucumber (alternative names) is an exotic culture. Local low winter temperatures, conditions of a hot summer, when the thermometer shows far beyond 30 ° C, the plant does not stand up. The most suitable method is to grow pepino at home. The best place for a tropical plant will be window sill, covered balcony, greenhouse or terrace.

Where the climate pleases with milder autumn weather, it is possible to grow these fruits in the open ground. But even if the care is organized properly, you should not expect rich harvests from the plant, because it needs a special microclimate. In severe winter, pepino will freeze out, and in warm, but dry summer, even those formed in a multitude of flowers will fall off, and will not produce fruits.

Necessary conditions for normal growing season:

  • temperature 20-25 degrees
  • no temperature drops (lower limit of + 13 ° C),
  • maintaining a humidity of about 70-80%
  • preventing the soil from drying out,
  • Trees protect against drafts, because their root system is shallow, there is a danger that a gust of wind will simply break them.

Pepino varieties for cultivation in Russian latitudes

Especially for the middle zone of the country, varieties were bred, among them “Ramses” and “Consuelo”. These are the most popular hybrid species among agricultural enthusiasts.

Consuelo is distinguished by thin and long, up to 2 m, stems with a violet hue. The leaves are similar in shape to the leaves of pepper, slightly pubescent, deep green. From the flowers, resembling the color of potatoes, by the beginning of autumn juicy ovoid fruits ripen to almost one and a half kilograms in weight. They have a bright yellow sturdy peel, streaked with lilac strokes.

The flesh is very juicy, to taste - something between a strawberry, melon, mango. The culture almost does not give seed, the grade breeds shanks. On the formed brushes usually leave up to 2 ovaries.

Ramses is more resistant to drought and shade. In the autumn can venture on re-fruiting, cropped stepchildren take root well. The stems of the tree are green with visible purple spots. Листочки более светлые, чем у выше описанного сорта.

Плоды довольно крупные, продолговатые, напоминают перевернутую грушу. Заполнены множеством мелких семечек. Вкус дыни выражен менее отчетливо.

Выращивание из семян в домашних условиях

Germination of seed purchased from an agrofirm is 50-70%. A bag usually contains 5 seeds. If you wish, you can use the material collected from mature specimens purchased in the store.

You need to start messing around with seedlings around the beginning of February. Since the culture loves light and loose soil, which provides the roots with oxygen as much as possible, it is advisable to buy a soil mixture intended for related tomatoes. Then the cultivation of pepino from seeds is simplified, the plant will be provided with all the necessary micronutrients.

Stages of cultivation of seedlings:

  1. The seeds are spread on a damp cloth, placed inside a plastic bag, leave the package for several days at a sufficiently high temperature (up to 28 ° C).
  2. When the first seeds hatch, they can be planted. Seeds are scattered on wet soil, lightly sprinkled with earth.
  3. Top tray cover with glass or film to create a greenhouse effect. For better germination, the box is placed in a warm place, maintaining the temperature at 26-28 ° C.

Shoots should be expected in 5-7 days, sometimes longer. If the seed coat does not fall off, does not allow the cotyledons to open up, plants can be sprinkled with a spray bottle or transferred to each several drops of water using a toothpick.

  • The film or glass is removed, but at the same time they try to maintain a humid atmosphere.
  • Young plants are watered, monitor the temperature, wait for the third leaf to appear.

    Before planting pepino sprouts in separate pots, the soil is shed with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. For transplantation, the strongest specimens are selected, which already have 2-3 leaves.

  • For better survival, the melon pear sprouts are kept under shelter for some time, creating a humid atmosphere comfortable for them.
  • The first month of pepino will not grow actively. During this entire period, the main thing is to competently care for the plants, do not let them dry out, finish lighting.
  • By the time of resettlement, a well-developed seedling already has 8–9 leaves, strong, about 10 cm tall.
  • Growing from cuttings

    The most successful way to reproduce a melon tree is cutting. Taken from a very young seedling stepchildren plants quickly take root, so propagate the culture is not difficult. The main varietal characteristics with this method are not lost. Young trees begin to bloom, give fruit much earlier than those that were grown from seed.

    In order to provide themselves with the necessary number of cuttings for the next season, healthy bushes are cut by about a third, then transplanted separately, the tank is taken in the size of a bucket, left to land indoors at a temperature close to 8 ° C. Watering at this time is desirable to reduce.

    By the end of winter, the temperature is gradually increased to 16 ° C. Pepino begin to water and feed. When the buds appear, they are carefully removed, and the grown stepchildren are separated from the parent plant and placed in a light substrate.

    Best of all, they will feel themselves in a special greenhouse, where humidity is kept within 90%. At home, such conditions can be created using a film or glass, cut from a plastic bottle cap.

    Further cultivation and care of pepino consist in timely watering, feeding. Do not forget about pest control, among which the spider mite and aphid are especially dangerous for an exotic fruit. Young seedlings are particularly affected. Wards periodically inspect, when detecting the affected plants used acaricides.

    Planting in the greenhouse

    Seedlings are planted in a greenhouse on reaching the age of 90-120 days. On 1 m 2 plant 2-3 plants. The soil temperature at the time of landing should not be below 20 ° C, the air should warm up to 25 ° C during the day and 18 ° C at night.

    Fruit harvest depends largely on when the seedlings were in the ground. Pepino planted on May days may leave the gardener with nothing. And early sowing guarantees abundant fruiting. To be able to plant fruit seedlings in February, begin germinate seeds need no later than November.

    Step-by-step instructions for planting melon pears:

    1. The beds are located at a distance of about 70 cm from one another, without much deepening.
    2. Land is well spilled.
    3. Pear seedlings are planted in wells that are located no closer than 50 cm from each other.
    4. Watered again.
    5. Mulch dry earth.
    6. In no case should soil be allowed to dry out, watering is carried out regularly.
    7. Greenhouse plants air daily.
    8. After 20-25 days from the moment of disembarkation, the developed bushes tie up.
    9. Pace in the culture grow quite active. So that they do not interfere with the formation of fruits on those branches that bear fruit, they must be removed on time, until they become longer than 3-5 cm.
    10. Be sure to loosen the soil, weeds are regularly removed.

    When does pepino bloom? Terms of fruit ripening

    Flowering melon pear occurs approximately 70-85 days from the beginning of the emergence of shoots. In conditions of the middle band, the ovaries are formed in spring, from March to May, and from the beginning of autumn, from late August to very October. Pepino belongs to the plants self-pollinating, but for more effective fruit set its flowering branches shake occasionally recommended.

    The longest days of summer, from June to July, are characterized by an increase in temperature closer to 30 ° C. Hot dry air does not contribute to pollination, therefore tropical fruits do not bloom during hot days.

    Fruits can be obtained approximately 2-2.5 months after the tree has faded. On the readiness of the fruit says its creamy or yellowish color, the peel is covered with more visible purple stripes. The body of the fetus becomes soft, juicy.

    It is important not to miss the moment and collect them better immature. They will be able to reach the desired condition on the shelf of the refrigerator, and if they miss it, the ripe fruit will not be pleased with the pleasant taste.

    Shrubs, on which the autumn caught unripe fruit, transplanted into 3-5-liter containers and continue to care for them at home or in the greenhouse. You can get additional harvest closer to November-December.

    When growing in the room, the plant needs to provide good solar lighting, it should be fertilized, like other potted crops.

    Sowing seeds for seedlings, cuttings can be carried out by following the rules above, anytime.

    Important tips: garter and removal of stepsons

    A very important point of agro-engineering of pepino is its proper cradle, timely garter. The formation of the bush should be carried out on time, because poured fruits by their weight can break even such a strong plant. In addition, the bushes that have fallen to the ground, stop blooming, bear fruit. Strong trellis will help avoid annoying losses.

    It is necessary to start shaping and tying the branches approximately after 3 weeks from the moment of transfer of the bush to the ground:

    • on the plant leave only three escapes, which will become its basis,
    • the central shoot is fixed vertically, the other two are slightly deflected from it, attached to the lower tier of the support,
    • over time, the grown stems are tied up so that they develop upwards, this will allow them to get more strength from the sunlight, to fill with fruits,
    • the stems with berries, which will branch off from the specified three, you can simply hang on the trellis, if only they did not fall to the ground,
    • all the stepchildren formed in the process should be removed on time, they take a lot of power from the fruit-bearing branches,
    • if there are no plans to grow a melon pear solely for the sake of creating shadow, weekly it is necessary to get rid of too actively growing stepsons, otherwise you can not wait for the harvest.

    We grow stepchild plants and send them for wintering

    1. Around July, the bushes begin to look, and the trimmed material is rooted.
    2. Young plants are planted to the parent. Under his shadow, they will evaporate less moisture, develop faster.
    3. On cold September nights, when the temperature falls below the permissible mark of + 13 ° C, the processes stop developing. Young bushes need to be carefully, without damaging the roots, to dig, preferably without destroying the earthen room.
    4. The immigrants are placed in pots or boxes, having previously closed the bottom with a drainage layer, and a substrate intended for the nightshade is poured over it.
    5. For better adaptation of plants, if weather conditions allow, they are left in the open air.
    6. In the next stage, the pots with pepino are placed indoors on the windowsill. It is desirable that the windows looked at the sunny side.
    7. Winter care for fruit bushes is the same as for other plants at home. From about April, you can think about transferring it to the ground, preparing for fruiting.

    Answers to frequently asked questions

    Why does not pepino bloom?

    • major failures in growing melon pears are associated with high temperatures and concomitant low humidity, the fruit either does not throw out the buds at all, or the flowers are sterile (they are distinguished by a paler color without violet veins), or the ovary that already forms will fall,
    • a sapling needs to be formed on time, a bush overgrown with many stepsons does not have the strength to produce color, those who have been engaged in this exotic fruit for a long time claim that it is much more productive copies, formed not even in three, but one trunk, must be removed mercilessly,
    • sometimes the question is why it does not bloom, it’s just too early to ask, a plant of the same age as a tomato is simply still young, it will delight in color a little later (at the age of six months),
    • it is necessary to transfer adult pepino to a more spacious container in time (3 liters is very little), in the conditions of an apartment it is intensively to feed,
    • as well as overheating, natives of South America are adversely affected by a long summer day in the middle lane; the best conditions for the plant when it is in bloom will be sufficient lighting, low temperature, shortened daylight hours.

    How to feed pepino?

    Breeding an unusual fruit will require careful attention to it. The best fertilizer for him is organic fertilizers:

    • after the bush has taken root, for the first time an extract of mullein or bird droppings is used (1:10 or 1:20, respectively),
    • the second feeding is done when the fruits are formed by the same means or green fertilizer.

    After the procedure, the plants are abundantly watered. Mineral supplements are generally not applicable. When clearly necessary, use ammonium nitrate with superphosphate and the addition of potassium sulfate (respectively, 10/15/10 per 10 liters of water).

    Lovers of digging in the garden, to please their loved ones with something extraordinary work with pepino can captivate. The seeds of many exotic plants are not a problem now, and one bush can multiply along neighboring farmsteads in geometric progression due to stepsons. To grow this fruit for food, as is customary with potatoes or tomato cucumbers, is unlikely anyone will. But not by bread alone ...

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    Description: varieties and varieties of pepino. Combination with other plants

    Pepino is quite a popular fruit in the world. The perennial plant, which belongs to the Solanaceae family, is a relative of eggplant, tomato and potato. There are about 25 melon pear varieties. Two are adapted to the climate of the middle lane: Ramses and Consuelo. Their differences are easy to find and identify by photo.

    This tropical culture does not overwinter in the open field in a midland setting. In areas with a mild climate, it can be grown in a garden format. But the experience of local gardeners shows: the harvest in the open field is poor. General characteristics of different varieties of melon pears:

    1. The bush reaches a height of 1.5 m.
    2. Stem semi-woody.
    3. The plant is densely covered with large long leaves. Externally, it resembles pepper or tomato bush.
    4. The size, shape and color of the fruit depends on the variety. Weight - 80-750 g. Form - spherical or oval. Color - with shades of cream, purple, bright yellow or orange, with longitudinal stripes-strokes.
    5. The pulp of different varieties in ripe form is always white or yellowish translucent. The taste is sweet and sour.

    Fruiting perennial depends on the timing of planting. In the middle lane, the plant sets fruit for almost the entire spring, until the second half of May, or from late August to mid-autumn. The first fruits ripen on the branches about 2.5-3 months. Fruiting lasts 1-2 months. You can harvest up to 8 kg of crop from a bush.

    Melon pear looks pretty impressive. She can trudge on the support. Therefore, the plant is sometimes used for cultivation in the open field with a decorative purpose. Beautiful leaves and flowers of pepino look good in combination with garden greens and decorate resting places, a gazebo.

    Pepino: planting a plant. Care, fertilizer and fertilizing culture

    In order for planting and reproduction of a melon pear to pass normally, first of all prepare a greenhouse. Requirements:

    • stable temperature around +23 ° C,
    • air humidity at 75-80%,
    • lack of drafts and strong wind.

    The soil should be clean and loose. Pre-fertilizer compost in the calculation of about 4 kg / sq. m. Work is best done in the evening:

    • make shallow rows at a distance of 70 cm from each other,
    • water,
    • staggered deepen the melon pear seedlings, leaving at least 50 cm between the bushes,
    • water the seedlings again
    • make mulch from dry ground.

    Growing pepino like pepper care in the open field:

    Feeding pepino carried out with the help of organic fertilizers. Well works solution of mullein in a ratio of 1:10, made:

    • immediately after the rooting of the seedlings, when the bush is actively growing,
    • during the formation of the fruit.

    Council Fertilization is effective only in combination with the subsequent irrigation.

    Melon pear diseases and pests

    Common diseases of pepino are easily identified by photo:

    • blackleg,
    • phytophthora,
    • root rot,
    • bronze leaves.

    With all the diseases, except the last, you can fight with the help of special means for tomatoes or eggplants. In order not to accidentally destroy the whole plant, try a specific tool on a small process. When blackening and twisting the leaf plates (a sign of bronze leaves), the bush should be removed from the bed and destroyed. The melon pear can also be struck by the Colorado potato beetle, spider mite, aphid and whitefly - typical pests for solanaceous birds. Ecological folk care products can be an alternative to chemicals. For example, sprinkle a bed of decoction of onion peel, yarrow, garlic. The procedure should be repeated once a week.

    Pepino: plant reproduction

    Some gardeners are advised to begin work on seed propagation in the first days of February, others - in November-December. You can get the material yourself by washing it from the pulp of a ripe fruit, or buy it in a store:

    1. Seeds are germinated in light, loose and nutritious soil. Well proven substrate for tomato seedlings. Spill it with a solution of potassium permanganate or foundationol.
    2. A few days before planting, wrap the seeds in a damp cloth. Place in a dark place at a temperature of at least +28 ° C.
    3. After the seeds hatch, plant them in a pot with soil. Sprinkle on the surface and sprinkle with a thin layer of the same soil. Cover the container with film or glass.
    4. Seed care during this period consists only in maintaining a constant temperature of about + 26 ... + 28 ° C.
    5. Seedlings should appear in about 7-10 days. Clean the greenhouse. Continue to control the temperature and lightly water.
    6. A pair of leaves appeared - dive the strongest sprouts into separate pots. The soil is the same. Cover them with film again.

    Attention! After planting in separate containers, Pepino seedlings temporarily slow down the pace of development.

    After the picking, the sprouts need additional lighting. With the February planting - 2-3 hours a day until mid-spring. When disembarking in the fall - around the clock in the first week, 16 and 14 hours in the next 2 months. When the sprouts reach 10 cm in height and release 8-9 full-fledged leaves, they are transplanted into the ground at a permanent place.

    Propagation by cutting is considered a more reliable way. In February, cut from the shoots parts with 7-8 leaves. Remove a couple of lower leaf plates, cut another 3-4 by half. Place the twig in the water so that the leaves do not touch it. For 2 weeks, the cuttings will release the roots of the desired length, after which they can be transplanted into the ground. The care of the process is similar to the seedling method of reproduction.

    Pepino has limited vitality in a midland climate. But you can certainly surprise friends and relatives with the exotic taste of the fruit.

    The use of pepino in cooking

    Pepino fruit is valued due to its iodine content and high levels of fiber. It contains vitamins: C, A, K and PP. It is also rich in nutrients such as iron, potassium and pectin. Due to this composition, it is recommended for people suffering from diseases of the thyroid gland, and for the prevention of hypertension.

    In cooking, it is widely used for cooking desserts. With the addition of melon pears make jelly, ice cream and mousses. Она служит отличным ингредиентом и при выпечке. Плоды являются подходящей основой в приготовлении сладких соусов и дополнением к мясным блюдам.

    Экзотические фрукты замораживают и сушат. Из них получаются вкусные компоты.

    Пепино можно выращивать для продажи. Его плоды долго хранятся и отличаются хорошей транспортабельностью.

    Плоды лучше снимать недозревшими. In a cool place or refrigerator, they reach their final maturity. But at the wrong time picked fruits lose their properties.

    Botanical description

    Despite the pronounced fruit taste of the berries, pepino belongs to the Solanaceae family, which also includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes and other famous cultures.

    This perennial plant can grow to one meter. Oval leaves are quite large, about 15 cm long. The inflorescences resemble small flowers of potatoes, up to 20 pieces can be on one branch.

    Ripe fruits contain 92% of water, the rest is useful carbohydrates. Creamy or yellow skin peels acquire during ripening, on its surface pronounced longitudinal gray, lilac, green or brown stripes. The weight of the fruit grown in the home, can be 200−700 grams. From a botanical point of view, the resulting fruits are real berries.

    Pulp berries gently brown or honey-yellow hue. Pear melon has extraordinary juiciness. In temperate climates, it is common to grow only these pepino varieties:

    1. Ramses. Resistant to the effects of adverse external phenomena, good fruit. Fruits ripen relatively early and have a yellow-bright color.
    2. Consuelo. This variety has a more pronounced melon flavor. Pear-shaped berries of rich yellow color with lilac stripes. Poorly adapted to changing temperature and humidity.

    Both varieties grow well and bear fruit at home. The weight of homemade fruits ranges from 200 to 800 grams.

    It should be noted that juicy berries are a storehouse of useful substances. So, their pulp contains vitamins B, A, C, PP, as well as iron and pectin. It is necessary to use fruits without external skin.

    Pepino - what is this plant

    Pepino, better known as melon pear, - evergreen shrub from the nightshade family, originally from South America. Great interest in this plant appeared in the 80s of the last century. Today, there are 25 varieties of pepino. For our climate, the varieties “Ramses” and “Consuelo” are bred. Fruit pepino, or melon pear looks like a melon or pumpkin, has a rather tasty fruit. Pepino tastes like a sour melon, which is given in its vitamin C.

    How to choose a place for growing, lighting

    For pepino, it is necessary to choose a well-lit, ventilated place with a low humidity level, as the plant tolerates sudden changes in humidity. The optimum temperature for a plant during the day is about 22 ° C, the temperature above 30 ° C can adversely affect pepino, the night temperature should not be lower than 18 ° C - the color may fall.

    Features of watering plants

    Watering melon pears - moderate, in no case pereuvlazhnyat. To avoid decay and disease, the greenhouse must be aired. To reduce irrigation and preserve the substrate, the soil must be mulched with fresh straw or sawdust - this also helps against weeds.

    Soil care

    Pepino likes a light and prolific soil with a slight acidity. It is better to plant a melon pear in places where legumes, onions, and cucumber have previously grown. After they are harvested, the soil is loosened, weeds are harvested, dug and fertilized with manure, which is well decomposed with compost.

    It is necessary to tie up and form a pepino bush within a week - two after planting. The stalks are tied up as the plants grow, the fruits are not tied to the trellis - they can be simply hung.

    Feeding melon pear

    Feed the melon pear every month. For the first time, they feed up two weeks after planting in the ground, a second time - after the first cutting of the stepsons, and then every two or three weeks. The plant responds well to fertilizing from manure or bird droppings, but it contains a lot of nitrogen, therefore we keep the proportions: 1: 6 for manure, 1:20 - droppings.

    Pest and disease protection

    The melon pear is affected by the same diseases and pests as tomatoes, therefore the prevention of diseases is the same. The main pests are Colorado beetle, whitefly, aphid, ripe fruits are very fond ants

    How to save a plant in winter

    Pepino has a dormant period, and this allows you to save the plant for next year. During this period, watering is minimal, no light is needed at all, the temperature is gradually reduced to 6 degrees. The plant sheds leaves and can now be stored. about two months but no more.

    To have cuttings next year, pepino bushes pruned in the fall by 1/3 and transplanted into a bucket, etc.

    At the end of February, the number of waterings is increased and the temperature is raised to 16 ° C. The resulting buds are cut, and the cuttings are carefully separated and transplanted into the substrate. For better rooting, the cuttings are placed in a greenhouse with a humidity of about 90%.

    Melon pear fruits contain a lot of iron, carotene, vitamins C, PP, group B. They even contain a lot of sugars, but they are easily digested, which makes pepino interesting in terms of cultivation, as well as tasty and healthy.

    Breeding Pepino

    Pepino can be propagated by seed and cuttings. Seeds from grown fruit have high sowing qualities - germination and germination energy. We sow seeds at the end of January — beginning of February into a light and loose soil mixture. They are small, therefore we do not close them into the soil, but only slightly sprinkle it.

    To preserve moisture, vegetation is covered with a film or glass. The optimum temperature for seed germination is 26–28 ° C. Shoots appear in 5-7 days. In the phase of two or three true leaves, the seedlings dive into pots and cups, deepening them to the cotyledons. For the prevention of black leg disease, we use steamed soil mixture or pre-spill it in the planting tanks with a solution of potassium permanganate. Picked seedlings are covered with a film (over the arcs) to maintain the humidity of the air and better survival of the seedlings. In the first month they grow very slowly and by the time they land in open ground they reach 8-10 cm in height, forming 7-8 leaves.

    Now we have simplified the cultivation of seedlings. After checking the germination, seeds are sown immediately by 2-3 pieces. in cups. In them, the plants develop (without picking) before planting in open ground. Acceleration helps to accelerate the development of seedlings. Time is saved and the plant root system is not injured once again.

    Pepino, Melon Pear, or Sweet Cucumber. © Jade Craven

    To grow pepino from seeds in a protected and open field, you should know that even under favorable conditions, not all varieties of pepino produce full-fledged seeds. Due to the splitting of varietal traits, seedlings not only bloom late, but also form heterogeneous fruits, which leads to a loss of purity of the variety.

    Most reliably propagate and grow pepino rooted cuttings. To separate cuttings from overwintered plants need to start from mid-February. To do this, cut off the apical part of the shoot with 7 leaves. The bottom 2 leaves are removed, and the next 2–3 are shortened by half to reduce the evaporation of moisture. With a lack of uterine plants as the planting material, you can use the lower part of the shoot with 4-5 interstices, as well as removing and shortening the leaves.

    It is best to root the cuttings in a standard cutting, if not, in a shallow container. Tightly place the cuttings in the tank should not. There should be enough water so that the lower leaves of the cuttings do not sink into it.

    Pepino cuttings root almost 100% without any stimulants. At normal room temperature (20-24 ° C), roots of 1.5-2.0 cm or more grow in large quantities in 5-7days on the cuttings. This is the most favorable time for planting the rooted cuttings in seed pots or plastic disposable cups. In the bottom of the cups you need to make several small holes to drain excess water during watering. The soil in the seedling tank should be as loose as possible, since pepino roots are sensitive to the lack of air in the substrate.

    Pepino, Melon Pear, or Sweet Cucumber. © andreasbalzer

    Cuttings can be planted in seedling tanks without bruising in water. In this case, they need to pay more attention. The cuttings should be in moist soil and at high humidity. Rooted such cuttings within two weeks. It should be remembered that the containers with rooting cuttings, with transplanted rooted cuttings should be under the film to maintain the necessary high humidity during this period.

    Preparation of uterine plants

    The fruits are still ripening on the plants, and you should already take care of growing the uterine material for the next season. Mother cages begin to grow from the stepsons of plants in mid-August so that by the end of the growing season they will have a well-developed root system.

    For overwintering plants can be prepared in different ways:

    1. Grow young plants from stepsons, rooted in June-July. The main stems are shortened, leaving only a few lower stepsons. The root system in plants has already formed, it is not exhausted by fruiting. With proper care, the plants safely endure the winter period.
    2. Grow plants from stepchildren in the second half of August. In September, when the cold snap falls in the fall, the nomads, grown in September, do not have time to form into a stronger plant.
      Pysynki better to sit down to the mother plants, where they will be protected from hot rays and provided with moisture.
    3. Grow plants from stepchildren rooted escape. To do this, you need to leave one shoot of the lower tier on the bush, give it the opportunity to grow, then tilt it and pin it to the soil. In contact with wet soil on the shoot more than a dozen stepchildren grow and they are already with the root system. It remains to cut the stem and plant the finished plants.
    Pepino, Melon Pear, or Sweet Cucumber. © Philipp Weigell

    Before planting, 1 - 2 lower leaflets are cut and planted in a container, a little deeper than the leaves, so as to form additional roots. On the above-ground part of the stepson, leave 5–7 leaves, from the vaginas of which new shoots will grow, forming a compact plant.

    Preservation of uterine plants

    Plants prepared for wintering, at the end of September with a decrease in temperature at night to 14–15 ° C, we dig out with a clod of earth, without damaging the root system. We place in the container corresponding to the volume of the dug out coma. At the bottom of the container pour claydite for drainage and a layer of prepared soil mixture. In the bottom of the container we make drainage holes for irrigation water.

    Transplanted plants for a few days leave on the street, so that they are better accustomed. Growth processes in pepino are suspended at a temperature of 12–13 ° C. Therefore, the plants in time we bring in the room. We place them on the window-sills of windows of southern orientation and take care of them as usual houseplants.

    Plants exposed to the north side, in frosty periods, when the temperature in the room drops below 10–12 ° C (taking into account the proximity of the leaves to the window frame) can drop the leaves. When the temperature rises, after 2-3 weeks leaves grow again on the shoots, the stepchildren grow from their sinuses, and by the beginning of April they can be rooted for reproduction. The plants respond with gratitude to the backlighting, they noticeably grow, the leaves become more intense in color. If desired, overwintered plants can continue to grow indoors (balcony, loggia), transplanted into a large container.

    Pepino, Melon Pear or Sweet Cucumber. © Leo_Breman

    When uterine plants are harvested in larger quantities than can be placed in residential premises, the plant itself helps to solve the storage problem, its biological feature is a tendency toward a rest period inherent in tree crops and shrubs.

    Uterine plants can be stored in a lit and dark rooms. Preparation for the storage of plants is as follows: watering and feeding the plants is gradually minimized, the temperature is reduced to 5-6 ° C over a period of 3-4 weeks. Exchange and growth processes slow down, the plant sheds leaves.

    Humidity of the air to prevent the development of fungal diseases should be low, ventilation is good, and watering at a level that does not dry the roots. Under such conditions, the dormant period lasts up to 1.5–2 months (December — January).

    With the onset of favorable light conditions, the plants are transferred to a bright room, watered with warm water, fed and grown until mid-April, when it is time to take root for the grown shoots and stepsons.

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