Now many exotic plants have appeared that gardeners and gardeners are trying to grow on their plots. This experience is not always positive, although cultivation is usually not a problem. These plants include pepino. Growing at home this fruit is no different complexity. There is this fruit tree for a long time, and it is worth noting that this is not a hybrid that breeders brought out. True, cultivating pepino in our regions has become relatively recent, so some agrotechnical subtleties are known to few.
What is pepino
It is a medium-sized fruit that has a sweet taste and melon flavor. But for this, the fruits must ripen very well, which is quite problematic in some areas of our country. However, this does not prevent some gardeners from savoring delicious pepino from year to year. The smell of ripe fruit is also very expressive. So you can determine his maturity. If there is no flavor, then the fruit is not ripe yet. Pepino color depends on its degree of maturity. In a ripe fruit, it is bright, saturated, yellow-orange. This pepino is eaten fresh as a dessert. If the fruit does not have time to ripen due to weather conditions, then it is used as an ingredient in salads. Melon pear - pepino - has different sizes and weight to 0,5 kilogram.
What is useful pepino
Pepino fruit is composed of a lot of nutrients. So that they are well absorbed by the body, it is better to eat it during the day, before 18 hours of the evening. This fruit contains almost no protein. Their mass is just a percent 0,3-0.4. Fats in pepino are absent at all. Carbohydrates take 6 percent of the total mass, and they also can not be called the main components. The value of pepino is in the content of vitamins of groups B, A and K. The composition of this fruit includes a very large amount of vitamin C, as well as iron, potassium, copper and magnesium. Therefore, pepino, cultivation at home which is quite possible, is not only tasty, but also a useful product.
The melon pear (pepino) is small in size. This plant can be grown in greenhouses or open ground, and on the windowsill. Fruit harvesting occurs throughout the season, since the time of their ripening is not the same. The pepino skin is very thin, and there are few seeds. The flesh is very tasty and juicy. This made the fruit unusually popular among gardeners and gardeners.
This is a tropical plant that does not like a strong decrease in temperature. Therefore it is better to plant pepino in greenhouses, on glazed balconies or terraces. The temperature should not be below 14 degrees. Also, the plant requires high humidity of both soil and air. Temperature fluctuations should not be strong, especially during the growing season.
Many experienced gardeners grow pepino and in the open field, while achieving good results. Some manage to collect up to 7 kilograms of fruit from one bush. Despite the fact that this is a tropical plant, it does not tolerate strong heat. Regardless of watering, in hot months, pepino blooms, but the fruits are not tied, and the flowers fall. More active ripening begins in early autumn, in September and October. Pepin very poorly tolerate strong gusts of wind, because the root system of the plant is shallow and forms in the upper soil layer.
What kind of soil like pepino? Growing at home should be organized on light and fertile areas with good drainage. Soils prone to waterlogging with low oxygen content due to high density are not suitable for this fruit. Excess moisture leads to decay of the root system. Therefore, watering should be carried out as needed. It is possible to spray the plant, since the humidity of the air is vital for it, especially during the dry months.
Are there varieties of pepino? Growing at home is possible, and for this they use two varieties of culture. One of them is Ramses. This is a very productive variety with high yields. It is resistant to adverse effects. Fruits are medium sized and yellowish orange in color. Pepino Ramses distinguishes delicious, juicy flesh with a light peppery tint. This variety is ideal for growing at home.
The second polarity of cultivation grade pepino - Consuelo. It is also successfully grown in our regions, achieving good yields and sufficient ripeness of fruits. Consuelo has bright yellow fruits with light lilac stripes. Conditions for growing this variety should be very favorable, otherwise it will not work. But, nevertheless, it is one of the frequently used types of pepino in home breeding. If you comply with all agrotechnical requirements, it can bear fruit regularly. It is better to use Consuelo for growing indoors.
Reproduction by cuttings
Pepino propagated by seeds and cuttings. Sometimes the second method is preferred. Seeds in our regions are unripe. In the fall, cuttings are planted in pots with fertile and light soil. They are located on the windowsill on the south side. Do not forget that pepino is a tropical plant that loves heat. After two or three weeks, the cuttings will take root. It is better to cover them with film at first. So they better adapt to new conditions. Rooting time depends on many conditions: temperature, watering and soil quality. Cuttings are planted in open ground in mid-May or slightly earlier. It all depends on weather conditions. It is better to place them under a tree with a rare crown. This will provide the plant with enough heat and light, but it will not allow it to suffer from the heat in the hottest months. That's how pepino is propagated. Growing at home in this way is quite simple and affordable.
Seed propagation (germination)
The second breeding method is a bit more complicated. Growing pepino from seeds is laborious, and their germination is low. Even if you specifically germinate seeds, productivity will still not be too high. Seeds in our climatic conditions do not receive sufficient maturity, which leads to such results. But if you have patience, you can grow a wonderful pepino in this way.
Seeds germinate for a very long time. The appearance of the first signs takes up to one month. It is important to prepare the seed for planting. However, when sowing, only a few germinate in the soil. As a container, you can use plastic cups or jars. The bottom of the tank lined with filter paper, which is moistened with water. They plant seeds in it and clean them in a warm place where the temperature does not exceed 28 degrees. When shoots appear, the containers move under the fluorescent lamp. There, the seeds must lie until a good sprout appears, and the seed is not split. If necessary, you can help the plant get rid of the seed peel, but this should be done carefully.
We plant seeds
When the plant is completely free of peel, it is planted in the ground in order to obtain seedlings. It must be pre-treated with hot manganese solution. Plant development is slow, and it needs artificial lighting up to 16 hours per day. After six weeks the growth of seedlings is accelerating. During this time, you need to spend a few fertilizing fertilizers. If in the period of growth appear stepchildren, then they are removed. Pepino should not have more than three stems. The fewer the branches, the faster flowering will begin and fruiting will occur. Pepino is planted at the same time as tomato seedlings. This is a thermophilic culture, therefore it is impossible to allow the impact of spring frosts on it. Requirements for the care of pepino are the same as for tomatoes. This plant also requires a garter and bagging. The whole period is important: preparation of seeds for planting, germination, receiving seedlings and planting in the ground.
Fruit setting usually occurs in late spring and early autumn. In summer, pepino does not form the ovary due to intense heat. Fruits that appeared in spring, ripen in early June. Therefore, it is very important to plant pepino as early as possible. Autumn fruits usually do not have time to ripen, especially in open ground. Therefore, it is necessary to exert maximum efforts to obtain a harvest from the spring ovary, or to grow pepino in closed ground.
What is made from pepino? How to eat this fruit? If you harvest correctly, the fruit is very tasty and raw. The skin must be removed before use, and do not forget to remove the seeds. Unripe fruit is used for making jam or salads. New Zealand residents make soups, sauces from fruits, and serve them with seafood and meat. In addition, pepino salt, freeze and dry. And still from this fruit tasty jams and compotes turn out.