Pepino or melon pear is a very tasty and healthy fruit resembling melon. This amazing plant can be easily grown on your own at home, without any special gardening skills. Ripe fruits can be eaten raw, they can also be preserved, dried, and candied. When creating optimal conditions, it is possible to store ripe fruits for almost 3 months, but no more.
Pepino: growing at home
Today the most popular are several varieties of melon pears:
- Pepino Ramses is most often grown, as this species is characterized by high yields, which makes it so popular. This variety has excellent resistance to a variety of adverse environmental factors. Fruits are a pleasant yellow-orange color, medium size, not too large, the flesh is very tasty and juicy, gives an almost imperceptible peppery tone. This type is just perfect for home cultivation.
- Independent cultivation from seeds of pepino is also possible. Consuelo is the second most popular species. This variety gives high yields, the fruits have a bright yellow color with small stripes of light lilac color. However, in order to have abundant fruiting, Pipino Consuelo requires the creation of favorable conditions. This grade is recommended to be applied during cultivation in greenhouses or the house (for example, on a balcony).
Pepino grow easy, if you strictly adhere to a few simple tips. Pepino propagation is carried out by cutting and seeds. The second option is the most difficult, since seed germination is rather low, and the germination process itself takes a lot of time and effort. The fact is that, if grown in our climate, the seeds do not ripen enough.
From the moment of sowing the seeds and until the first shoots appear, it will take about a month. The most important importance is the preparation of seeds for the upcoming planting. It is recommended to plant seeds in plastic cups or small pots.
At the bottom of the tank is laid out pre-moistened with water filtered paper, in which the seeds are laid. Further capacity is placed in a fairly warm place, while the temperature should be at least 28 degrees.
As soon as the first shoots begin to appear, you need to move the seedlings under the lamp and leave until a sprout appears - the seed should split. If necessary, it will be possible to speed up this process a little, but we must act very carefully.
Growing pepino seeds is very simple: as soon as the sprout is completely rid of the peel, it can be transplanted into the soil, pretreated with a solution of potassium permanganate. The plant develops rather slowly, so there is a need for additional illumination.
After about 1.5 months, fertilizing is performed using mineral fertilizers. When the stepsons appear during growth, they need to be removed. It is important that the pepino does not have more than 3 stems, since a smaller number of them accelerates flowering, therefore, fructification will begin much earlier.
Planting of pepino in open ground can be carried out at the same time as for tomato seedlings. Pepino is one of the heat-loving plants and can die even with minor frosts.
It is necessary to care for pepino as well as for tomatoes - to tie it up so that the stems do not break under the weight of the fruit, the strawberry is held. The beginning of fruit set in the late spring, and with the onset of summer, the ovary is suspended due to the intense heat, but in early autumn it resumes again. If the fruits appear in the spring, their full ripening occurs in the first half of June. That is why experienced gardeners advise to plant pepino as early as possible.
Very tasty fruit pepino can be used raw, simply remove the peel and seeds. If they do not have time to ripen, you can make jam, compotes, jams or use them for vitamin salads, sauces, soups. Very tasty is the combination of pepino with meat and a variety of seafood.