Are you interested in knowing more about how to grow eggplant in your garden? Then in this article, we will explain everything about how to grow eggplant and everything you need to know about how to plant eggplant.
Eggplant is considered a summer season vegetable that people like to eat, although as an additional benefit, as its low in calories. Through its purple blossoms and delicious fruit, it gives a plethora of attractive appearance towards gardening. It has a connection to fresh tomatoes and chilies; Therefore, if you have indeed planted any one of them, you are to get off to a fantastic beginning and don’t worry even if you never have.
How to Grow Eggplant – In Steps
When you are growing eggplant, there are a few things you need to know before beginning with the steps for how to grow eggplant. Some tips are going to help you out.
- When the eggplant is filled with fruit, it will fall. Tall plants should be supported or fenced to keep them balanced. If you’re growing eggplant in a pot, anchor the stems first before fruit appears.
- Limit the fruit yield per plant to 5 or 6 for taller plants.
- Pluck out all the terminal growth tips to make the plant bushier.
- Provide water thoroughly to up to a depth of six inches, keeping the soil wet but not saturated. Irrigation should be done regularly, and a soaking line or dripping system at the ground surface is preferable.
- Humidity levels are crucial throughout fruit ripening and growth. Mulching can provide consistent hydration, quality of water and reduce weeds.
- Apply a well-balanced fertilizer two times for healthier plants during the growing season. When the fruits reach approximately a quarter size, you can side-dress (dressing the plant with fertilizer by adding it to the side of the stems) by utilizing three ounces of Ca (NO₃)₂ for every ten feet rowed. After around 2 to 3 weeks, side-dress once more.
The steps mentioned above would help you think about when and how to grow eggplant at an optimum temperature. Before starting with how to grow eggplant, one thing should be kept in mind the high amount of nitrogen could lead to excessive vegetative growth. Though if you are utilizing mulch made up of plastic, apply fertilizers on the row sides via a dripping system.
More About Eggplants: Types of Eggplant
There are different eggplants present worldwide, along with different sizes, shapes, and color combinations. They are also known as “Aubergine” and “Brinjal.” Here is the list of some famous eggplants:
1. Black Beauty
It’s dark purple with a larger size. This type of eggplant grows approximately 18 to 24 inches tall. After the transplantation, you can harvest the fruit within 9 weeks.
This type is found in the Northern area due to its productive benefits. It grows from 6 to 7 inches tall within six weeks and 5 days.
3. Green Knight
It is significant, and it’s a glossy and jade green fruit with denser flesh and fewer seeds. It grows from 34 to 36 inches tall with a maximum of 7 inches of fruit size.
This type of eggplant mainly grows in more extensive tunnels with the greenhouse effect. It is black with a delicious taste and fewer seeds in it. It becomes mature within 8 to 9 weeks.
5. Listada De Gandia
This type of eggplant is primarily found in Europe. It is purple with some white streaks, shaped like an egg, approximately 14 inches tall in size. It has a moderate flavor along with thinner skin and it becomes mature within 9 to 10 weeks.
6 Tips for Growing Excellent Eggplant
1. When to Plant Eggplant
The question arises before beginning when and how to plant eggplant properly as we know that eggplants are summer season vegetables that do not bear cold temperatures (1). They can only grow in warmer soil with 50 degrees or above Fahrenheit. The perfect time for queries regarding when and how to plant eggplant is after the late spring or the last cold months. Because eggplants have a lengthy growth period, you’ll now have to plant them inside roughly eight weeks before the previous winter season in the local area.
2. Watering Eggplant
Eggplants that do not get enough water produce little, tasteless fruits. Moisture eggplant at least a quarter each week, including up to 2 inches throughout the warmest part of the season. Start making up the deficit with additional irrigation even though it hasn’t rained in less than a week—consistently water beneath the bushes, at the ground surface. For cultivating eggplant, an irrigation systems technique is particularly suitable. It would hold more water off the leaves of established plants and protect susceptible youngsters from drying out.
3. How to grow eggplant vertically
There are high chances that you can plant eggplants vertically. As a result, the fruits will be off the ground, keep away any pests, and reduce the chances of any soil-borne diseases.
Here are some simple steps in which we will guide you on how you can grow eggplant vertically as follows:
- A container is required, including some soil, eggplants, and a wire. By using wire, you can easily hang the container.
- You can use any bucket available in your home and use a bucket with a handle, which would help in hanging.
- Now drill a hole in the bucket where you can transplant the eggplants.
- Keep in mind the top of the seedling should be smaller than the football. You can feed the top of the plant via a hole instead of a root ball.
- Any temporary carrier (newspaper, coffee filter, or a piece of landscape fabric) could be placed in the container’s bottom. This barrier would help avoid the soil from reaching out from the hole.
4. Choosing and Preparing a Planting Site
For the most excellent results, choose a location that absorbs a lot of sunlight.
- Eggplant grows best in sandy or alluvial soils with a substantial organic suspended particulate content.
- For optimal growth, the pH (2) of the soil must be between 5.8 and 6.5.
- Warm the soil with a layer of black polythene mulch before planting transplants. Fertilizer is needed in moderation for eggplant.
- The week before sowing, spread 1 inch or more of well-rotted manure or an essential fertilizer such as 5-10-10 all through the newly planted bed.
Note: If you are a newbie and don’t know how to plant eggplant, this tip would help you out. If you are seeking ways to grow eggplants in a pot, then utilize a pool that is darker in color, as dark colors are capable of absorbing more sunlight.
5. When to seed
Prepare seedlings indoors in housing units or pot 8–9 weeks well before the final springtime weather period. Seeds will germinate swiftly at temperatures up from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, before actually seeding, purchase Six to 8-week-old nurseries seedlings. Plant eggplant transplants in the garden just after the final fear of frost has passed. If you’re going to buy transplanting, make sure you get slightly elevated specimens. Consider buying tall, spindly plants or young plants with flower petals if you want a higher yield.
6. Soil, Planting, and Care
Eggplants adore the sunlight. Through typical days, ensure they absorb at least 6 hours of full daylight. Weeds contend with seedlings for moisture, nourishment, and sunlight; thus, they must be monitored closely. Whether biological or chemical, various forms of mulching could be utilized to retain soil humidity and minimize plant competitiveness.
How to grow eggplant from seeds in pots
- Plant your seedlings inside in tiny pots loaded with seed-starting mix, or you can directly grow them in the soil of your garden area during the warm weather.
- Water the soil with the help of a spray bottle, apply water gently until seed germination.
- After this, cover the pots with plastic wrapping. It would help the soil to stay at a warm temperature.
- Check for dampness on the underneath of the plastic wrapping. If that does not, it’s time to re-mist the soil before retrieving the pot.
- In 1 to 2 weeks, the seeds would germinate, then unearth the pot and place it in direct sunlight so the seeds may keep developing till it is hot sufficient for them all to go outdoors.
By complementing the soil with a large amount of manure material, putting well-rotted fertilizer to the cultivated area in the week or two preceding sowings, the eggplant seeds would provide them with the majority of the needed nutrition. Furthermore, during the seedling stage, utilize food sources or cottonseed food.
Sustainably grown supplemental fertilizer could be sprinkled on the crops while they develop, following the package’s instructions. Ensure that any fertilizer you utilize sowing afterward seems to be either regulated or has a reduced nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratio. Increased canopy growth would occur from a high-nitrogen fertilizer at crop output price.
Note: Don’t ever sprinkle extra fertilizer than recommended by the supplier. Larger does not necessarily imply superiority since over-fertilization might do more damage than benefit.
When to Harvest Eggplants
When the skin of the eggplant has a high sheen, it’s time to pick it. Squeeze the skin to see how it reacts. If indentation doesn’t spring back, the fruit is ripe for picking. For harvesting eggplant, start following these steps:
- With garden shears, remove the eggplants off the plant, retaining the crown and around 1 inch of stem.
- Some kinds include tiny prickles that border the stems and the cap, irritating the skin.
- Keep in the fridge; eggplants would hold for two weeks. When a slice opens an eggplant fruit and discovers that the seedlings inside have become brownish, the fruit has passed its peak, and the flavor may be bitter.
- The most straightforward approach to avoid this is to harvest fruits when they are still young when they have reached one-third to two-thirds of their full mature size.
Growing eggplant problems
These are some common problems that you might face during growing eggplants.
- Stippling is caused by spider mites sucking plant fluids. This problem could be resolved by spraying water and using insecticidal soaps.
- The leaves and shoots are peeled away. A yellow beetle, commonly known as the Colorado potato beetle, is 1/3 inch long, having strips of black color and an orange head. Remove the bugs by hand. Maintain the yard as clean as possible. Sprinkle with a basil-leaf-and-water combination.
- On the stems, there is white, frothy foam. Spittlebugs are minor, greenish bugs lying underneath the foam and handpicking and destroying. It is not harmful and may be controlled.
- Seeds are harvested at the surface of the soil. Cutworms are grey or brownish worms that spend the day hiding inside the earth and feeding at nighttime. Pick grubs from the ground surrounding plants by hand. Keep plant residues to a minimum in the garden.
- The leaves are rolling downward. However, there are no yellowing leaves or stunted. Natural leaflet rolling is not pathogen-caused; it might respond to the temperatures or the climate. Moisture the plants equally. There is no action required.
Eggplant Pests & Diseases
The common eggplant pests are as follows:
These are commonly known as sucking insects, which cause significant plant diseases. They excrete honeydew whenever they eat the leaves of the plant. It attracts nearby ants as well as other insects. This problem could easily be handled by spraying water on the plants.
It is small in size along with black and bronze color. It has an 8-inch scope. They chew a hole in the leaves. Plants are likely to get attacked by these pests when leaves are not mature. (3)
Fruitworms and armyworms :
They attack on the fruits of eggplant as well as under the leaves. So whenever you found any greenish, black, and gray color caterpillar, handpicked up them to destroy.
Such pests cause some diseases on eggplants as:
This type of fungus is mainly found on ripe and overripe fruits. They form small and round depressed areas which become large after some time. It is suggested that never leave any of the fruit infected in the garden area because there are chances that the fungus would spread all over the fruits.
These are the spots on the leaf, either small or more significant, and the rotting of fruits. The fungus is formed in the soil area, saturated with water. It is recommended do not to overwater the soil.
Additional Eggplant Companions
A variety of other vegetables make ideal eggplant companion plants. Other belongs to the genus relatives include:
- Tomatoes are frequently utilized as eggplant accompaniments. Likewise, avoid shading the eggplant.
- Chilies, either sweet or spicy, are excellent companion plants because they have similar growth requirements and are prone to pests and illnesses.
- Potatoes and spinach are also considered to make excellent companion plants. The spinach may have the better half of the deal when the giant eggplant provides shade for the chilly season spinach.
Do Eggplant Plants Need Support?
Yes, making support for eggplants is a good idea. Placing eggplant stops the crop from falling to the ground, preventing it all from rotting, minimizing the danger of disease, and promoting fruit form. It is mainly the case for lengthy eggplant cultivars. Eggplants are also vulnerable to tipping over when overburdened with fruit. As a result, providing support for the eggplants would prevent significant damage and fruit loss. Hedging eggplant also facilitates harvesting.
How to Store Eggplant
Refrigerate eggplant once it has been plucked. Temperatures of 45 to 50 °F and humidity levels of 90% are appropriate storage requirements once per week. To prevent damaging the flesh, which would soon expire if uncovered, need not washing or cut ahead of time. Use a marinate using salted, vinegar, and lemon juice to minimize discoloring eggplant after slicing it apart for cooking or grilling.
Despite all the myths, eggplant is not harmful to your health. Although, if it weren’t for eggplant flea bugs, growing eggplant would be extremely simple. Among fewer plants, eggplant is one plant that tolerates heated roots. As a result, they grow well in large pots if the seedlings are given enough water.