Better known because of an emoji, aubergines or eggplants taste somewhat bitter, if you enjoy the spongy texture then use this guide to grow your own!
Eggplant, often known as aubergine or brinjal, is a fruit originating in India. However, they can be grown in the US and UK climatic conditions as well. They range in shape, size, and colour and require warm conditions to thrive. They belong to the same family as tomatoes and are often cooked together.
Even though it is one of the most common fruits grown in a kitchen garden, it requires the utmost care for around three to four months. If exposed to chilly weather, they will suffer from disease and pest problems. Therefore, if you are wondering how to grow eggplants, here is a detailed guide. Make sure to follow the below-mentioned tips to get tasty eggplant treats right from your kitchen garden!
How To Plant Aubergines
As you know, the best growing conditions for eggplant is warm temperature, preferably above fifty degrees, you will have to wait for the summer season. If you are considering growing eggplants from seeds, start from soaking them overnight in a loose medium. Give them at least ten days for sprouting.
Once they reach a height of three-inches, transplant them to individual pots or raised beds. Growing eggplant in containers is also a great idea since they are a good option for container growing. For better results, plant the fruit at least 2 ½ – 3 feet apart. Firm the soil by pouring compost and water well.
How To Care For Aubergines
Right after planting the eggplants, remember to get rid of weeds immediately. Transplanting other plants between the eggplants will help it grow better. Consider planting lettuce, which will induce the development of flowers. When the flowers have emerged, pinch lettuce out carefully. Apart from that, you will have to stalk the plants with bamboo poles so that they don’t fall.
Here are some additional tips on how to grow eggplants.
- Grow small-fruited eggplant varieties
Some eggplant varieties are easy to grow when compared to the rest. Therefore, look for those who will provide a trustworthy yield. You can grow varieties like Ping Tung Long or Bonica to ensure that you get a good harvest.
- Provide feed time to time
Around six weeks after planting eggplants, you will have to be extra careful when it comes to their feed. Provide compost manure or organic fertilizer along with soaking them with water-soluble plant food. If you have grown them in a container, you will have to look for extra salt buildup.
- Be ready to face diseases and insects.
Plant diseases and insects are a nightmare for any gardener. However, one must be ready to deal with them and ensure that the yield doesn’t get affected much. To avoid insects on eggplants, you can use nets to cover the young plants. However, remove the net once the flowers are ready for pollination. In addition to this, powdery mildew can also affect eggplants. Therefore, to prevent this disease, grow your plant in sunlight.
How to Harvest Aubergines
Are you wondering how long does eggplant take to grow? Well, it purely depends on the variety of the plant. It will take around 65-80 days; however, if you have started from the seed, expect at least 100 to 120 days till maturity.
We would suggest you harvest eggplants while they are still young. Not only do they taste better, but they also help the plant produce more fruit. To determine if the fruit is ready to harvest, look for glossy skin and uniform colour.
Once harvested, store the eggplants in the refrigerator. Also, do not cut or wash in advance to prevent damage.