How to Grow Eggplant

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The eggplant is a rich fruit, which has an exclusive flavor, and also has different types of preparation. It has a lower energy and nutritional value compared to other vegetables and fruits, but provides a great mix of minerals and vitamins. It provides a great quantity of fiber, folic acid, manganese, potassium, etc.

Its scientific name is Solanum Melongena, this is a plant native from India, where it has been grown for thousands of years. Previously it was believed that it was only an exotic plant and that its consumption could cause diseases. The only edible part of the aubergine is the fruit, as the leaves and flowers have alkaloids that are very toxic, among which is solanine, for example. This fruit is used as a vegetable, which generates a large amount of nutrients that are very beneficial to health. So we will teach you the best way to sow this rich fruit.

There is a great variety of eggplants, in which they are known that some plants that arrive to measure from 40cm up to 2 m of height, these species are differentiated also by the fruits, that have different colors, forms and also sizes. There are three types of aubergines according to their shape: globose, spherical and long. The aubergine that is mostly planted is purple with black.

The process by which the aubergines are sown is simple, like any fruit, it is necessary to comply with a series of conditions in order to produce an adequate growth of the same ones. The aubergines are part of a family of herbaceous plants called solanaceae, as are also the potato, pepper and tomato, being of this type of family, needs quite high amounts of nutrients and water, also requires a lot of sun and a good space for them to grow. With the information that we will provide next we will be able to carry out of effective way a sowing of a garden or urban, ecological or homemade, harvesting this way your own eggplants.

In clay soils can present disadvantages due to root asphyxiation can occur and in acid soils the sowing will have problems of production and growth. For example, eggplant is more resistant to water irrigation and soil salinity than pepper, but less resistant than tomato, which makes it even more fragile in its early stages of progress.

For their respective sowing whether in seedbeds, containers or pots, it is recommended that it has a minimum capacity of 30 liters. Each plant of these fruits needs an approximate of 30 centimeters of space to be able to carry out its suitable growth. For which, we indicate that the most sensible thing is the sowing of a single plant by flowerpot. The most adequate material of the container that is going to be used for the sowing is the ceramics, because this one can retain better the heat, another characteristic to take into account is that the enameled flowerpots can conserve better the humidity, unlike those that do not, what entails that, if you do not use flowerpots with enamel, you must water the plant more often.

Sowing Eggplants in ceramic pots

Among the main factors to evaluate for a correct planting of aubergines we have that irrigation is one of the most important. This must be of great quantity and very regular, the soils must always be humid at all times.

These fruits must remain exposed to the Sun a great amount of time. The fact that we should always be aware that these are well watered is because the eggplant is mainly composed of water. The stage in which they need more water is in the time in which the fruits grow. The ideal irrigation for this type of sowing is the drip irrigation, because through this you can ensure that they will not lack water without flooding the plant. To find the perfect humidity is obtained by watering with a frequency of 1 to 2 days.

The good thing about these fruits is that they can withstand high temperatures, yes, only if it has carried out a good moisture for the site, so before planting must ensure that the site has a good drainage. It is recommended for the moment of the sowing to place great amount of compost, manure or peat, since with this it will be possible to sponge and aerate the soil. In addition to that the padding is good to maintain it in all the process of the sowing, since it helps to regulate the humidity and the temperature. As extra and very useful advice is also recommended to add river sand and mix well, the results to be obtained will be better.

In order to sow these fruits, the seeds are extracted from the ripe fruits. The placement of the seed is suggested to be making a hole about half an inch in the ground, then proceed to place two seeds in each hole, thus improving the options of germination, although it must be clear that sowing two seeds can inhibit the seeds of nutrition they need to grow and put down roots. As indicated, you should cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and give them away very carefully so that they do not flood.

Because aubergines can withstand high temperatures, they are more sensitive to cold, so the best time to sow them is at the end of winter, i.e. grow them in summer, exactly between March and May, and you can even do a protected sowing from January. This fruit is the vegetable that needs more heat, which is why it is recommended to cultivate it in a protected manner to avoid what is called frost especially in areas that are colder. We remember that the aubergine needs 8 to 10 hours of light for its sowing, for the highly sensitive to the cold that they are.

The sowing can be done in two ways, preparing seedbeds or so-called seedlings if you are in an area with a continental climate, or if you are in an area with a temperate climate, the sowing can be done directly.

Planting eggplants in an orchard

Again, the most important thing is that you have plenty of sun, and in a proper way, since the sun directly and fully will provide a lot of light and heat, which will stimulate better growth of plants. It is also very important to make the most of the daylight hours, this to avoid the malformation of the flowers and leaves, the thinning or deficiency in fertilization.

The correct average temperature to which they must be exposed for an excellent growth is between 23C and 25C, although as previously indicated, they support much higher temperatures as long as the humidity is correct, thus supporting up to 40C and 45C.

In the way that cold affects the growth of this fruit, the very humid ones can also damage them, causing their flowers to fall, causing also the decrease of their fertilization, obtaining in this way less fruits. Therefore it is advisable not to sow eggplants in areas where currents or winds are very strong as they will cause damage to them.

Because aubergines are very strict in terms of nutrients, which is why they need a large fertilizer, these fruits from the setting of the first fruits, is advised to allocate more fertilizer, this because the harvest time is very long.

We also recommend what is irrigation using carbonated water, this process is called carbonic fertigation, this improves the cultivation of the fruit, as it serves for the acidification of soils, which improves the proper absorption and solubility of nutrients, also improves the number of fruits and the quality of them, likewise replaces the use of nitric acid. It is necessary to make sure to measure the pH of the ground, the perfect values of these must oscillate between 6 and 7 of pH. And before sowing the aubergines it is very good to apply compost or in such a case earthworm humus to the soil.

Generally the seeds take between 7 and 10 days to germinate, in the case that the two seeds have germinated the one that is stronger should be kept, in this case the weak one should not be pulled, since the leaves can be damaged, to avoid this situation is solved by pruning at ground level. The aubergines grow better outdoors, even in pots, as this way they have more access to sunlight. When the sprouts have reached a height of 15 cm, they should be removed from the tray, taking care not to damage the roots.

Sow eggplant is easy

After this the respective transplant must be made, this in the case of if and only if the climate is necessarily warm. Next, several holes must be dug in the soil for the later insertion of the seedling, verifying that the soil is well tilled, fertilized and that it has the necessary and sufficient depth, remembering that the aubergines have a very powerful root system. The plants should be placed with a distance between them of 50 and 70 cms approximately, if the distance between them is less, the risk will be run that these do not receive the adequate air nor they get the light they need.

As long as the aubergine is higher, it will be much better for what these are going to require of the accomplishment of a tutorado (that is an activity in which it is carried out in giving support to the plant, this using rings or stakes, so that the respective plants can develop their growth of effective way), without the putting of any means of support, these fruits will not grow the sufficient thing and as a result of these they are going to produce very few fruits. Reason why it is also mandatory to tutor with these fruits is to avoid that the stems can split due to the weight of the fruits.

Tutoring with aubergines

Given that this crop is a medium to long cycle, because the harvest begins between 60 and 90 days after transplanting and then is constant until the nutrients run out or failing that the first cold arrive.

This fruit is harvested immature, this will be before the seeds are formed and thus loses much of the properties, so it should be cut at the time they sprout from the plant, because the fruits containing seeds will have a bitter taste, also do not expect the eggplant has achieved maturity.

To harvest it is recommend to be cut with scissors, making the cut above the fruit, and touch the fruit, the top of them must be a little soft to know they are ready. By pressing them with your finger, if the shell sinks, and then returns to its shape, it will be ready to be harvested, and if otherwise, it is hard and does not sink, the eggplant will be immature. The ideal aspect is brilliant, a suitable time for the respective consecutive harvest will be from 5 to 10 days, this will depend on the conditions of the environment.

Eggplant ready to be harvested

The sowing process can lead to contracting certain pests and diseases. Because it belongs to the Solanaceae family, it is affected by fungi, such as downy mildew or powdery mildew. Whitefly, thrips, caterpillars, red spiders and potato beetles are other pests.

Whitefly: in order to foresee this type of pest, the underside of the leaves must be sprayed with 1% potassium soap, either with distilled water or rainwater.

White fly

Thrips: these are flying insects, which transmit white spots with black dots on the leaves. They can be combated with an application containing potassium soap and neem extract.

Thrips

Potato beetle: this is shaped like a caterpillar, and is responsible for eating the leaves. It can be combated by collecting adult manuals and eggs.

Potato Beetle

Red spider: this one usually appears commonly in the epochs where the plant is in the greenhouse. It can be combated by watering the aubergine at night and maintaining humidity, also using natural insecticides.

Red spider

Oidium: to prevent them the recommendation is to install a drip irrigation system and also apply ponytail, in the event that the plant is infected should proceed to cut the leaves.

Oidium

Finally if the leaves of the aubergines begin to take a pale color, surely it will be necessary to add more fertilizer, for these cases we recommend using fertilizer soluble in water, and before throwing it in the ground, it is necessary to water the plant, instead of adding it to the dry soil.

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