There had been an exciting period behind us, with me focusing mostly on flowers and floral plants. Then, it hit me. I didn’t write an article on how to grow eggplant! Today, I’ll set things right, so stay with me, to see the results.
Although eggplants can be slightly bitter when eaten raw, their cooking potential is fantastic! It is my impression that they stand as an excellent replacement for meat. Considering that hot weather is coming, it would be wise to decrease meat intake, and increase vegetables.
What There Is To Know About Eggplant?
Although when you type into Google the word “vegetable” eggplant will appear at least once among first ten results, there are still many things which need to be said about this plant. So, let’s see what’s so important about this purple (or white) little guy.
So, there are a lot of wrong things about this plant which was thought throughout the history. I believe that this is primarily because of its odd color and shape. Ultimately, there aren’t many purple vegetables, aren’t there?
How Should I Prepare The Soil?
As I have described numerous times on my blog, proper soil preparation is one of the cornerstones of every good garden. This is the case this time as well. Although eggplants need somewhat sandy soil, it doesn’t mean that it can be planted anywhere.
First of all, pick a location. Sun coverage is vital because if there is too much light, you can shield the plants, but if there isn’t, you can’t provide it. For the second case, there is an exceptional instruction on how to install those.
Now, if the drainage of the soil isn’t good, try infusing some sand and compost. The latter is especially useful for any kind of vegetable since it provides porosity and nutrients. Old manure can serve the purpose as well. An inch of either of those will be sufficient.
In case that you live in somewhat colder climate, or you want to have eggplants ready for harvesting as soon as possible, you might want to start those indoors. The procedure is simple, so all you need to do is to plant the seeds in trellis some two months before the soil warms, and care for them.
Usually, April or May are ideal months for transplanting, so start the seeds in February. Of course, watering and sunlight are vital at this stage, so keep the soil evenly moist. This is important, and watering will be covered later in this article.
So, Seeding Or Transplanting Is In Order?
Now, for those who have warm springs, seeding eggplants in the garden is the right course of action. To warm the soil a bit more, add a plastic cover, which will increase the temperature by few degrees and will also prevent weeds from appearing.
In any case, spacing should be about 25-30”, and you won’t just put the seedling in the hole and cover it. First, dig a hole which is larger than the root ball of the seedling. Speaking of which, they should be around 3-4” high. After digging, add about a shovel of compost or manure at the bottom, and cover with a layer of the soil.
Now place the seedling and cover it with more soil. Watering right away is a right course of action since it will help the soil to settle and will give the plant much-needed kickstart. It may hang leaves, something peppers do as well, but they get better after a chug or two.
Right after planting, it is advised to provide support. This is done now because later the roots will spread and striking a stake might hurt them. Of course, if you prefer tomato cages, those can be added later.
Is Caring About Eggplants Difficult?
Although eggplants are more or less tender plants, maintenance is pretty straightforward. You need to look after a few factors and provide a more quality service.
Watering is vital for eggplants. Similar to cucumbers, they need constant water flow, but not too much of it. Because of this, the dripping system is the best, and this is the investment I have mentioned.
Once the fruits begin to appear, you will have to do two things. First, choose five or six of the best-looking fruits, and leave them, and remove the rest. This way the plant will focus all its nutrients and resources to those.
The second thing is fertilizing. After the fruits appear, take into consideration that it will be in order once in every two weeks. Well-balanced fertilizer is the best for this purpose because it will feed all parts of the plant equally.
As for pests and diseases, sometimes tomato hornworms may appear. Those fat and green caterpillars can be held at bay by planting marigolds. These flowers are great for this purpose. Diseases are caused by inconsistent or overwatering. If you add water on a regular basis and don’t turn the soil into a swamp, it will be fine.
So, here we are. I hope that you understand how to grow eggplant and that it is not such scary thing. If you grew at least a flower so far, I believe that you will be able to maintain this vegetable as well.
In case that you have any questions, opinions or just want to stop by to say “hi”, use the comment section below.