Eggplants produce their crops reliably when grown in a greenhouse, but they can also be grown outside in a pot in a sheltered, sunny place.
How to grow eggplant: month after month
The best eggplant varieties
How we test eggplant
We saw 12 seeds of each variety indoors in mid-March and planted them in 9 cm pots from mid to late April. We recorded how many seeds germinated and how well the plants grew when we planted them in 4-inch pots. At the end of May, we put the five strongest plants in the last 24 cm pots. The eggplant plants were stored in multiples during the experiment and we used drip irrigation to ensure that they were watered regularly. We fed the plants liquid vegetable feed weekly as they produced the first flowers and noticed how long it took before their first fruits were ready for harvest. We observed the weight and number of fruits that the plants were producing and observed how evenly they had grown in size and color by the end of September. We also observe the symptoms of spider mites and powdery mildew problems. Finally our who? Horticulturalists performed taste tests, saturated the appearance of the fruit when it was raw and cooked, and assessed the taste, texture and bitterness of each species.
When to sow
Sow the seeds from February to April and place the seeds 6 mm deep in a pot or container Keep them moist and at a constant temperature of 20 ° C. Seedlings should germinate within 8-21 days. They can be moved from a to individual pots when they have two strong leaves – about 10-14 days after they sprout.
When the plants get bigger, gradually lower the temperature at night to a minimum of 14 ° C and cover them in larger pots (2L) with You need good light and warmth, so you should look at LED growth lights to prevent your plants from becoming elongated and dull.
Transplanted plants are more expensive than vigorous than seedlings and tend to produce a reliable crop of vigorous eggplant. They appear in early April as small seedlings, a little later than when buying overgrown plants, as it takes time to connect the grafted stem to its new roots in the nursery. Immediately place them in a 7 cm pot and keep them as hot as possible. You can repot in a 10 cm pot at the end of April before healing them in the final place 10 to 14 days later.
Take care of your plants
When the last day of frost in your area (usually mid-late May) has passed and you can plant in an unheated greenhouse. They can go in large pots, bags or in the ground. If you are planting in a large pot, use one and mix one together They should be about 45-50 cm apart. Plants can go deep, because with tomatoes you can bury about 5 cm of stem.
When plants are grown as crowns (ie on a stem), two strands with knotted ends can be placed in the planting holes to serve as a support.
Outdoor plants can be planted outdoors for about two weeks after protection. However, eggplants are very sensitive to frost. If the fruit is still developing in September, put the plants back in the shelter at night.
Move like a crown
As with tomatoes, like the crown (it’s a stem), you can train the eggplant to use the energy of the plant to produce fruit. Remove the side shoots that appear between the main stem and the leaf.
Water for plants in the ground about two to three times a week during the summer; Daily for plants in pots or growing bags that dry faster. Try watering the leaves on the ground instead of wetting the leaves. Apply liquid fertilizer such as tomato feed every two weeks after the first flowers have formed.
How and when to harvest
Harvest in: July to September
Unripe fruits are usually softer. Ripe fruits are harder and the skin changes from shiny to dull. When they are done, cut them off.
Common growth problems
Check the lower leaves for the special spots left by the spider worm and look for pale, mottled leaves and fine tissue. If they occur, use biological control agents such as Phytoseiulus or Amblyseius. These predatory mites feed on the pest and solve the problem for you.
The end of the flowers rots
Bud rot causes large, round spots on the base of the fruit. Water the plants regularly during the hottest time to prevent this from happening.