Growing Eggplants from Seedlings to Harvest

Like its relative the sweet pepper and therefore the tomato, eggplant maybe a warm-season crop. It’s a superb source of dietary fiber and a really good source of vitamins B1, B6, and potassium. Eggplant is additionally a potent antioxidant. Besides, it tastes great. If you’ve got much sunshine and an extended season it’s a really satisfying crop to grow.

STARTING TO GROW EGGPLANTS

Because eggplants need warmth to grow, they’re best started indoors from seeds and transplanted after the soil has warmed to a minimum of 60 degrees F and therefore the danger of frost has passed. Gardeners can purchase transplants or grow their own from seed. One advantage of growing eggplants from seed is that you simply have more choice because specialty seed growers offer different varieties—ranging from the quality Black Beauty to large, white ovals like Casper and Easter Egg to long, slim purple fruits like Long Purple and Ichiban.

PLANTING AND look after EGGPLANTS

Harden off your seedlings before you plant them. you’ll get them won’t to living outdoors by putting them outside within the shade for a couple of hours each day and gradually increasing their exposure. to guard seedlings against an unexpected cold spell cover the plants—plastic milk or water jugs work great.

Eggplants need full sun and well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Add compost or rotten manure to every hole before planting. Give plants 24 inches altogether directions, less for little varieties.

Once the plants are established mulch them to stay the soil moist and warm and therefore the weeds in check.

EGGPLANT PESTS AND DISEASES

Your dreams of Eggplant Parmesan are going to be gone in a moment if cutworms slice into the stems of young plants. Remove all weeds from the garden plot a few weeks before planting. Then place a cutworm collar around each plant—used paper or plastic cups, tin cans, and plastic containers work great. Row covers also can keep flew beetles off your plants. Spraying with insecticidal soap is typically enough to dislodge aphids and keep them away. If you discover caterpillars just pick them off.

Plant resistant varieties to stay leaf spot and fruit rot cornered. Avoid overwatering and keep plants well spaced to discourage fungal diseases.

HARVESTING EGGPLANTS

When the skin turns glossy your eggplants are able to eat. Start harvesting when the fruits are a 3rd of their full size, and continue until the skin starts turning dull and crinkly.

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