The aubergine, with the scientific name Solanum melongena , is a vegetable very rich in nutrients and with very beneficial properties, but it is reputed to be somewhat delicate in its cultivation.
However, in EcologíaVerde we do not give up in the face of adversity, and this plant from the Solanaceae family, such as tomato and pepper, is not nearly as delicate if its needs are known and an adequate process is followed in its sowing and cultivation. If you want to know how to plant eggplants from seeds, join us in this guide that will help you to have your own eggplant plant.
When to plant eggplants
When it comes to planting aubergines we have two options, to do it directly in its final location in the garden or pot, or to do it first in a seedbed.
If we plant in the definitive place, the ideal will be to do it well into spring, between the months of March and May in the Northern Hemisphere. The most important thing at this point is to make sure that the frosts have already passed since the eggplant plant needs a temperature of at least 12 ºC to germinate and develop properly. If you live in a cold climate, delay sowing as much as necessary or acquire seedlings between 10 and 15 cm in height to save you the seed germination phase and the first weeks of the plant’s life, which are the most sensitive to the cold.
If we choose the seedbed, which we recommend in order to advance the cultivation and because it allows us a closer and controlled monitoring of the development of the plants, we can sow the aubergines between late winter and early spring .
How to plant aubergines in the vegetable garden
Follow these directions and steps to plant aubergines in the garden:
- When planting aubergines, it is very important to properly prepare the soil. One of the most frequent reasons why aubergines do not grow properly is because this plant is very demanding in terms of soil nutrients. Therefore, it is vital to properly loosen the soil and enrich it with abundant organic matter, such as compost or worm castings. The latter is always particularly interesting since, in addition to being very rich in nutrients, it provides beneficial microorganisms for cultivation. In addition, the roots of the eggplant are very strong and develop a lot, so it is convenient that the soil is not caked to allow them to do so.
- It is very important that the soil offers very good drainage to avoid rotting of the plant, which is why every clayey soil may need an abundant supply of compost or some equivalent material to improve its ability to eliminate and absorb water.
- Once the soil is prepared, prepare the holes in the ground for the aubergines. The ideal is to leave about 70 cm both between plants and between lines to leave space for their roots.
- If you plant from seed, that is, if you sow aubergines, it is not necessary to bury them very deep, while, if you transplant the already germinated seedlings in the seedbed or purchased, it is convenient to add a few handfuls of worm humus to the base of the holes for the plant.
- Cover the seeds or the base of the seedlings with more soil, water the area, and observe the growth of your aubergines as the days go by.
How to plant potted eggplants
Another option if you wonder how to plant your aubergines at home is to do it in a pot, even permanently. The ideal is to use a small initial size pot or a seedbed to make it germinate, and once the seedling is about 10 cm, transplant it to its final pot.
- Prepare the seedbed: the seedlings can be any small fresh or shallow plastic tray to which we can make some drainage holes, with a mixture of peat, worm castings, and coconut fiber.
- Sow the eggplant seeds: do it shallow, cover them with substrate and water abundantly.
- Take care of the seeds for their germination: keep the soil moist during the first weeks, but always without flooding, and put the seedlings in a warm room at least 12 or 13ºC.
- Plant the aubergines in the pot: when the seedlings are ready for transplanting (which are between 10 and 15 cm high) look, if possible, for a pot with drainage holes, made of ceramic material, since it is the one with the best properties offers for this plant, and with at least 30 cm deep, because even in a pot, the space to plant aubergines must be quite wide. The soil mix used in the seedbeds will also be valid here.
How many aubergines does a plant give
Another question that appears when we think about how to grow aubergines at home , whether in a large garden, in an urban garden or in large pots on a terrace, is how many aubergines a plant gives to get an idea of the yield we can expect and whether we are taking good enough care of her.
The amount of fruits that an aubergine plant produces and the quality and size of these will depend mainly on the plant itself and on how optimal its development conditions are, but expert farmers and hobbyists affirm that one of these plants can reach give more than 25 aubergines , always in ideal conditions.
How to grow eggplants
To finish, we indicate the basic care of aubergines so that you can grow them well in your garden or pot:
- Soil for the aubergine: very rich in organic matter, loose and drained.
- How to water the aubergines: very abundant watering, without flooding. Drip if possible.
- Compost: abundant, providing a lot of organic matter.
- Temperature: warm, does not tolerate frost.
- Light: direct sun.
- Tutored: very suitable in tall plants to favor development and fruiting.
- Pruning: about 4 or 5 main branches are left as it grows. Remove pacifiers.
- When is the eggplant harvested: the growth time of the eggplant is about 2 months from when it is planted until it is harvested.
Now that you know when and how to plant aubergines, among more details, we encourage you to discover which vegetables grow well together. In the case of eggplants, they can grow well alongside beans and pepper.