I used to buy eggplant in the store and imagine them being shipped in from somewhere warm and tropical. They are such an interesting food. The shiny deep purple skin doesn’t look like it should be covering such pale innards. I was surprised the first time I saw an ad for eggplant seeds in a catalog. Whether you are going to plant seeds or purchase partially grown plants, here are 5 tips on growing eggplant that should help you out.
5. Sow Seeds Indoors
The eggplant seeds should be sown in peat pots about 3 to 4 weeks before they will be set outside. Sowing the seeds in peat pots means you’ll be able to plant the entire container in the ground and not disturb the root system. Be sure to wait until the danger of frost has passed.
4. Plant in a Very Sunny Location
Eggplant seedlings are very similar to tomato plants; they love the sunshine. If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, then raising eggplant won’t be difficult at all. It’s best to plant the seedlings in an area of the garden where no shade at all will fall on them. They like nothing but sun if possible.
3. Place Cages around Individual Plants
Eggplant fruit is so large and heavy that it is very easy for these plants to uproot themselves during high winds or in a storm. If there are many fruits appearing on the plant, then the cage will help bear some of the weight and keep the plant upright.
2. Add a Layer of Black Plastic on the Ground around Each Plant
The soil has to be warm for eggplant to flourish. Adding the plastic around the plant will help keep the ground warmer for the roots and it will also reduce the amount of moisture lost from the soil. Most plants respond well to this technique and grow rapidly.
1. Check Plants at Least Every Other Day
Look for signs of flea beetles on your plants. These are the largest pests among eggplants. They can quickly desecrate an entire patch of eggplants in no time. Also, checking plants regularly will enable you to check the moisture level of the soil and control weed growth.
Most eggplant varieties only take a couple of months to fully mature. The plants don’t grow to be extremely huge, so they are perfect for raised beds or container gardens. Even in the city you can grow eggplant in a 5 gallon bucket on the patio. Do you think these tips would help you to successfully grow eggplant?
Top Photo Credit: MorganStreet