I know that feeling as a gardener when after putting in so much work and time on your plants, your results are still dissatisfying. This article presents the best growing tips to grow the very best aubergines. Eggplants are also called aubergines and they are related to the tomato and are part of the tobacco family. The most widely grown aubergines are the glossy deep purple and long shaped variants, the skin color varies too; it all depends on the species grown. If grown in a pleasurable condition, aubergines can produce nutritious abundance for cooking and consumption.
Aubergines or Eggplants are best grown in summer because they need high temperatures; they love the heat and also heavy rainfall. They grow well in pots in certain conditions like; sparingly water to ensure they don’t get dried out. However, aubergines can be grown in a vegetable bed which is the best.
Aubergine Growing Tips
- Ensure the bed is laid with good manures before sowing the seeds. Well-Rotten manure will do, and sprinkle water also; this will make the soil more fertile.
- If you end up using pots, ensure adequate heat is supplied and compost is moist, water sparingly. Germination should take place in 2-3 weeks. Once the plants have sprouted and the leaves are broad, take the seedlings gently into individual pots to grow.
- Aubergines seeds should be soaked to encourage germination. This will make germination swift. You can soak the seeds overnight and sow the seed right away in the morning.
- Always give your aubergines plenty of room to make them more productive and healthier. You wouldn’t want to see your aubergines fighting for space, food, and sunlight, this will threaten their growth.
- Hand-pull invading weeds: weeding around seedling aubergines is essential. Aubergines can’t compete with weeds until summer temperature comes up. Always be watchful of weeds and hand pull them once they are detected.
- Most aubergines need support because the fruits can pull down the plant, ensure you observe the curvature of your plant once the fruits start developing. I have witnessed a lot of aubergines that didn’t need any support and still produced lots of fruits.
- It’s not a bad idea to give the plant another manure or fertilizer during mid-season. This will help the plant to remain strong and even grow stronger and, producing more nutritious fruits.
Harvesting and Storage of Aubergines
- Ensure the fruit is shiny before cutting from the stalk, don’t twist or spin to pull off.
- Don’t let the fruit hang on the plant for long otherwise, its taste can diminish.
- After harvesting, If Aubergines aren’t stored well they can go soft, so they should be well preserved for consumption.
Popular Varieties of Aubergines
- Globe Aubergines (American eggplant):
This is the biggest and fattest of aubergines. They are big and meaty in texture and they are purple colored. They are best grown in the summer season.
- Italian Aubergines:
They are large and dark purple. They are a little bit smaller than the globe aubergines and also, they have a teardrop shape. They also have a sweeter taste than globe aubergines.
- Japanese Aubergines:
These aubergines are slender and long in shape while a few are round or egg-shaped. They are still purple and they also have a nutritious taste.
- Thai Aubergines:
This particle aubergine is grown in masses, they are small green fruits. The colors aren’t always green, they come in purple and white colors too. This species of aubergines has an exquisite, strong and rich bitter taste. They are used to make wonderful dishes.
- Rosa Bianca Aubergines:
It is in the same family with potatoes, tomatoes and hot peppers. It is plump and round with a mild and creamy taste. It comes with a bicolor; white and violet and it has no bitterness. It grows best at places with warm nights.
- Indian Aubergines:
They also belong to the same family along with potatoes, tomatoes, and pepper. They are small and oval with a dark purple color. It is firm, crispy and creamy on the inside. Indian aubergines are available at all seasons but they are best grown and harvested in spring.
- White Aubergines:
These aubergines are best grown during summer months and they also belong to the same family along Rosa Bianca and Indian aubergines. White aubergines are slightly curved with an oblong shape. The outer skin is white, smooth and bright. Also, the inner part of white aubergines is filled with many edible seeds as the taste is creamy, mild and lightly sweet.
EggPlant Growing Challenges
Aubergines aren’t very difficult to plant and cultivate. The major problem is after perfectly sowing your seed, your seedlings develop in perfect condition but all of a sudden your plants get damaged, it hurts right? A lot can lead to fatal damage in aubergines but the most destructive are pests. You need to be able to identify and troubleshoot problems that lead to thwarted growth and poorly produced fruits.
The deadliest pest is verticillium wilt because it has no cure. This fungal disease lives in the soil and it invades roots and spreads through the plant’s system. The leaves of aubergines wilts and it turns yellow or red, the eventually then it turns brown and it drops off. The stems and branches die too. As it spreads through the plants, it leaves dark colors on the plant. Finally, the plant will die off. This disease is incurable but it can be prevented with special care and attention.
Furthermore, another deadly pest to take note of in other to enhance efficient growth is called flea beetles. These pest feasts on the leaves and the fruit produced. To avoid these pest problems, cover your plant if outdoor with a floating row cover or take plant indoor until early summer. If the plant becomes infested spray with insecticide and the pest will die.
Finally, growing aubergines is easy if you follow the tips provided. You need to understand the variety of aubergines you are growing and also take precautions to prevent pest’s attacks as you follow the required steps of planting aubergines. This article is the perfect guide in ensuring you grow the healthiest and fruitful aubergines.