Eggplant, a native of India, grows well in warm climates. This nutritious vegetable is easy to grow even in cooler climates, though you need to take a bit of care. You can either buy seedlings or prepare germinate seeds at home into order to grow eggplant. If germinating the seeds at home, start 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost in your area. Once the frost has thawed, you can plant your seedlings.
The soil needs to be well composted and well drained. Use raised beds to grow eggplant in. Choose a sunny spot in your garden and add lime to the soil apart from compost. This is because eggplant thrives on calcium. Plant the seedling around 18 inches to 24 inches apart. You can plant the dwarf varieties closer though. For tall varieties, use a stake to keep the plant upright even when they bear fruit. Now place a paper collar around each stem. This will deter worms. You need to spray the plants with compost tea or fish emulsion once after three weeks of transplanting. Also, use a balanced organic liquid fertilizer once a month.
The plants need an inch of water once a week. Mulch the plants to retain moisture and keep the weeds out. Pick the eggplants as soon as they are big enough to use. Leaving them for too long on the plant will make them brown, hard, and inedible. You can store the picked eggplants in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. They are better off in the refrigerator than on the plant once they have matured.
|Vegetable Gardening :|
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