Whether you are planting a single eggplant or a large variety, eggplants require a lot of care to ensure that you get the best harvest possible. Luckily, there are many resources to help you.
First, you’ll want to make sure that you have a warm spot in your garden. The best temperature for eggplants is around 60 deg F. You can either start your planting by hardening off your seedlings or you can plant them directly into the ground. Regardless of how you plan to prepare the soil, you will need to add plenty of organic matter. A rich compost mix can help. In addition, you’ll need to amend the soil with well-rotted manure. You can mix this with a 5-10-10 fertilizer and apply it to the planting area. This can be done every two weeks during the growing season.
You’ll also need to provide plenty of air circulation to your eggplants. In order to do this, you’ll need to remove the lower leaflets of the eggplant. This will increase air circulation and allow the plant to benefit from a deeper canopy.
You’ll also need to add a layer of mulch to your soil to help retain moisture and control weeds. You can use chopped leaves or tree bark. Keeping the soil moist will also prevent fungus and fungal problems.
You’ll also need to add fertilizer to your eggplant plants. Using a balanced slow release fertilizer will help your eggplants produce more fruit. Mix two to three pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet of planting area. Add fertilizer in the early spring and again in the fall.
After your eggplant plants have bloomed, you’ll need to pollinate them. This can be done using a q-tip or a paint brush. You can also use beneficial insects to do the job. If you do not have insects in your area, you can use an electric fan to move air through the vine. You may also use a q-tip to gently press a small amount of pollen onto the fruit.
Finally, you’ll need to provide your eggplant plants with plenty of water. This is especially important in hot weather. You’ll want to water your eggplant plant two to three times a week, keeping the soil slightly moist. If you have a drip irrigation system, you’ll want to make sure that it is properly regulated to ensure that the water is reaching the plant’s roots.
As soon as you see the fruit start to ripen, you’ll want to harvest them. If the skin is dull and wrinkled, you’ll know that the fruit is overripe. You’ll also want to check the indentation that the skin makes when you lightly squeeze it. If the indentation is still there, you’ll be able to tell if the eggplant is ready to be picked.
The average growing period for eggplants is two months. However, you can harvest as often as two or three times a season. Once the fruits have set, you’ll want to feed them with fish emulsion or compost tea.