Hello again everyone. In this blog post I am going to talk about how to grow eggplant in a garden. Eggplant and tomatoes are very similar. They are both in the nightshade family. The requirements for growing them are almost the same too.
Read my article on Growing Tomato Plants here.
Eggplant, grown worldwide for it’s fruit is a delicious treat when grilled. Other colored varieties are available but for this article I will be talking about the old fashioned purple. You can easily grow eggplant in containers. Although everything in this article will be for growing in the ground.
You can read about Growing Tomatoes In Containers Here.
You Can Start From Seed To Grow Eggplant In A Garden
You will need to start your seeds indoors. Start them 8 weeks or so before planting in the garden. You will need a good seed starting mixture or use vermiculite to sow them in. Small pots are the best for seed starting but about anything will work. You want the soil to remain damp but not hold water.
Good drainage is a must when seed starting. Too wet and either the seed will rot or damping off will occur. Damping off is a fungal disease. Caused by the soil staying too wet and cool. A mixture of 50/50 peroxide and water lightly sprayed on the soil will sometimes stop it.
After sprouting the seedlings need plenty of light. Florescent light bulbs always worked good for me. I would keep them an inch or so from the top of the plants 14 hours a day. A good sunny window sill will work also. If it is a warm day take them outside for natural light.
Planting Out In A Garden
I plant the plants out in the garden as soon as the soil warms and the temperature stays above 55 degrees. Before planting amend the soil so they will have enough nutrients. Plant them around two feet apart and 3 feet between rows. Plant in a spot that will get full sun. Eggplant are a sun and heat loving plant.
They should get around 2 inches of rain per week. Hand watering will work if no rain is in the forecast. However they will not tolerate waterlogged soil. Root rot and stunted plants will result from poor drainage. Mulching around the plants will help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Staking To Grow Eggplant In A Garden
Stake your eggplants. Staking keeps the fruits clean and rot free. Also it helps to keep small rodents and turtles from helping themselves. There is nothing worse than picking a pretty fruit and the bottom has been eaten. It is also easier to work with the plants when staked.
You can stake them just like tomato plants. Also you can cage them if you prefer. Any way that you would cage a tomato plant will work with eggplant also.
My Main Pest On Eggplant
Flea beetles make a mess in a hurry. Here is a picture of a leaf with flea beetle damage. there are a few beetles on there and I have circled one of them.
Flea beetles do a lot of damage for as little as they are. Also if the plants are smaller they will kill them quick. I have also had some problems with the colorado potato beetle pictured below. If they move in they can strip a plant almost overnight.
Pyrethrin Concentrate Garden and Insect Spray, Bonide Products, 8 ounces
Thank you for visiting my website. I am always glad to hear from my visitors. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below. I will get back to you as soon as possible.