Growing and harvesting eggplants
Popular belief has it that eggplants are veggies when in fact it is a botanical fruit that belongs to the nightshade family of plants that includes bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and so on.
Eggplants have been dated back as far as 2000 years ago. That is a lot of years that this fruit has been upon planet earth being used in so many dishes by so many cultures worldwide. Eggplants are loaded with vitamins and have many benefits.
But how is eggplant grown and harvested before it reaches our dinner tables?.
Growing eggplant guide
1. Eggplant love warmth so it is good to plant in a sunny location.6 -7 hours of sunlight is good.
3. Eggplants can also be planted in raised beds.
4. Soil Ph should be anywhere from 6.3-6.8
5. Before planting cultivating soil so roots can establish easier.
6. Using a layer of mulch will help to suppress weeds and hold moisture.
7. These plants should be spaced about 23-36 inches apart.
8. Keep soil moist, not waterlogged.
9. Using an organic fertilizer has proved to give good results.
Pest of eggplant
Pest problems of eggplant include
1. Colorado beetles- lay their eggs on the underside of plant leaves. The eggs are yellow and laid in masses. Hand picking has proven to be effective.
2. Flea beetles- chew holes in leaves can be treated with insecticides such as neem oil, diatomaceous earth and so on or covering with floating row cover.
3. Spider mites though tiny can cause devastation to eggplants with leaves turning yellow and following off. Using an organic insecticide or spraying with water will help.
Insecticidal soaps and botanicals have proven to be effective when treating insects of eggplants
Time to harvest
Eggplants take anywhere from 1oo-14o days before they reach full maturity so this is where you get to reap a harvest of your time and effect that you placed into growing these fruits.
To ensure the time of harvesting is right eggplant should be firm, press with your finger and if a sink or indentation is made you can harvest the fruit. The flesh should also be creamy.
How to store eggplant
Now that you have harvested your eggplants how are you going to store? eggplants can be stored in a cool dry place if you don’t intend to make a feast of them in a day or two, but if the time is extended beyond two days
wrap plants in a paper towel and place in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge crisper section. This will keep your eggplants in good condition for up to a week.
For longer storage period store in the freezer
There you have it, from the garden to the dinner table you have grown your own home eggplant. Eggplants contain so many vitamins and are so beneficial. Give it a try, you will be glad that you did.