Heat-loving eggplants are easy to grow where summer is long and warm. They produce the biggest fruits during this growing season and will give you a handful of eggplants a week. Eggplant varieties differ mainly in size, shape, the color of the fruits, growth habit, and maturation period. Here are some methods on how to grow eggplant to get a bountiful harvest and a glowing garden in return:
Any fertile soil with a pH level ranging from 6.3 to 6.8 can satisfy this plant, but raised beds enriched with composted manure are the best growing sites. Gardeners in cool climates grow their plants in a large and dark-colored containers for warmth. Although the eggplant’s leathery leaves can withstand hot weather, make sure to leave a generous mulch of hay or any biodegradable materials beneath the plants to keep the soil cool. This method will not only hold the moisture, but it will also keep the weeds down.
Another important thing to consider is your gardening space. This factor is important because eggplants usually grow tall and with angular plants. Your space should keep them 24 to 36 inches apart. To fertilize plants, mix a balanced timed-release or organic compost by following the rates provided on the label. Make sure to keep your plants watered so they will not be small and bitter. Tie them to stakes to avoid the fruits from falling over. Alternatively, you can use small tomato cages for additional support.
In some areas, a common soil-borne fungus called Verticillium Wilt is the reason eggplants wilt and die. To avoid this problem, fill your eggplant containers with premium potting mix. You will know that the eggplant is ready for harvest if they have hard flesh and small seeds. A perfect fruit has a glossy skin and well-formed but immature seeds. They will taste bitter when underripe or overripe, so knowledge in harvesting is a must if you want to master how to grow eggplant.
Eggplants may be considered a finicky plant, but if you can keep them warm and free from pest damage, you can enjoy an excellent harvest.
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